Blogging 103: Blog Monetization

*Point of Note – All information in this post is my personal opinion based off my experiences on WordPress and from working in Digital Marketing. Please take anything said with a grain of salt and make the decision that’s best for you.

I read a lot of blog posts, from people new to the WordPress community, who are looking to monetize their blog almost immediately within creation. While I’m all for the entrepreneurial spirit, I think it’s important to note that you have to pay for the Premium Personal Account that has site monetization and for all of the Business Accounts that have site monetization. This means you don’t just get to run these ads for free.

Before you go and purchase this account that allows site monetization, I think it’s an important question to ask yourself, are you getting enough traffic to your blog to even make back the money you’re paying for the account?

Fun Fact: I once worked for a company in which we ran ads on the company blog. With 20,000+ hits to the blog per week, we were making on average… about 75 cents per day. I say this not to scare people away from the decision to monetize your blog. If you want to do it, do it! But do so being informed. Keep in mind that a WordPress account that allows you site monetization is not a ‘get rich quick’ scheme. You have to put money in to get money out, and, what money you make from ads is based on site traffic and clicks.

In the short term, without established traffic visiting your blog, it could be difficult to garner enough revenue from those advertisements to even pay off the fee the account cost you. I say this not to discourage, but to educate. If you have money to burn, this might not matter to you. But, if you’re living pay-cheque to pay-cheque, or struggling to get by, putting your hard-earned money on a WordPress account that isn’t going to return it’s value might cause you to be discouraged with blogging.

In the long term, if your goal is to monetize your blog that’s a very smart, sustainable approach. Building your audience and your community will ensure an established level of traffic to your blog that can allow you some foreshadowing as to potential ad revenue that you can make. If your blog so happens to get more traffic one day over another, that’s an added bonus. But, at the very least, you’ll be able to estimate possible money earned based from average hits your blog gets.

I think that it’s also important to note professional bloggers don’t make the majority of their money from ad revenue. Ad revenue is often an after-thought in blog revenue from someone who’s professionally blogging. Bloggers will use ads, but these ads are not their primary source of income. These ads are often a secondary, or more likely, a tertiary source of income. If someone is really successful with blogging these ads might just be a fourth or fifth source of income.

Professional bloggers make their substantial pay-cheques from things like sponsorship, brand collaborations, selling of services, EBooks and so on and so forth. And they’re awarded those sources of income because they have an already established audience of people reading their blog. Sponsorship can mean big bucks, depending on the size of your site. While working at the aforementioned company who’s blog that I ran, a sponsored post for us could make anywhere between $500-$5000. $5,000 for a single post was a big difference from the 75 cents per day the blog was making in ads.

So where does that leave you?

Well, if blogging something that you really want to make a go at, it’s going to require some hustle. It’s going to require some strategic digital marketing practices being put in place to grow your blog for not only temporary traffic, but for people who will keep coming back, who want, need and desire to see what you have to share.

It’s going to involve strategic positioning. It’s going to involve taking the initiative to properly use your analytics in your favour, and it’s going to take work. (Unless you’re already famous or the child of a celebrity, that is)

If you’ve got something to bring to the table, something that can benefit others, or bring them joy, connect with them or catch their attention, then you will need to use all of the Digital Marketing tools in your arsenal to make sure people read your work. Because… like I’ve said before… just because you write it does not mean people will read it. There’s plenty of profoundly intelligent people on this platform with a lot to offer the blogging community (and the world) who don’t know how to Digitally Market themselves, and as a result, will never get to share their expertise as far as it deserves.

Like this post and want to read more about Digital Marketing and showcasing your blog? Read any of these posts:

On building your dream blog >

On making your blog stand out >

Blogging 102 – Tips for Blog Growth >

Beginners guide to wordpress analytics (and using them to grow your audience) >

Why you shouldn’t buy followers >

62 thoughts on “Blogging 103: Blog Monetization

    1. I think that’s a great reason for blogging.

      I think for a lot of people, it’s a curiosity. Being a blogger seems like an easy, and glamorous, profession. So they think that if they can get into it, they can make a lot of money. I made a rant about digital marketing where I explained that everyone thinks it’s easy so they can just make a blog and make a million bucks.

      I don’t think it’s just you for wondering. There are a lot of people who make blogs for fun and to share, and then there are a lot of people who make blogs to try and make money. For the latter crowd, I think it’s important they be educated about how it actually works, ya know?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That’s a really good outlook to have. I’m bettering if it ever does happen for you you’ll appreciate that moment so much more because you didn’t force it.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. When I first started mine I was really tempted just to throw money at it, but after taking a moment I realized that’s probably a bad idea, for now at least. It’s a hard thing to work out, especially when you want to be “Successful” in the writing game.

