When one starts blogging for money, there are new considerations. Who am I really writing for? Am I writing for my new boss that will pay me per post? Am I writing for Google so that people will search for the right keywords and click on my ads? Am I writing for the advertisers who demand mainstream articles that people will read?
I didn’t start blogging just so I would have to answer to some pie in the sky boss. I started blogging to air my thoughts, get out my writing, and share the knowledge that I have with others. I never started blogging to make money and frankly refuse to let money be my motivation to continue.
If it gets to the point where I’m blogging for cash, I might as well quit. I’m no Darren Rowse or John Chow. I will never make my living off of a blog, and I don’t really want to. I’m perfectly fine keeping blogging as a hobby.
He cites my article, Blogging for Hobby or Money on the Blog Herald, an article that took me two years of tweaking before I had the courage to publish it. I honestly explain that when you blog as a hobby, you do so for the joy and love of it. When you blog for money, it changes how you blog, often taking some of the fun out of it. It turns it into a business, thus into a job. It also changes how your readers view your blog and your opinion. It changes everything.
Ronald explains that blogging for money changes not only the way he blogs, but his interaction with his blog readers and the blog itself. For him, he’s made the decision that blogging is a hobby, something done for fun, and when a price is put on it, he’s not happy.
What really caught my eye was the blog itself, dedicated to the support of readers.
The Reader Appreciation Project
The Reader Appreciation Project aims to show readers that they are one of the most important assets a blogger can have, and the Reader Appreciation Project also aims to show among other things how bloggers can treat their readers.
“How bloggers can treat their readers.” Wow! What a concept.
I love articles that stimulate conversation as well as ideas in the readers. So what a thought that there is a group out there dedicated to ensuring “Readers First”, putting the emphasis on what is most important to the art of blogging.
According to their About page, the purpose and goals of the Reader Appreciation Project are:
- To show you why appreciating readers is important
- To show you why appreciating bloggers is important
- To reward readers without making them do extra work
- To not only make promises of appreciation, but to actually appreciate
- To promote honest and open communication between bloggers and readers
- To promote good ethics between everyone on blogs
- To promote transparency by showing you how you will benefit blogs in specific cases, and how blogs will benefit you in specific cases
Those are pretty good goals. Do you share these same goals on your blog?
The Project includes a Reader Appreciation Week annually on the second Monday in April, encouraging bloggers to show appreciation for those who support their blogs by reading them. Occasionally, they select and honor blogs with a Readers First Award for “websites who have shown an outstanding quality in placing the readers first on a website or a blog.”
The blog also offers a wide variety of articles that explore many aspects of blogging, mostly focused on putting the reader first, including these recent article features:
- 10 Simple Ways to Show Reader Appreciation
- 5 ways to gauge a blogger’s maturity level
- Being aware of fake appreciation
- How Your Readers Can Make You A Shiny Day
- Your Measure Of Reader Satisfaction
- Failing to Realize the Importance of Relationships with Readers
- Manage time by sorting your blog comments in 6 ways
- The Criteria for Being a Pro Blogger is Money?
- 13 Signs That Your Blog Needs A Change
- Writing and not writing to linkbait: both give linkbaits a bad name
- You Comment, I Reply!
If blogging for money changes how you blog, how would blogging for your readers “first” change your blog? For the better?
Site Search Tags: reader appreciation project, readers first, blogging for money, blogging hobby, audience interaction, reader appreciation week, honoring readers, blog readers
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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network, and author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.