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Frank Hovis

Blogging as a job

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An ex colleague's wife was a food blogger, they used to go to restaurants mostly in Cornwall and she'd review it.

There didn't seem any money in it bar that when they went to do a review she called in advance and they got one of their mains for free.

So I regarded it on a par with "writing" a novel, that is unemployed but with a bit of window dressing to kid yourself / other people that you're not. He always described it as what she did rather than as a hobby.  There is of course nothing wrong with being unemployed, I've done it myself and it's great!

I recall there are a few bloggers on here, hobby bloggers rather than as a job, so do you think that there is any possibility that this sort of thing could actually approach being a proper job, so paying £1k a month for example?

I'm asking from interest; I have no plans to start blogging.

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I'd say, from limited experience, "Not a chance in Hell". And I'd say it in the same voice Jeff Goldblum says it in when Will Smith asks if the aliens have any idea what's about to happen to them in Independence Day.

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Absolutely, you can make it pay those kind of sums (and much more). I have done so in the past. I know relatively recent entrants who still do so.  The key is to figure out what works business model wise for your market.  One journalist I know uses blogging to get paid gigs, another blogger gets paid by companies to review products, my blog used to make most of its money from affiliate payments and paying subscribers on the Kindle platform. 

You do have to be quite focussed to make it pay. I have had around 20 different blogs in the past. Most went nowhere. 1 just about washed its face. 2 more did OK, another did very well (in my terms).  Personally, I wasn't interested enough in the extra cash or the act of blogging to really push it.  It is also not something I'd give up the day job for as you are often dependent on the capricious god-like multinationals like Google & Facebook either directly or indirectly. One tweak to the t&cs or algorithm and you are fucked. 

The average hobbyist blogger like the OP describes has a hobby, not a job or business. But if it keeps her occupied and in discount dinners, I wouldn't judge. 

Edited by SCC

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I'd like to have a crack at YT vLogging this year, starting with my van --> camper conversion. I'll let you know how it goes. My only previous experience is a pub open-mic channel I ran years ago with several hundred videos (and probably a similar number of views!)

An american couple running a similar van-conversion/living YT vLog claim a net return from Google on their monetised YT videos of $(views x 0.003) - not a whole lot.

Another guy I'm subscribed to on YT: ryanBoundless, an american blogging his life in Japan, Thailand and China is similarly making a small crust to back up his English teaching work. He makes longer videos available to subscribers to his Patreon account.

Judging by my kids YT viewing habits, anything targetting makeup/ shopping for girls or video games for boys seems to garner ridiculous view counts.

Colinfurze also seems to be doing great with the lads and toys demographic (albeit he is genuinely talented):

 

Edited by Turned Out Nice Again

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19 minutes ago, Turned Out Nice Again said:

I'd like to have a crack at YT vLogging this year, starting with my van --> camper conversion. I'll let you know how it goes. My only previous experience is a pub open-mic channel I ran years ago with several hundred videos (and probably a similar number of views!)

An american couple running a similar van-conversion/living YT vLog claim a net return from Google on their monetised YT videos of $(views x 0.003) - not a whole lot.

Another guy I'm subscribed to on YT: ryanBoundless, an american blogging his life in Japan, Thailand and China is similarly making a small crust to back up his English teaching work. He makes longer videos available to subscribers to his Patreon account.

Judging by my kids YT viewing habits, anything targetting makeup/ shopping for girls or video games for boys seems to garner ridiculous view counts.

Colinfurze also seems to be doing great with the lads and toys demographic (albeit he is genuinely talented):

 

Make sure you flag that on here TONA please, I've never signed up for an account with YouTube but would do so in order to subscribe to that and make you another 0.0003p.

I'd like to do such a conversion so watching your experience would be like a trial run for me.  A workmate converted one (before he worked for us so I didn't get to follow it) and said he wanted to do another one because of the improvements he could now see he'd want in the conversion.

I know that there are plenty of existing blogs but you always get the impression that these guys already know their stuff; I think you TONA are a fellow novice.

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31 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

Make sure you flag that on here TONA please, I've never signed up for an account with YouTube but would do so in order to subscribe to that and make you another 0.0003p.

I'd like to do such a conversion so watching your experience would be like a trial run for me.  A workmate converted one (before he worked for us so I didn't get to follow it) and said he wanted to do another one because of the improvements he could now see he'd want in the conversion.

I know that there are plenty of existing blogs but you always get the impression that these guys already know their stuff; I think you TONA are a fellow novice.

Will do. I similarly find most of the existing conversion videos unsatisfying in that they omit steps in the process or don't provide measurements or close-up views of what they are doing and exact parts-procurment. They also all tend to aim for an over-specced coachbuilt RV, whereas I'm after something more minimal and Stealthy.

My van is a bog-standard Sevel factory job, so what I do should be relevant to not only my Citroen Relay, but also to the corresponding Fiat and Peugeot variants.

Edited by Turned Out Nice Again

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2 hours ago, Frank Hovis said:

An ex colleague's wife was a food blogger, they used to go to restaurants mostly in Cornwall and she'd review it.

There didn't seem any money in it bar that when they went to do a review she called in advance and they got one of their mains for free.

So I regarded it on a par with "writing" a novel, that is unemployed but with a bit of window dressing to kid yourself / other people that you're not. He always described it as what she did rather than as a hobby.  There is of course nothing wrong with being unemployed, I've done it myself and it's great!

I recall there are a few bloggers on here, hobby bloggers rather than as a job, so do you think that there is any possibility that this sort of thing could actually approach being a proper job, so paying £1k a month for example?

I'm asking from interest; I have no plans to start blogging.

I'd say yes, but it would then become your proper job with as much effort required as anything else. If it's something you have passion for and enjoy doing then great. 

