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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, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  1. I think this is a big struggle for most people- even those who have wealth, but still feel insecure about their future (which is many, many people.)

    I believe what you’re asking is, at heart, a spiritual question, because it has to do with this concept of security. And while money in the bank does provide a tremendous sense of relief (I’ve both had it and not had it, and yes, it does make a difference.)

    And yet, insecurity is always available to us, whether or not we have money.

    I would ask the question this way:
    – Would you work your business differently if you weren’t secure in yourself?

    Or, yet another way, to ask Einstein’s famous question: “Is the universe a safe place, or isn’t it?” If you feel in your heart that you are cared-for, no matter what the outside circumstances, you are going to be able withstand the winds of change, whether it’s fickle advertisers, or what have you.

    And, most people who can find this sense of security in themselves find what you find, it seems, Darren: that they do well, because their confidence provides a ‘shelter from the storm’ in some sense, to the people who come to listen to them.

    What do you think?

  2. I’m not sure but I would gladly accept a sponsor to find out! :)

  3. Yes, i would market my blog ten fold, so that more folks would see it and read it. I write about the vegetarian lifestyle and would love to spread the message around like hotcakes.

    Having more money would allow me to market more and to reach more people. So the answer is, YES!

  4. Interesting question ~ because I do not currently earn any money from blogging I imagine I would write the same if I suddenly had one million dollars.

    Although, if I were financially independent I would probably choose to focus more on development type issues and trying to help those in need.

  5. I would like to add that i write for myself (and for my intended readers) and NOT for advertisers.

    If my blog blows up and it becomes quite popular, yes i would accept big time advertisers, etc. but i would still write from my heart and for my audience.

    Eat more veggies! Leave the animals alone.

  6. When I first began blogging, it wasn’t for money, so I would still do it. Just having money isn’t good enough because it doesn’t explain enough. If I got the million from blogging, then you bet I’d still be blogging, because that’s where my bread is buttered. As absurd as it may sound, a million doesn’t go as far as it used to. Money isn’t so much the point as it is the consequence.

  7. I am reminded of the movie “office space” when the main character discovered that if he was rich, he would do nothing.

    I don’t think I’d do nothing, but there is a lot I’m doing now to pay the bills.

    Doug, very funny!

  8. Why do the worlds billionaires continue to work after they have made their first billion? Because every entrepreneur has a passion for their business. To retire would mean losing a part of themselves.

    To answer your question… I would certainly blog if I didn’t make money. I have done so in the past. Blogging is a passion. To give it up would mean losing contact with my many friends in the blogosphere and everything else I love so much about blogging.

  9. I would certainly carry on blogging, like you I was caught by the bug after about a week of blogging. I would probably do some advertising of my blog to get the name out there like Missy and Mark.

    Also I would ditch ad-sense probably! However, I would probably leave any other advertising (is I get any by the time I get given the £1m)

    Oh yes, and I’d want £1m not $1m – much more money!

  10. I would blog differently in that I could devote about 4x more time to it were I able to quit the day job. Posts would double or triple in quantity and the depth and detail would expand. I would also potentially drop some of the ancillary blogs and focus on the major one.

    Of course, I would want it in U.S. dollars and not AUD ;-)

  11. I wouldn’t do my blog on mortgages. But, I would continue my blog on self improvement (which doesn’t have any ads anyway)

    I would continue other commercial blogs, but less intensely. more quality less quantity.

    And I wouldn’t have to care about Google wanted at all!

  12. the money is nice because it allows me to continue hosting my sites. However, with out it, I’d probably still blog. I blogged before the money and I’ll blog after the money… as long as I have something to say… :)

  13. Yes, it would absolutely change the way I blog! I would blog MORE!

    Having my expenses covered would free time to research, draft, and publish. My writing would be better. I would probably get into video blogging and podcasting. If resources permitted, I’d have a student assistant or two.

