What do you think of sponsorship and advertising on blogs ? + poll

I read an interesting fact – well more than interesting – STAGGERING.

Laurie at tipjunkie.com makes $12,000 plus a month from her blog simply from her Google Adsense advertising revenue alone.  What ?  How much ?  I nearly spat out my coffee.  No wonder she looks so happy.

Laurie from Tip JunkieBut it certainly got me to thinking?  I took a look at her site and the adverts and placement.  Now there are some things to consider – her ‘traffic’ being the most important.  According to Zombie Stat, tipjunkie.com gets an average of 69,000 unique visitors every day, and around 412,000 page views.  They estimate that the total income from the website probably amounts to $825 per day.  Wow.

To compare, I put in my own site (running since December) to see how I measured up – obviously not expecting to get above her toenail.  My stats are around 179 visitors and about 350 page views.  These stats look a little lower than my current visitors and I suspect they have been averaging over a certain time-frame.  I currently get around 350-600 page views a day.  Zombie Stat averages my income to be around $1 a day.  I have to say that they are severely overstating my earnings.

My actual blog income for January was a massive $3.31.

So how do I measure up?  Assuming my views are 500 a day on average and hers are 412,000, how do my earnings compare.  500 / 412,000 x $12,000 per month = $14.56  So my blog should be earning me $14.56 per month if I was doing as well.  Makes my $3.31 for the month look rather paltry.

But as a blog reader, and now a blog writer, income from blogging is an interesting topic.  I’m writing specifically about three areas today which I am considering for my own blog.

 

Sponsored blog posts.  These can fall into two categories as far as I can see.

1 – a post written about a subject or product which is usually either unrelated or only loosely related to the blog content.  The writer has been paid a set fee to write and publish this post to advertise the product.  An advertiser wants to get their product in front of that blog’s readership – usually female, because a woman who reads a sewing blog for example, probably also worries about wrinkles and might be interested in a post reviewing a wrinkle/aging product.  This type of sponsorship usually comes with a disclaimer that the writer was remunerated for the post but the opinion and review are their own.

2 – a sponsor for a regular post. I often see sponsors for linky parties these days.  No doubt a linky party takes some time to set up and administer each week.  It brings a lot of traffic as other bloggers visit the party to link up their posts for the week, to bring traffic to their blog.  Or non-bloggers visit to get a round up of the week’s best tutorials.  So the blog host invites a sponsor to advertise with a banner, button or text link on the post in order to earn a little revenue in return for the advertisement.So Sew Easy:  My blogging income revealed !  What do you think of sponsorship and advertising on blogs?  + poll

 

What do you think of these two options?  The first one makes me feel a little uneasy.  I was recently approached by a company to write a sponsored post in return for a free product to try, and another one to use for a giveaway.  The product is nothing at all to do with sewing, but it is on a subject that women readers might find interesting and it is a product that no doubt many women might use.  Should I accept this offer and write the post on my blog?  I would really appreciate your input.

 

So Sew Easy:  My blogging income revealed !  What do you think of sponsorship and advertising on blogs?  + pollThe second option seems a lot more acceptable to me.  A discreet button or banner at the bottom of a regular post mentioning a sponsor without going into a lot of detail.  I was thinking of adding a sponsor to my post about the Free Patterns Pinterest Board.  This is the post that gets the most traffic so far.  So if I added a ‘sponsored by’ button at the bottom it would get a lot of views – and if anyone clicked on it I would get a few cents.  Taking me closer to my $12,000 per month target!

 

In addition to the option of Sponsored Posts, there is:

 

Blog Advertising.  Posting adverts on your blog for other services, products, businesses and websites.  Get paid a few cents per click on the advert.

Like Laurie with her enormous advertising revenue from Google Adsense, I have a couple of advert areas on my blog sidebar.  You can see these on the right hand side – a couple near the middle and a couple near the bottom.  Under Sponsors and Other Recommendations.  I have very little control over what adverts appear here and I don’t like this so much because I am worried about totally unsuitable adverts, or ones which make me cringe.  If I have to see that advert about 5 foods that make you have a fat belly and show a rotten banana – I’m gonna scream !  (I hope you can’t see that on mine!)

