by

Blogging for Profit.

After 13 years as a professional computer programmer, it’s time to try something else. So let’s pull the infamous cat out of the bag: I’ve taken a year of unpaid leave from work to try my luck as a professional blogger.

Leaving a steady income to venture into the unknown of advertisement driven internet writing isn’t something revolutionary. It’s been done before. One obvious example is Jason Kottke of Kottke.org – home of fine hypertext products. Jason started blogging back in 1998, roughly the same time as I did1, and he is probably best known for the Silkscreen font. In 2005, Jason quit his job to run his blog full-time, a project he abandoned a year later because he was unable to develop “a sufficient cult of personality” to stay afloat financially.

So what makes me think that can succeed when a well-known internet personality like Jason Kottke failed? First of all, the internet is a very different place today than it was in 2005. According to Internet World Stats, 46.4% of the world’s population has access to the internet as of 2015, a 832.5% growth since the year 2000. 46.4% of the population translates, in 2015-numbers, to roughly 3,366,261,156 people, which means that the potential audience is absolutely massive. Secondly, the time people are spending on the internet has increased since 2005: Ofcom’s Media Use and Attitudes 2015 report (PDF) shows that the average adult spends more than 20 hours online a week. For young people aged between 16 and 24, the number is even higher: They spend more than 27 hours a week on the internet, only a few hours shy of an average work week.

But how can I convince these three billion, three hundred and sixty six million, two hundred and sixty one thousand, one hundred and fifty six internet users to spend a little of their 20+ hours online on me?

Looking at some of the successful bloggers here in Norway, like Sophie Elise Isachsen and Anna Rasmussen, one surefire way to achieve blogging fame is to be young and wear above average size bras. That does not bode well for me, since I’m well past the spring of my life, and I don’t look good in bras. Since I’m neither young nor busty, I’ll have to resort to good old, high quality writing to become a successful, professional blogger. But it’s not only about the quality of what I’m writing, it’s just as much about quantity. I need to give people a good reason to return to my site regularly and often, which means at least one new blog post every day.

This, in turn, raises the question of what to write about: I can’t post that often without having something interesting to write about. I live a pretty standard life, with not that much out of the ordinary happening. One of the most successful male bloggers in Norway, Peter Kihlman, somehow manages to retain a sizeable and loyal audience simply by writing about everyday family topics, but let’s be honest here: It’ll never attract a large, international audience. And it will never bring in the big money. To do that, I have to write about something many people want to experience, but few ever will.

That’s why I’ve decided, partly inspired by The Rich Kids of Instagram, to start The Luxury Travel & Party BlogTM. This will, of course, require me to spend all of my time over the next twelve months traveling to luxurious destinations, partying with the most classy people I can find. An adventure like that means I’ll have to abandon Anniken and Vilde for a year, and it’ll suck our life savings dry, but they’ll surely understand that I need to follow my dreams.

Besides, it’s an investment. It won’t take long before I reach internet fame of Kardashian proportions, where I’m paid bags of money for posting a picture of me using/wearing/drinking/eating something on The Luxury Travel & Party BlogTM. Then I can send a few dollars home to the family each month. And they can brag about the fact that they knew me before I got internet famous.

So with that I say farewell to this lousy site and welcome to the marvelous future that is The Luxury Travel & Party BlogTM, and my new life motto: “Cash only, please!”

Footnotes

  1. I didn’t back up anything in those days, so there’s no way for me to prove it.

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