Today is a little departure from the usual here at the Nirvana. Christina over at A Closet Writer has been hosting a blogging series all week and it is ending here. Today. She asked me to chat about making a blog a business. If you are new around here or want a refresher course on how I ended up with four websites, the cliff-note version is on the B2B Blog.
Does she make any money blogging?
Yes and no.
Thanks for the super vague answer.
If I was blogging for the money, I would be a complete and utter failure. Thankfully, that is not why I blog. I blog to entertain myself and the fact that I just used the word “utter” just made me laugh.
What I make from my online adventures does NOT feed my family. Blog-Stedman carries that load. My blogging started as a hobby and continues to be one even though there is money involved.
A minimum wage job over the last 3 years would have banked more cash. On the other hand, if I had opened a coffee shop, I feel like I would have no more earning potential than I do now and I would be close to $100,000 in debt.
I look at my online empire *cough* as a time investment for the future.
The future is shifting online. No one knows what it will look like. I like to think I have some idea what it might be and am positioning myself for something bigger later.
My first trial with earning blogging money was with sidebar ads. I earned $4.21. Well, I didn’t actually SEE the money since I needed to have a $100 credit before I could get it.
I then sold some year long text links. Those paid better, but didn’t really fit into my blog. During my blog re-design one of them inadvertently got removed. I felt horrible and realized that the responsibility involved wasn’t worth what I was being paid.
My next idea was to try affiliate advertising. 6 months later I went over to the affiliate site to see how much money I had earned only to find that no one had purchased anything. Not. One. Thing.
I started looking at the time these things took away from my blogging time. In my head I developed a number that would make it worth it. You might check my sidebar for the companies willing to meet that number…oh, crap. Yep, no one has offered me what I think I am worth.
Even though no one has paid me for direct sponsorship of my blog, I do make money hosting events for the community I have built, rare sponsored posts, and social media consulting.
If you are looking to make money from your blog, I encourage you to look beyond your blog.
Look at what you have built.
- Do you have local blogger contacts?
- Do you have a newsletter?
- Do you have a unique audience – geography, niche, etc.?
- Do you have a well-rounded social media profile that companies want to emulate?
- Can you make and edit a video?
All these things I have sold. They are much easier to sell than a 125 x 125 ad in your sidebar. They are much more lucrative. The reason is because when you are providing an audience for an event, a silly video for a company’s YouTube channel, or a newsletter that speaks directly to 500 Dallas area moms, you are providing them with something they are seeking.
You are the solution to their problem.
That hardly even feels like selling.
All this can be done while you continue to build your blog. Just try to make sure whatever you do to make money doesn’t DETRACT from your ultimate goal. My hardest decisions are what sponsored posts to accept. For me I have decided never to publish more than one sponsored post a week, never host more than one giveaway a month and the company has to be a favorite of mine. I say no a lot which is sometimes painful if there is decent money involved.
If you build it, they will come?
I think so.
I hope so.
My ultimate goal is to get paid for what I love to do and what has gotten me to this place…blogging.