Given the fact that I've now been at this for nearly four years, and quite frequently get e-mails from people asking for blogging tips, I think it's about time I share some of the wisdom I've gained throughout the years as it pertains to running a blog ... specifically, one about horror movies.
It's not that I think I'm the best blogger in the world or anything but after doing this for so long, I'd have to be pretty damn stupid to not have picked up on a few things here and there, little nuggets of wisdom that I can impart to others who, like me, want to peck at keys all day and run a blog. So if me giving out tips comes off like I think I'm be-all end-all horror blogger, please know that I'm well aware that I'm not, I'm just a dude who knows a thing or two about doing it.
I've decided that rather than make one massive post with all the tips and tricks I can think of, I'll instead make this a recurring series that I add to from time to time, focusing each post on one single idea. (There's a little blogging tip right there; milk your content for all ya can!!)
So, if you do in fact want to be a horror blogger, or already are and would like some help from someone who has spent far too much of his time doing it, we begin our course in Horror Blogging 101 TONIGHT!
Here's the first tip I've got for ya ...
#1) Don't Even Think About Starting A Blog Unless You're Completely Fine With Devoting Large Quantities Of Your Free Time To Sitting At The Computer Writing, Not Getting Paid A Dime For Your Efforts.
That may seem a little harsh but unfortunately, that's the cold hard truth of the matter. Sure, you've read countless websites telling you how much money you can make from blogging and you've seen people like Perez Hilton become mega rich and famous simply from blogging his thoughts on pop culture. But the fact of the matter is that you're only going to generate any kind of income if you're racking up an incredible amount of hits, an amount that quite honestly no horror website could ever get. We're talking in the millions here.
So if you're not doing this 100% out of a love for the genre, and a love for sharing your thoughts on it and spreading the good word about things you dig about it, it's not only going to show to your readers, but it's gonna be a complete waste of your time. You're never gonna get famous or make any serious 'I can quit my job now!' money from running a horror blog. Sorry, folks.
Now it is true that busting your ass to run a blog can lead to awesome perks, like getting free movies and various other products to review, meeting new friends who share similar interests and getting the chance to interview some of your favorite genre stars. So yes, there is some sort of payment for your troubles, just don't expect it to be monetary. If you're fine with that, I encourage you to proceed in starting a blog.
Now another tip that's tied directly to this one is this; LAY OFF THE ADVERTISING!
A couple different times throughout my blogging career, I have tried out Google AdSense, the service that promises you can make money by putting up randomly generated ad blocks on your blog, which are generated by your content, making them targeted to your readers. And by targeted I mean that if you review House 2 : The Second Story, your sidebar will be cluttered with ads about home improvement products. Yea, not cool.
Not only is a page filled with AdSense a clear indication to potential readers that you're only doing this to make a few bucks, but again, you're not going to make any real money doing it, so why even bother? Believe me, even getting a solid 1,000 hits a day, at best you're going to make a few dollars a month from having AdSense on your blog. Bottom line is, not many people are going to click on your AdSense ads, both because they're generally not related to your content and because people just don't like that shit, so is it really worth turning off readers just to make a couple bucks a month? Like, literally a couple dollars. I think not.
Now that said, if you do end up getting a lot of hits and running a fairly successful blog, you may find that companies will reach out to you and offer up money to put their ads on your website for specified periods of time. I've found it to be rare, but it happens. If these opportunities should arise, and the website they want you to link to is not only geared towards the genre but it's also one you feel comfortable recommending to your readers, don't hesitate to make some money and slap their ad on your site. I've done it a few times throughout the years, and have made probably less than $2,000 from doing so, so again don't expect to make any real money from doing that. But it's undeniably awesome to find money in your checking account, sent your way for doing something you were totally fine with doing free of charge in the first place.
In summation, some money can at times be made from doing this, but it's other perks that are going to be a whole lot more rewarding and plentiful, such as meeting new people and inspiring others to check out movies you like. Take the plunge and start up a site because you love horror movies (or whatever topic it is you're blogging about) ... to do it for any other reason would be setting yourself up for guaranteed failure.