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)
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.
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.
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.
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.