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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Raising the White Flag... for now

I’m sure that most of you, if not all, have read or heard about earning from blogging.

And I'm pretty sure that a lot of you will not be reading this line anymore after getting a glimpse of that first line and telling yourself "Not this again..." Well, this is NOT what I think you're thinking this is.

Okay, now that I got your attention... :P

I have countless times thought of writing something about this, but for some reason I have always dismissed the idea. Until now…

I saw this copy of Masigasig (September 2008 issue) lying somewhere in the living room upon reaching home last night. What really caught my eye was a cover story that read “Earn Big Bucks from Blogging”.

I picked it up wondering if it had something new to say and I wasn’t surprised to find out that it had none. Though, there’s one thing mentioned in the article that had me uttering a long string of expletives…

The article featured three Filipino bloggers who are earning huge amounts of money from their blogs… one of them was quoted as saying that he earns at least US$3,000 during the “leanest” of months. US$3,000?! At least?!

Okay, this will be the first time I’ll be admitting this. This blog that you are currently reading was born out of my desire/wish to make some money out of blogging at a time when I was hearing and reading so much about making money out of blogging.

When I started out, I didn’t have any idea on what to blog about, so much so that I constantly worried about what I was going to fill it with.

For me, it was like seeing a whole bunch of people having the time of their lives swimming in a pool, getting all excited at the sight of it, and taking the plunge without even knowing whether I can swim or not.

There had been a few occasions (in 2007) where I got quite desperate that I simply cut-and-pasted news articles I’ve read just to be able to post something. But then, I realized that doing so will not help my blog at all. Common sense told me that if someone was to search for that article on any search engine on the web, the search engine will surely present/display in its search results the original source of the article, if not, the most credible source of whatever matter is being discussed in that article. Not this blog, no.

With that realization, I ended up stressing myself over trying to come up with something to write about.

However, it didn’t take too long for me to realize that it isn’t as easy as some people make it seem to be. I got quite disappointed with it that there was a point where I almost gave up on blogging (note the absence of posts from January to June of this year in my archives).

Along with that, I also came to the realization that I was totally wrong about thinking that blogging (as an activity) was quite easy after revisiting all the things that I needed to do in order to keep this blog up and running…

First and foremost, I’ve got to have content. Not just any content, mind you, but content which people will find interesting… interesting enough to have my visitors coming back for more.

Next would be traffic. I’ve got to find ways to generate traffic coming to this blog. I can’t really tell which of these two is harder, but as far as my experience is concerned, I find traffic generation the more difficult task.

I’ve done quite a number of things in my attempt to generate a significant amount of traffic for this blog… got myself registered on various blog catalogues (as you can see at the bottom part of the right panel) as well as on EntreCard.

I’ve also “signed” my emails and forum posts (however few they are) with the URL of this blog.

But still, on average, I’m only getting around 80 visits per day. And judging from my stats on Google’s Analytics, only 5 to 10% of those actually stay and read my posts (if you’ll ask me, I prefer readers much more than “passers by”).

I’ve also got myself registered on one of the pay-per-post sites (on which my blog was approved), but then, I’ve decided never to grab any of the “opportunities” it is providing after coming to terms with myself that I don’t want to write and post anything on here about things which I do not truly believe in. Ads are ok, but getting paid to write my own ads? I think not, unless I truly like the product.

As for my Adsense earnings, I have only earned US$3.17 since I started this blog in November last year (with a little over 6,000 total visits so far).

With these numbers, I have almost given up all hopes of ever being able to earn for my blog.

So why am I still at this?

When I decided to post again on this blog some time in July (2008), I had with me a new purpose… and earning was no longer part of it. If I’d be fortunate enough to have it happening to me in the future, I will just be considering that as a “pleasant consequence” which I will more than gladly accept.

As I’ve written on my other blog:

“I’m looking forward to the day when I’m already all wrinkly and crooked, sitting in front of the computer (or whatever device it is that we’ll be using to surf the web with), perhaps, with my children and grandchildren, taking a stroll back to a time which would have been long forgotten by then for the most part. THAT is this blog’s main purpose.”

And, if I’ll be able to help somebody with my posts (as in the case of my photoshop tutorials), I’m happy.


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