Adam Westbrook // ideas on digital storytelling and publishing

Meet the man making money from his blog

Posted in Journalism by Adam Westbrook on May 3, 2010

This is John Hirst. You might recognise him if you have read any of my articles or seen any of my multimedia on the prison votes case.

While serving 30 years for manslaughter he taught himself law and is hounding the government for its slow action on giving inmates the vote.

As you can see, John has a new widescreen flat screen TV in his living room.

He’s  also got a brand new vacuum cleaner and he’s bought his girlfriend a ring.  John told me, when I popped round to his house in Hull last week, that it’s all been paid for…by his blog.

Yes after I wrote here that journalists need to move away from ad revenue as a the way to monetise a website, John has sort of proved me wrong, as one of the few bloggers I can think of making money from pure advertising alone. It’s not Google Adwords though; John’s been approached by insurance companies who he charges a flat annual fee to put banners on his blog.

John’s site, the Jailhouse Lawyer get’s around 500 hits a day, but it can go up to 2,000 when he writes something controversial about Guido Fawkes or Madeleine McCann.

I say sort of proves me wrong: imagine how much extra John could get if he leveraged his blog to publish other products…

4 Responses

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  1. Rob said, on May 4, 2010 at 7:51 am

    This is a risky strategy as Google does not the permit selling of links which can enhance search engine listings.

    http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2007/12/information-about-buying-and-selling.html

    Their guidelines state that paid links should be disclosed through a rel=”nofollow”

    Both the blogger and the advertiser run the risk of being penalised in Google’s search results.

  2. […] Meet the man making money from his blog […]

  3. ianmalone said, on July 20, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    That is great.. good that you have earn a lot with your blog. I admire you for that, I also want to be a good blogger.. but I can’t have enough time to do it and to maintain it..

  4. […] He’s been interviewed on countless news programmes, and as I said earlier this year, he’s even been able to make money from advertising deals on the […]


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