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Would You Blog Differently If You Had Money?

Posted By Darren Rowse 13th of November 2007 Featured Posts, Reader Questions 0 Comments


Anne Waymen asks a question that’s got me thinking a little today – Would You Still Write If You Had A Million Dollars?

On Saturday night I was at a party and had a fascinating chat with a guy who had his own business. We were swapping stories about our businesses and out of the blue (and simultaneously) both said something to this effect:

“I’d do it even if I couldn’t earn money from it.”

We then went onto to discuss why we thought that that was probably a secret to the fact that we’d both done reasonably well with our work – it wasn’t about the money.

My new friend told me about his motivations for switching careers to start his business – his reason wasn’t because he wanted to make money but because he found it so interesting that he just couldn’t help but learn more about it. His story reminded me a lot about my own experience of blogging.

Five years ago when I started blogging (5 years this month actually) I did so on a whim to see what would happen. The thought that it’d end up being a full time job (and more) was laughable. The reason I continued blogging was that within days I was hooked. Hooked by the relationships I discovered, the community that I became a part of and the learning that I was engaging in.

The money came years later – much later.

So I guess I’d answer Anne’s question with a yes – I’d still write if I had a Million Dollars.

However – her question sparked another one for me – a question I’d like to ask readers.

Would you blog differently if you had a Million Dollars?

The reason I ask this is that a few weeks ago I was listening to a podcast (this one) by the 9Rules team over at 3by9 and it was Thyme that talked about Dave Winer who blogs differently because he is ‘financially secure’ (I am probably misquoting Thyme here as it was a couple of weeks ago that I listened to the podcast).

The gist of her comments was that the blogger could blog more freely because he wasn’t reliant upon advertisers and didn’t need to impress others etc. As a result he has a ‘different mindset’ to other bloggers.

Of course this is just Thyme’s opinion – but her idea has stayed with me this past couple of weeks and I’d love to hear whether others think that they’d blog differently if they had wealth already.

Over to you – what do you think?

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. If I had a million dollars and didn’t need to blog, I’d definitely still blog. What I would do differently, however, is do a bunch of stuff like:

    1. Get John Chow to review my site for me
    2. Start more niche sites that I have passion for (but no time to research and write on!)
    3. Spend more advertising dollars with Adwords
    4. Start experimenting with podcasting
    5. Build a forum for bloggers who visit my site(s) to help them in their blogging needs
    6. Get some engineers to build an application to give Digg a run for their money!

    You can tell that I’m a great daydreamer…

  2. I would remove all the ads and the site design would be improved because there wouldn’t be any ads taking up space :-)

    Otherwise what I write would be pretty similar

  3. i would write about having fun

  4. I don’t think I would blog different even if I had money. I mean I admit that I have no money now towards advertising for my site, but money isn’t everything.

    A lot of big blogs now have no content at all, but retain the same amount of readers. It seems like people focus more on the “RSS COUNT” than on the content itself


  5. I’ve always said that with a million dollars, I could live of the interest the rest of my life.

    I’d blog more. I’d have more things to blog about. Things like home ownership and fixing up, or good food, or travel are wonderful topics I can imagine blogging about if I had those things in my life. I’d also go to college and fill my brain with things to blog about.

    With working full time plus, I hardly have time to read and blog about books, or craft and blog about my creations.

    Since I would never want to lose my financial freedom once I had it, I would market my “blogging empire” and continue to accept advertising and write paid content. Writing is my passion, and blogging how I’ve been able to express that passion. I’m not ashamed of blogging for profit now, so why not keep on? I’ve got to echo the others that a million is hardly limitless funds today.

  6. I suppose I would blog a little differently because I would have a new home out in the country. I would have a new camera to take lots of pictures of my new huge garden but besides that, no. The land and house would put a good dent in the million anyway.

  7. Wouldn’t I love a million dollars! I’d use it to buy more time to blog, which would allow me to increase the frequency of more thoughtful, in depth posts. Right now as a stay-at-home mom, I have to fit blogging in while the kids are at school or asleep. However, I also have to fit errands and home repairs and dishes and laundry and balancing the checkbook and everything else into that same time. If I had the money, I’d pay someone to clean the house and cook the meals while I blogged!

