In 2007, when I moved to WordPress, I started researching ways to monetize my blog. I had to pay for the domain and cover my hosting fees—and Correr Es Mi Destino was growing.
In 2008, I wrote a first article titled Making Money with Your Blog, in which I detailed the progress of monetizing my blog. Since then, a lot changed. For the better, mostly.
I get way more traffic than I did in 2008: today, I have about 50,000 visits a month. I completely gave up on some monetizing methods but I also found some new ones. And the hosting fees are paid off.
But first, what didn’t work?
Well, Project Wonderful wasn’t a great way to make money. Not enough people to bid on ads, the amount of money I was getting for the hassle was ridiculously low. Bye Bye Project not-so-Wonderful!
I haven’t been very proactive in looking for deals with advertisers directly. I was lucky because they found me rather than the other way around. I’m not blogging for money so I guess I’m not a marketing expert yet. I doubt I will ever be actually. Yet I had some small successes.
How do I monetize this blog these days?
Google Adsense — I’m still using Google Adsense and while I try to make the ads as unobtrusive as I can, I display them in the sidebar, below the posts titles and close to the comment section. I find most ads are very relevant to the theme of the blog (i.e. immigration, travel), Adsense definitely improved that. My click-through rate went up as well and I certainly appreciate reaching the payout threshold more than once a year. All in all, Adsense isn’t a bad way to monetize a blog. It doesn’t take much effort and ads blend in well.
Text Link Ads — Text Link Ads became my main source of blog revenue and has proven to be very efficient. It took some time though. At first, only a few links sold, bringing monthly revenue under $10. Little by little, more advertisers bought links and I make over $100 a month now. This is a passive income since I don’t have to do anything, thanks to the TLA plugin. Links ads are non-intrusive and I have about 20 links sold for over 700 posts, hardly a concern for SEO.
Sponsored Posts — Advertisers occasionally contact me directly to offer me paid guest post, typically including one link to the service or business they provide. Either the advertiser writes the post, either we find a suitable place in a published post for the link. Sponsored posts are usually a good deal for both parts because when advertisers contact you directly, there is no middleman and no commission added. You can easily be paid through Paypal. For advertisers to reach you, make sure to have a dedicated Contact page.
The Shop — This is a personal project I’m developing. I must admit it hasn’t paid off so far but art is always hard to sell—nothing new here. I decided to sell prints of my most popular pictures about a year ago. First, I used a middleman website but the commission was too high. So I built a dedicated page and buyers can contact me directly through the website. It’s a rewarding way to showcase my photography and I really enjoy when buyers from all around the world are interested in a print.
Are you making money with your blog? What works best for you? What didn’t work at all? Don’t be shy, and share your tips!