The Indie Blogging Problem: Money

Why money causes problems for indie blogs, and is also critical to their survival.

I’ve been writing this site for long enough now that I’ve seen a few shifts in the blogging community itself. When I started writing here, people were starting to jump on the band wagon of blogging in force. I read a plethora of sites, all publishing nearly daily (like this one), written by people trying to make *it*. Trying to strike out full time with their writing in some way. And all of these sites had the same model: small advertisement from something like Carbon, The Deck, or Fusion and weekly RSS feed sponsorships. This is the ‘Daring Fireball Model’ of monetizing a blog. Hell, even some of them sold t-shirts every year, same as John Gruber.

I used this model too. I made roughly between $400-600 a month from the small ad (I think $600 was the highest I ever got to on that) and charged from $250-$550 per week for RSS Sponsors (near the end I just started cranking up the price to see what the fuck would happen). It took me at least one full day per week to manage all of this. It took away from my writing and my focus. And then in 2012 it started becoming a race to the bottom, because while my site was still seeing large growth, the advertisers were unwilling to pay more, and in fact wanted to pay me *less* for the same.

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