However, if someone clicks on these adverts then I get a few cents.  Or maybe one cent.  It’s certainly not very much.

Blog - special offersToday I added something new to try out.  It’s right at the bottom on the right hand side under Reader Offers.  I feel these offer more value to my readers than the regular adverts.  The top one is for coupons – scroll down and see a coupon you like for something you buy, print it out – you save money and I get a few cents for referring you to the coupon from the manufacturer.  There are LOTS to choose from.  In the second box there are more general offers like specials, discounts, deals, codes, and other opportunities to sign up for things – like free contact lenses, a free diabetic meter, etc.  I only get a few cents if you actually sign up, not just for clicking, so it has to be valuable to my readers to be ‘valuable’ to me.

 

I’d like to know what you think about the blog advertising.  Is one type better than the other from a reader’s point of view?  What do you think of the regular adverts, and what about the Reader Offers – do you prefer one over the other?

And the third option for blog income:

 

Affiliate links.

An affiliate link is like an advert and it can appear in a post or a sidebar.  I am an affiliate for Craftsy – just because I LOVE everything Craftsy does so much that I absolutely have to recommend it to everyone who visits.  If it wasn’t for Craftsy, my every sewing project would be a disaster.  So on the right hand side you see some adverts for Craftsy courses.  If you click on the advert and buy the course I get a commission, and it hasn’t cost you any extra.  I also have links to the free courses for which I don’t earn anything.

With these affiliate links, the blogger can choose exactly what appears on the sidebar and make it relevant to the audience – in fact the more relevant and interesting, the more likely items will be purchased and the more the blogger will earn.  I like to feel here that I am completely only recommending things I have either bought or signed up for myself, or would be likely to.  These are honest recommendations.

But I am worried I’ve overdone it with the Craftsy links – do I look like a Craftsy stalker?

And I also have a ‘Shop‘.  If you look at the tabs along the top – the menu, you will find one that says Shop.  Look in here and it is a collection of my favorite and recommended sewing tools.  Each one is a little affiliate link via Amazon – so if you see something you like, click on it and buy from Amazon, I get a small commission.  I do disclose this right at the top.  And again I try to keep it relevant so I won’t be advertising unrelated products.

What do you think about affiliate links – are they acceptable?  Would you be likely to click and buy, or would it put you off to think that the hosting blogger might be making a commission?

 

So enough about me, my doubts, plans and hopes to be a millionaire blogger.  I really want to hear from you.  I’ve added a poll – because these are always fun and it allows you to ‘comment’ quickly without having to type anything.  So please fill out the poll and let me know what you think.  I would also love to read your comments on this subject – please write below.

And if you are a blogger and don’t mind sharing, let us know what income generating activities you carry out on your own blog and whether you earn enough for a monthly coffee or an annual cruise vacation !

Thanks for reading such a long post – and please vote now.

 [UPDATE – results to date for this poll and an update on my blog earnings after introducing my new adverts can be found here at “My blog earnings update and Blog Money Making Download”]

 

Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to What do you think of sponsorship and advertising on blogs ? + poll

  1. Thanks so much! This was very informative and I appreciate your honesty. Thanks for linking up on our little link party. You were our 1st featured pick. Thanks for sharing your talent and knowledge!
    Have a great day!
    The Busy Bee’s
    Joye & Myrna

  2. sandy says:

    Was just accepted by Media.net and my first advert is
    on the side bar.. thanks so much for this info. It
    was very helpful.
    Sandy

  3. Holly Lefevre says:

    There are so many points of view on this. I prefer doing sponsored posts – but they need to make sense – a craft, a recipe, a household tip (I have been asked to write about male enhancement products and clearly that is not a fit!). I only recently added ad (I actually am not a fan of the ads and the pop ups, etc.) but hubby lost hi s job no I need any extra $$$$. In the end, you have to do what feels right for you and for you blog…or what you need to do. I do think too many people think they are going to be rich – I equate it to the number of people who go to Hollywood every year to be a star. Can you tell I have thought about this…I have a post (yest to published) about how this pertains to my own blog.