Having said that as SSC mentions you are at the mercy of other people for income, you have no direct impact on what or how you get paid. Plenty of Youtube content providers have been completely shafted over the last year with changes made by You Tube. 

Personally I'd say outside of a very small number of people it's akin to the cupcake business, might generate income but it's backed up by security elsewhere (i.e. husband, parents etc), so an illusion of a proper business. 

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You can but you need to 'be the brand' and live it.
And get writing for a national paper.
And do media work pushing yourself
And then write a book.

If you get a free meal/product for review you are supposed to declare what you have had free so that readers can make their mind up on whether your review is genuine or not.

Example:
A girl called Jack


You can look at social blade to estimate earnings of youtube channels etc
https://socialblade.com
 

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This is a vid from a relatively successful youtuber where he shows his account details on cam. It does seem quite a precarious existence, particularly with the recent crackdown on right wing related content.

 

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7 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

Cheers all, the answers (and what I know of it) suggests that whilst she does put some effort in it's going to produce trivial amounts of income.  That was my original assumption but I wanted to real world test it.

I'd say I was in a similar situation, I run a website which ranks no 1 on Google in it's specific domain. Gets thousands of visitors a day, all based on google search.  

I've always been strongly against making money from it (well not making money but plastering it in ads), the other guy involved was the reverse. I suspect we could have made a decent return for the amount of effort but I personally don't like sites where the content is difficult to read or messed with due to overbearing ads. We did have advertisers at one point, but it was a couple of hundred pounds worth a month, the ads being sold directly by us to suppliers and relevant parties. We know for a fact those that advertised did very well out of it, literally building their businesses off the back of it, but that came with an expectation and responsibility neither of us were that interested in maintaining.

However like the person you mention it has afforded us plenty of opportunities and perks that we wouldn't get close to had we not been running the site. It's been well worth it on that front. 

Ultimately it's a numbers game, is she realistically going to be generating massive page view numbers for a restaurant blog in the South West? If it gets her free dinners then great. 

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I made about 25K for a couple of years... I didn't use my blogging to go around getting freebies as that seemed against the idea of being independent. However that was at the start of Google adsense when some of the money you could make was crazy. I still take about 1K / year from my old blog and youtubing. However it all became a bit of a chore after a while and every time I increased readership rates dropped like some Internet speed of light so I was like the red queen, running faster and faster to keep still.

I pretty much gave it up when the gnomes of Zurich called with a "pwoper job" which didn't mean working all the time on stuff I'd got bored with.

Edited by davidg

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36 minutes ago, ThePiltdownMan said:

This is a vid from a relatively successful youtuber where he shows his account details on cam. It does seem quite a precarious existence, particularly with the recent crackdown on right wing related content.

 

I recognise him. Dave. 
Him indoors watches him.He gets sent tons of stuff too.

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3 minutes ago, davidg said:

If anyone knows how this bloke can afford to live in one of the most expensive areas of Paris on his blog

https://www.dcrainmaker.com/

He buys all the gear he reviews and has little advertising. The missus is convinced that he is a spy.

https://socialblade.com/youtube/user/dcrainmakerblog

Does he have a partner who has a real job?

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3 hours ago, davidg said:

If anyone knows how this bloke can afford to live in one of the most expensive areas of Paris on his blog

https://www.dcrainmaker.com/

He buys all the gear he reviews and has little advertising. The missus is convinced that he is a spy.

Read his about page, two things... 

Rich Parents

I grew up in Seattle, Washington and ski raced pretty competitively as a kid

Good Job

I’d eventually end up graduating high school straight into the world of technology consulting for large organizations (and travelling up to 52 weeks a year).  And until recently, that was what I did full time – design computer networks and systems…and still travel a lot. 

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5 hours ago, ThePiltdownMan said:

This is a vid from a relatively successful youtuber where he shows his account details on cam. It does seem quite a precarious existence, particularly with the recent crackdown on right wing related content.

 

That guy's op-amp tutorial, you can just see in the screenshot, is a better bit of teaching than you would get in 90% of academia in this country. He does deserve to be remunerated fairly for it, the problem is the current model doesn't feel right - particularly when he could earn ten times as much playing a video game, whilst giving a running commentary, or reviewing cosmetics.

Edited by SNACR

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I run a few Wordpress-based websites but they aren't set up as blogs, just as static pages and they consistently bring in around £45 a month. Zero effort once set up apart from script updates. Just as another data point but slightly off-topic I admit. Never could really be arsed with thinking of stuff to write about regularly, though I do keep toying with the idea.

When I was doing more affiliate stuff I had a good run with various sex toy websites and some PPC marketing of computer games, maybe bringing in triple my current website income. Certainly not something I could live on, just pocket money. I did buy a ready-made niche website for some Amazon products for £50 that I did some fiddling with and I'd made my money back within a couple of months! God knows what possessed them to sell it. That continues to do OK but it is rather seasonal. A timely reminder as we're coming into the season...

If you're thinking of blogging, I would sign up to the Amazon affiliate program as you'll often mention products that you can link to. Cookie length is only 24 hours but the commission is something like 7+% and it does convert really well, with people often buying lots of other crap at the same time. I only really bother with Adsense and Amazon now, though sex toys do pay and convert well.

I've been meaning to experiment with Youtube for a while but a recent addition to the family has rather sapped my energy!

Give it a try, you'll enjoy it and earn some money, but unless you go viral or put in a lot of effort I suspect you won't make a living from it.

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My younger son makes a bit of cash - 200-300 CAD per month - through his Youtube channel. It's a mix of video game commentary and short stupid mash-up stuff. As far as I can tell it's a constant game of dodge the copyright violation take-down. 

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