BloggerCon IV, Day 2: How to Make Money

 John Palfrey, Berkman Center, Harvard Law School 


 not to start afresh, as though we never talked about it before.

 aggregate confversations lthat have already happened


 1. Making Money By Blogging

 1. Ads

 1. On your own site

 1. Text/images on your site (BlogAds, Adwords/Adsense)

 2. Sponsorships on site (TechCrunch, or the “Be Mike Arrington” strategy)

 2. In feeds

 3. In a podcast

 4. In a vlog

 2. Put other thing on your blog that generate money for you

 1. Classifieds (EdgeIo “listing” tag)

 2. Other feeds (Stylefeeder feed)

 3. Affiliate program from Amazon with famous books

 3. Join a network of blogs

 1. John Battelle approach

 2. Corante, Weblogs.com

 4. Sell your feed content itself to publishers (will someone pay?)

 5. Generate payment via aggregators (Feedshow?)

 6. Give it to charity (Goodstorm?)

 2. tip jars, donations

 Eric, podslug: I;m happy to spend money on Doug kaye and like to (fill tip jars). I prefer to consume great media without advertising.

 Lance: there probably isn't aculture to fuel that, but if somebody has a great idea ...


 if people pay you money, you feel accountable in some way. they get mad when your server goes down. It creates a level of complicaiton not there with advertising, where there isn't a personal relationship.

 3. Join a netowrk

 Dan Farber: it would be cool if everybody could make money ... think about this. If yoiu have 50k readers per month, and everyboyd gives you $10 per year... why isn't there a culture where pople pay for the content they like to consume, and we're still chasing all these business models? We hve a model (a network) where we share the ad revenue. we have bloggers making 3-4k per month. we generate link flow. if people want to blog for us, it's great, if it fits a topic area.

 Crispads: we've tried working with nonprofits, open source people,but there seems to be some legal issues wth sharing revenue with these groups

 4. Microp-kents:

 Liz Henry: I don't have $10 a year to give to the hundreds of blog that I read. Micropayments ould be gtood

 5. Go hyperlocal

 ___: Baristanet.... a huyperlocal blog in bloomfield montclair in New Jersey. goes to local shops and grabsw much of the ad dollars that goes to the newsweekles and papers. they get more than most blogs charge, overall. implementing ad survaeying, other professional services

 you get readers who consider it *their* site. what's awesome is not just advertiser support, but such succe3ss on such a small scale.

 andy abramson: voip...

 google isn't... over 60 cities wireless over the next x mlonths. .. they are going hyperlocal. google adwords *will* be able to go pole-top to pole-top. they[ will know the lat-lon for where you are.

 johnp: google will give away wifi to get thel l=ocal advertising.

 for the local advertiser, it's a brilliant over the top stragtety. look at all the pieces, not just adsense.

 Lisa Stone:

 look at fresnofamous, modestofamous... mangaed to grow this fantastic audience of this heavily latino marketplace... everything to do with Jara(?) who is a genius. written up in the WSJ, the fresno bee... she follows the first rule of social media. credit. what her writers are wrting , what readr4s are writing.

 2. Making Money Off of blogging

 1. Sell software, services

 2. Winer solution (no ads, get famous, sell a pinger or the like)

 3. Host a conference (Web 2.0 Conference)

 4. Sell search etc. (Technorati, Feedster)

 5. Become a VC (make money off of other people’s work)

 2. Brand yourself, get leverage for other things

 Chris Pirillo:

 branding more than anything else. that's what a lot of people tend to forget. theysee blogging as endall, be-all.

 if anyboyd knows me, they know me.

 there are surface things like adevertising, but that's minor monetization.

 this is my session. it's calling my name

 you have a better chance of succeeding if you blog.

 make money by selling expertise made more valuable by blogging.

 have various projects. for instance, a podcast show with Jake Luddington. Brand: chris pirillo showk, because that's my name. tech company, offshoots

 make money from conference , podcast.

 the podcast makes money.

 started the podcast at the beginning of the podcast movement. good timing.

 we were undrwritten by microsoft for the podcast for a long time. they got branding. association. if you listen, there is a sponsor message.. "Brought to you by,..." like NPR,. We approached Microsoft, said "this is what we want to do" they said "sure.." now it's ended. Now our banner sponsor is GoDaddy. Fantastic for us.

 It's a matter of being who you are and who you want to be, and then figuring what your strategy is.

 when people say I'm a podcaster, or a blogger, that's *part* of who you are. Un;ess your whole brand is just being a podcaster.