    I think you hit on some very interesting points…and am featuring this on Tickled Pink tonight!

    • Thanks for your input Holly. It’s a difficult subject for a lot of bloggers – me included. How many is too much ? I’ll be dropping into the Linky tonight to add my updated post with the results of the poll.

  4. somewhatsimplesteph says:

    Very interesting post, thanks for linking up to my link party. When I first started blogging I hated seeing blogs with any sort of ads. I didn’t start a blog to make money- it was my hobby. I especially hated when bloggers put a big banner ad in their header and made their logo really small. To me, the look of my blog was more important than the money, and even though my husband said I should just try it and see what happens, I resisted for nearly a year. And then he talked me into it and when I got my first check I thought, “Why didn’t I do this sooner!?” I certainly don’t make nearly what Laurie makes, but it is surprising and exciting what a blog like mine that started as a hobby can do financially for a family! I still struggle with the sponsored post issue and how relevant the product is for my audience. Some products are aligned with my site and others are kind of a stretch. It is hard looking past the dollar signs and focusing on the integrity of my site- that is something I am still learning to deal with! Best of luck growing your site! 🙂

  5. Natalie says:

    Super advice and info, thanks for that.

    Thanks for sharing on Tutorial Thursdays.
    x
    Natalie
    http://www.marigoldsloft.blogspot.com

  6. jtulip says:

    I really like the way you asked people how they felt about advertising on blogs. I think that people who do not have a blog think differently from someone who doesn’t. Now that I know how much time and effort goes into writing a blog I feel really good about the ads. Thanks for sharing the part about sponsorship. I really need to work on that.

  7. April Tuell says:

    I think a lot of bloggers out there would like to make some money from there blog efforts. Me included! I implement a lot of the same tactics you talk about in your post, and while I do make a little each month, it’s no where near as glamorous as what Laurie gets. Thank you so much for sharing with Saturday Spotlight. Have a great week and come back soon!

  8. marleisa says:

    Great post – I have only been blogging for two months…..hopefully I can build it into something that make some money.

  9. GourmetGetaways (@GourmetGetaway) says:

    What a great story!
    I make a little income from my blog.
    I don’t do google adwords because I think that everyone is sick of being advertised to that way and rarely clicks.
    I do sponsored posts only if it is a product I enjoy using, I am usually not paid for these, but sometimes I will. I always get product some product for the post so that I can design a recipe using the product, and I always get extra product for a giveaway. This way it stays relevant to my readers and in keeping with the style of my website. I am also then giving back to m readers.

    I am careful not to be too “easy” with sponsors and PR companies. All advertising comes at a cost, all my stories come at a cost to me, so the cost needs to be passed on when possible.

    I think if you value yourself and your website, and most importantly consider what might add value for your readers you will be on a winner.

    I love your coupon idea and the links on the side bar to patterns and courses. This will keep readers coming to your site and maybe an area to develop further.

  10. Kathy Moody says:

    Thanks for sharing this awesome post and the valuable info. I’ve been wanting to take her online blogging class when I have time, but I bet it won’t produced the results she gets. LOL Thanks so much for sharing at A Bouquet of Talent. 🙂

  11. Deby, this is such a great post. There’s a lot of talk here in Australia about sponsored posts and only receiving product as payment for doing a review post. It all gets a bit confusing for me. That’s just amazing figures from Tip Junkie. i like her and her site but that’s a lot of dollars for just using other people’s ideas. Thanks for linking up at Thriving on Thursdays.

    Anne xx

  12. sandy says:

    My blog started out to be just for fun and now that I’m
    into the blog world I want to find a way to make some
    money.. reading your post was eye opening. I did
    have AdSense from the first but my family wanted
    to help and clicked to the point of getting me kicked
    off.. Google did not want to hear my excuses..so
    now I’m on a search for new. I did contact Media.net
    and applied but they have a back log and it could
    take a month to hear back…
    Great post and info
    Sandy

  13. kyda says:

    I’m just a reader, no blog, clueless on all the advertising and adsense stuff but my opinion is do whatever the heck you want to do! it’s YOUR blog!! 🙂 do it all, make some extra money for your family! I doubt many people are going to fault you for that! Good luck!! 🙂 🙂

  14. Sarah M Schultz says:

    And I was excited over the $5 I made with my Craftsy affiliate (It was my first commission). I am new blogger. Only have around 15 posts and very little traffic. I have a few affiliates but plan to keep the number small unless I add a page of just those. I don’t feel as if it is pushy if people click through to find them.