    Great post V

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Jake. I think that’s a really smart decision you made. Buying the most expensive account isn’t always the right step to take – at least not right away. You work hard for your money so you might as well use it strategically. Right?

      Liked by 3 people

    1. They’re working for me? I don’t think you’re drunk but I’m not sure why they aren’t working.

      If you want to read them they’re all under the ‘Marketing’ tag in my top menu bar.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I’ve been writing on this blog for 3+ years (and have another one for 6+). The thought of monetizing my blogs has been in the back of my mind for the past couple of years, and I’ve yet to make the leap to doing so. I think it’s important to have a career first (or at least, have a way to generate income) rather than starting from nothing. Makes it less painful if you start out with a bit of money to invest in rather than having none at all. Continuing to build an audience is still where I’m at, but hopefully one day I’ll have built up a good amount and have the resources and confidence to go for it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’d agree with you. Its important, when you’re starting out, to not have it be something you ‘NEED’ to make money from. If you want to, power to you. But if you don’t have another job and are putting too much stock in your blog, it might just lead to a lot of disappointment and heartbreak.

      That being said, I’m personally a lover your blog and everything you post. Your content is strong and it’s there. I think once you reach the audience you want, you’ll find great success if you ever decide to take that leap!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Definitely! One shouldn’t believe that just by blogging will make you rich quickly; it can take years and a lot of investing before you even generate a decent income.

        For the moment, I’m continuing to write because I love it…and finding my niche in travel has made it all the more enjoyable. I really appreciate your kind words– will have to see where the blog goes over time!

        Liked by 3 people

  3. I got personally bought the premium membership just to have my own URL, rather than having WordPress in it. It looks better! If I happen to get money out of it, cool! But it isn’t the main goal.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. That’s a really great way to look at it! I think you’re definitely doing the right thing if that’s your outlook!

      Point of note if anyone actually reads these comments – you don’t have to have premium to get your own domain. You can get a personal account and get your own domain.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Hi, V! You nailed it! Bloggers need advice like this and an honest opinion on monetizing a blog. Having ads on a blog is a nuisance at times. It confuses me when I navigate. Clean, white pages are always the best.

    Maybe it’s the hype that gets people to monetize. For me, it’s not a sensible thing to do if a blog has just started. Perhaps when the blog gets huge traffic, monetizing is an option.

    A website or blog has to be a place to build one’s professional brand that can pave a way to opportunities that offer bigger income vs. monetizing.

    Hope everything is well with you.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much!

      Personally, I have an adblocker on my computer, so I don’t see the ads anyway. But, I do agree, it can be a nuisance if someone goes overboard with it.

      I wholeheartedly agree with you that a website or blog has to be a place to build a brand that can pave ways for new opportunities versus expecting that income to flow in immediately.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. You have great info V!
    I decided to go with the premium plan, only because I do have ambitions of monetizing my blog, but you are so right on about AD revenue. It is NOT going to be a source of income lol. I have made .26 in the last two months from ads if anyone wants an example.
    I am currently writing an e-book and plan to write more in the future. Have you considered going the e-book route? You have the educational background and work experience to write something really informative!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I was watching you talk about your Ebook you’re writing on InstaStories. Honestly, it’s not something I’ve ever thought of just because my writing is far too messy. With my blog, I can claim it messy because it’s my blog. With an ebook it would be like… who is this girl and why can’t she spell check? lol

      Liked by 3 people

  6. That was a very good post- so informative, all the commenst so helpful as well. I have bought a business paln – not sure about using it properly though. Will read your marketing blogs. For me this really is a hobby and I am loving doing it.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I appreciate this information… But do you have any tips for people who are technologically inept and marketing dumb? I have NO idea how ads work or SEO or any of that junk. And every article I read about it makes me go cross-eyed three sentences in. My frustration level is absurdly high. 😦

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s something that I could write an entire novel on if you let me. lol

      Do you have any specific questions that I can answer for you to keep myself from rambling too much!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Well. I’ve been asking similar questions to several bloggers who seem to be doing well, and I’m embarrassed to admit that I usually don’t even understand their answers.
        I don’t know what a plug in is.
        I don’t know what affiliate links are.
        I don’t understand Cookies or Ad sense.
        I don’t know how to build a media kit or even what one is or should be.
        I try to Google the answers but I just end up getting more confused. I’ve tried looking into online classes or community courses but they either don’t exist or they don’t work with my schedule.
        My budget is also non existent 😭😭😭
        Sorry you asked?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. 1. A website plugin is essentially an added piece of software that allows you increased functionality on your site. This can be a popup window asking for email address subscriptions, this can be an ability to play videos, etc… All plugins look different on different websites depending on their base functionality.

