Reading the article What Popular Bloggers Got Wrong – And How You Can Get it Right (update: the link no longer works so it has been removed) by Skellie really opened my eyes about the widespread practice by most bloggers today- work day and night to churn out endless posts to build up search engine rankings and attract more subscribers, then plaster the blog all over with Adsense and other affiliate links. Each time a visitor responds to the ad, the publisher or blog owner earns.
Black hat strategies
Some will create 100 blogs or more with content- some original, mostly scrapped from other legitimate blogs and have them SEO optimized keyword cloaking or by links via spam comments dropped in blogs using robots. The more traffic that comes in and the more clicks, the more money they make. The plan is to make 100 sites that brings in $1 in daily clicks. So they earn on average about $100 per day- ideally.
White hat or legit strategies
Some will work hard on a single blog or two- day and night to write good content, tweak their sites, promote it with all gusto until eventually as the blog becomes an authority on a particular topic or niche. Then it drives in tonnes on traffic and with more traffic, the higher the chances the visitors will click on the ad coz it’s a number’s game. Of course, regular visitors have learned to be ‘ad blind’ so there are various bloggers writing on methods to increase ad conversion.
Both strategies earn income primarily by placing third party advertisements like Google Adsense and other affiliates program.
But Skellie of skelliewag.org does it differently. Skellie’s method is so refreshing, and makes so much sense. Yes, I know, I got to only read the blog recently- so I must have been in planet Mars or something all this while:
- Bloggers are settling for a pittance through putting in Adsense and other affiliate programs
- Every blog out there literally using Adsense and having them pasted at the usual same spots. And yes, the earnings is very low- that explains why I still cannot give up my full time job yet because blogging alone cannot pay my bills.
- Many bloggers are moving away from Adsense into affiliate- but they are still not effectively leveraging well on their income potential.
- Did not monetize her site using Adsense or affiliates like most of us do
- She even opted for an ‘org’ instead of a dot com domain to make her point
- Write really good, long, compelling content- that effectively showcase her writing skills
- The result: she landed in high paying freelance projects that earns her on the higher end of 4 figure sum- something that will be very difficult for any bloggers to make by depending on advertisements alone.
I have seen a few exceptional blogs whereby the posting frequency is irregular. But the quality of each post is superb. So good that most first time visitors who found the site via search engine will spend hours reading each posts from start to finish- and come back again if they cannot finish. Most of them however, still depend on Adsense to generate income.
Skellie also mentioned a notable point about passive income– that the whole idea of passive income is overrated. Now, people have the idea of spending about an hour in blog posts and then hope that the blog(s) generate enough passive income for them to spend the rest of the day enjoying themselves.
But any serious bloggers who are committed to their blogs will tell you that it’s no easy task. Writing posts is only a small part of the blogging process. You need to tweak templates, explore blogs in your niche, participating in social network to promote your stuff and answer comments, etc. Yet, newcomers are being sucked in all the time, some even giving up their day jobs– and after months of not being able to break through, they just give up.
Instead, Skellie wrote that instead of wasting time earning and ‘enjoying the passive income’, why not use it to continue to either sharpen your skills or get well paying jobs.
Building up blogs after blogs and plastering Adsense on each of them (like what you see in my blog 🙂 )would not be a viable long term solution. The ads can still be there- but we will need to focus on shifting a bit of the energy we have in churning out blogs to developing products, ebooks or offering services that people are willing to really pay for.
It’s definitely worth working towards.