  8. My motivation to blog wouldn’t change, but the subjects and frequency of posting might differ.

    I’d expect a few more travel posts … blogging via satellite phone from the Antarctic Peninsula springs to mind.

  9. Its a resounding yes. I would be able to write more freely. There will be less emphasis on the SEO aspects, keyword stuffing and inpersonal writing.

    Basically, just write freely and not worry about the other development of blog stuff.

  10. I couldn’t force myself to write when I wasn’t interested in the topic: I only write about things that I find interesting and relevant. I’d do the same if I was a billionaire, though probably less often as I’d be able to spend more time doing other things I enjoy.

  11. Firstly, I blog for my passion and keeping updated some thing with my blog and others. if my blog is popular i will reach to find ads on my blog as well.

    Human-being’s passion is unlimited.

  12. I wrote a book and blogged to get the word out. Publishers seem to have outsourced that, too. It used to be they would take on a writer and do the publicity, but now they don’t want to publish a book until you bring the audience, too.

    And, since I’m not a celebrity, I decided to see if there was an audience for my offbeat cat advice. And so far (blog only a month old) I’m getting traffic, and the traffic increases a bit every week, and I’m getting found in searches, and so the answer is, yes. Some people do like my whacky cat advice.

    So I’m not blogging for money (which is good, because I’m not making any) but to further my career as a writer, in which I hope to make some.

    Unexpectedly, I’m fascinated by the instant feedback and the nice people I’ve met along the way. The blog is becoming my second drafting process, where the necessity for shorter, pithier coverage of a topic makes my writing better.

    So I would still blog if I had a million dollars, and no matter how long it takes for my book to sell. I’ll still blog even when the book sells. It’s about my mission and my writing.

    More money means more time to do what I love to do, anyway.

  13. Yeah, I’d blog differently if I had a million dollars. I’d do it differently because I could afford a better, faster computer and faster internet service and I’d be able to post more frequently and add more files and images to my blog. Would I write differently? No. I write about what interests me (within the framework of my blog’s niche) and that interest isn’t likely to be wiped out by a million dollars. I might, however, start another blog for new interests. ;)

  14. I don’t know, but I’d sure like to find out!

    I like to think I would keep doing what I’m doing. Blogging is a passion, and I don’t see myself giving it up anytime soon. Even if I had a lot of money. I might not blog for so many other people, but my own blogs would go one as usual.

  15. I would blog differently if I had a million dollars, changing the nature of some posts to reflect less of SEO configurations and more of obsure art related to my niche. I would also minimize or even eliminate much of the sponsored posts and do more with marketing such as contests and sponsoring other blogs related to my topic….which is always easier when you have more money.

  16. Probably not for me, I blog for fun, not as an income source, although if I did earn me a buck or two, I wouldn’t be unhappy :)

  17. I would blog exactly the same, but my blog would be better because I could afford to buy photographs.

    My blog is about an NFL team and it would be much better with photographs, and I don’t want to use photos from newspaper websites, etc., without permission.

  18. Blogging is my passion. It is not what I do to pass my time. But is what I wanted to do. So, it wouldn’t have mattered even if I had a million dollars or two. But, if I was otherwise then it would have mattered, cause I would have had no money.


    Happy Blogging

  19. Hi,

    I would still blog as well if I had this much money. Just helping others by trying to provide them with organizational tips and office trends can’t be bought. It’s priceless.

    Sorry, I sound like the Mastercard ad now.


    Richard Rinyai

  20. Good question and one worth exploring by everyone as a way get focused on what is important in life.

    I blog because I am on a mission to spread peace, consciousness, awareness and passion for life. I don’t blog for money but making it is nice.

    I would still blog when I have multiple streams of passive income and therefor total financial freedom because I still have this peace and consciousness purpose.

    The world needs as many awake and aware people as possible so my work is never done.

    Peace and purpose to you,



  21. I really hope people don’t start blogs (or any other endeavors) for money and success, simply because that’s either unlikely or not fulfilling.

    I started my blog to publish a very personal book I wanted to share. I made it available as a free download and my site’s already received hundreds of visitors from over 25 countries!

