Blogging for money

There have been a number of posts recently on the topic of making money from blogs.

First of all, Guy Kawasaki noted that he earned $3,350 in 2006 from Adsense. That really caught my eye when I saw it, as Guy is in the top 50 on Technorati, and has well and truly earned his stripes as an A list blogger. If you don’t read his blog and are interested in business startups, go and review his top posts. [And subsequently Guy posted a follow up, seems a lot of people got interested in this one.]

Next, Chris Anderson responded to this figure and suggested Don’t Quit Your Day Job. And I’d particularly draw you attention to his note that “the reason to be a Long Tail producer is not direct revenues.”.

Today, Yaro Starak, an excellent Australian blogger, posted on What It Takes To Be A Professional Blogger. Some great discussion here about Darren Rowse, who demonstrates money can be made from great content.

Ok, three great posts to read. My take on all this is that its the indirect revenue that is most interesting for small business. None of our blogging customers expect to make direct revenue from their blog. But they do expect indirect revenue. A small business that has products and services should consider how blogging can be used to:

So Darren Rowse and others can make direct revenue from blogging (just don’t try this in a Long Tail niche), businesses can get a lot of indirect value from Long Tail niches. Here the pay off isn’t AdSense or other forms of advertising revenue, its about selling more products and services.

Paul & Jenny Geelen – who are clients of ours – are using blogging in exactly this way. The content they are publishing on their blog is niche focused and remarkable, and they are also getting a lot of interest in the stories of eye loss. Customers are contacting Paul * Jenny directly from their blogsite – they read the content, and get in touch about their services (and people are getting in touch from outside their traditional markets). So for Paul & Jenny, whether blogging makes money from advertising is not relevant. What is relevant is their geographic reach into their niche audience.

So when looking at blogging for money, keep in mind both direct and indirect models. Both are viable. But over the long haul, the indirect revenue model is going to be the most important for small business.