Some people just don’t get Problogging

Someone once asked me what’s the difference between pro and non-pro. I said the pro‘s get paid to do it. A professional driver gets paid to drive; a professional photographer gets paid to shoot pictures; a professional basketball player gets paid to play hoops; a professional crier gets paid to cry on burials.

In the same sense, a professional blogger gets paid to, you guessed it, blog. So, what’s so damn wrong if professional bloggers are getting paid to blog, except for the fact that the concept is so new to people beyond their 40’s (excuse the pun)?

Professional blogging is still in its infancy in this 3rd world country of ours and that every day, income generation evolves just as it was first revolutionized when Google Adsense was born in mid-2003. Do I need to enumerate them still?

  • Bloggers place Adsense codes, tweaks them, layouts them on top of the fold, colors them like their own blog theme, blends them within the body of their content hoping that visitors gets fooled a little confused in clicking the ads as if it were part of the content. Others even try to hide the line that states “Ads by Goooogle”.
  • Bloggers sign up with link advertising services like Text Link Ads(aff.) and get paid to display links of advertisers. Others try to hide the paid links by blending them with their blogroll to avoid the wrath of Google (allegedly) but that’s another story altogether.
  • Bloggers add Amazon Associates codes for books, gadgets and whatnots then sometimes label them “must reads” and “this blog recommends” hoping that their readers would buy the items and eventually get commissions from the sale. And yes, the bloggers don’t need to have personally used each of those items he endorsed on Amazon.
  • Bloggers sign up with InText link advertising like Kontera which automatically add links to the text in the body of their blog content hoping that for each click of a curious visitor, they get a few cents out of it.
  • Bloggers sign up with affiliate marketing campaigns, puts an affiliate link and even write a neat endorsement post (peppered with affiliate links) about the product or service and pray that it converts (CPA). They later receive fat cheques from the affiliate program.
  • Advertisers send free accounts to paid services or sample products in the hopes that the blogger writes about it and eventually adds to the awareness campaign.
  • Advertisers pay bloggers to have testimonials or endorsements added somewhere in their blog to promote a service or product.
  • Bloggers may also employ advertisement schemes that displays a whole page ad on top of the page, just like an overlay. I’m sure most of you have seen those nasty Adbrite ads I had here once.
  • Ahhh yes, and just recently, bloggers are now also getting paid to do reviews.

And to the uninitiated, yes, that my friend is the evolution and diversification of blog monetization and professional blogging. If you don’t like them, you are free to remove those Adsense ads in your own blogs (i.e., if you have a blog).

I have, at one time or another, used many if not all of those monetization schemes I mentioned above. I tell my readers what advertising campaigns I employ and which ones are paid (in the case of paid posts or affiliate links). I even post a thank you note with link loves to all those who’ve successfully signed up under my affiliate account. Still, I don’t understand why others would criticize the way I handle advertising campaigns or revenue models for my blog.

If some accidental reader doesn’t want me to maximize my blog’s revenue potential and earn my keep, they can always click that cute red X button on the top right of their browsers.

46 Comments on this Post

  1. Andrew,
    Let me just point this out because you said you “have a hunch that it’s a journalist who’s giving you a bad time.” Abe and I have recent discussions on and there are points we disagree on but in no way did I criticize monetization of blogs. I was only talking about the ReviewMe program and if you read our various discussions, you’d see that I was in fact, saying that blogs are great media for reaching consumers.

    You say: “That’s why we have to draw the line between blogging and journalism. They’re two different things.”

    I disagree. It is not the medium that defines journalism. It is the way you do things. When you say that, you sound like those people in mainstream media who say blogs won’t amount to anything.

    You say: “Journalists won’t like the fact that you’re being paid to write about something.”
    But that’s not true. Abe isn’t being paid to write about anything (except from sponsored posts). He earns from what he writes through ads and referral links but Globe didn’t pay him to review their product. Smart didn’t pay him to review their service. They just provided him demo units and access to service. They did not hand him money and say: you write about us.

  2. Peace. Gayahin nyo na lang si bryanboy guys, tahimik pero marami revenues hehehe, I don’t even know if he-she was a pro blogger or not but i’m sure he gets big income from blogging!

