Blogging 101 – Do You Need to Make Money at Blogging?

Allow me to direct your attention to my sidebar momentarily. What do you see there? Your standard archives, search option, a link to my Twitter account and one single solitary ad, for my own publishing company. What don’t you see? Ads for anything else. And that’s because this blog is not a business. I do it for fun, and to promote my own writing and other projects. I don’t expect to make money at it.

For many years, I ran a professional, blog-based website that was a business. It was done with the intention of making money. We ran paid ads in the sidebar. It was registered as a business; we paid business taxes, we had a business account at the bank. But this site, my personal blog, is not something I expect to make money on.

I point out this difference because I think it gets lost on a lot of bloggers. The project that they started out for fun, as a hobby, suddenly becomes something they feel they must make money at. They see a few high-profile bloggers get book deals or report massive traffic and high ad earnings and suddenly doing it for fun doesn’t cut it anymore. They attend blogging conferences where so-called “experts” give seminars on how to “monetize” their sites and all of a sudden they feel entitled to be paid for their time and effort.

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That’s Not Healthy

I came across a cooking magazine a couple of weeks ago that I’d never seen before. Healthy Cooking Magazine has a tagline of “simple solutions, healthy alternatives”. I don’t buy a lot of cooking magazines, to be truthful, and grabbed this one only because it was on a shelf next to Eating Well and I was at a friend’s shop and wanted to be a good customer.

It sat around for a few weeks after I brought it home – I’ve been crazy busy the last little while and never really had time to sit down with it. On the weekend I started flipping through the pages as I was eating lunch and noticed something rather peculiar.

Now, maybe it’s just because I’ve been thinking about ethical policies lately; I’ve been drafting up guidelines for writers at TasteTO, as well as the framework for an info package for advertisers. But what I noticed about Healthy Cooking was that the majority of ads within the magazine were for products created by the writers themselves.

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