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Get paid to blog? That's rich

Can 4,011 bloggers be wrong? That, according to Technorati.com, is how many blogs link to Problogger.net, a site devoted to teaching others how to blog for profit.

The pro at Problogger is Darren Rowse of Australia, who says he makes a six-figure income from his various blogs and new-media concerns. While there is just the slightest suggestion of a pyramid scheme here -- Rowse's blog makes money by enticing readers to click on ads about making money through blogging -- Problogger is filled with a lot of free information.

How does one make money blogging? The short answer is: Advertising. Programs like Google's AdSense make it easy for bloggers to put ads on their sites, then they get paid each time someone clicks on one.

Rowse makes it clear in his articles on Problogger that blogging is not a get-rich quick scheme.
"There have been countless nights when I've worked into the wee hours of the morning blogging," he writes.
"Blogging for an income takes time. . . . I've had my fair share of luck, I worked insane hours and I started out at a time that was a lot less competitive than it is now -- all of these things have contributed to any success I might have had."

There are a small number of so-called A-list bloggers who make an impressive living from their blogs. Michael Arrington's Techcrunch.com brings in $60,000 per month in ad revenue, according to a recent article in Business 2.0 magazine. BoingBoing.com, Fark.com and PaidContent.org are other heavy hitters.

But the rising tide of advertising dollars being spent on blogs does not lift all boats. A blog must draw enormous amounts of traffic to attract noticeable revenue. And it doesn't hurt to blog about something with a commercial tie-in, such as electronic gadgets or digital cameras, which attract readers who are more likely to click on the ads.

Alan Bedenko is the Buffalo Pundit, a well-known Western New York blog. He added Google AdSense to his sidebar two years ago and says he has yet to see a single check. Bedenko said he might raise a little revenue if he put the AdSense button in a more prominent spot on the blog, "but my sidebar is too important to me."

"Up until now, I haven't seen the blog as being anything more than a fun hobby."

Kevin Pritchard is a partner in the sports site Bfloblog.com. He said he began reading Problogger about six months ago and solicited advice from other bloggers on how to make money.

"At the time, we decided to put up two low-key ads," he said. "We incorporated Google Ads, which brings in about $30 per month, and we found one ticket broker willing to give us a good buck for five lines of text ads. After we put them up, we were still happy with the look of the site and had enough money to pay for our Bills season tickets -- but couldn't cover the Sabres tickets, though."

Jennifer Lopes from Jen's 14221 Thoughts is another blogger who does it for love rather than money. She said having either ads or a tip jar "would be kind of lame for a blog like mine where I talk about my kid and my job and how often my cat threw up on the carpet."

Greg Connors' column about blogs appears every other Monday in The Link. E-mail: gconnors@buffnews.com.

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