    There are several topics I want to cover today. I would like to blog more on the subject of Aspergers but time does not permit it. Money would make a huge difference.

  14. If I were to answer that question, I would say yes!

    I Enjoy blogging, I sometimes don’t really have “time” to blog and pay ALOT of attention to my blog. I Get bits and pieces of info throughout the day, (While at work) and then I only post at night. at about 24:00 or so.

    If I had the money… I would post differently, I would pay MUCH more attention to my readers, do more research about them and try to satisfy them. Give them more of what THEY want.

    Just my 2 cents. :p

  15. Darren,

    I will be launching new blog well in 2 days, that I promised to my self “No ads, No banners, no text links” just pure text and links to creditable source like your self.
    I would like to see the difference between my blog that I currently own bontb and the difference in my new blog. Sorry I can’t give out the domain name yet.

    Well you Darren know what it is, others don’t :)

  16. Well I am barely making any money blogging as it is and I still continue on. So I guess the answer is ‘no’ I wouldn’t blog any differently. It’s an addiction!

  17. Yeah, I would. Maybe not as often, but I would.
    Right now, I need to make a living, so that is why I seek money for it.

  18. I blog like I have a million bux (ok, any money at all).

    I do not blog FOR money, I blog for my topic.

  19. It depends on how I got the money. My blog is my personal journey into the world of online money making so if over time I began to earn more and more then yes I would be blogging about it.

    On the other hand if I suddenly found myself with a random windfall I don’t think I’d bother with the Internet Marketing – I’d just write software instead and blog about that.

  20. Well, I blog about personal finance, so I might blog about different aspects of personal finance if I had a million dollars.

    I really enjoy my day job as well though, so I probably wouldn’t choose to have any more time if I had more money.

    Maybe I’d think of getting rid of my adverts? But then a million dollars doesn’t go as far as it used to. Blogs can be more successful that the income earned from $1M capital.

  21. $1mil might initiate a small break, but I don’t think I would stop doing anything that I do now, just because I love what I do…

  22. Well I wouldn’t blog differently, the only thing that would change is, a lot of my plans for starfeeder.com would be accelerated.

    What I mean by that is, I’ll be able to host higher paying tournaments from the start (I plan on funding the early tournaments currently) which will help generate more buzz.

    I’ll be able to open up Internet cafes dedicated to my tournaments and StarCraft II.

    I’ll be able to shows a web ‘TV’ show or channel… kinda like diggnation.

    And probably most importantly I’ll be able to pay my team thats been working on this out of pure passion rather then money like me.

  23. Here’s a question: if your online presence plays a significant role in generating revenue if you were financially secure, would you make the same decisions you make now? :)

    In the podcast I used the example of Winer turning off traffic to TechMeme because the entry he wrote wasn’t “news”. When he wrote something relevant, he turned the robot back on so TechMeme’s robot could pull his entries. That’s the problem with TechMeme – everything on there isn’t newsworthy (most automated news sites have this problem). His ethical decision has a more subtle long-term affect by building trust and bringing awareness to a known issue. He invited people to do it as well but they won’t. Turning off that potential traffic isn’t an option because thinking short term those are extra eyes on the site right now. The people that pimp themselves for traffic aren’t going to turn it off voluntarily.

    Just like most people don’t realize their blog might make a better tool to generate revenue than be the actual revenue generator. Winer made more money using his blog as a tool than the blog could ever make based on an advertising model.

    That’s what I meant by the “rich” vs. “wealthy” thinking person in the podcast. They have different frames of mind and behave differently IMO. Neither one is “wrong” just different.

  24. I would blog more. I would have more time if I didn’t have to work in the “real world” to make money. I would probably have about a dozen blogs on various subjects. I put so much into the one blog I have and I love it so much! When someone responds positively to something I write I am on a high for hours.

