You spoke my heart with this piece, Todd! I blog for my own reasons, and one of the big ones is that it sharpens my writing skill and gives me a continuous "creativity workout" that strengthens the other areas of my professional writing life.
I briefly forayed into affiliate links, but in the end have decided not to use that sort of marketing or advertising in my blogs. Instead, I will simply write, write, and write some more. If people are finding my writing useful perhaps I will put out a few book series based on those topics.
Otherwise I'll simply remain happy with my work and continue to do it for the pure fun of it. What a concept, right? Thanks for your insight and happy Saturday!