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Making Money Online: Blogging

After I graduated from college,  Jay and I thought we would try to make a living off of doing something we’d been doing for free all our lives:  writing.  The first site we started was a local restaurant review blog.  The thinking behind this was that we could go and try out new restaurants and different kinds of cuisines, while at the same time writing about it.  We had grand schemes to grow the site and eventually have one in every town, with TV shows and book deals in our future.  What I didn’t account for was our total inability to pick a restaurant.  It’s nice to think that you would try out different places after getting sick of the usual Applebee’s and Outback Steakhouse, but we found it hard deciding which restaurant to go to.  We tried to focus on local mom and pop type places, but there weren’t much to choose from, at least not that I could see.  We ended up going to the restaurants that we knew we liked, and just writing about them.  Added to this strain was the fact that eating out every week was adding up.  Eventually, our enthusiasm and the site fizzled out.

The next bandwagon we jumped on was starting a celebrity gossip website.  I think I got the idea after reading about how some sites out there were making hundreds of thousands of dollars per month from their ads. We figured that since I read these sites every day I could do it too.  It started off very promising. In about a month we were able to generate thousands of hits per day.

It was a constant competition with the other sites, trying to keep up with the minutia of gossip out there, and keeping the site updated throughout the day.  I was posting over 20 stories per day sometimes, and it still wasn’t enough to keep up.  And if I were to take a day off, I would feel guilty about it. I got burnt out pretty quickly.  Also, despite all the hits and all the work we were putting in, we still made only $4/month, which was pretty disheartening.

After that experience, we wanted our next site to be more relaxed, and not such a frenetic pace. We decided to start and advice blog.  This site consisted of relationship advice, food recipes, and How-To guides.  I was pretty good at not getting overwhelmed, while still coming up with posts consistently.  Unfortunately, after several months of writing, and still no results, we gave up on that as well.

I guess you could say we’ve left behind a graveyard of dead blogs.  Perhaps you’re wondering if this blog will meet a similar fate, but I’d like to think we can see this one through for several reasons.  First, we’re not in this to make money, so there is not that pressing need to make it an overnight success.  The main purpose of this blog is to document our experience, and hopefully connect with other similar minded people.  Secondly, this is a topic that is near and dear to us and we have an endless source of material to work with.

I realized that we could have probably stuck with the other sites, and maybe in a year or two built it up and been really successful, but maybe we just weren’t committed or motivated enough to follow it through. I guess online blogging hasn’t been the road to success that I envisioned when I started, but as with online poker, I haven’t given up hope completely.  I hope we can keep this blog going, not because we want to make money, but because this blog is tied into our future goals, and if we let this fall to the wayside, then we’ve probably let our greater goals fall as well, and that is just too depressing for me to imagine.

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