Friday, April 11, 2008

In the interest of full disclosure...

In the past week or so, my Mom said something that made me think. I forgot exactly what she said, but she was baffled that:
1) I have a degree in journalism, which took time, effort and money.
2) I don't want to go back to newspapers, nor do I really want to pursue journalism at all anymore.
3) Despite this, I still put a lot of effort into writing my blog.
I spend time reading blogs like Lifehack that have multiple authors. One of the Lifehack authors recently talked about how they handle their job as a full time freelancer. It occurred to me that the post I was reading was most likely one of the freelance assignments.

Recently I checked out this book from the library. It talked about moonlighting, something that sounded way too tiring to me. But then I started thinking. What if I could freelance as a blog writer for a little extra money?

So I started looking for listings for freelance blogging. There weren't many valuable resources out there. In one of those Internet time warps that sucks you in and makes you lose track of time, I went from opportunities like these from very generic, unappealing blogs, to links like these with all sorts "pay per post", "pay per click", "get you connected with sponsors" and "review our product on your blog" sites. I was very far from my original goal. And I was wondering about the whole "how does advertising affect content" thing again.

Remember my concerns about putting up Google Ad Sense? I've earned a whopping $2.20 since I started this blog last summer. At this rate, it will take me more than 20 years to be eligible for the minimum payout. (I think they get a lot of free advertising that way.) They always recommend putting more ads on the website, but I don't want to clutter the thing up.


The whole point of this is that I was finally inspired to join the Amazon Affiliate Program that so many of my favorite blogs use. I don't know how well it will work, but I don't think it will get in the way of my content. After all, I already link to books on Amazon fairly often anyway. Recently, I've linked to More Big Girl Knits, The New Knitting Stitch Library and Facing 30. I might as well get a few pennies if I'm going to link to them anyway.

Also, I don't think you can accuse me of bias. There is such a wide variety of things to link to, and you don't even have to lie say you like them. I can tell you (truthfully) that after reading and analyzing The Sun Also Rises in college, I thought Ernest Hemingway was a a racist, misogynist, hypocritical jerk. This may reduce my chances of getting "a sale" for that book, but the Amazon police aren't going to come after me.

(BTW - If you have to read "The Sun Also Rises" for school, Amazon has it on tape, as well as the Cliff Notes.)

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