By in Writing

Shall I Sell My Writing Soul?

I love to write, but I don't love being broke. I would like to make money on my blogs, and I think I see a way to do it. The problem is that I see some who seem to be making a lot of money blogging are taking a path I can't in good conscience take. Even when I was a buyer for a retail store, I could not embrace consumerism for its own sake. I had to feel I was providing a product people needed at a price they could afford.

I love America and it's been a great place to live and grow up in. But it's definitely full of people who make a living creating things no one really needs and then making them want it. Since I don't often go into stores these days, I no longer see these items on shelves. I do however, belong to a lot of blogging groups on Facebook and we read each other's blogs and share what we like to selected social networks.

Many bloggers earning money are promoting products that no one really needs. They are designed to make people buy on impulse something they or their children have had promoted to them through the media. Television convinces kids they need these toys and bloggers help parents buy them easily. Some blogs seem to consist mostly of rows and rows of products with only a bit of introductory text. I'm not sure those particular blogs are the most successful ones, but I read a lot of them and wonder if they make money.

Another blog I know of is very product oriented, but not all the products on that blog are useless. I see nothing wrong with helping people find something they really do have a need for. Good product reviews for useful products I can go with. One blogger I know makes thousands a year writing them. I hope I can find a niche that I can believe in. I do know, though, that I can't get into promoting cheaply made collectibles for kids that are designed to encourage trading to get them all rather than just playing with the ones they enjoy. If that's what it takes to make money blogging, I just can't do it.

I'm hoping I can find a niche that will help real people solve real problems. I want to feel that I'm doing some good in this world – not just trying to part people from their hard-earned dollars.

Image Credit » by ClkerFreeVectorImages

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morilla wrote on January 24, 2016, 3:42 AM

It's always about the short-term with people; i.e., what can we do NOW to earn money. When that fades, they simply move on to the next 'thing' that scores immediately. Done right, it can keep you flush. However, as you indicate, it typically involves doing things which rubs the conscience slightly wrong. In that context, I tend to lean toward Psalms 26 and 101 with reference to walking in my integrity. Why? In the end, when all is said and done, all we are left with is our reputation when we are resting in the grave. While no one is perfect, in the grand scheme of things, I figure it is better to pursue what I call the Field of Dreams Theory ; i.e., build it and they will come. Build a good, reputable body of work and you will find a similar readership/clientele. Build a 'quick score, move on to the next' type of portfolio and that is the type of readership/clientele you will end up with. Which will be more loyal and steady?

Dawnwriter wrote on January 24, 2016, 4:10 AM

in the end you have to decide what make you happy and gives you peace. I also cannot do anything that will give my conscience trouble. For my own blog, I have turned down ads that promote products/ideas that go against my religious and cultural beliefs. My earnings via Amazon adsense is almost nil but at least I am proud of my blog.

jiangliu1949 wrote on January 24, 2016, 4:25 AM

I agree with you .We shouldn't in all conscience promote those products that we don't know well or even are fake ,shoddy .Sadly ,there are some who forget all moral priciples at the sight of profits,just as the saying "Money makes the mare go ".

Paulie wrote on January 24, 2016, 5:04 AM

If money is something that you are primarily interested in, then I guess you would sell your writing soul to make a lot of money. The problem is whether your conscience can live with this decision.

CoralLevang wrote on January 24, 2016, 5:04 AM

we have to do what we must do and never sell our souls.when we have to make a choice. And it's not always an easy one, is it? I share that in my workshops when people will say they will do anything as long as they pay it enough. I have a few choice words that I usually use, but I will refrain from saying it in this forum.

bestwriter wrote on January 24, 2016, 5:34 AM

Do you have a choice of Ads that would appear on your blogs?

MegL wrote on January 24, 2016, 7:00 AM

Do you like cooking? Recipes are always popular. And cooks like cooking tools. I am currently considering buying a new slow cooker - a bigger one for making bone broth / stock. I recently bought a new washing machine. I just read a Yahoo article showing how to upcycle shelves and other stuff to make cheap toys for children. If you let me know what area you would be interested in, I can provide you with some keywords that could be useful.

Last Edited: January 24, 2016, 7:01 AM

JohnRoberts wrote on January 24, 2016, 7:36 AM

We are never going to make our fortune online anyway so I think it's best to stick with what you enjoy and feel motivated writing about and hoping others will be interested.

luisga814 wrote on January 24, 2016, 7:51 AM

My online earnings only from PersonaPaper. Wish me luck.

VinceSummers wrote on January 24, 2016, 7:54 AM

I understand this completely. Here's what I do: I limit ads greatly. I can do that with "Webmaster." In addition, my articles are specific enough, many of the ads on my site are narrow-niche articles. That is, they advertise colleges and scientific materials. No, by no means all of them. But many of them. In addition, we can pick and choose to click on ads.

msiduri wrote on January 24, 2016, 9:19 AM

Wow. I understand this so completely. I just wish I could offer suggestions other than those already offered. I guess, if I had the answer I'd be rich (and willing to share).

wolfgirl569 wrote on January 24, 2016, 9:39 AM

I wish you luck finding what will work good for you. It can be hard to do.

grandma20121 wrote on January 24, 2016, 12:46 PM

so your saying people are pretty much helping sell products like review writing?

Kasman wrote on January 24, 2016, 5:34 PM

Earning decent amounts of money online (in other words earning a living) takes total commitment and lots and lots of time - and the willingness to sell your soul for the mighty dollar! Keep your integrity - you'll feel better for it in the long run.

vanGogh wrote on January 24, 2016, 8:34 PM

to keep to the good space: to keep doing the right things--guess the result will be ads that gravitate what's the the core in the series of your articles!

