Monetize Your Blog, part 1: Don’t do it for the money
When I began blogging way back in 2005, I hardly knew what a blog was and I had no idea that an online personal journal could become a source of income. Things have changed a little, and now it seems like everyone with a blog aspires to make money with it.
Things have changed for us, too. I don't make a very large income blogging, but it's definitely enough to help our household budget. I earn income from both my personal blog Life in a Shoe and here at Frugal Hacks. I've had several real-life friends and acquaintances ask me recently about how to do this, and I'm going to share a bit of what I have learned over the past several years.
My first tip is:
DON'T DO IT FOR THE MONEY.
Really. Personal blogs are a very good way to get your feet wet but they are difficult to monetize effectively. If you can find a good niche, you stand a better chance of making money but you'll need to know how to use the opportunity and that presents a steep learning curve. It's a good idea to have a well established personal blog before you try that.
If you're looking for a good return on your time, a blog is the wrong place to look. Anyone can put google adsense in their sidebar and hope for the best, but if you want to make more than pennies per month, you're far better off waiting tables.
Blogging itself requires a significant investment of time, but that's just the beginning. To make money from your blog, you need more than just unique, appealing content - though that is a very good start. You'll need to invest time in publicizing your blog and attracting advertisers.
I can help you with this, but if you don't enjoy blogging enough to do it for pleasure, you are likely to quit before you see financial results. But if you really love blogging, you just might be able to turn a profit on your hobby and justify all those hours you're spending in the warm glow of the monitor.
Are you ready to give it a shot?