In her article Why You Can’t Make Money Blogging, Sonia Simone argues that you can in fact make money from blogging. The article is a response to a recent New York Times article about Fake Steve Jobs and how he hasn’t made any decent money from his blog.
Fake Steve Jobs Solves No Problems
According to Sonia, the main reason he isn’t making any money despite huge traffic is because his blog solves no real problems (other than to waste time – ie. entertainment). I have to agree with her that entertainment sites, in general, don’t make as much money as more technical, problem-solving sites per visitor.
In the case of Fake Steve Jobs, it’s not just a case of the blog not solving a problem. I think it’s more a case of the ads being served don’t match what the audience wants.
If you land on a site like that, what relevance are the ads going to have? If you’re running Adsense, it might show an ad for some Apple products as soon as it sees the keywords “Steve Jobs” or an ad for Verizon on the “iPhone” keyword, but is a visitor at the site ready to purchase a new Macbook or are they just there to have a laugh?
A Better Way to Market
Perhaps if the ads were related to comedy, or video or even at a stretch, other Apple news sites, they might do better? But the problem then is that the value of each click plummets because the advertiser doesn’t directly sell products/services.
On the flip-side, if you had a site that tells you how to upgrade your Macbook hard drive to a 500GB monster, with step-by-step instructions and video and then have an affiliate link or ad pointing to some great deals on hard drives, you could be pretty sure your audience is interested in what’s being advertised.