"I got holes in my shoes,
And I'm way overdue,
Down payment blues."
Earning a decent wage can be tough in this town. But there are ways to make a little money on the side that don't involve slinging rock on America Street, selling your can on Spruill Avenue, or converting your bathroom into a meth lab.
Services like Google's AdSense, Blogads, and CrispAds will insert various clickable ads in your blog based on the content of your site. For example, if you blog about your cat a lot, chances are the ads on your site would be for cat food, cat toys, and/or frontal lobotomies. And every time someone clicks on one of those ads, you make money. It's only fractions of a cent, but if you have a lot of visitors to your site, or if you've seen Office Space, you know you can make beer money each month.
The same goes for podcasting — though advertising in that new medium seems to be taking off at a much quicker pace than in the blogging world. Locally, Nate and Di (www.nateanddi.com) got picked up recently by HBO to sponsor that premium pay channel's newest original series, Big Love, with another to follow, apparently. I'm not sure how much they got paid, but I'm sure it's enough to buy their favorite columnist and podcastin' pal a Homewrecker and a Corona at Moe's.
For those of us with much smaller listening and reading audiences, services like Kiptronic and Podtrac are a great way to find advertisers. It's free, easy, and can be a handy way to offset the little costs of podcasting. For example, $10 for a one-episode sponsorship can be a cheap way for a band to get their name out to several thousand music fans on a music podcast — and that $10 can pay for the podcaster's server space for a month. Win/win, in my book.
So, put down the meth and pick up a mic. Sure, you won't be cruisin' in yo' Chris Craft anytime soon, but you can make a few bucks on the side. And avoid federal pound-you-in-the-ass prison, too.
Send me your stuff! E-mail me at email@example.com.