Bloggers Making Dollars - Selling Out Or Just Being Centsible?

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Even though web logs has been around for sometime now, there is still an ongoing debate among some in the blogging community about whether or not the medium should be trampled upon by a capitalistic footprint. The blogosphere, some will contend, is a pristine wilderness that should be unblemished by paid links, affiliate product reviews, or just about any form of advertising that results in a profitable outcome.

And who are these posting pundits that claim to be the guardians of contextual virtue? To find a concentrated number of the "profit free faithful", some, can be found at conferences such as BlogNashville, held at institutions like Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.

The gathering in the land of Elvis addresses all manner of blogging issues and even attracts attention from the local media. Dan Morridian, a reporter for NashvilleCitypaper.com, wrote in his article entitled: "Making Bucks From Blogs" is quoted as saying...

"One of the burning questions during BlogNashville, a recent gathering of some 300 bloggers at Belmont University was: "Can or should blogs make money?" The only clear reply was that the early settlers in the blogosphere have yet to come to a consensus."

The profit question is a point of contention that hasn't exactly been the exclusive domain of the blogging community. When the Internet finally fell out of the nerd nest of the technically minded and into the hands of the public domain, early travelers of the information superhighway promoted a "free net" philosophy.

The new pioneers of cyberspace felt that Internet service providers should not charge for connecting to the web. And, just like bloggers, there was an ideological mind set that the Internet should not be commercially exploited. Today, you would be hard pressed to find a group of web site owners who decry making a profit from their Internet properties.

So why is there a coalition of bloggers taking such an anti-capitalistic stance? Some consider blogging to be a semantic art form. Bloggers should create a community like atmosphere that is free from bias or hidden profit motives. To make money from the valued readership who admires your edification can be considered a mortal sin by the self-appointed paragons of blogging virtue.

However, me thinks that the vaulted voices of blogging purity protest too much. Virtually any art form or online medium will eventually be exploited in greater or lesser forms for monetary gain. There are plenty of examples of artistic integrity being sacrificed at the altar of capitalism. The now infamous case of Metallica verses Napster is a perfect case of capital gain overriding artistic virtue.

Metallica use to encourage the boot leg recording of their live concerts. When the studio recorded versions of their songs starting being passed around by a new file sharing sensation called Napster, they were less than encouraging. Lars Ulrich, the Danish drummer and co-founder of Metallica proclaimed that using Napster as a vehicle to disseminate their music to the masses was paramount to stealing and could result in a loss of revenue for the band.

Lawsuits against Napster were soon to follow because it offended Metallica's bottom line and not any stead fast dedication to their musical art form. Actors, too, are not immune to the sell out syndrome. You might wonder how Oscar winning A-list thespians could star in a movie that not only has a weak story line, but clearly does not feature their sizable acting talents in a favorable light.

Just like those in the music industry who are subject to monetary temptations, the acting deities that appear on the silver screen are equally as fallible. The sizable pay check that is offered to Hollywood heavyweights in what seems like cinematic mismatches, far outweighs any artistic integrity.

Once an artist of any genre obtains fame or recognition for their work, inevitably, "selling out" is a temptation that is hard to resist. Blogs are no exception. Take for example Bankaholic.com, started by 23 year old John Wu in the year 2006. Sharing his personal views on the banking, finance, and the credit card industry, it is reported that he will be selling the blog in 2008 for 15 million dollars.

If the Bankaholic.com story is to be believed, then it only serves to highlight the profitability of the blog format. And I believe, that over time, the Bankaholic example will only diminish the ranks of those who will adopt the no-profit credo. It might even force existing bloggers who, in the past, might have resisted profitability to revise their thinking.

So, if you are new to blogging or thinking about making some "coin" from your existing blog, let me provide you with some "points to ponder" if you are on the fence. First, I have a hard time wrapping my head around objections to making money from a blog or any content management system that exists in cyberspace.

We are a capitalistic country not a socialistic collective that works exclusively for the "people's republic". Also, the blogosphere is not some art house project or indie band that is the exclusive domain of a few dedicated fans who decide whether or not profitability should be part of the equation. You can weave into the fabric of any blog a mixture of great content, honest opinion, and money making opportunities.

Both profiteer and purist can exist in the same universe. Would you really stop visiting a blog that has great content if the author started adorning the site with AdSense or affiliate products? If you are that averse to capitalism then you might as well just exit the online world altogether. Just about any online newspaper, magazine, or blog in cyberspace today, unless it is specifically slated as a non-profit advocacy group, will be trying to solicit advertising dollars from the traffic they garner.

Keep in mind also that the Caveat Emptor rule should always be applied if a blogger recommends that you purchase a certain product, or sign up for a particular service. Perform your own due diligence before engaging in any type of online commerce. The sum and substance of this article boils down to a very few basic points. In my opinion, no organization or zealous group of lemmings should determine blog behavior..

Your readership will determine whether or not you are providing good content to keep them coming back, or if you are someone who's only motivation is profiteering. The blogosphere is a free flowing mass of information and commerce by which all of us can exist peacefully. In the immortal words of Rodney King, "Can't we all just get along"?

spaxial thanks:Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Robert_Potter

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