Dave Winer says he’s made more than $2 million with his blog over the last 12 years. And he’s never put a single ad on it. He explains how this came to be –and the role of a blog– in this excellent post:
“…it’s a way of communicating what you’re doing. Companies, consultants and authors need to do a lot of communicating, and blogs allow you to go direct, and be more efficient, less diluted. People get a real feel for who you are and how you think and what you’re like as a person. Why would I ever let someone else hitch their “message” on this — it would get in the way of me making money!
If I had any advice to offer it’s this — get in the habit of communicating directly with the people you want to influence. Don’t charge them to read it and don’t let others interfere with your communication. Talk through your blog as you would talk face to face. You’d never stop mid-sentence and say “But first a word from my sponsor!” — so don’t do that on your blog either. I can’t promise you’ll make any money from your blog, and I think the more you try the less chance you have. Make a good product and listen to your customers to make it better, and use the tools to communicate, and you may well make money from the whole thing. To expect the blog alone to pay your bills is to misunderstand what a blog can do.”
If you’re a blogger or think you might ever be, this post is worth a read.