Making Money

Can I make money off my blog: the experiment?

It has now been about 4 months that I have been operating my blog and getting to understand how things work. From managing the design, posting new articles and attempting some marketing of the blog, in amongst a plethora of other blogs, that are opening and closing daily, and all competing for your time.

Readership has grown steadily. In fact, over the last 4 days I have had the equivalent number of visits equal to half of last month. I have about 1.000 followers on Twitter and my Pinterest page gets about 6.000 unique visitors a month.

I’ve enjoyed writing and thinking of ideas that may appeal to readers. Although I have a demanding full-time job, I’ve been able to find some time in the evenings or on weekends to write out an article, on average, about once a week.

I’m enjoying the experience as it provides an interesting outlet for my inner teacher. I’ve always been passionate about communicating, especially taking complex subjects and making them simple to understand. This blog is helping me do that and I’m excited to see how it will evolve over time and if readership will continue to pick up.

However, the time has now come to ask myself a question:

 

Can someone make any money off a blog?

 

I’ve done some basic research on the question and it appears, like in any industry, there are some people making spectacular revenues off blogging, but it appears they are in the minority. The vast majority makes enough for a coffee once a week, barely.

At the present, I have not been monetizing my blog at all.

But what if I did – at this stage of its growth? Would I make enough for that weekly coffee?

Enough of the thinking, — just do it.

If we think too much and too long, we usually don’t get around to the doing. So, I am going to get around to the doing now.

And I’m going to share with you, each week, whether I’ve been able to buy myself that coffee or not.

If you interested in this business model or you have your own site, this experiment is perfect for you.

 

Hang on, how does one monetize a blog?

 

I’ve read enough on the subject to know there are 3 main avenues to making money off a blog. As your traffic grows, new revenue opportunities might appear, but the below are the basic ways to do it.

 

1. Cost-per-Click (“CPC”) or Cost-per-View (“CPV”) adverts

CPC and CPV are both volume driven advertising methods. CPC is paid when someone clicks on a link displayed on your website. CPV is paid when someone just views your website.

In both of them, the advertiser – in my case I’m choosing an easy route to start with and I’m going to go with PropellerAds and Amazon – would pay my blog money each time a reader either clicks on a link or views the link. In the case of Amazon, they’d need to buy the product for my blog to start earning me coffee money.

From what I’ve been able to find it appears that the average for Google AdSense, in my domain of blogging, is around $3.50 for a CPC and about $5 for a CPV of 1000 views. Given my viewership I should make enough for a coffee or two every week, but that depends on the quality of my content and how many new or returning viewers keep looking at my site.

PropellerAds will suggest the ads for me and I’ll keep a close eye that it is appropriate for my domain.

Amazon will be books I am reading and suggestions for the readers of my blog.

This appears to be the easiest and fastest route to getting this experiment into motion.

 

2. Paid reviews or Content Ads

I’ve done a little reading on this and it seems there are some networks I can reach out to either accept other content on my site, that I would be paid for, after I approve it, or I could do a “no result obligation” review of something or some subject and get paid to do that.

Given the time commitments of my day job, I don’t feel I’d be suited to writing reviews as I barely have time for my own content, so I’ll avoid this for now.

However, I was recently contacted by a website to place some content on my blog. If this works out, I’m sure I can make some coffee money from that.

 

3. Selling ads directly

This seems like something that takes too much time as well as I’d need to work on building a network and figuring out how all this works. Things I don’t have time for right now. However, selling ads directly cuts out the middle men and probably means more coffee money for me, so I’ll put this on hold until I can figure out more about it. Watch this space for more to come.

 

Now that I have the ad-base, or revenue generating sources, set up, I should probably start marketing the blog a bit more vigorously.

If they don’t come I won’t be drinking coffee!

These are the steps I intend to take. (I’ll report back on these as well, so I can keep tab on my progress)

 

1. Twitter

I’ve been generally using Twitter to publicize my blog, but that doesn’t really work as tweets only last for about 30 seconds so “per eyeball” on my tweet I’d have to spend all day on twitter, spitting out ads. Not a great approach, however Twitter is great for seeing how other people are doing things and great for ideas. I’ll continue to be active in that space, but I won’t count on much traffic.

