Paid blogging

I’m due to appear as part of a panel at the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation on the topic of “Blogging for profit”. My place there is based more on technical input than blogging knowledge but, as an active blogger who already makes a tidy $7 (approximately) a month from Adsense, I thought a bit of research wouldn’t go amiss to get an idea of the bigger picture.

A quick Google for “paid blogging” brings back a few options and it seems like there are a lot of companies wanting to get into the middle by taking a cut of someone blogging for profit, but how to attract some payment to take a cut of in the first place?

There are actually a number of different sites out there already, so I thought I should give them a try. They generally fall into two types: either you display ads, or someone pays you for writing about their product or service. In the latter case, favourable write-ups are generally preferable, but anything helps to give a good search engine ranking so some will pay you just for the exposure.

Beyond that, the differences are subtle. Some I had more success with than others (and there are a few more ads around this site as a result). Anyway, onto the round-up:


Google’s own ad serving technology which can display a number of different formats of ads on a site and targets them based on keywords in the content.

For: easy to set up. Accounts are approved almost instantly. Pays via check or direct bank transfer.

Against: low payout rates, users see so many adwords messages they must be immune to them. by now


This is a bit like Adsense in that payments are made for putting ad units on a site. Instead of working out what posts are about you have to tell it which categories your blog fits into.

For: Easy to setup. Looks to be better payout rates than Adsense.

Works mostly on a cost per acquisition (rather than click, or impression) basis so should pay well on some sites, poorly on others.


Advertisers pay bloggers for writing posts about their products and services, so instead of showing adverts on your blog the blog becomes a set of adverts (almost). Advertisers choose how much to pay for a particular story and it’s up to the blog writer to decide whether to take them up on the offer or not.

For: you know how much you’re going to earn, and the pay is a lot better than more passive advertising.

Against: pays via PayPal only, getting a blog approved can take time, there’s no guarantee of getting paid if the advertiser doesn’t approve an article, some advertisers will only accept positive write-ups, and rates for articles are still generally only a few dollars.


Similar to PayPerPost in that the blogger is paid for writing, but in this case it’s the advertisers who contact the bloggers to have content written for them.

For: pay rates are much better than other sites, payment via PayPal or cheque

Against: need to have a popular blog to be eligible (and this one wasn’t popular enough, with a few hundred visitors a day), no explicit detail as to what the minimum requirements are, lack of advertisers willing to pay the rates they specificy, may be dead in the water as no-one’s getting any reviews out of it.


Again, bloggers are paid for talking about new products.

For: easy to sign up for.

Against: only pays via PayPal, doesn’t seem to have any activity on the site.


As with LoudLaunch. make money by talking about press releases. I haven’t been able to activate this so I’m not sure what’s going on.

Sponsored Reviews

Similar to ReviewMe, but appears to have more content. It’s currently in Beta so I wasn’t able to sign up for anything except notifications about when they might be able to let me in.

So… can you get paid for blogging?

Well, not a very conclusive answer, but it’s kind of “yes, just not very much.

Other blogging for money articles

Article on “Paid Blogging” on Clickz

Tim Worstall: Paid Blogging

Advertising, editorial lines blur as bloggers’ salaries tied to traffic

Another paid blogging market review

Leyton Orient 3-1 Tranmere Rovers

Leyton Orient 3-1 Tranmere Rovers

A little under two weeks since one of Orient’s worst performances ever against Brighton, they looked like a different side in a total mauling of Tranmere Rovers.

There were so many goal opportunities that the 3-1 scoreline is actually quite flattering for Tranmere. Two very good early chances went amiss before Justin Miller’s relatively tame shot somehow found its way through the crowd to make it 1-0. The second and third goals showed real quality, though, with Alexander making an excellent run into the area to cross for new on-loan striker Ryan Jarvis for the second. Tranmere pulled one back with a relatively soft goal and the fans were starting to fear the worse, but soon after Lockwood played in Jarvis again for an easy finish.

The second half brought more chances with both Jarvis and Alexander both missing chances in front of a virtually open goal. Still, the signs are good for the pair working together and Orient appear to have a true striker to replace Lee Steele in the poacher role.

The win takes Orient clear of the relegation zone, although some of the teams below do have a game in hand. Still, the six points picked up over the past week are very useful indeed and the momentum and the league position are both as good as they’ve been all season.

Leyton Orient 3-1 Tranmere Rovers on BBC Sport

Match report on Leyton Orient Mad

Ling thrilled with Orient victory

Programmers are brain surgeons

Programmers are brain surgeons is a blog post I was sent that looks at how programmers are perceived in the pecking order of job titles. The basis of the argument is that programming in itself should be valued, that programmers should not aspire to be managers who then leave programming behind, and that the programmer may be best placed to manage projects. It draws analogies with professions such as law and architecture where the expert is also the manager.

There are certainly things I do agree with there and it’s part of the ethos of Exponetic to value what programmers can add to a project beyond the ‘man hours at a desk’ commodity approach. (This is something that’s sometimes reflected in the way work is presented: “We’ve got about two weeks work to do.” The question is, two weeks of a good programmer or two weeks of an average one? There’s a big difference.)

I recently explored comparisons with another profession I’m familiar with (architecture) and where it might lead to in an article in New Media Age. It’s certainly one of those areas that’s fraught with trouble. An analogy made to highlight one point can, simply by association, lead people to assume that there’s a direct comparison being made. In fact, authors often make the same mistake. Although Programmers are brain surgeons doesn’t do this there are a number of areas where I think even the ‘programmers as managers’ point can break down.

