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.
But 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.
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.
The 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.
Today 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:
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”]