 

2. Facebook

This seems like a better bet, but my Facebook page is poor, and I’ll have to make things a bit slicker and more consistent to drive likes to the page and clicks through to my site.

 

3. Pinterest

I get quite a few visits on a page I’m not very active on, so this shows potential as well. I’ll need to get smarter on how I market on this site to drive more traffic.

 

4. Linkedin

This is an interesting one, as my blog’s subject matter is naturally slightly more aligned to a business market and when I’ve shared articles I’ve seen a pick up in traffic, so I will explore this avenue and see how I can better use it to drive traffic.

 

5. Spreading the word through comments

Another way that I know works, but which I haven’t been diligent with, is commenting on other more visited blogs that I follow. The odd times that I’ve done it, I have seen a small spurt of traffic, so I’ll need to aim to be more rigorous about this one as well.

 

 

With the above targets, I have the beginning of a marketing approach, though I need to industrialize it to make it fit into my time constraints. That’ll be the work of the next week, or so, to come up with a viable approach. Stay tuned for the outcome.

Now that I have the skeleton of “how to monetize my blog” experiment, I need to start putting things together and turning them on. You should be able to see the start in this blog post. There should be an advert at the top and one at the bottom, plus I added in an Amazon link if you want to read some more on the subject I’m busy exploring. If you don’t see it, hang on because I’ll be working on it.

Stay tuned for my weekly updates – every Wednesday for the next month at which time I’ll decide to continue this experiment or stop it.

Want to read more on making money off a blog? Click on the link below to check out a great resource.

 

The CFO

12 Comments

  • Edith Zemirou

    And by the way, I don’t like the new adds in your blog. It has nothing to do whith your content; it is not professionnal. May be you can choose better adds.

  • The CFO

    Thanks for the comment. I tried a new service in the experiment, but if it is not working in the right way, let me change the supplier.

  • Mr. Lyn

    Cool! It will be interesting to follow your experiment. We are taking a relaxed approach to blogging and we have no presence in social media so I´m looking forward to see the impact on the marketing side.

  • The CFO

    Thanks. I’m looking forward to it as well. I have low expectations for the moment so hoping to be postively surprised.

  • Independence Engineered

    Looking forward to tips and your progress! Can definitely use all the insight I can get for my blog as well.

    I totally feel you with regards to the comment on how this blogging thing can feel like a full time job on top of what you already do! I’m right there with you.

  • Joanna

    This is interesting. I started two blogs on different topics around the same time, and one thing I noticed about social media is how one blog seems more conducive to getting traffic from twitter and the other more so from facebook. I haven’t used/tried pinterest yet, but I’m wondering if I should.

  • The CFO

    I keep trying and Pinterest hasn’t yielded much so far but we will see if this 30 day experiment yields anything better. Thanks for following!

  • GenX FIRE

    It’s all about finding your voice, and if it resonates with people. I am getting the pleasure of talking about this with a community of folks who are interested. It’s like my astronomy hobby where I go to club events, and do public outreach with my toys. Commenting on folks blogs is fun for me. At the very least, staying into this will help me stay on my targets, and help keep me honest. For more than a few years I spent too much, and saved too little. I was just fortunate not to take it too far. About 6 weeks ago I started blogging, and I am commenting on articles I read anyway. The comments tend to drive traffic to my site, and to be honest, we are not talking about big numbers, but they are increasing. But again, this is what I was doing before I decided to add my voice; I’ve been reading these sites. I find I enjoy writing up the articles I post, and we will see where it goes. i do not plan on using social media, for now anyway. I suspect, if I get to a critical mass, then I should, but my young son takes more of my time than my hobbies. I’m okay with that.

  • The CFO

    Thanks and totally agree. I have been reading a lot but not commenting all that often. As part of this experiment I want to pick up that side and your comment reinforces that. Stay tuned to see how the combination of comments and social media do.

  • Mindy (@bangkok2blighty)

    Sounds like a good experiment! I think I’ve been blogging a bit longer than you, but there are days when I just don’t want to touch the blog between work and other commitments. Doesn’t really help to build an audience, let alone money for a coffee 🙂 I’ll be following along – good luck!

  • The CFO

    Thanks! Yes it can be hard to keep writing and this experiment was a way to give me a short term objective and see what I can do with it. Sometimes you need a little self imposed motivation.
    Good luck with your blog too.

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