Welcome to the bloggy home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Percolate and general internet tinkerer. This site is about media, culture, technology, and randomness. It's been around since 2004 (I'm pretty sure). Feel free to get in touch. Get in touch.

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How to Make Money Off Your Blog (Part 3): Job Boards

[Editor’s Note: This is part two in a series of posts on how to make money off your blog. Part 1 was all about The Deck and Part 2 was all about Text Link Ads. Here’s the description from the first post: Obviously there are a million different ways to try and make money off a website, the easiest of which is slapping a couple Google ads on there and calling it a day. These three ideas interest me because they’re different. They’re not your regular CP-whatever deal, instead they’re tapping into what makes blogs unique/special and monetizing that.]

It’s time for the wrap up ladies and gentlemen . . .

3. Job Boards

I actually first thought about doing a job board a few months ago. People ask me all the time if I know someone to fill so-and-so position. Lots of them sound great and I try to pass them along. I thought maybe it would be good to have a place to aggregate all these jobs, based on the criteria that it would only get posted if I found it interesting. Since then job boards have been sprouting up everywhere.

The way I see it, these job boards are the perfect companion to a blog. Think about it: Blogs tend to be about niche topics (say the future of media and marketing) and have highly targeted audiences. That means if an employer can find a blog they like and relates to their work, chances are it’s a good place to find other like-minded people. What’s more, by posting a job on a blog job board, it lends a certain amount of cachet to the company. After all, they’ve got to be somewhat in the know to be posting at this niche site.

Basically, they’re the opposite of sites like Monster. As Jason Fried explained: “Big sites take a shotgun approach . . . You post a job. Anyone can see it. There’s no targeting, no like-mindedness. Our feeling is, if you want to hire the right people, you have to go where the right people hang out.”

My favorite part about these job boards, is that unlike more traditional advertising, job boards actually help all parties involved. The site gets some cash, the employer gets a good employee and the reader gets a job. Obviously problems could arise if the site really takes off and the board becomes a job destination rather than a blog with a job board. It’ll be interesting to see how these things turn out (I suspect it’ll work out just fine).

The Lessons

1. Once again, recommendations, even if they’re not explicit, are the most valuable resource a blog has (other than influence . . . which is really the same thing). In the case of jobs, just being listed on a site like 37signals can raise the coolness factor in the minds of candidates.
2. Advertising that serves a purpose is better than the noise of other forms of advertising.
3. Find a way to milk the niche nature of your site rather than trying to make it something it’s not. A blog with 300 readers isn’t going to do shit by way of CPM (cost-per-thousand), but if you’re covering a small topic selling job posts might be just what the doctor ordered (plus it somehow seems less sleezy as selling recommendations).

The bottom line here is embrace your inner niche. Don’t try to be something you’re not. Find creative ways to exploit your blogs most valuable asset: A small targeted audience.

That about wraps up this three part series. Hope you enjoyed it. If you’ve got any more ideas, please drop them in the comments. Also, I just wanted to add that I understand the vast majority of people don’t have any desire to make money off their blog. I’m actually (mostly) in that camp. However, I think whether you’re interested in engaging in some of these tactics or not, there are a lot of lessons to be learned.

September 11, 2006