  25. Well.. I won’t blog differently, because I don’t blog for money. My primary income are from my other business.

    I just want to have a personal space to express my experience and thoughts as a human-beings. I hope to inspire others with my personal success. So we can all tell the good story about our life. Money is important, but money is not everything.

    I have seem some happy bloggers, who is living in the farm in the middle of desert. I was hoping to have my own farm and living like them.

    Many people were lost in the blogging for money game. They are not financial secured, so they are trying to find a way to make profit on their blog.

    Personally, I don’t think a blogger will make good money, if all they think are making money with blog. The money came to a blog because the blog has some useful information that inspired others. Then the traffic drive more inspired viewers. The viewers brings in the money.

    Well. I will not blog differently even I already have million dollars. I won’t stop blogging if I am a billionaire too!

  26. Yes, I think I’d blog a lot differently. Money can open up a lot of doors for you. For instance, if I were a millionaire, I would have gone to Blog World this year. I would be going to the World Series of Beer Pong (I run a beer pong blog) in Vegas to cover it. I’d blog from Spring Break (if I could stand).

    The list goes on and on. Some of these things are still goals I have for next year, but they won’t come easy.

  27. Of course I’d blog differently with a 1M in my pockets (if they’d fit there)! I’d have a complete different point of view of many things in that case!

  28. Perhaps.
    I had a huge falling out with an advertising company over some small issues and one issue where the owner said he had gotten complaints about my language on my blog.
    Yes, I occasionally swear on my blog, sometimes the only word that can truly describe how screwed up things are going for this single mom, is not a nice word.
    But anyway, I called him on what he said to me because there is a system in place for the adverts to leave us feedback, to tell us they don’t like our posts we did for them, the color of our blog, and things like language.

    There was not a single complaint from any of the 179 advertisers I had written for. Not one.
    It appears that this CEO is the one with the issue and he tried to blame the adverts for his issues.
    When I called him out on the lack of complaints he swears to me he had gotten yet there was no proof of, I asked him to send me proof of these complaints, he said he didn’t have to.

    So ya know, maybe I would blog differently if I was wealthy and not struggling every day, but I doubt it.
    I didn’t start my blog so others could tell me what to type in it, I started it 10 years ago as an outlet for my feelings, to talk about my struggles in life.
    Money can buy a lot of peoples words these days, the sheep are quite loud right now running in their rows, and that saddens me terribly.

  29. Having a million dollars would actually allow me to be free enough to write – which I would LOVE!!!!

    I would not have to work a 9 hour day, come home, cook dinner, clean, do laundry, and *then* try to muster up the energy to blog. I would be able to experience more things, which would give me entirely new subjects to write about.

    I would do a lot of things with a million dollars. Maybe even take up a part time job, just to have things to share with my readers!!! Then again… Maybe not. =)

  30. I think @Mark Silver had a good point…the question could be taken as a spritual one.

    I believe it also has to do with the purpose of why you blog.

    …For those who blog “for fun”, then no, they might not blog differently.

    …For those who blog for money, whether directly as a result of blogging or to promote their business, it begs the question “how authentic are you and your business?” and how much is this conveyed in your blogging?

    Those who love what they do and are already “authentic” and aim to provide as much value as they can via their blogging probably wouldn’t blog any differently if they had $1m.

  31. I would blog differently, but I would still blog. Like you said, I am hooked as well and was once I “discovered” the blogging world. I am just a stay at home who wanted something to fill my time, but found so much more in the actually blogging and the people I am meeting everyday. The difference would be I could spend more time on the quality of posts and posting more frequently and less time on finding affiliates or starting several blogs to try to get a wider readership. But when blogging is in your blood, I don’t care how much money you have, you have to do it, every day, day and night!

  32. Probably not to how I blog.

    I blog because I want to do things with my blogs. So some of the money would go into the things I want to achieve through my blogs.

    I would spend some it on trying out marketing different marketing strategies (don’t have the money to do this at the moment).