        Affiliate links (I’ll us Amazon’s for example) means that if you click that link someone posts and it takes you to Amaazon and you end up puchasing the product, the affiliate (person who gave you the link) will make a commission from Amazon off the sale.

        Cookies is an internet term that essentially means what you’re looking at is being tracked. If you go to a website and it says “We use cookies, please click that you accept” that means anything you look at on that website is being tracked and that they’re going to remember that info. If you come back there in a day, a week or a year… if you haven’t cleared your history, those same products you initally looked at will be recommended to you again.

        Adsense is just using google to run your ads rather than WordPress. It’s just another alternative.

        A Media Kit is if you’re a creative. Being a writer you could create yourself one. Depending on your graphic design capaibilities you might want to pay for someone to make it for you. It’s a booklet that showcases your talents, any highlights about yourself, any places you’ve been published – it’s basically a really fancy, really expensive looking resume. So for me, my Media Kit showcases the different places I’ve been published and has links to their websites or images of my name in print. Think of it like a brag book. You give it out when you’re conversing with new clients or potential new clients to brag about yourself and your capabilities.

        If any of this doesn’t make sense or needs further clarification, please tell me and I’d be happy to answer!

        Liked by 3 people

  8. I totally agree with what you’re saying. While I would love to be able to monetize my blog and youtube channel (who doesn’t like extra money, right?) I know the traffic isn’t there. It’d be something I’d need to build up to… But I’m not keen on putting in the effort to produce truly quality content, its just a hobby for me. Honestly I’m surprised that anyone looks at my stuff at all! Although even with a small audience I’m not above shilling some referral links for services or products I actually use, but that’s mostly because I’m blogging about what’s going on in my life and using said services / products is part of that.
    To me monetization is like winning the lottery, it’d be fantastic if it happened but I doubt it ever will… Who knows though, maybe the next big thing will be hearing about people randomly bumbling through life and I’ll go viral 😛

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I don’t know that it’s winning the lottery. I think those who are successful with blogging do work really hard at it. But, i would say operating with the outlook that it is a hobby for now is a really good way to go about it. If it’s a hobby you won’t be disappointed in lack of monetary value being made on your blog!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m very curious about this. I started my blog as an outlet for my feelings that weren’t always positive, but I have thought about monetising, until I saw how much it costs to be able to. I wanted to know if ad revenue is gained by views of a post with ads on it, or do those ads need to be clicked?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ads on a WordPress blog need to be clicked on. If you scroll up a little bit in the comments section, there’s a comment from Geneva (CerratoMom) in which she mentions making 26 cents on ad revenue in the past two months. She might be able to tell you how many hits her blog gets a day so you can guage how yours would compare.

      Liked by 3 people

  10. I pay for the premium plan because I wanted to have my own url. I just recently added the ads to my page for fun, I’ve made $.01 haha. Blogging for me started off as a way to deal with my son’s death, and now I just want to help others heal. I look at blogging as a way to connect with others.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I hear a lot of people saying that as well. And if you do that, that’s great! But if anyone reads this, just know you can have your own URL with a Personal Plan and don’t have to have the Premium plan, as it is more exensive!

      I believe you when you say your revenue from ads is that low.

      Also, you sound like a sweet soul. ❤ Thinking of trying to help others heal knowing what you've been through… that's love and kindness of a good person right there. Thank you ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  11. I love this post! I agree with you that some people think blogging is an easy way to get lots of money, but it’s not the way it looks. I can only write one post every week because of my job, so it’s hard to gain an audience for me. I do this here for fun anyway, to get in touch with people (writing is easier for me than talking) and to improve my English as it’s not my native language. I am glad when there are like 10 or 20 people reading my post 😊

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s a really great outlook to have. Honestly, if you’re strategic about how you market your blog for growth, one post a week shouldn’t hold you back! It’s all in how you operate.

      By the way, your English is GREAT for it not being you native language. It might just be better than mine.

      Liked by 3 people

  12. What I personally feel is that monetization with AdSense is a good decision. The only thing is that we, the bloggers, should not only be worried about earning. Every blogger should give more focus on the contents, which would take care of everything. Thanks for your amazing guidance.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I worked in Digital Marketing and PR for nearly a decade. So, I’ve made a lot of mistakes over the years…

        If I can stop people from making the same mistakes I did, then I might as well help them. Right?

        Liked by 2 people

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