It's rare to hear someone call the recession "awesome."

But that's how Ted Murphy feels. He's founder and CEO of IZEA, a social media marketing site that pays bloggers by connecting them with advertisers.

With so many people out of work, blogging about products and getting paid for those blogs are how many are at least supplementing their income, Murphy said.

"The recession has been awesome," he said in a telephone interview from his office in Orlando, Fla. "The amount of bloggers that are interested in this, " and the advertisers make it a business that benefits both sides.

Other sites that Murphy owns -- Social Spark and PayPerPost -- help the average person who is an active blogger earn a few thousand dollars a month, while some earn a few thousand per post, he said.


His sites have 265,000 bloggers and 25,000 advertisers. At Social Spark, a typical review of a web site can pay $15. Sites are ranked, with improving rankings for more traffic, more interaction, and more followers on Facebook and Twitter. A higher ranked blogger is paid more for a post than a lower ranked blogger.

Bloggers are required to be transparent when writing paid reviews, and must be upfront about being paid, Murphy said. Much of the guidelines that the Federal Trade Commission is studying about bloggers who review products are already being followed by IZEA's sites, he said.

While blogging for pay is supplemental income for the majority of bloggers, the option to make it a full-time job is there, Murphy said. "If you want to make a living doing this, you can," he said.

Andrew Bennett is more typical. He has a full-time job and blogs about his family, life and hobby as a photographer. He writes a few reviews each month and earns about $100 each month with IZEA. But he sees the potential for more, if bloggers want to work at it.

"There's a lot more opportunity out there if I had a range of blogs," he said.

To anyone considering blogging for pay, Murphy's advice is about the same as it would be for a high school graduate: Follow your passion.

Once you build up an audience, the money will follow.

Aaron Crowe is an unemployed journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read about his job search at www.AaronCrowe.net

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