    P.S. Would you mind if I “stole” your idea for listing Craftsy class recommendations and free classes. I really like how it makes it easy for browsers to find something that is really appealing without searching.

    I am visiting from Someday Crafts Whatever goes Wednesday. Thank you for linking up.

    • Congratulations on your commission! Yes, by all means use my idea – and I was already thinking about something like yours – putting my links on a separate page so I didn’t feel so bad about pushing them in a visitors face. I might well do that. Good luck with your blog.

  15. Simplee Sue says:

    I need to look at her blog again and evaluate. I don’t need $12,000 a month, it’s nice, but what the heck. I made $34.00 since last August. Hmmmm? I think as long as you’re not sacrificing your integrity while giving a review, it’s fine.

    We may have met by chance…but we become friends by choice.
    http://simpleesue.com/honduras-missions-making-things-last

  16. Thanks for linking up! I think of my blog as a type of creative magazine. I am so fortunate that my hobby has turned into my full time living. I think blogging is such a great opportunity for mothers to be at home if they choose and to still contribute to the family income. The amount of time put into making my site a place of inspiration is something I should be paid for. Tip Junkie and I teamed up early on and she obviously jetted ahead of me, but I’m not too far behind. I do recommend her class, especially if you’re new or if your goal is to provide an income. It’s full of great advice. Even I am learning something as I go through it. Bloggers should never question if making money from their site is the right thing. The only time you should question it, is if that is your only reason you blog. Good luck!!!

    • Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to come over and comment on my little blog – I’m honored! I’ll be publishing the results of the poll soon and we can see what readers really think of blog sponsorship and advertising. I agree with your comments wholeheartedly. As I start work on some tutorials and see how much time and work is involved, then I don’t think its wrong to enjoy a few cents reward for creating this for others to enjoy.

  17. Cheryl@ Sew Can Do says:

    I think advertising on blogs can be a tricky balance. I do a few small things but choose not to do more, even though I know I’d make a bit more money. To me it’s the old adage “Just because you can doesn’t always mean you should”. I stopped reading a lot of blogs I once loved because they overkilled with the advertising. Lots of Ad Sense banners for random things, a sidebar section bigger than the post area and every other post turned into a sponsored post or review. The real content started to disappear. I don’t want readers to get fed up or feel like I’m just funneling advertising at them instead of what they come to my site to read.

    I have an advertiser section on my sidebar and do giveaways & featured post from time to time, but they are always for things that pertain to the topic of my blog: crafting/sewing/homeschooling. If it’s not related I pass – even if I’m offered easy money. To me it’s just not worth losing readers & their trust for a couple of extra dollars.

    TipJunkie does incredibly well, but it isn’t really a regular blog either (more a portal for others to submit their work). It also got started before there were thousands of other craft-related blogs out there so those numbers would not be easy to duplicate just starting out today. Realistically it’s very rare to make that kind of money or enough to “quit your day job” with ads on a crafting blog. It’s impressive, but since there’s a $199 online workshop from TipJunkie to teach her methods it’s kind of got the same feel as the “Make $50,000 a month from your home, just by using your phone!” late night commercials.

  18. Suzan says:

    You almost spit your coffee out? I almost choked to death on a cookie! 12,000 from adsense alone?
    I wouldn’t have even thought that was possible!
    I’m just starting to consider monetizing my blog ( I’m with adsense – but 30,000 hits a month only generates 15 to 20 dollars ) Great post – thanks so much for sharing!
    Hugs,
    Suzan

  19. Angela says:

    Hi, Deby, I am glad you wrote this, I have been blogging since around Nov, 2012. I have a partner. We were more doing it as a hobby but it would be nice to offset the cost. I was a bit astounded when you said how much tipjunkie.com brought in. Crazy amount. I get a little about 1000 pageviews a month. But I deleted adsense because it was pointless. Even when I narrowed the type of ads down they were still to broad and no one was clicking. I decided I would limit my affiliates/ads to 4. I have one DIY digital scrapbook sponsor/ad that I just got, I have applied for BlogHer which I would love to be a part of. I just got the Momcomm ad and I am applying to the amazon affiliate because they will narrow down the items to what your blog is about, from what I hear. That is all the advertising I am doing. I am going to check into zombie stats it seems really informative.

