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Blogging for money, one post at a time

Many BlogWorld attendees are trying to figure out how to profit from small publishing ventures, whether the subject is politics, God, or chickens.

LAS VEGAS--Angie Mecklenburg, a mother of four in Sutter, Ill., blogs about chickens, God, and her farm. For an estimated $15, she'll write about soy-wax candles for a marketer.

Over the last 18 months, Mecklenburg has kept up three blogs, the most popular being Ang's Chicken Coop, which has the tagline "a view of the world from the coop." With about 250 daily visitors to her sites, she said she manages to make as much as $1,200 a month, collecting fees from Google advertising and marketers who pay her to write about their products via the blog ad network iZea.

For example, iZea recently paid her about $15 to write about candles from the Maddison Avenue Candles Company. She also was paid to write a blog about the Christian movie The Last Sin Eater earlier this year.

"iZea sent me a synopsis and movie clip. I blogged it and then I went and saw it," Mecklenburg said at the BlogWorld conference and expo here, a three-day event for blog entrepreneurs and professionals. She said she loved the movie.

Mecklenburg's story is just one of many here this week at the Las Vegas Convention Center, which is also playing host to GodblogCon, a gathering of religious bloggers. Many of the attendees are trying to figure out how to make money from their small publishing ventures, whether it's a political, military, or God-related blog.

iZea, formerly called Pay for Post, is one company trying to capitalize on that desire. Founded in June 2006, the company pays as many as 85,000 bloggers to write about a range of products, including household products, cars, wireless phones, and new movies. According to Randy Mountz, vice president of sales, iZea has roughly 11,000 advertisers in its network, including Hewlett-Packard, Ford, and MGM.

Mountz said the company pays bloggers an average of $18 for a 200-word post on a product or service. Its top blogger, the Florida mom behind Simplekindoflife.com, has made as much as $18,000 over the last year, he said.

Still, the company has had some push-back from other bloggers for buying blog editorial, he said. That's why, "we strongly encourage full disclosure in the post of the sponsorship," he said.

And so far, that's working for Mecklenburg, who now has as many as six blogs to discuss her different interests. Those sites include Twitter-patted.com and Ang's Brood.

"I blog about God and the things I see he does in my life," she said. "But it's not my sole focus. I have many interests and it's really hard to wrap all of them in one blog."