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Blog business

How do you turn something that’s so patently a hobby (well, it is for me, at any rate) into something income generating? Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan suggests tips...

tech reviews Updated: Feb 24, 2009 20:57 IST

Picking up where we left off last week — how do you turn something that’s so patently a hobby (well, it is for me, at any rate) into something income generating? Now, remember, the most I have earned from my year-old Google Adsense is about $43, so I probably need the advice as much as you do. So, how does one get their blog to be their golden goose?

Online reviews
There’s a site called Create Online Buzz (www.createonlinebuzz.com) and according to Silky Malhotra, the network manager, this is what it has to offer: “Once you sign up, you will occasionally receive emails requesting you to review some online product or service and some basic guidelines for the same. Once you post the review on your blog based on the guidelines given, you will become eligible for payment. We will send monthly payments to the address mentioned in your account.”

It sounds easy enough and the site seems user friendly and even offers a sample marketing campaign you can look at. The only downside that I can see is that you would have to make the reviews look very clearly like promos.
The site is not specific about whether or not you can give “honest” reviews, ie, if you don’t like a product, whether you can say that. I would guess not, since it’s an advertising thing. Remember though, if you do sign up, to place “Advertorial” labels clearly where your readers can see it.

Find advertisers
Some handy ‘Googling’ later I found a site with some great hints and links to places you can find advertisers.
Daily Blog Tips (http://www.dailyblogtips.com/ways-to-make-money-online-with-website/) breaks down advertisers into categories — views, content etc — and gives you links. You can also get ads for your RSS feeds (who knew?) and by sponsoring a column or post. It’s a pretty comprehensive list, and I suggest you definitely give it a look.

Similar to Create Online Buzz is another site called Review Me (http://www.reviewme.com/) but this one can uphold your site to certain standards, like traffic, subscribers etc. If you meet the criteria, your blog is added to the rolls and then you just have to sit back and let the advertisers pick you.

You can either post a review (your own words with a compulsory ‘paid review’ label) or an advertorial (content you’re not allowed to edit). You can also give the advertisers “constructive criticism” which I think is great. Check it out if you think your blog has what it takes.

Have what it takes?
That’s all I have been able to winnow out from the masses and masses of sites offering you tips and tricks to earn money through your blog. At the end of that day, remember, while it is nice to make some cash, is the effort really worth it? If you have a day job, I’d suggest sticking with that. If you’re determined that blogging is your calling, however then remember, before you sign up for any of these sites, you need:
1. High traffic (put links to your blogs on every blog network site)
2. Consistent blogging (updates more than twice a week at least)
3. A theme or area of expertise (just pick a topic and make it your mission to be an authority on it)
4. Loads of patience (the cash won’t just start flowing in — in the beginning, it’ll be more like a trickle!)

Hope you all have luck, be sure to write to me with your findings. Until we meet again, adieu.

Meenakshi writes a blog at www.thecompulsiveconfessor.blogspot.com. You can send her your queries at meenakshimadhavan@gmail.com