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Money sense

Folks, these are hard times. Thanks to recent recent economic events — It-That-Can’t-Be-Named — a lot of us are in the same situation.

entertainment Updated: Feb 17, 2009 11:49 IST
Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan

Folks, these are hard times. Thanks to recent recent economic events — It-That-Can’t-Be-Named — a lot of us are in the same situation. Well, financially anyway. So today, I decided to take a stab at answering the question I get asked the most: how do you make money off your blog?

Let me begin by saying that I personally do not make any money off my blog —apart from a tiny Adsense box, I don’t have any other advertisements. So at the end of the day, your guess is as good as mine, and nothing is a sure fire way to make cash off something you do mainly for fun.

The indirect route
Now, while I don’t make money directly off my blog, it has been useful in getting me work. If a writing career is what you want, remember that your blog is like your daily calisthenics. Put good stuff out there — well edited, well thought out, fun posts that draw feedback. I know of a couple of people who get freelance work based on their blogs, and it’s a good thing to put on your resume, if you get a lot of hits. Just don’t make it the focus of your resume though, because then it just looks like you have Wishful Thinker tattooed across your forehead. Remember to make your blog a reflection of you and not the other way round.

Looking for advice
In search of moneymaking wisdom, I came across Earn Money To Blog (www.earnmoneytoblog.com). This is a very basic website offering answers to questions like, ‘What is a blog?’ and ‘How do I create a free blog?’ But there was also something titled ‘Where should I post my Google Adsense?’ that had useful tips for a beginner — they provided an image of the Google ‘heat map’. (the hotter the ad space, the brighter the colour on the map, so right above your first post is the best place for your ad, says Google). But still, it’s all very, very basic.

Stepping into deeper water
For more detail, you should check out Host My Post (http://www.host-my-post.com/). This site works as a middleman between advertisers and site owners. Someone puts up content they want on the Internet, you choose to post it on your blog. You get redeemable points, they get advertisements. Easy peasy? Maybe not. Beware of compromising on your integrity. I’d suggest running ‘Promo’ banners above the feeded content, so that your readers know it’s an ad. That way you make money and keep your blog honest.

There’s something similar in India as well. Blogertize, a website started by Dushyant Bhatia, aims to “help bloggers get traffic via our website and help them earn ad revenue.”

In an email, he said, “We will be launching an online shopping portal and will sell our products via the bloggers advertising with us. In return, bloggers get commission (which could go upto 75 per cent of the total profit) for their services.”

The site looks good and has a bunch of forums but I found it a little hard to use. Sure, space for advertisers to click was right up there on the side bar, but I couldn’t for the life of me find where bloggers signed up. Take a look anyway, maybe you’ll be smarter than I am. If you know any smart ways to make money off your blog, do write in to me.