Thoughts on Monetizing Your Blog

I’m going to start this post off by saying that there’s a pretty hefty stigma concerning monetizing your blog. A lot of people don’t believe in it, don’t want it, and don’t appreciate those who do. That’s perfectly OK, we’re all allowed to do as we wish with our little areas of the internet – but this post is for those who DO want to monetize so I’d appreciate any comments left being useful to that line of thought.

I have no issue posting advertisements on my site. I’ve done it for years, and it helps pay for things like hosting costs and domain names. Writing is a hobby for me and if I don’t make any money off of it that’s OK too, but I’d rather have those costs taken care of.

One important thing I learned from the get-go was to be reachable. You can find an email address on my mail sidebar for contact information so that any prospective advertisers can reach me. I get a handful of emails every month with requests, and I answer every one of them. I don’t always say yes, but I’ll get into details about that a bit later on. So if you’re looking for people to reach out to you, make sure they can.

Consistency is another key factor. You’ll want to be making regular posts, showing up in google searches, and all that good stuff. I don’t do anything special for this in regards to my own site, but it may be something you want to focus on.

You don’t HAVE to say yes – but it sure doesn’t hurt to listen to the pitch. Over the years I’ve heard a few different ones, but the most common I get is:

A post they write (sometimes they’ll pay more if you write the post), with a link or two to their product/site (gambling sites are pretty common), that’s relevant to your site (in my case, gaming). You leave it up as a regular post, sometimes for a set duration, and basically just forget about it. I’ve received anywhere from $75-250USD per post. I have a set amount of money that I’ll accept in these cases, and I turn them down if they’re not willing to meet my fee. I used to feel bad about accepting these paid advertisements – but honestly, it hasn’t affected my traffic and I haven’t seen any negative effects. In my top years I would have 1-2 a month, with lots of posts spacing them out.

I used to get requests for sidebar advertisements, or a page with a listed donor / sponsor, but these have become pretty far and few between over the years.

Occasionally I’ll get a request to test a product or to check something out. One year it was a VPN service, and I have no problems writing a review about something. I make sure to mention that I’ve gotten the product for free (even though it is not currently law here in Canada) just for honesty sake. Again, it’s just an advertised or sponsored post here and there that doesn’t interrupt the natural flow of my site – you’ll have to figure out what works for you, and try to blend it seamlessly.

We feel bad about a lot of stuff in life, and we tend to be really harsh critics of ourselves. I used to try to hide any advertisements that I was getting towards my blog, but honestly, I’m proud that I’ve managed to make a bit of side cash from it. As long as I’m not passing viruses or negative vibes to any readers (be sure to check out the links yourself, safely, before any linking occurs!) a post here and there is hardly a cause for concern.

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2 Comments

  1. Whenever I see one of those paid posts that’s obviously out of kilter with the regular content I assume the blog’s been hacked. As for advertisements, I’ve been running such aggressive blocking for so long I forget the internet even has them!

  2. Good post, Stargrace.

    I guess I would have to sum up my feelings about the subject as, ‘It’s Complicated’.

    By and large I agree with the sentiment you’ve expressed. I think it’s more that if you go looking for blogging advice (outside of our little corner of the internet) it has become so commercialised and ‘plastic’ feeling there that is almost nauseating.

    It is (almost) impossible to go find good advice on getting started and setting up a blog, where the blog itself is the focus.

    And I think this has started colouring my opinions on the subject overall. I’m open to the idea of product reviews, and depending on the product and the article in question POSSIBLY a sponsored post of the type you talk about. But it’s probably a long while off yet before I have to worry about this.

    I’m probably more comfortable with the concept of a donation/patreon style setup (once established enough for it to be deserved, perhaps) — but that also has some pretty complicated connotations in my mind.

    Anywho, for all that, I guess the bottom line is: Provided a site doesn’t become as much ad as it is content, I also don’t mind it and have no intent to judge anyone who wishes to take this route. I just wish there was more general blog advice available for those who don’t want to kick off monetisation right away.

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