Other then opportunity cost this blog is free for you. Other then an occasional link or a kind word from a friend I do not receive any payment from the blog. Basically I use it as a tool to work on my thinking as an economist, and next semester I’m going to try to integrate some post with my classes.
I was thinking the other day about money and blogging, as Trent over at Thesimpledollar has decided to remove Google ads from his blog. Thesimpledollar is an excellent basic personal finance and frugal living blog, and I have watched it grow and it now receives something like 16,000 hits a day (a few thousand times more than my blog). Trent’s decision to remove ads was based on their conflict with his advice for example he discusses the problems with payday loans and there are ads for them put up by his advertising service.
Some websites have moved to donation buttons. I’m particularly fond of this one, which asks readers to buy them a beer or coffee with a link to a $3 PayPal donation. Will asking for donations actually provide a decent amount of income? This blog entry says only if you already have a loyal readership and continue to provide an excellent product.
Just like people make money writing for magazine and newspapers, I think there will continue to be opportunities for people to earn a living blogging. However, given how writers are typically paid through subscriptions or ads, donations are likely not a sustainable way. Donations will probably only work for some or those who do not need a full time income.