 JohnP: so blogging is a branding tool for your identityl, and off of that comes a small stream from direct things, but the core of it is branding yourself

 'Jake luddington: If yoiu brand yorself as ujust a podcaster or a blogger (that's not enuf). A physical prodeuct that people can take away and use later... build expertise, trust...

 John, reflecting: that may be an affiliate model.

 ChrisP: affiliate models suck. I have a sizable audience, but forget it. seriously, don't put that link in there at all. Cost Per Action... putting a link in and expecting to get some action... CPC, cost per click... Adsense. there is a certain art to Adsense.. that certain bloggers don't grok. you have to put some work into it. Adsense is an easy way of making a little bit of money. but a blog should just be *part* of your life.

 chris: staying active, being relevant. VistaTorrent sent a shot across Microsof't bow, sent a message.

 Every once in awhile, start a ... Jake and I got our wrists slapped, but it was a great community bulding tool. Everybody was really happy except for Microsoft.

 JohnP: be relevant///

 Lisa Williams: the deal is that the entry cost is so low that you can cultivate aan exprimental attitude. you do't just try a newspaper. 'don't wait for success. start ahead without it" from a fortune cookie.

 3. Do good

 __" ...raised $13k for Unicef with her blog. for me blogging is an oppty to raise awareness about things, reach people you might not usually reach, ... I like to help nonprofits... part of getting a diversity of voices is to educate, to teach people, how to use these toolsw.

 No relation betwen traffic and revenue. more significant is the targeting of specific audience ... sets as little as 1k people, but potential fundraising dollars cvan be quite large.

 ___: examples.

 community, relevance, knowing your audience. we work with an anti-war group to raise 20k in 3 weeks. they may have the smallest blog in the world, but we sent many girls to the prom

 we're helping a school...

 Obidiah greenberg:

 we can't put advertising on our podcasts, but from a google persp0pective we can use it for fundraising.


 there are lots of different ways, that work for different people. At wordpress we get a huge range from many people. some who don't even seem to realize that there is adversting on their blog, to others who are angry that they don't get ads on their blog. We see a range of opportunities. we're still in a stage when peole are experimenting. i feel more strongly that blogging should be about writing, not about making money. typically when you start (trying to make mny), you start getting spam blogs and so on. The most promisingn experiment is that bloggers have built a big enough audience (JohnP... the M

 the idea is that blogging should be free and accssible and useful to anybody. to peolple who are serious around buisess, big audience, building those, then you have some interesting ways to make some money...

 instead of just putting adsense on your blog, more actively select ads, do affiliate programs, target to yoiur audience...

 also, have your blog be just one of the places for yoiur content to originate. just seeing the beginnings of the re0-shyndication model. using RSS to drive more traffic back to yourself...

 Terry heaton:

 I want to be clear about a couple of things.

 first, wer'e inthe middle of a bottom-up phenom. and so many say with tierh maouts that it's bottom up, then they try to figure it out from the top. I don't believe that one day, before he became chris pirillo, that he (had it all planned out), and that in the end it's all going to make a lot of moneyu. aHe's smart and open to what's happening arounde him.

 I make my money as a consultant from broadcasting. don't sell advertising, or beghrudge those who do. i get large amt of traffic. but I do it as a way to challenge my assumptions and focus my vi9sion.

 I consult local tv stations, affiliates and groups. I talk to them aobut what's happening with media. my session usually runs about 3 hours. And at the ende I always gtet asked "what's the business model?" and "how does it make money?" and they sit on their asses waiting for somebody to tell them how to do it. (blogging, etc.)

 this thing is much bigger than anybody will figure it out in the logical sense, because it's too big. Be like chris. try things and see what happens.

 I think bloggers mss opptys at the local level. we talk about topical niches. but even mcgraw hill started at the local level somewhere. which is why I love projects like Lisas. Nashville is Talking is an aggregator of what's happening in nashville. Sponsor, WKRN, pays a salary, and makes no money. it started as an experiment to get into the local 'sphere. from that have sprung other opportunites. in addition to paying brittany to run the blog, pays somebodey to fill in on weekends, so the aggregaoror is always going. From this idea are springing other things that will make the sation money. like an ad network for local blogs. again, if this is a bottom up phenom, the bottom is local, geographically. Johnp: think global, act local.