  20. Susan says:

    I just applied to Adsense and got denied–do you know anything on why this could have happened or what I could do to get get approved in the future?

    • I was turned down the first time – but they gave me a reason in the email. My website was using copyright material. What? Oh and then it dawned on me – I had written a review of some newly released sewing patterns and had included the pictures from that website in my post. I removed all the pictures and resubmitted using the link in the rejection email – and it was approved second time. There is also a forum which I think they give a link for, and you can ask for more specific help there – experts can look at your site and give you more answers. Hope this helps…

      • Susan D says:

        Thanks! I realize I use copyright material too–when I mention a product I use, I like to put a photo of it that I get off Google images in the post. I guess I should take an actual photo of the product instead.

    • crystalandcomp says:

      Apply for media.net. They do yahoo/ bing contextual ads.

  21. I only added google ads to my blog about six months ago. I’ve seen a steady increase in ad revenue during that time with it peaking in December which corresponded to a peak in views as people searched for Christmas ideas. As you mentioned, it will take time to build.

    I’ve decided that if the opportunity arises, I’d be open to sponsored posts if it was a product that I thought my readers would find useful and tied into the overall theme of my blog. I’m also actively pursuing other streams of revenue. For instance, last summer I released my first crochet pattern for sale (prosperityangels.net) and have other patterns, both crochet and sewing in development. I will be using my blog as a platform to get the word out about them.

    As Deby at So Sew Easy commented, lots of little streams of income can become a river.

  22. Melissa-TheHappierHomemaker says:

    Also I just looked at that ZombieStat and it estimated my pageviews at 5 times what it actually is. So take that with a grain of salt!!

  23. Melissa-TheHappierHomemaker says:

    Deby…they key to making money with your blog is to diversify. I currently have AdSense (you can go in and adjust your preferences for what they show-I don’t allow mine to show weight loss stuff, etc), Lijit, Rivit, and PulsePoint. I also do sponsored posts with Clever Girls Collective, Social Spark, Social Fabric, and Blueprint Social. I only take things that are in line with my blog-crafts, recipes, DIY. I also am an affiliate for Pick Your Plum, Shoot Fly Shoot photography e-courses, and eMeals…again all sites I totally love and recommend.

    Through all this I have begun to make a decent part time (stay at home mommy) income from my blog. The more options you give yourself the better. Happy to answer any questions if you have them! Great post!

  24. What a great post! I have often wondered about this and am undecided about advertising because I don’t really know enough about it! Thank you!

  25. Daree Johnson says:

    I think this is one of the most interesting posts I have read. I’m a new blogger, I have only posted 10 times. I have made a whopping 57 cents in 2 months 🙂 I only have adsense going on right now, I get about 400 page views a month. The number is steadily climbing though. I hope to be a stay at home mom one day and make extra money for my family by blogging. I really do love every second of it. It gives me the challenge that I used to get as a manager helping build a company but now it is mine. Until I can make some decent money I’ll keep my day job. I think it is wonderful you put all of this out there. You taught me a few things about the differences in advertisements.
    My only comment about how to advertise is to never sacrifice your integrity. Advertise what you believe in. If you haven’t bought any products from whoever wants to advertise, ask for some references.
    Good luck and I hope you reach your goals!!

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment Daree. If you go to my Blogger Opps page, part way down under the giveaways, you can see some other opportunities for your blog which might bring you in a little extra money. Maybe not so much money now, but as you and I both grow as bloggers, these extra schemes will be extra income streams, and lots of little streams may join together to make a river – of income ! ?

What do you think?