When blogging first got started the core idea was not unlike a public diary. Initially they were called weblogs which came from a sort of inside joke among early bloggers who said “we blog.” It probably ran something like “we live, we breathe, weblog.”
Back in the early 1990s blogs were updated webpages and it was hard to tell the difference between a blog and a zine – at least online.
At that time web pages, zines (which were often online versions of fanzines) and blogs were simply labors of love.
By the mid 1990s the web was becoming commercialized, and that became true of blogging as well. Bloggers began to want to earn money one way or another – they wanted to get paid for their writing, a concept we all recognize.
Some people still blog without any thought of earning money from their blog. They do it simply for the love of communicating with their readers. They want the interaction blog commenting can bring.
Not a few of the people who originally started a blog with no thought of earning money discovered they had enough readers to warrant adding some advertising or offering a product or service. Their labor of love became a profit center.
Entrepreneurs often begin blogs strictly with the purpose of making money. Many people fall somewhere in between.
When I started with miningco.com, the original About.com I wanted three things – the stipend they offered, a community of writers, and the opportunity to showcase some of my work. None of us suspected that they would morph into a blog-posting format. In fact, I suspect most of About.com’s readers don’t recognize the sites as blogs.
As more and more people came online my traffic and income there grew and when I left I had a glimmer that blogging on my own, blogging about a topic I love – freelance writing – could in fact make money for me.
So should you blog for money or love? My answer is that if you blog it should be for both.
You need the passion to sustain your output and it’s awfully nice to get paid for doing what you love.
Do you have questions about blogging for money?
Image adapted from http://www.sxc.hu