It's a little more difficult to find Web sites that will pay you to blog than it is to do it independently. Many companies and organizations require you to have a certain amount of blogging experience and expertise before they will hire you to write for them. However, it can be worth the extra effort since the pay is a nice supplement to the advertising revenue on your personal blog.
Some companies will pay bloggers to write about their products on the blogger's personal Web page, in an arrangement called pay-per-post. In many cases, companies will give free merchandise to bloggers who review their products. The good news is that you don't even have to be a high-traffic blog — 500 page views a month will earn a $300 kitchen product [source: Faw]. There are also Web sites like PayPerPost, Review Me and SponsoredReviews that can connect you with large and small sponsors. The tricky part is disclosing your relationship with the sponsoring company without sacrificing your credibility as a writer. There are also legal issues. If you don't fess up to receiving freebies, you can run afoul of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Read the FTC's guidelines on dot-com disclosures.
If your heart isn't set on posting to your own blog, there are a number of companies and organizations that will pay you to post on their blogs. The pay for these "freelance blogging" opportunities can be similar to pay-per-post (perhaps $25 per post), though some pay much more. Many of these employers offer steady work, paying bloggers for numerous articles over the course of many months. Finding these jobs requires a little bit of searching, but luckily there are a number of Web sites that post announcements for blogging work, like Freelance Writing Jobs, ProBlogger and Freelance Switch. Ideally, you could eventually translate this freelance blogging experience into a full-time career with a company or organization that uses its blog to reach out to customers or supporters.
Remember, in the U.S. all money you make from blogging must be reported to the Internal Revenue Service as self-employment income, even if you don't receive a 1099-MISC. There is no minimum amount — $600 is often wrongfully cited — for reporting blogging income on your tax return [source: IRS].
Perhaps the best advice for a blogger looking to earn a healthy income is to be patient. Big paychecks don't come overnight. Many of the most popular bloggers worked for months -- or even years -- before their Web sites began to earn much attention and revenue. For this reason, it's crucial that you blog about something you enjoy, or you'll never last long enough to be successful.
More Great Links
- Agger, Michael. "Blogging for Dollars." Slate. Oct. 1, 2008. (Nov. 8, 2011) http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/the_browser/2008/10/blogging_for_dollars.html
- Blogads. "Make More Money." 2011. (Nov. 15, 2011) http://web.blogads.com/publisher_html
- Del Rey, Jason. "Forrester Reduces Its Forecast for Online Ad Spending." AdAge. Oct. 9, 2012. (Sept. 2, 2013) http://adage.com/article/digital/forrester-reduces-forecast-online-ad-spending/237647/
- Fortini, Amanda. "The Pioneer Woman Gets Lost on the Range." The New Yorker. Feb. 3, 2012. (Sept. 2, 2013) http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2012/02/the-pioneer-woman-gets-lost-on-the-range.html
- Hogan, Mike. "Blogging for Dollars." PC World. Feb. 26, 2008. (Nov. 8, 2011) http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/142822/blogging_for_dollars.html
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS). "Reporting Miscellaneous Income." (Sept. 2, 2013) http://www.irs.gov/uac/Reporting-Miscellaneous-Income
- Komando, Kim. "5 Ways to Earn Money by Blogging." USA Today. May 7, 2009. (Nov. 8, 2011) http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/kimkomando/2009-05-07-blogging-money_N.htm
- Kunz, Ben. "A Modest Blogging Proposal." Bloomberg Businessweek. Dec. 30, 2008. (Nov. 15, 2011) http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/dec2008/tc20081229_038849.htm
- Moore, Matthew. "Awkward Family Photos Blog Becomes Web Sensation." The Telegraph. May 18, 2009. (Nov. 15, 2011) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/5339905/Awkward-Family-Photos-blog-becomes-web-sensation.html
- Murphy, Kate. "My Blog Is Also Paying My Bills." The New York Times. May 25, 2011. (Nov. 8, 2011) http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/26/technology/personaltech/26basics.html?_r=2
- Neuman, Clayton. "The TIME 100--Are They Worthy?" Time Specials. April 20, 2007. (Nov. 8, 2011) http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/time100walkup/article/0,28804,1611030_1610841_1609854,00.html
- Nielsen. "Buzz in the Blogosphere: Millions More Bloggers and Blog Readers." March 8, 2012. (Sept. 2, 2013) http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/newswire/2012/buzz-in-the-blogosphere-millions-more-bloggers-and-blog-readers.html
- The Nielsen Company. "BlogPulse." Nov. 13, 2011. (Nov. 13, 2011) http://www.blogpulse.com/
- Palmer, Kimberly. "How to Earn Money as a Professional Blogger." U.S. News Money. May 19, 2009. (Nov. 8, 2011) http://money.usnews.com/money/articles/2009/05/19/how-to-earn-money-as-a-professional-blogger
- Palmer, Kimberly. "How to Earn Money from Blogging." U.S. News Money. Aug. 19, 2009. (Nov. 8, 2011) http://money.usnews.com/money/articles/2008/08/19/how-to-earn-money-from-blogging?PageNr=1
- Rosen, Jeffrey. "Your Blog or Mine?" New York Times Magazine. Dec. 19, 2004. (Nov. 13, 2011) http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/19/magazine/19PHENOM.html
- Rowse, Darren. "12 Blogging Income Streams [And the Story of My 10-year 'Overnight' Success." ProBlogger. May 9, 2013. (Sept. 2, 2013) http://www.problogger.net/archives/2013/05/09/12-blogging-income-streams/
- Technorati. "State of the Blogosphere 2011." Nov. 4, 2011. (Nov. 8, 2011) http://technorati.com/social-media/article/state-of-the-blogosphere-2011-introduction/
- Technorati. "Technorati Top 100." Nov. 13, 2011. (Nov. 13, 2011) http://technorati.com/blogs/top100/
- Technorati Media. "Influencers and Revenue." 2013 Digital Influencer Report. (Sept. 5, 2013) http://technoratimedia.com/report/2013-dir/influencers-revenue/
- Thompson, Clive. "The Early Years." New York Times Magazine. Feb. 12, 2006. (Nov. 8, 2011) http://nymag.com/news/media/15971/
- Tozzi, John. "Bloggers Bring in the Big Bucks." Bloomberg Businessweek. July 13, 2007. (Nov. 8, 2011) http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/jul2007/sb20070713_202390.htm
- Van Gelder, Lawrence. "Arts, Briefly." The New York Times. May 15, 2007. (Nov. 15, 2011) http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/15/arts/15arts.html
- Williams, Geoff. "Can You Make Real Money Blogging?" U.S. News. July 11, 2013. (Sept. 4, 2013) http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2013/07/11/can-you-make-real-money-blogging
- Wolinsky, David. "Interview: Christian Lander." A.V. Club. Aug. 21, 2008. (Nov. 8, 2011) http://www.avclub.com/articles/christian-lander,14296/
- Wuorio, Jeff. "How to Make Money from Your Blog: 5 Tips." Microsoft Business. 2011. (Nov. 8, 2011) http://www.microsoft.com/business/en-us/resources/marketing/online-marketing/how-to-make-money-from-your-blog-5-tips.aspx?fbid=ZWJ2drXcxd1