Monday, July 16, 2007

Why Freelance Writers Shouldn't Blog for Money

I ran across a post on the other day entitled, How to Make Money Blogging - What We Wish We Knew. The post basically was about things bloggers wish they knew when they first started out.

As Darren Rowse, the webmaster at Problogger put it: “In this post I’ll share readers comments on the topic of making money from blogs as well as some of my own experiences and advice.”

One comment from a reader stood out to me, which inspired this post on why I don’t think freelance writers – in general -- can ever make a livable income blogging. While there will always be some exceptions to the rule, as a whole, I don’t think it’s a pursuit most of us should spend our time on.

Following is why.

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Blogger Chris @ Martial Development commented: “I wish I had known that your choice of niche will affect your contextual ad revenue by a factor of 100! And that certain niches can therefore never, ever be profitable with Adsense!”

Bloggers make their money from advertisers. And, many start with Google’s Adsense program. If you don’t know what it is, click here to learn more.

When people click on the ads, you are paid a certain amount. Certain categories pay more. For example, an ad about a tech product like “gaming software” may pay out a lot more than an ad about “freelance writing jobs,” which is an ad typically found on many freelance writers’ websites.

As I wrote in my 5/30/07 post, Why Freelance Writers May Be the Poorest Internet Entrepreneurs (Part I of II), “Much of new technology is for tech people: It seems that every new piece of software that comes out is for tech people.” And, advertisers in this genre are willing to pay handsomely for new customers.

When you consider the payoff (ROI (return on investment)) for tech companies in acquiring new customers, they can afford to pay more to those blog owners who carry their ads.

Is the ROI (Return on Investment) Worth It for Freelance Writers When It Comes to Blogging?

Consider this: According to, “. . . projects having an ROI less than 100 % may not be undertaken.” How is ROI calculated?


The ROI for each project is compared with the invested capital on a yearly basis. ROI analysis means that where expected benefits and costs are realized within the same year of implementation of the project, the project is more likely to proceed.

The whole point of this post? UNLESS you specialize in a high-paying niche like tech or medicine, don’t expect the payout from ad programs like Adsense to pay you much. You may have to generate 100 times the traffic to see the same payout as a blog in another, better paying niche.

So, given this, why blog?

TOMORROW'S POST: In tomorrow’s post, I’ll discuss two easy things you can do to turn your blog into an effective marketing machine – and it won’t even feel like marketing!
Upcoming Features in Inkwell Editorial’s Newsletter

July 18: Paula Mooney. Blogger who helps other bloggers “make money, get readers and increase their blog’s ranking.” Paula will reveal how she makes money online, and how she’s built a very popular blog in only a few month’s time.

If you currently have a blog, or are thinking about starting one, you won’t want to miss this interview!

August 15: Meryl K. Evans. I tapped Meryl for an interview because she’s found success in the B2B niche. Meryl has written for some pretty notable clients, eg, PC Today, O’Reilly and Pearson to name a few.

This is where the real money in freelance writing is folks (B2B). I’m as anxious to see what she has to say as I hope you are!

September 12: Gordon Graham. We ring in the “editorial season” by interviewing Gordon Graham, aka “that white paper guy.” Gordon writes and edits white papers and case studies. He charges $90/hour just to edit a white paper and a minimum of $4,000 to produce a white paper from scratch.

Now, do you see why I had to interview him?! Most freelancers don’t even dream of making this type of money. I can’t wait for this interview.

NOTE: As editorial is cyclical and slow during the summer, in July and August, the newsletter will be published once. In September, we go back to our twice-monthly publishing schedule. Subscribe today so you don't miss anything!**************************************************
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