 Lisa Williams:

 Google adsense can't do local advertisingl.You;'ll nevermake money =off of that. essentially the market encourages non-local blogs. I need a way for people in my town to advaerti9se. right now I do it by hyand. I heed a self-ser4vice system. Blogads? (some say that does it, lisa interested)

 the media made a mistake following google down the rathole of pay per click. I don't jiow how any newspaper site will make money.

 Rex Hammock:

 in my real life I'm in the mag pub B2B space. I look there a lot. I'll disagree with my friend Terry. If you want to make money, do what Ch;ris is doing. It is about a brand, building trust inthat brand, and making money in yoiur vertical any way you can. Beingh creative means opening yoiurself to moving ahead any way you can in whatever bizs you choose to be in.

 It's exaclty the same as McGraw Hill -- JohnP

 i know peopole who now have large media companies, like Crain, who started during the depression...

 If yoiu want to do what Chris is doing, you ned to look at the mcgraw hills and see how that works in yoiur niche.

 4. Being strategic

 Elisa: having a strategy to start with is a good idea. Not an evil thing to do. Long ago I was an actor. At the lowest community level, actors will work for free because they love it and it's art. Bloggers are the same way. they'll undercut themselves for love of what it achieves. for their art. whatever the plan is, that's what I';m getting paid for. companies are missing something. this is so cool what blogging does, companies should say. they should be smart, above board, transparent. when I blog for companies I blog as myself, I don't pretend. It's not about the tool, but what function you perform.

 5. E-commerce recommendation and referral.

 Susan Mernit: anothr way to make money. find a niche, maker4 recommendaiotns. Nolo the shoe blogger, making >$8k per month by recommending products., getting a piece of action beyond technologty in your specialized comkinity, make up, purses, travel... the new merchant blogging economy.

 you don'thneed advertising to make money. you are completley transparent. separation between being paid to suggest, and making money from ...

 6. blog for trust

 Nick: blogged about piracy, because people knew who I was, they would pay me.

 tony schneider

 some don't make money, but others make a lot from affiliate models.

 the blogging community is really good at helping each other. but when it comes to making money there is this big silence. we habve this mindset of asking what the business model is. people have been looking for that in blogging and maybe it doesn't exist because it's too diverse.

 It's a lot harder to get information from others abouthow to maqke money.

 ___: build relationshps becauseyoir'e consistently good.


 jay rosen:


 a whole band of unserved advdertisers. such as local businesses not big enouth to advertise in the local newspe3pr or even in a weekly, but could advertise in a local blog. I've been tracking blogs like Lisa's H2Otown,. Now there is one in ohio that's a jason calacanis producitojn. Now he's hiring somebgody to be a northeast ohio blogger. but they domn'thave the same sprit, authenticity, truth value...

 remarkable that in conversations in big media theyconstantly do what Terry said. they listen to how the world will change, nod their heads and say 'what's the business model?' you just told them that the world is changing, and their answer assumes that they think the world is stable, not changing. amazing. what terry was trying to say goes in the phi8losop0hical space known as pragmatism. what youdo i9s not start out thinking that you know, or general laws, nor build up knwledge from bricks of fact. but learn by trying to do something, you run into problems that you solve and build the knowledge that you need. You don't start with general theory.. yuou havbe to do something, run into difficulty, and apply the knowledge that you gain from solving problems. difficult because it's messy. you can't say wht athe 5 year plan is. You can't tell your board this is what iwll happen.


 susan Mernit:

 robert duffy started an amazing ly successful local blog. big media sees their mistake and responsds to it.


 success dcomes from discipline and focus to keep it up

 bloggers are intelligent agents.

 I;m a c+ blogger amd amn A+ blog reader. ...

 lot of great bloggers who are compromised whtn the advertising hits.

 john anderson:

 good will. gets consulting jobs.

 johjnp: different from turst, credibgility?

 is the interestin yoiur blog not generating interest, trading in good will

 If you look at it one step down the line... think how your readers make you smarter at what you know.. what are the derivative effects of building expertise ... (missing a lot of this)


 how does traffic generation fit in? are people actively tryi8ng to generatie traffic?

 Erik Herz, Podslug:

 how are ou making money? is also how is media power shifing? i's a politically neutral way of saying how is media power shifting.


 in nashvillethere;s a blgogger who started a barbeque restaurant that has become a mission of the local 'sphere.

 Mothership is the name of the restaurant.

 Dave, quoting Elisa, "you really blew the last making money session... " don't try to control it. worked out perfectly.

 we tried to make the point that there's big money and little money. the points got made this time much better.



Last update: Saturday, June 24, 2006 at 1:32:20 PM Eastern. Number of updates: 35.