Make Money Blogging?

by Lindy on November 17, 2011

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If you’ve been reading this website for a bit, you may be wondering why I haven’t counted my blog income as money we’ve made so far. I’d be lying if I told you it wasn’t part of my evil plan all along to start a blog about make money and then make money from that very blog itself.

Well, I haven’t included my blog income because I haven’t actually made any money yet, until last week, when I received this check from my ad network.

Check in the mail

And then I received another payment of $30.80 today.

So after 15 months of blogging, I’ve officially made $127.21. If I’m conservative and say I’ve worked on the blog every day for one hour, that’s an hourly rate of $0.27. Ha, I think I might want to improve that stat, eh?

I’ll also take this moment to mention that I have $67 accumulated in Google Adsense, but they don’t pay out until my balance reaches $100.

The funny thing is, I’ve had the ability to make more money from this site for a while now. I’ve received several emails from advertisers who want to pay me to put various types of ads on this site, but every email I’ve ever received from an advertiser I’ve completely ignored.

(Not a very good business practice, by the way)

For one, I didn’t know what rates to charge. I tried asking Google once, but he was no help, so I stopped there.

For two, I didn’t know the technical details. I know it sounds silly, but I didn’t even know how to put an ad in my sidebar. And how do they pay me anyways? Monthly, or all at once? And do they do it by PayPal, or by Starbucks gift cards?

For three, some advertisers had requested to pay me for things I hadn’t decided if I wanted to do yet – like publishing sponsored posts, or putting paid links in my old articles.

And finally, there was the time. I don’t have a lot of it in my life, so it was easier to just ignore those emails than to drop everything and figure this whole selling private ads business out.

Luckily, many of these answers have come to me over the past few months. I’ve caught a few tidbits from other bloggers who have been transparent about their ad rates, I gleaned a little at the Financial Blogger Conference, I followed every Twitter article I saw pop up on the subject, and then I figured out some of the technical details on my own.

So I’ve dedicated these last few months of this year to getting Minting Nickels game-ready for ramping up the private ad sales.

For one, I need to make a media kit. Essentially this is a list of rates I can email to advertisers when they come knocking, and would help cut down some of the time factor involved in responding to them.

For two, I’ve decided to outsource. There’s another blogger who has been kind enough to take me on as a client to broker some ad deals for this site. I’m super stoked I have an ally working behind the scenes on my behalf!

For three, I’m working on my stats, specifically page rank and traffic. In the past I’ve tried not to worry too much about these numbers, and focused more on providing my best content (<—don’t believe this lie, my obsession with stats may have caused me to eat a whole carton of ice cream on occasion, but in general I try to not let them get me down. Try being the operative word). Better stats mean more money from advertisers, and there are a few things I can do to boost them without losing my mind, like being more diligent about submitting to blog carnivals, for one.

And finally, I’ve been sprucing things up around here, which may or may not be necessary for making more money (Ramit would say not), but necessary for my perfectionist tendencies (I can’t help it, Ramit!). These are things I’ve been meaning to do anyways, like update my about page, make a page for DIY Friday, and check that all my RSS and social media links work, etc. Now, if only I could get that darned +1 button to not be flying out in space. Any coders out there know how to fix this?

I’m not sure how I’ll be reporting my blog income going forward. I want to keep it part of the running total, but don’t want to bore you all every time I get a check. I’ll be figuring that out as we go I guess. But in the meantime, I’m getting my wallet open in preparation to catch all that money that comes flying in (I hear that helps).

If you have a blog, have you monetized it? If not, do you plan to? If you don’t have a blog, do you think we’re all eating the crazy wafers to try and make money this way?


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  • I’ve monetized pretty much from the first time I got an email from an ad rep. I try to keep the ads pretty unobtrusive, but the extra money has been great (especially given my messed up job situation). I haven’t made a ton of money or anything, but I did manage to buy a new computer and have used a lot of the money to pay bills/add to savings.

    I know no one wants their blog to become a huge blinking advertisement, but there are lots of ways to monetize without making it annoying for readers. I’m really excited because I’m FINALLY getting my first Google check at the end of the month. It’s nice to feel like people are reading (and clicking through every now and then).

