Can You Make an Income Blogging?
A few weeks ago I started to think seriously about monetizing this blog/website. I wondered what does it take to make a blog profitable and by profitable I mean make it pay your bills, not just pay for its own expenses.
Up until now I have just blogged as a hobby and along the way I found I really enjoyed it all. I enjoy doing painting tutorials, videoing them (even if my video skills are lacking finesse I still love it) and sharing them with everyone that would like to learn to paint.
My husband and I both share the love of cooking, to me it is another avenue of creativity. Right now learning how to stage food and photographing it is so much fun, there is so much more to it than you would think.
Gardening is another great passion do I share that you don’t have to play by all the rules out there to have a beautiful garden.
I have blogged here for 2 years and have a good base to start from, and though I cannot devote to it full time I have been researching and will spend a bit more time in consciously monetizing. I am new to this end of things and it will be a ride but I am going to share the fun in case you are also wanting to give this whole enterprise a try.
I will test out different options and suggestions. And since this blog really does not have a single niche but is rather a bit of a few niches it may be harder than others but we are going to give blogging for income a try with this experiment.
For newbies or wanna be bloggers I started with this post
And then I shared a few of the Plugins that I find very helpful
I shall share some other plugins I find useful in another post but today I am going to start reporting in on my efforts on monetizing. I will continue to do so on a monthly basis to see how it is all progressing.
What I am Doing Now
Right now I have only Google Adsense ads on my blog and a couple affiliate ads.
Google Adsense is a click through ad network, meaning someone has to click on the ad to gain any income. I have an ad at the top of the post, one in my sidebar and one at the end of posts.
Adsense only allows 3 ads per page and if you break that rule you could be banned from Adsense. Income varies based on what advertisers are paying at the moment so you don’t always make more even if you get more clicks or pageviews. But it is nice that you just plop it on your blog and it does the work. Sometimes it shows ads you don’t think is a good fit and you can block those.
I have applied to a couple Pay per View ad networks (they pay on how many people visit not on anyone clicking on an ad).
One network has already said I am not a fit for their advertisers for the next 6 months and I can apply again after that period.
I have read that this network is known for that response the first couple of times around but I also was not really certain I wanted to join them as they do restrict your freedom in using other ad networks. I just thought I would give them a try and being turned down was not a big disappointment nor surprise.
The other I have not heard from at all and I applied a couple weeks ago so I am wondering if I did something wrong while applying since I did not even get a confirmation that I had applied.
I am still researching other ad networks.
One thing I have found in my research is that Ad Networks sometimes change their rules and programs so what worked with them as little as 2 years ago may no longer apply.
So keep that in mind if you decide to start researching reports on making income and working with ad networks. Try to get the most current information.
Income other than Ads
Along with ads having a product is a great way to make income. One thing I have failed to do the past few months is promoting my website sales and that is an avenue of income for me. I need to update my product pages and make them more visible.
I am working on an eBook of sorts with painting patterns. I have the tutorials but I have had requests for patterns for people to follow. That would make a great eBook. Actually, with all the patterns I have concocted it would make a few eBooks. Pricing eBooks affordably while making them worth the time and effort is a delicate balance but you do want to be sure you don’t under price yourself. If you provide valuable information it is worth something.
Actual Numbers for October 2014
This is a screen shots from Flower Patch Farmhouse for October 2014 from Google Analytics:
For the sake of income 21,000 + page views is not good enough. Ad networks sometimes require over a certain amount of pageviews a month and I am not there yet. That being said I need to build my audience.
One way is to better my photography.
Better photographs attract more readers. More readers mean more people see my signs and paintings I have for sale thus obviously increasing income there .
One of the things I need to work on is staging my art. The way I do it now does not really give a sense of scale nor how it could look on customers walls, over a mantel or wherever they may wish to display it.
To fix that I have been scouring this eBook (affiliate link) and it has been a huge help. Just the way it is written and how everything is explained has gone a long way in helping not only my food photography but also my other types of photography. I am so glad I bought this eBook!
Traffic Numbers for October
Can you see that Pinterest is #2?
That is where better photography will pay off as well as some other sites I have started to submit to.
Organic traffic is great, that is where the search terms come in to play, seeing that my organic traffic is in the top 3 is encouraging.
Income on Flower Patch Farmhouse for October
Adsense Ads on FlowerPatchFarmhouse.com $90.44
Adsense Ads on my YouTube Channel $74.33 (YouTube is where I have my painting videos that complement my tutorials on FlowerPatch)
Sales on Website $110.00
Now this total has not deducted expenses. But the only real expense is the hosting of this site and a couple of pieces of lumber, which equals under $10.
Not bad for a hobby but my website sales have dropped since I have not been really paying attention to that side of things.
Goals for November
1. Focus on getting better at my photography which will benefit both my blog numbers and my website sales.
2. Continue promoting on Social Networks more consistently.
3. Try and get more tutorials with videos completed. The tutorials are what most folks come by my blog for (according to Google).
Those 3 things will be a tall order so I won’t add anymore to that list. We are taking baby steps here.
I know the growth will be slow as I have to work and that cuts into time spent here. To make real money at blogging or website sales you need to spend the same amount of time at it as you would a regular job and since that is not going to happen just yet then I will have to be content with slow growth. So I am going to make a long term goal of working at improving this blog and its profitability over a year.
The secret to sticking it out will be the understanding that at times I can hate it but push thru and do it anyways. Putting it all out here for everyone to see is a stretch for me and it is scary. It is hard enough to fail in private but to do so in public is a whole other enchilada! But I know if I don’t record this as I go I will forget important lessons that are worth passing on.
So here goes an interesting year!
Have you tried monetizing yet?
If so, what works for you?