Joan Stewart Make Money by BloggingHere is a guest post from Joan Stewart, whose publicity tips I have followed and learned from for more than 10 years…

Make this the year you finally start treating your blog like a business and not a hobby.

That’s what 54-year-old Jim Hopkins is doing. The former reporter and editor for USA Today has been blogging about Gannett Co. for several years. His snarky blog, which is not affiliated with his former employer, keeps journalists informed of layoffs, budget cuts, ethics issues, and other news at Gannett.

Hopkins, who is unemployed, also does what most other bloggers would never do. He asks his incredibly loyal readers–mostly journalists or former journalists–for donations. They pay by cash, check or PayPal.

Want to contribute regularly? Use PayPal’s recurring payments option, Hopkins reminds readers on the front page of his blog where they see the big yellow “Donate” button.

Last year, he made about $5,000 in donations from readers and $11,000 from Google AdSense ads.

He also has turned his appeal for donations into a fun race against the clock, with periodic posts whenever he gets another check in the mail. The posts even include little photos of $20, $50 and $100 dollar bills and headlines like “A sudden embarrassment of riches” (when one donor gave him $225 within two days) and “In an envelope with no address: $60.”

Nonprofits, are you listening? Steal this idea and run with it!

I shared 26 more ideas on how to monetize your blog at a webinar I hosted earlier this year. Read more about Hopkins’ blog at my own blog.

Publicity expert Joan Stewart shows you how to use free publicity from traditional and social media to establish your credibility, enhance your reputation, position yourself as an expert, sell more products and services, and promote a favorite cause or issue. The tip above was excerpted from “The Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week,” her twice-a-week ezine about publicity and social media. Subscribe at http://www.PublicityHound.com and receive free the handy cheat sheet “89 Reasons to Write a Press Release” and “The Publicity Hound’s Top 10 Tips for Free Publicity.”