    I think it’s great that you outsourced your ad stuff – you’ll be surprised how many opportunities come your way once ad reps know they can add your site to their lists. Keep us posted! :)

    • Ron

      It is great to have some form of income that isn’t 100% connected to one’s full time work. The truth is that there is a lot of security in this as it helps to reduce the risk of what would occur if one were to suddenly lose their job.

    • Lindy

      Great job on the Google check! And nice you were able to buy a new computer too, that’s a good chunk of change.

  • Great post. I just have little ads on my blog, but I don’t think I’d mind monetizing it a bit more.

  • AWESOME! I think it’s great when blogs monetize. It costs time and money to run a blog, why not be compensated a little bit for it?

    I’ve been monetizing my blog and haven’t made a ton of money at all, but I do put any extra money we make into a vacation fund.

    Can you do a post on how to help your page rank? I’ve been doing little things here and there. And where do you find blog carnivals? Would love some tips, thanks!

    • Lindy

      I mostly participate in the carnivals I see my other blog friends doing – Carnival of Personal Finance, Festival of Frugality, the Totally Money Blog Carnival, the bigger ones. There’s a whole website dedicated to carnivals of all niches, but it can be overwhelming to dig through.

      I will definitely do a post on the ways I’ve been working on page rank.

  • So far I’ve only used google adsense and right now nothing. I’m going to wait til I retire because I don’t want to go up into another tax bracket (as if!)

    • Lindy

      Yep, you gotta be wary of those tax brackets. :) But the expenses of running a blog become deductible too, so it all balances out.

  • I’ve montetized a bit. I also outsourced my advertising (and I suspect we’re using the same awesome person)and I did accept a paid ad. I only signed up for AdSense after FinCon because I didn’t want to make it appear that my site was a big advertising banner. I also staff write but that’s no monetizing my blog, per se. It’s just monetizing me!

    I’m excited to see how things work out for you. Especially since you’re one of my favorites :)

    • Lindy

      Monetizing yourself counts! I waited 9 months before putting adsense up, but I wonder where I’d be if I’d put it up from the very beginning.

  • Going to FINCON was a great experience for me too. I learned a lot. I’ve been reading lots of articles and gleaning tips, since I’m just under 6 months into getting my blog going.

    So far I’m not a huge fan of side bar ads, and it seems I’m more into affiliate links/resources. I only write about products I personally use so if people have problems I know what they are talking about. Sponsored posts is another way to go. I like using Google text ads too.

    • Lindy

      It’s good that there are so many options for monetizing a blog. I like the idea of sidebar ads because they’re less work on the front end. But I hear you can get bigger returns from affiliate links if you play your cards right.

  • Also, Congrats on passing the $6,000 mark for cash saved!

    • Lindy

      Thanks! (and thanks for noticing!)

  • I think it’s a good choice to hire a rep to help you. That way you can focus on the content and site maintenance since it sounds like you’re short on time. Congratulation on your first check! ;)

  • Ann

    This is a great, timely post! I’ve been thinking about monetizing in a more organized manner, so I’ll keep an eye out for what sorts of ads are popping up on your page.

  • Susanna

    I have a blog but post sporadically plus it’s pretty boring most likely. Ihave no idea how to do advertisements – heck I haven’t posted pics in probably 2 years now. plus I don’t want ads for stuff I don’t support or am at least neutral about. I’ve recently heard of some bloggers making a LOT – more than I could even dream of. I’d have to spruce mine up though and stop rambling so much.

  • I just started my blog on monday. Seeing how long it took you to make $127 I have a lonnnnng ways to go. I started as a means for my wife and I to straighten out our finances, when everyone sees it you kind of have to be honest with yourself. And any money earned as a bonus.

    • Lindy

      I didn’t throw a single ad up for six months, so that contributed to the long time frame.
      Congrats on your new blog! I agree, blogging is a great way to keep on track with your goals.

  • Pingback: Help Me Decide If I Should Make Money Blogging | Minting Nickels()

  • I love that you totally ignored emails from ad agents in the beginning. LOL I’m doing that right now, actually! I’m in a sort of analysis paralysis over accepting a particular type of advertising arrangement on one of my sites, so I’m just ignoring the situation for now. haha

    I’m having a good time reading about all of your money-making ventures. We sound A LOT alike! I found myself scouring the town for unconventional, cheap packaging options for Amazon DVDs and books…so I got a real kick out of your DIY bubble wrap and brown paper tutorial! I think I’m gonna do that.

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