    My advice is to focus on creating great content because you’re passionate about writing/sharing and the rest will follow. That’s what really matters

  22. I have a family of four, a full-time (offline) job, and just enough money to get by every month. I do not desire more money, do not think about money (more than necessary), and could really care less if others have tons of money. The Good Lord has always provided everything I need, and I trust that He always will. ;)

    As for the question of this post, in addition to my full-time job, I also spend around 25+ hours every week working on Perishable Press. I do not advertise on my site, do not struggle for traffic, am not obsessed about subscribers, links, or any of that — I simply love to write, design, and work on the Web. Even if I had a gazillion dollars, I would continue to blog and design because that is what I love to do.

  23. Would I blog differently if I had a million dollars?

    Yes. I would have more time to devote to writing articles and tutorials to share what I learned (sometimes the hard, painstaking way) more. Currently I have a limited monetary plan in place – a few adsense blocks, a widget or two, and some feedreader tools. I definitely do not work on my small, limited blog for the money – nor do I do it because I have an insatiable apetite to write content (though I do rather enjoy writing).

    Contrary, I do it because I hope I may share and help people. Even if just one of my posts helps one person in learning, figuring out a problem or expanding their knowledge, I feel I have accomplished my goals that I set out with. I can then set a new goal with it and work to accomplish it.

    Throw a million dollars in to that, and I could have the time to write more often, sharing more, and that to me would be great.

  24. Hmmm… I wonder if people that think they would be blogging differently if they had more money are trying to conform to what they believe they should be writing about. And that would stop them from ever becoming popular because they will be too bland.

    Surely the best way to go is to be authentic right from the start and you’ll get a following. Maybe the money will come as well.

  25. Bloggers who go from nothing to something tend to get a bit lazier… at least as far as writing link-bait posts every 2 days is concerned.

  26. Yes, I think I would blog more because I would spend less time trying to earn money. I would explore a much wider range of topics, and possibly hire an assistant to help with administrative tasks. One can dream…

    -Melissa Donovan
    Writing for Writers

  27. If i had that million, i’d make 10 more with the web… we “low-level” bloggers see the changes and always have some input but cannot use it to our advantage with the absence of capital ourselves :(

    Cruel web of highly-ranked anteaters vs ants cimbing a glassbuilding.

  28. This is definitely an important question that every blogger needs to ask themselves. Thank you for bringing it up.

    I started blogging to make money, which was not really the right reason as most people know. It gets you started of with the idea that you have to make a lot of money or you get depresssed and will quit. Everything is about the money if you are in it for the money. Then I started to read more on ProBlogger and other sites that made me realise that I was not in it for the right reason and I worked on finding out what I wanted to talk about.

    I started a blog about the iPhone because I was really interested in it and then I started a movie review blog. I love what I am doing now and it makes all of the difference in the world. If I was only in it for the money, then it would not have lasted long.

    I am glad to say that if I had a million dollars I would still be reviewing movies on my website because that is what I love to do. The only difference would be that I would have more time to spend doing this.

  29. I would blog because i like it – and i do not earn money out of it. Though i suppose my blogging habits will change if i had a 1M dollars. I’d had more time for blogging. Though i’d blog less on my work topics and more on my hobbies.

  30. Definitely! I’ve been keeping an online journal (as it was called back then) for years, so blogging really comes naturally for me. The only difference now is that back then I was looking high and low for a free host that wouldn’t put ads in my site (henceforth ruining my layout), now I am willingly putting in ads (and in a way designing my layout around them). Out of my five or so blogs though, only 1 is monetized.

  31. I think you need to ask the question; What is “financially secure”? In my opinion, you cannot have enough money to “really” be secure especially in this world of changing times. I know I would blog differently if I had money; and I mean ALOT of money. I would worry less about what was coming into my bank account and more on helping everyone i know to get financially stable.

  32. First of all, 1 milion usd are not quite enoigh to have a secure finnancialy life, but more than enough to make one a “target”. Therefor, any answer except “I won`t change my style” is at least dangerous and shallow.

    As a (big ? biggest ?) fan of “don`t show yourself how rich you really are” (showing it I take it as a pompously behave), no normal human woulnd`t have to act different while suddenly being rich or poor.

    Everytime I turn on my mobile phone, on screen appear two words :


  33. Thanks Darren… and I’m with Mark Silver – money is really a spiritual question or even a spiritual discipline. At least for me.

  34. If i had a lot of money i would hire pro writers to make sure that my blog offers unique and fresh content all the time.

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