How to build and monetise a blog

How to build and monetise a blog

Work for your supper? I thought so. Worried about your job? Quite possibly. And with talk of a double-dip recession, your concern is justifiable. If you are self-employed, like me, you're probably feeling just as edgy as the employed about your future income.

As a freelance journalist and copywriter, I've occasionally wondered whether to start looking for a suitably sized cardboard box to move into. Earning a steady living in this way can be tough and erratic, and to tell you the truth, I'm a bit sick of it.
But there is another way, or so I've heard. And it's called "blogging". Apparently, it can make you money.
I'm no stranger to blogs, and started a few after being introduced to the concept when I met former newspaper journalist Craig McGinty several years ago. McGinty told me he earned his living through "online publishing". That is, writing for himself. I didn't quite get it back then.
After going freelance in 2003, McGinty – who had lived in France and has since moved back – turned his writing skills to his site ThisFrenchLife.com (among others), writing advice for foreigners living in France. "As with many freelance writers I first pitched a few ideas to newspapers, but soon realised I was spending more time doing admin than actually writing and interviewing people," he says.
"So I thought I would spend this time writing my own websites and run them as online publications, with a selection of article types, including guest articles, but also competitions and offering a variety of advertising options."
It wasn't long before McGinty stopped relying on a freelance income altogether, and more recently, he's teamed up with landscaping expert Philip Voice to develop LandscapeJuice.com. According to Voice, the site will turnover about £18,000 in 2011. It receives around 90,000 visitors a month but Voice says he expects to see a "dramatic growth in advertising revenue and revenue from other services in 2012".
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