Firstly, I do want to say that the underlying message, that programmers shouldn’t need to think of programming as a stepping stone to something better, is something I agree with. I don’t think too many programmers would disagree with that either, although the commercial career ladder may tell them otherwise.

The truth of the matter, though, is that some people are suited to being programmers in the same way that some people are suited to being managers. To say something like “and you’ll be reporting to a project manager with maybe a quarter your skills and experience…” as the article does is to make the same mistake as the author is accusing those who denigrate programming of making.

There are, of course, some people who are suited to both to a lesser or greater degree but market forces are surely dictating that projects need a range of skills, otherwise a range of jobs wouldn’t exist. If companies could save on staff numbers they would. Bringing back the analogy to professions again: a lot of professional practice firms aren’t particularly well run as businesses. The growth in construction managers is testament to that in the building industry.

The article, if it does have validity, seems to me to only apply to either a relatively small cross-section of people (those who fit the profile of programmer + manager), or a distinct type of project (those that can be completed by a single person).

Being a programmer is indeed a worthwhile career aspiration in itself but I can’t see programmers ruling the world any time soon.

Football quotes of the week

These footballing quotes on the BBC site are pretty good. Starting with Arsene Wenger:

“When you’re dealing with someone who only has a pair of underpants on, if you take his underpants off, he has nothing left – he’s naked. You’re better off trying to find him a pair of trousers to complement him rather than change him.”

Football quotes of the week

Asadal Korean Restaurant, Holborn

I’m a fan of oriental food generally, so finding something different to the standard Chinese or Thai choices is always welcome. Asadal certainly fits the bill of being different, with food cooked at the table and menu that’s pretty baffling for anyone not familiar with Korean food.

The restaurant doesn’t do a lot to attract passers-by, given it’s signage arrangement which also covers a small newsagent next to Holborn tube station. But then, since they were only just able to fit us in without a reservation I guess they don’t have to. The restaurant itself is in the basement and must be right up against the walls of Holborn tube station. It’s certainly the shortest walk from restaurant to tube I’ve ever had.

Rather than the easy option of a set menu we decided to choose our own selection, which actually meant just picking random things from each part of the menu and hoping it worked itself out. The waiting staff weren’t that helpful in this respect: “Have we ordered enough?” “It depends how much you eat.”, but they did suggest a few extra things to balance the meal out.

As well as some barbecued beef with a selection of vegetables (all cooked inside the table – no, really), we also went for a seafood barbecue (prawns, squid, fish, clams), and also a seafood casserole that caused arguments as to whether it was actually a soup or not. Balancing beef inside lettuce leaves with chopped spring onions and chillies was an entertaining pastime.

It was all good food, though, and the Korean beer tasted just like any other beer so nothing to complain about there. The bill came to £110 between four people, which wasn’t bad at all given the quality of the ingredients and the restaurant itself.

Definitely one to go to again for something a bit different.

Asadal on London Eating

Asadal on Time Out

Asadal’s website

Leyton Orient 1-1 Carlisle

Leyton Orient 1-1 Carlisle

Some dogged scrapping brought Orient back from a goal down against fellow promotees Carlisle in a match that was high on excitement if low on quality.

The first goal came quickly and the fans were already dreading a thrashing along the lines of the 4-1 defeat by Brighton the previous Tuesday, and defensive wobbles and a lack of eagerness to win the ball didn’t help reassure us.

But still, the team struggled on and although Carlisle were consistently the strong it was probably the home side who had more chances to steal the points. The strike from Lockwood which brought the equaliser was pure class, with Lockie’s left foot hooked over the ball to power it through the crowd and inside the far post. Matthew Lockwood must now surely be one of the highest scoring left-backs in any league.

The team still looked low on confidence, though, and were barely fighting for balls that were anywhere near 50/50. Somehow there was a blue shirt first to tbe ball every time, which was also a feature of last year’s promotion campaign (despite the successes) and would have to be pointed at as the source of our downfall if Orient are relegated this season.

There were some bright spots: Adam Chambers played as well as ever and was probably the most competitive player in the side, and Alexander was also working to win balls. The new striker Ryan Jarvis showed a sharpness that we’re rarely had in strikers.

The result was relatively positive, given the 9 goals conceded in the previous two matches, but there will need to be improvement if Orient are to climb back out of the relegation zone. Hanging onto a draw against mid-table sides at home is certainly a bad omen for the remainder of the season.

The BBC’s Match write-up of Leyton Orient 1-1 Carlisle

Fortune Teller and Genuine Spiritual Healer

Just what I’ve been looking for: someone to solve a problem where no-one else can help. It’s not the A-team, but an east London ‘Genuine Spiritual Healer’ who can tackle “a problem that has not been solved by anyone”.

And, it comes with a complete guaratee: “All your problems will be solved for ever within a few days Guaranteed”. Personally I’m hoping for Success in Business (or SiB, as it’s known in the trade). It’s interesting that Black Magic sits inside brackets – is that the grammatical equivalent of a hushed voice?

Fortune Teller and Genuine Spiritual Healer

Breaking news – Madonna finally flips


“Pop star Madonna has said she ‘wants to be like Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and John Lennon’.”

If you’re thinking that perhaps she means that in a very specific, music-related way, then you’re wrong: it’s quite literal. Her aspirations don’t stop there, and she sees no reason why we can’t all reach such heights: “We all need to be Jesus,” she said.

Madonna ‘wants to be like Gandhi’