Saturday, June 19, 2010

Train Your Blogging Brain ::: THINK "MONETIZE"!

During these difficult economic times, bloggers are looking for ways to make a few extra pennies online...

At a press conference earlier this month, I ran into a young lady, an aspiring new photographer who is nearly at the end of an internship. I asked her "what are your plans when you're finished interning?" and she said something like "I don't know, I guess I'll look for a job." I told her start looking now. Certainly, it will be difficult (as we all know, newspapers are "dying") but not impossible. Film director Richard Rodriguez once said that individuals can succeed in whatever career they choose as long as they are willing to be original and "be scarey."

I didn't know it when I was talking to the intern, but the photo website FLICKR is now partnering with Getty Images to allow Getty to contact Flickr users and ask them if they would like to include their photos in Getty's massive stock photography database. There's a button on each FLICKR account where users can proactively tag photos to alert the world and Getty Images that they are interested in selling them. For a budding photog, thuis is a way to begin earning extra money IMMEDIATELY. Just take a few extra photos, and be sure the shots you upload to FLICKR are different from the ones you are taking for your employer. In a newstown like Albany or New York City, it shouldn't be too difficult to capture a few good shots! FLICKR users should look for the "Want to license your photos through Getty Images?" link on the lower right side of the dashboard screen.

Bloggers (like me) who typically upload original photographs and artwork may want to use FLICKR instead of picasa or photobucket to store and link to those images.

Enabling the "Request to License" feature will bring your photographs to the attention of Getty's editors. You make the decision whether you want a public badge on the photo announcing your request, or not. Your images will be available for licensing requests. When someone requests to license your picture(s), a Getty editor will contact you and help you arrange the terms of the license and the fee. Check out the official announcement from Flickr HeRE for additional information.

Many bloggers take stabs at making a few extra dollars online: after all, if you're on the computer 4 or 5 hours a day, shouldn't there be a way you could earn money while doing that? "Pay to Click" and "Pay per page view" webistes have been around since the mid-1990s. I recall there once was a free internet service that displayed rotating ads at the top of your browser screen while you were online.

There are a lot of "make money while blogging" programs that have either fallen by the wayside or pay so poorly that they're not worth signing up for.

Blogger Aldon Hynes recently posted an article entitled "Writing for an audience," citing two great articles "Are Page Views Meaningless?" and "Journalists Won’t Report on News Unless it Drives Pageviews." Hynes: "Whether you are writing for profit or to be heard, you are more likely to be successful writing something special, something unique that will capture people’s interest than writing with the pack.

Pack journalism is nothing new. It was around before the Internet, and will probably be here for years to come. I do not believe that the Internet will result in journalism becoming more pack following. Yes, some people may follow Sam Whitmore’s advice, and managed to continue scraping by as journalists. Others will follow their dreams and passions and write interesting copy that improve their lives and the lives of others. Every writer needs to choose how they approach their intended audience." Hynes is partially right. Once newspapers disappear (Don't think they will? Nobody ever thought movie theatre newsreels would disappear, either!) there will be room for both the pack journalists and the individual copywriters to co-exist.

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