    I would also spend some on designing and building my (environmentally sustainable) dream house, ideally no external inputs or outputs.

  33. I believe we all have different motives for blogging, mine being a form of therapy and outlet for pent up emotions (long story) so 1 million dollars would not stop me from blogging.

    No amount of money is better than peace of mind.

  34. The only thing that would change for me is WHERE I blog…

    If I had a million dollars, I’d be blogging from the beaches of St.Thomas US Virgin Islands!

    Now where’d that Mai Tai get too! WAITRESS!

  35. I think having the passion to do it is definitely an important aspect of being successful but would anyone be able to put in the amount of effort that you put in if there was no money to gain?

    If I had a million dollars I might be able to afford writing my blog full time and there will definitely be different things since I will have a ton more time to spend on it. As it stands now, I need to constantly juggle between my day job and blog which is tough.

  36. Having a million would mean I could be living in the beautiful city of Lisbon as well as writing about it :-) I would be able to devote far more time than I currently can with a nine to five. However it began as and shall continue to be a labour of love; whether I earn money from the site or not. I love the fact I can share what I hope is useful information and resources as well as provide some entertainment.
    The million would be far more useful in paying for studio time to record my album and generally being a bohemian artiste :-)

  37. I would give the boot to the 20%-30% of my clients who cause me 80% of the stress, and I would concentrate on web analytics-based design strategies.

  38. @Skunky’s Monkey House – I like your comment especially since I am blogging right now from the British Virgin Islands (located right next to your aptly mentioned USVI)!

  39. Well, I dunno how it is where you live, but a million dollars isn’t much around here any more – hand me a million dollars tax free and I would still have to have additional income..

    So let’s instead ask would I do it if I had enough money that I didn’t need any more?

    Sure. And not any differently – including running ads because often the ads are useful to people who get to a page while searching for something else.

    I’d probably do more hardware reviews because I’d buy more hardware..

  40. I don’t make any money from blogging as it is, so I wouldn’t do anything different if I had a million dollars. It’s an interesting idea though.

  41. I’d blog if I had a million dollars, for the same reason I’ve blogged for more than 3 years earning zero dollars. I love to do it. I just wish I had more time.

    That’s where the Million dollars would come in. I would quit my day job and just blog. I’d probably even be able to turn a profit from it with the ability to devote full time effort to it.

    As it is right now, I can only put a few hours a week into it. It’s pretty much part-time, even by part-time standards.

  42. Oops, subscribing.

  43. I use my blog as a creative outlet so I doubt that It would change. If I can make a living doing it, Great! I would still do it even if I was rich.

    Now other ideas I want to pursue (blogs) it would be nice to have the ability to explore them with out the worry if they will or will not make money.

  44. You fail if it’s about the money. You need to concentrate on the relationships you develop through your blog and the money will follow.

    Build your personal branding, gain wealth later!

  45. Those who really loves writing will always write even if they are already millionaires.

    The harry potter author wrote more additional books after she made it to the millionaires list and even when she reached the billionaire list.

  46. I am self-employed and love what I do. I remodel kitchens and feel very creative but as I get older it is getting harder to keep up the pace I know I will stop one day. Now that I am blogging I fell like I am creating and giving. If I had a million dollars It would be hard to stop what I doing now. I hope I will be one of those 70 plus still blogging. Oh yes I am a meat and potato man.

  47. I think the big advantage with blogging and having money is just having more time to blog. Right now I have a full time job and a family. If i had a extra 40 hours a week I would be able to write more often and give more time to my writing efforts.

  48. I just want to be a helpful bloke… But hey, if money’s coming in, I’ll take that too.

  49. The best blogs I read don’t do it for the money. It’s a release. If you are knowledgeable and passionate, then success isn’t in the money. It’s in generating quality discussion and community.

    But I’m sure we’ve all said “I wish I could do this for a living” at one time or another.

  50. I would still blog, I just would have the money to have a new blog designed by a pro.

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