HappyLady wrote on January 24, 2016, 10:07 PM

There are just some assignments it is better to pass on by. Write about what you believe in.

marleysa wrote on January 26, 2016, 7:04 AM

selling ones soul just isn't worth it in the long run- it comes back to bite you, it always does.

Saramarie wrote on January 26, 2016, 10:13 PM

I try to be myself when blogging. I must admit that I wish that I was making even more but I do my best.

BarbRad wrote on January 28, 2016, 4:32 AM

Very good advice. I'm still in transition, but I do hope to give readers something worthwhile in exchange for their time. That may be photos with information, an honest product review of something I used and got value from, or help in finding resources people need.

BarbRad wrote on January 28, 2016, 4:33 AM

I think that's what it comes down to -- published work you feel good about putting your name on.

BarbRad wrote on January 28, 2016, 4:34 AM

Right. We need to hold to our principles.

BarbRad wrote on January 28, 2016, 4:38 AM

I see people making money with product reviews that are honest and not spammy. They do offer value to the readers that want information on those products. What I can't in good conscience do is to write pages about what's popular just to sell stuff that is really just a fad designed to get people to buy stuff so I can earn commissions. The example of the sort of thing I mean would be the old Pet Rocks that were popular decades ago.

BarbRad wrote on January 28, 2016, 4:42 AM

I don't mind writing honest product reviews for products I have loved or found useful to provide information for people who want to know about those products. But I don't want to write a paragraph or two of fluff about something like unicorns and then list rows of products related to unicorns just hoping someone will see something they didn't know they wanted. People do make money doing that, but I wouldn't feel good about making my money that way.

BarbRad wrote on January 28, 2016, 4:46 AM

Google lets you exclude ad categories and even specific ads. But unless you have thousands of people looking at your blog, which I don't, you are lucky to make a penny a week from Google. Last month I earned .82 on my main blog for the entire month. People make money by selling or promoting products.

BarbRad wrote on January 28, 2016, 4:49 AM

Currently I'm focused on nature, my local area of San Luis Obispo County, the products that make life easier for the aging and disabled, and children's and educational books of the type I used to sell outright.

BarbRad wrote on January 28, 2016, 4:52 AM

Some people make money online honestly by working smarter than I have thus far. I'm learning the process. What I need to focus on is providing useful information to those seeking it. I'm just not good at finding the right keywords. I think my own interests aren't lined up with popular culture. I see the most potential with gardening and aging topics.

BarbRad wrote on January 28, 2016, 4:53 AM

I wish you luck. I like it here, but don't really expect to earn much.

BarbRad wrote on January 28, 2016, 4:55 AM

I'm careful about what I let Google display. I'm trying to find useful products I know something about that meet real needs people have so that I can review them honestly.

BarbRad wrote on January 28, 2016, 4:57 AM

I think I'm getting good advice from people who are good at affiliate selling. I just need to find a profitable niche that isn't already dominated by others.

BarbRad wrote on January 28, 2016, 4:57 AM

Yes. The writing is easy once I'm focused.

BarbRad wrote on January 28, 2016, 5:01 AM

Some people who really know what they are doing are making thousands a year in affiliate selling. I'm taking a course from them and would be happy to share the affiliate link to it with anyone who contacts me through Facebook or Twitter. I just have to focus on the right niche and I haven't found it yet.

BarbRad wrote on January 28, 2016, 5:02 AM

It can be done while maintaining one's integrity if one finds a niche one can believe in.

BarbRad wrote on January 28, 2016, 5:04 AM

I get to pick what to promote. I just need to pick something I believe in and know plenty about.

BarbRad wrote on January 28, 2016, 5:05 AM

I don't do freelance, so I don't get assignments. I want to do honest affiliate selling of products I believe in.

BarbRad wrote on January 28, 2016, 5:06 AM

Which is why I will not write anything I'm ashamed to put my name on just to make big bucks.

BarbRad wrote on January 28, 2016, 5:09 AM

It's a matter of learning what works from someone who knows and is making money honestly. I've been doing my best for years without making much except on Bubblews because I was being myself and writing about my own interest without regard to whether it was useful to anyone.

MegL wrote on January 28, 2016, 3:46 PM

BarbRad , I looked at 2 of your areas, children's books and products that make life easier for the disabled. I have KeywordCanine as a product and it suggested the following keywords "Stories for kids" and "wheelchairs". The tool searches for areas where a site on page 1 of Google would be easy to beat and these keywords fitted that.
You could appear on Page 1 of Google for "stories for kids" by having a site with more than 52 backlinks to your site from 29 domains. Those links would have to be from sites that are related to “kid’s stories”, such as books for kids, children’s books, etc. Anything that could be considered to be related to your keyword phrase “stories for kids”. Searches each month are 12,100 with a cost per click of over $2. If you want to have your own domain, then and are currently available, but you would have to be quick in case someone else sees this and decides to go for one or other. You could probably also use links from Hubpages and similar sites to help boost your links. It is suggested that to get good backlinks to your site, you write to the web masters of sites that are close to your niche and offer to write a FREE article for their site, with a bio box with one link to your site.
One site on Page 1 of Google is there with 35 backlinks from 12 domains. If you can beat them, you can get your website on Page 1. There are 12,100 searches monthly, CPC $2.72 Again, get backlinks from sites that are related to your subject in some way, not direct competitors (who will not want to give you a boost!).

BarbRad wrote on January 30, 2016, 3:20 AM

Thank you for that information. I already have a site for kids books that probably still has backlinks from related sites. That site is doing better than my other ones even though I dismantled the content and am slowly rebuilding it again. I"ll have to think about wheelchairs. I usually only review products I've used and believe in. But I might be able to work with this.

MegL wrote on January 30, 2016, 6:51 AM

I am happy to search for any products you have used. I can send you the information via a PM on Facebook if you want, to keep the info private.