  3. Max, no matter how you put it blogging is still different from journalism. Journalists represent the press, bloggers respresent the public. Journalists report the news, bloggers eat the news for dinner. That’s that. Me implying that blogs amount to nothing? How did you come up with that? Are you quoting Leo Magno?

    I’m a blogger myself. What I write about is my business, whether you like it or not. I’m not under anyone’s payroll (or payola) unlike journalists. So honestly, a journalist telling me how to run my blog is simply irritating.

  4. C’mon, Abe, tell us who pissed you off. I love beating up neoluddites. :)

  5. Don’t publishers put ads on their newspapers, magazines, tabloids and other publications to earn money???

    There is a difference between bloggers and journalists. People who don’t see the difference are delusional. Bloggers are web loggers… they log onto to the web their experiences, thoughts and opinions. Journalists ideally report to the public, the truth, uncensored, unbiased and balanced. There are some instances where bloggers can be journalists, but that doesn’t mean that all bloggers (pro or nonpro) are journalists.

  6. Hi Andrew,
    “No matter how you put it blogging is still different from journalism”
    In most cases they are different but they are not mutually exclusive. Blogging can be a medium for journalism. At its core it’s a publication platform.

    “Me implying that blogs amount to nothing? How did you come up with that? Are you quoting Leo Magno?”
    No. It’s just that it’s my impression with the way you say that blogging can never be journalism because they are different and that there’s a line that separates them. It hews the line of those in mainstream media who say blogging can’t be used as a tool for journalism.

    “I’m a blogger myself. What I write about is my business, whether you like it or not.”
    Exactly. That’s why I can’t understand why some try to box in blogging by limiting its definition. It is a medium and a publication format. Beyond that it’s up to the blogger.

    “ I’m not under anyone’s payroll (or payola) unlike journalists. So honestly, a journalist telling me how to run my blog is simply irritating.”
    Are you referring to me or to the blogger that set off this post by Abe? I know who the blogger is because I emailed Abe. In the event that you are referring to me with that statement, let me just point out that I never and would never tell anyone how to run their blogs. It’s not my business. My sentiments on are just that, personal feelings on the program.

  7. Andrew: Blogging can be journalism. Take a look at TechCrunch, Mashable, or GigaOM.

  8. @Obet: Michael Arrington always pertained to himself as a blogger. Until he says otherwise, he’s a blogger in my book.

    Yes, bloggers sure can be journalists if they choose to the same way journalists can own blogs. But what I’m trying to say is: don’t be too quick to generalize.

  9. Hi Andrew,
    “But what I’m trying to say is: don’t be too quick to generalize.”
    Are you addressing this to me? If you are then I’m sorry if you see it that way but I’ve never generalized (as far as I can recall) in fact I’m trying to stress the diversity of the blog world and the diversity of ways bloggers are making money and how it’s not an all or nothing thing.

    That’s why I keep saying you don’t box it in, add artificial limitations that blog’s are this and could never be that. That’s why I reacted to your generalizations on bloggers and journalists. I don’t accept payola by the way and I object to your generalization (you could have qualified it as some). My family starved for more than a year because my wife and I decided we wanted to work for a newspaper that’s owned and run by its readers (a coop) but that’s for another post.

    I do not know which part of my post you object to or if indeed you object to it or if it’s some other blogger you object to but I think it’s pretty clear that what I wrote about ReviewMe focused on why I though the program isn’t for me because of the nature of my main job. If what I wrote offended you, then I’m sorry.

    I did say in my blog post that I see it working for other blogs…on how the arrangement can be viewed as being paid to join a product test, only that you are also blogging about it.

    But Abe didn’t appear offended (he says we’re cool) and in fact I learned a lot from our discussions on the issue. It’s nice to disagree with someone without being disagreeable.

    On a completely different note: here’s an interesting study :-)

    I particularly love the last paragraph.

  10. This is a hot discussion. Makes us really think!

  11. Sus, hayaan mo ang ibang tao. Expectations lang nila ‘yon, which you don’t have to meet.

  12. mind their own biz


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