Five options for blogging in a bad economy

Without wanting to sound overly pessimistic, it’s hard for any industry to fully escape the global economic crash, and blogging seems to be exception.

In buoyant times, the monthly records set by The Inquisitr and Gawker would likely translate into better advertising rates and higher revenues, but that just isn’t happening at the moment.

Is it futile to blog primarily for profit?

It’s long been said that trying to blog without passion for the subject usually leads to burnout and disillusionment, and in any case it’s never been easy for the masses to make significant direct income from their blogs.

Now, more than ever, blogging for monetary gain seems a dead-end vocation.

So what choices do we have? Here are five options:

1. Find blogging gigs that pay per post

In tougher economic times, getting paid per post tends to be a more stable option than relying on advertising rates.

Of course, the opportunities have to exist, rates can be cut without much warning, and (depending on where you live) exchange rates can still play a role in the final amount earned, but at present it may be easier to write for someone else for a fixed amount of money than wrestle with direct and PPC advertising.

2. Continue to self-blog passionately and for credibility

This advice works whether the “meltdown” is a global credit crunch or Google dropping you from the search engine listings.

While you may not be making much money at the moment, the likelihood is that things will pick up eventually. Instead of letting your blogs slide because they’re not generating income, nurture them. People are still visiting blogs because they’re searching for information, and blogs can still generate conversation and community. And when the good times return, you’ll have more content and more readers to advertise to.

3. Blog to generate indirect income

If you’ve been used to generating most of your blogging income as a direct result of your blog (advertising, affiliate programs) why not consider using your blog as a showcase for some of your other talents?

Can you offer consulting or web design services? While all markets are feeling the squeeze, diversification of your income could be a smart move — generate smaller amounts of revenue from several activities.

4. Set up worthless splogs

Before you flame me, let me just say that, regrettably, this is an option. If splogs and scrapers weren’t profitable – at least in the short term – no-one would waste their time on them.

The trouble is, if you’re into blogging for the long haul, splogging is likely to harm your credibility and potential profitability.

It’s hard to generate revenue from splogs and remain anonymous – Google, Chitika and everyone else will find out who you are and then your direct income will plummet.

5. Give up / scale back

Again, if you’re a decent, hardened blogger you won’t likely consider this, but it is an option.

If other opportunities come up that pay the bills and feed your family, it would be foolish to hold out on generating huge amounts of cash from blogging right now.

If you can’t or won’t give up blogging completely, perhaps you need to scale it back so that you have time for other endeavors. You can always ramp up blogging activities later.

How, as a blogger, are you coping with the economic downturn? Has your primary motivation for blogging recently changed?

As I blogged this, I hadn’t realised that Jeff has set up a poll asking if the economy has affected the way you blog. Head over there and cast your vote.

4 thoughts on “Five options for blogging in a bad economy

  1. Yes you’re right, the niche makes a difference, and I’m seeing revenue on more “lifestyle” focused blogs doing better than more tech/gadget focused ones.

  2. I’ve turned on a dime and researched out the niches in which folks will still happily spend spend spend (diet/looking good/gaming/entertainment/etc.) and have been quietly writing blogs that focus on these areas. My income is already up from them.

    So long as I’m interested in the topic, the writings just flow…and that makes maintenance a wee bit easier as well.

    Data points, Barbara

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