Money in 2008
Making a living from online activities is not always easy but there is no reason why anyone able to create and sustain a blog need not make some money from their activities. Especially where these activities tie into the subject one is passionate about. The money might be for yourself or for a charity or other good cause.
This might seem like a pipe dream and certainly if you want to do this full time then you will need serious determination but on the whole some income is a reasonable and achievable aim. In this post I will be talking about some of the ways that you, as an Internet user can make a little money from work you might now be doing for free.
You don't even need to put adverts on your blog.
Take for example Squidoo. It is a website that is free to join and wherein you can create lenses (also known as pages to the rest of us) on any topic. You may add modules of books listings or other products and gain a share of the proceeds of any sales made. Likewise you will gain a small auxiliary income from the advert clicks that happen around your page.
This income can be paid directly to you or to a charity.
Because of the already high "authority" the site carries with search engines good pages (lenses) can rate very highly for all sorts of topics and a definitive coverage of a subject can be very profitable. Squidoo allows "lensmasters" (their word for people that make pages) a fairly free hand in the creation of such pages. The subject and even the URL (to a limited degree) are yours to decide.
As this applies to Thanet there is extra scope for a quick witted person. Currently the only real coverage is a lens on the general subject of Thanet and I made that about a month ago. That leaves such topics as each of the towns (Margate, Broadstairs, Ramsgate) and some of the main issues of the area free of any write up wherein you could potentially be the first (and therefore the one to earn from doing so).
I'm not going to promise you that Squidoo can produce piles and piles of cash but it will when worked well create a small income (measured in US Dollars) and if you already blog about the subject then you could link out to the posts that best cover the topic causing a flow of traffic in from Squidoo to you. Conversely you might want to link to Squidoo and specifically your lenses so that your readers can visit.
With all that traffic flowing to your lens (and your blog) your lens is likely to get a good lens rank within your main topic area. This translates as a good listing and better traffic and thus more earnings. It is not unknown (although rare) for a lens to rocket to the number one slot and stay there for a long time netting a good deal of cash for the author (or the nominated charity). It can also mean that your blog picks up some authoritative links (a key SEO effort) that can boost your own rankings within the search engines.
Writing a good Squidoo lens is similar to writing a good blog post. Write in a style people enjoy reading on a topic about which you have something to say (research being a good tool for this) and bob is your uncle (as they say). You need do nothing more than be informative and readable.
If you write a blog one assumes that you have a good collection of material to get you going or at least a good background to start from. Many lensmasters start by writing a lens on themselves or on their blog. This is good practice and while it is not likely to earn you more than a few pence a year it requires no maintenance and can include your blog's feed as headlines.
From there you might like to branch out into related (or unrelated) topics.
One theory goes that if you can write an average lens on Squidoo each day by the end of the year you will have 256 pages of content earning you $0.20 each per month (that's about £25) and that they are likely to carry on doing this for a good long time while you continue to write more. The theory goes that one day you could simply quit your job and never work again.
While I find this a little unlikely and even a flawed idea the simple fact is that these lenses are good source of passive earning (passive earning is where you do nothing to earn the money). This could easily build into enough funds to cover the costs of hosting your own blog (rather than keeping it on a free host) from where other possibilities exist. Bidvertiser being one such option.
Thanet might currently be poor but it is rich in topics yet to be covered. Topics that you could as easily cover as the next person. Squidoo is free to join and costs nothing to participate all you need is your Internet connection.