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Blogging - monetizing and using pictures


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#1 andrew_b_welch

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 09:26 AM

Forgive me if there’s already a blogging thread here at A&F, but I have a couple of questions I wanted to throw out there, and I felt like mine might be specific enough to start a new thread.

My first question has to do with monetizing, and really it’s a series of questions, such as: Is it a good idea? What (if you’ve already monetized) has your experience been like? What are the drawbacks? Has it been a good idea overall, or something you’ve regretted? Any wisdom that anyone can offer would be much appreciated. Monetizing is something I consider every now and then, but one thing in particular stops me.

Which brings me to my second question….

How can I properly use pictures on my blog? So far I’ve (perhaps unwisely) relied on Google Images for whatever I’ve needed. But I’m guessing that if I want to monetize, this kind of thing won’t fly. So, what can I do to make sure I’m using pictures in a way that’s legal and would allow me to monetize in the future, if that’s what I decide to do?

PS - Here is the link to my blog if you've never visited it: http://adventures-in...a.blogspot.com/

#2 David Smedberg

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:07 AM

Personally, I think ads are a mistake. What's a few cents? And they're ugly.

"Pictures" is too vague--it depends on whether they are going to fall under fair use. Lo- or medium-res screencaps in a review certainly would. But other uses might not.

#3 kenmorefield

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:16 AM

Andrew,
A lot of studios use EPK (https://www.epk.tv/default.aspx ) to disseminate images for electronic outlets.

I would try to register for that site (you have to be approved); that may not help with older movies and decisions about them, but in general you can have peace of mind. (General consensus I've heard is that most images fall under the "fair use" clause that would insulate you somewhat from liability. Studios seem far more interested in piracy of movies than use of images.) I've had one person contact me in three years about an image on 1More Film Blog and that was with a request to add a photo credit, which I did.

Monetizing is nice, but in my experience it's more about opportunities that come to you than seeking ways to monetize. I would, if you haven't already, add a "Blog disclosure" policy to your home page stating policies for identifying content that has been paid for against stuff that is your own. I sometimes feel that I am alone in this, too, but, of course, if you monetize you really need to report that income (if you itemize your taxes, you may be able to deduct expenses of the blog such as web hosting from the income generated). In my experience, the most common types of ads people ask you for are embedded links (or Search Optimization). You can make a modest amount off these, assuming you are not philosophically opposed to the practice, but, again, if you pursue them, they tend to approach you more often if/when your page comes up prominently on Google searches, so how much time do you want to spend tagging, adding external links to other sites, and upping your own analytics to make the page more attractive? You can go for stretches where you have a couple of ads running at the same time, but then you can go for a few months where you don't have anything. I think my first goal was to monetize enough so that doing the blog was not costing me money, that I was generating enough to pay for my registration, hosting, etc. Beyond that, its really a matter of how mcuh time and effort you want to put into it. For me, I want to remain conscious of not turning a labor of love into a "job."

Grace and peace.
Ken

Edited by kenmorefield, 09 February 2012 - 01:59 AM.


#4 Stephen Lamb

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 05:17 PM

How can I properly use pictures on my blog? So far I’ve (perhaps unwisely) relied on Google Images for whatever I’ve needed. But I’m guessing that if I want to monetize, this kind of thing won’t fly. So, what can I do to make sure I’m using pictures in a way that’s legal and would allow me to monetize in the future, if that’s what I decide to do?


A friend developed this site for using images on blogs: http://www.wylio.com/

#5 M. Leary

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 10:17 AM

Unless you just want to cover costs, blogging or creating internet sites that generate money requires a much different kind of writing than you may want to do. I think Ken hits it on the head when he mentioned that making your blog a business creates unnecessary pressures that will change your writing and writing habits.

The kind of writing that actually generates money (which I do create on a freelance basis for people) is a much different beast than blogging on your interests.

Edited by M. Leary, 07 February 2012 - 10:32 AM.


#6 andrew_b_welch

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 11:35 AM

Unless you just want to cover costs, blogging or creating internet sites that generate money requires a much different kind of writing than you may want to do. I think Ken hits it on the head when he mentioned that making your blog a business creates unnecessary pressures that will change your writing and writing habits.

The kind of writing that actually generates money (which I do create on a freelance basis for people) is a much different beast than blogging on your interests.


I hadn't really considered this side of it yet. Thanks for the great advice everyone. I will probably keep it as is since I don't have any costs to cover (aside from the occasional movie ticket).

#7 Darren H

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 12:08 PM

Andrew, I'll second M's advice. Use the blog as a place to hone your writing and ideas. If it starts generating significant traffic -- and that's a big "if" given the current state of the film blog-o-sphere -- then you can maybe start looking for ways to generate some revenue from it. In ten years of blogging, I never sold an ad, but I did pick up a good bit of freelance writing assignments because editors found my site and liked my writing.

This question has been on my mind lately, because I recently chased a link to a thoughtful and well-written post by a local pastor, who'd clearly made the mistake of just clicking the "add advertisements" button when he set up his Blogger site. It's tempting to click that button just out of curiosity. But, as a result, there on the bottom of his long post, I was served a video ad with four mostly-naked women on a couch.