Over a drink, a former coworker told me of his plan to escape corporate web America:
He’s going to start a couple of blogs. These he would easily monetize with ad revenue, gain an immediate huge following, and quit his day job.
I listened, thought about my own blogs, thought about the few blogs I had seen go big and the far greater number that I find that haven’t updated in two to three years.
I won’t say I popped the bubble of his planned financial success, but I did explain to him where I was and what my approach was, coming from four and a half years of blogging experience.
1) I’m not writing my blog to make money. That wasn’t the intent when I started and while I wouldn’t be adverse if someone was interested in hiring me to blog, that isn’t the purpose of Hedgehog Librarian.
2) The $2 and change that I might get from Google Ads does not seem worth the frustration of having ads on my site.
3) I considered Amazon Affiliates, but I’d rather try to consciously link to indie book stores, World Cat, and author websites for books. Too, Illinois is presently considering changing the rules and requiring Amazon to charge sales tax which would mean they would eliminate Affiliates so that could easily be a moot point.
Are there costs that I incur? Yes, now that I’ve moved things over to LisHost and my own domain there are some financial costs. But they are far less than I pay for one conference or annual membership in a national organization. There are time costs. Though I go quiet for various spells, it’s also not uncommon for me to spend three or four hours writing, re-writing, rethinking, etc. And there are many posts that I draft that you don’t see, left abandoned when a new shiny target catches my eye, or I decide it’s not worth the headache or, or, or…
But the benefits outweigh those. My blog isn’t particularly well known but my posts are read, I’ve had some interesting chats different places about them, and it provides me a public space to stand on a soap box when I would like one. It’s given me a different place to write, a public place, without assaulting a listserv with my potentially really unwanted opinion. And for a relatively new librarian, it’s been where I could express my views on what’s happening when traditional publishing is too slow or might not really have the space for all of us who are commenting on a specific issue. My blog has provided a writing space that I could point people to–having an established blog gave me some credibility for a guest post I suggested last year that led to an article last summer. It is my online presence, giving you an idea of my voice and my opinions.
Occasionally I have considered full time blogging as a career. But that wouldn’t necessarily mean giving up my day job, it would just be a transition to a writing day job. It would still be work and anyone who suggests otherwise is looking to sell me a bridge. For now though, this is one of my outlets, rather than an intended form of income. Presently I hope that my blog might provide more professional opportunities and give other professionals familiarity with who I am. I would love to get offers for a presentation or another article out of it, or have the chance to work on a project with someone as a result of a post.
I don’t really expect it to pay the bills though.