Thursday, February 21, 2008

Will Blogs Replace Newspapers and Magazines? - O'Leary

At a number of writers' groups, a real concern is the way newspapers and magazines increasingly want the writer to give up all rights for little or no compensation. That's a real problem for writers who republish their work. For example, my first book, Faith@Science, was entirely republished work, largely from ChristianWeek.

However, I think that blogs are making such a dent in the circulation of print publications that the real question for a writer is how to make money blogging - in which case you may not need to give up any rights. Far from it, you can turn your blog into a book - and then sell your book via the blog, as Canadian blogging queen Kathy Shaidle does.

Here are some thoughts on making money blogging:

1. See if you can get someone to pay you. I get paid to blog at some blogs (Design of Life blog and ID Report). The site sponsors sell books, basically.

There is a natural affinity between non-fiction books and blogging. Authors can use the blog to keep up with news that relates to the topics you write books about. But many book authors or retailers do not have the time. It makes sense to hire the job out to someone who knows the area and writes in an interesting way.

Bear in mind that you will need to agree with the blog's owner about who owns the content you prepare. I make different agreements depending on the type of content.

2. Ask people to donate to your blog. They can do so via PayPal. Kathy Shaidle does that. I don't, but my blogs exist to support my books, and I get royalties.

3. If you blog at Blogger, sign up for Adsense and allow ads on your blog. Blogger's system puts ads on your blog that are relevant to your topics by monitoring key words. Thus, if you wrote about skiing, you'd probably get ads for ski wear. Check my two blogs, The Post-Darwinist (supports By Design or by Chance? )and The Mindful Hack (suppoorts The Spiritual Brain), and see what ads Blogger's software has chosen. Each time I earn over $100, I get a cheque. So far, I've had two of them. No, not a huge amount of money, but why leave money sitting on the table? And as readership grows, the amount tots up faster.

Of course, most blogs, like this one, are a community service. But as blogs increasingly become a major way people get content that they used to buy magazines and newspapers for, we will need to be creative3 in replacing the lost income from print sources

Here are some recent stories I've written at my two blogs, The Post-Darwinist and The Mindful Hack

Insulting Canadianness anyone?

Hate crimes against religions: Wh’s really at risk?

A philosopher faces death via mysticism

Christianity Today features news item on young astronomer denied tenure

What kind of evolution does the Pope support? Is his associate Christoph, Cardinal Schoeborn trying to rehabilitate Teilhard de Chardin?

Toddlers as Neanderthals?: Evolutionary psychology hits the affluent parent set

Fun sendup and straight talk about
evolutionary psychology

Denyse O'Leary

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