By Mike Haaren
July 30, 2011
Dear Rat Race Rebellion: Everybody seems to have a blog these days, but is anybody making money? If they are, how do they do it? I love to write, but I’d like to get paid, too. – Katie in Arlington, Va.
Dear Katie: First, the bad news. Millions of people have rushed to set up blogs in the past few years, but few earn more than a few dollars a month. Many find that marketing their blog is too big a burden, and others get burnt out on the writing duties.
Now the good news. Many established blog networks are hiring bloggers, and individual companies, too, are recruiting writers to launch blogs on their websites. While these roles pay much less than the six figures that top bloggers such as Dooce, Perez Hilton or Darren Rowse earn, they can still generate a useful side income.
For blogging jobs, check our Daily Job Leads regularly, where we include at least several each week.
Dear Rat Race Rebellion: I heard about a website where you can get paid for running errands. Do you know anything about that? I’m between jobs and would like to pick up some extra dinero. – Dennis in Los Angeles, Cal.
Dear Dennis: You may be referring to TaskRabbit.com, which matches people and short-term tasks in selected locations. You might also have a look at Fiverr.com, where people sell services they’re willing to do for $5, and FieldAgent.net, where tasks are assigned via iPhone.
Dear Rat Race Rebellion: My wife wants to study website design at the local community college. Isn’t that a waste of money? A friend of mine says that everyone is using templates now, and doing it themselves. He says people don’t hire website designers anymore. What do you say? – Henry in Bismarck, S.D.
Dear Henry: Both your wife and your friend are correct. Many individuals and small businesses are using do-it-yourself templates. But larger companies are still hiring designers, and so are design firms. To get a sense of the marketplace, see AuthenticJobs.com.
Dear Rat Race Rebellion: I know a lot about coupons and the sales cycles at my grocery store chain. They hate me there, because I always save so much money. My friends say I should put up a website and tell people where to find coupons and free things online. Do you think a website like that would make money? – Doris in Cranston, R.I.
Dear Doris: A lot would depend on how hard you’re willing to market the website. The online coupons-and-freebies sector is pretty saturated, and it takes more effort to break through the competitive noise and build traffic than it used to. You’ll also need to update the site frequently, of course, and keep the buzz going on Facebook, Twitter, etc. It can definitely be done — we’re not saying you shouldn’t do it — it will just take more work today than it might have a few years ago. Good luck!