Blogging, they say, is a labour of love and I couldn't agree more.
Bloggers go through the process of researching topics, chasing news, running interviews, developing features and more because they are passionate about the subject matter at hand. It often is labour in the truest sense of the word.
The pay cheque
Finding money in blogging is tough. Google's ad platform is more "cents" than "sense" while, in my opinion at least, adverts on a blog just don't do it so I've never taken up the few offers that have come my way. Fair play to those that do though.
Blogging about digital media (on my other side) has thrown a few paid assignments my way but payment comes from completing the assignments myself not the blog itself. However such leads are the best example of monetisation I've seen from my experience.
Engagement and (self)fullfilment
The real value, and satisfaction from blogging comes from engaging with other bloggings and an audience, if you are lucky enough to develop one. Thai blogs are a particularly communal area so the chances that after linking to some and 'doing the rounds' with comments, interest the like, word will get about and the key to the expat Thailand blogosphere will be yours.
Happiness is also often found through the personal triumph of recognition - in the form of a link from a big fish or, better still, a moment of fame with "proper" media.
The other one
This blog has been going steady since I started in November 2008, having just moved over to Thailand. Thanks it to I've connected with some great people - both virtually and face in face - and have even had my name in lights once or twice.
Over at my other blog, the younger, trendy, fashionable kid on the block has had a far racier ride.
Blogging about social media might seem like naval gazing to some, but its a world I worked in, and still do from time to time, and one I see myself rejoining at sometime. It is also a trendy topic which generates a lot of interest from Big G which has put me on Thai TV, quoted me in media, generated a steady stream of work and seen me engage with a diverse audience.
However after less than six month, it seems like yesterday that the little blighter was born, already I'm waving it off as it heads off to the big smoke and the world of Asian Correspondent.
That's right, my other labour of love is about to toss me a few gold coins each month as the hobby I (happily) do for free is now putting out. It isn't enough to retire off mind, but its a nice little earner, as they say, (particularly for Thailand) and it brings the potential of greater exposure and more potential to engage --- win, win.
There is a degree of sacrifice involved, for instance my unashamedly self-indulgent URL - jonathan-russell.com - has lost its mojo, going from host (with the most) to an invisible redirect which sends traffic to the new location at Asian Correspondent HQ.
It was never an easy decision to make but being invited to contribute to a website making serious waves was too big a chance to ignore, particularly as most of the well known writers have spent years building a reputation, unlike my vagabond blog which made it in less than half a year.
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The point of this post, however, is to say that it isn't all about the money, and never should it be, blogging may not always monetise itself in the form of cash flow, but the benefits and enjoyment that come with are worth enough on their own.
But if you do get the chance, or feel inclined, why not head over to my social media blog that just flew the nest.
It seems likely that with little brother away, Jonny Foreigner may enjoy a renaissance...just to prove it isn't all about the cash.