One of the most interesting (to me) comments I got from my anonymous “What would you say?” survey was the following:
It would be interesting to have a frank discussion of the money angle. Lots of us have ads on our blogs, and I know I keep track of the ad revenue from mine and tweak it to go up or down. I have hopes of at least chipping in for my horse’s vet fund someday but am nowhere near that yet. I kind of wonder how other people are doing – and how many people are blogging for the money as a primary reason, rather than secondary.
As soon as I read this I thought, “Ooo I can blog about that!”
First, let me be totally honest about something: when I started exclusively blogging about horses (instead of everything under the sun) at She Moved to Texas, I made that change because I wanted to see if I could make the blog popular and profitable. I work in a marketing department, but I don’t get to do many aspects of online marketing that I would like to learn more of. Therefore, I decided to use my blog as an online marketing playground. I figured with a specific niche I knew well, I could target content for my audience.
Of course, that doesn’t mean I spit out robotic type posts. I love to write and I love horses, so I tried to have that speak through. Even so, I keep SEO in mind with keyword titles as well as best practices for blogging in general.
After the audience started to grow, I thought about money. Would I love to quit my job and become a professional equestrian blogger? Hell yes I would! Do I make money from my blog? Yes, I do… but the amount I make is pitiful. I make money from the blog in three ways, which I will ballpark for you.
I have ads through Google Adsense on this blog. There are tons of other ways to do it (that are more profitable), but Adsense is super easy. Essentially once I set up the ads, I just let them go and forget about it.
My Adsense blogs are not super profitable and I also have not perfected optimizing them in anyway. This is something I need to experiment with more in the future if I want to make more money. As it stands now, I usually make between .50 – $1.00 a day (but usually much closer to .50). You can do the math, but I’m definitely not getting rich off this! Basically, the money slowly collects in my Adsense account and then a few times a year I get a surprise “happy” check, because they only payout in increments of $100.
Sponsored Guests Posts
These are much less frequent, but I get emails about third party advertisers looking to place sponsored content on my blog. This puts their content in front of an established targeted audience, as well as builds organic links to help their SEO program.
For posting this content, I usually charge around $75.00 USD. That sounds amazing right? Free money for not writing anything! However, I am very careful with these kinds of posts. On this blog, I’ve only done it once. Many of the partners aren’t appropriate for my audience. Yeah I’m a horse blog, but I don’t blog about betting for horse racing. Even if the content is approved by me, I still post a caveat saying that the post is sponsored content. Too many sponsored posts, and y’all wouldn’t come here anymore. So this is a rare type of blogging income, at least for me.
My favorite “income” from blogging makes me happy, but doesn’t even come close to paying the rent… free products! In the past I did a lot of reaching out to companies in order to get free products for giveaways. That got old, so I just do giveaways when I feel like it or a company suggests it.
For product reviews, I will write a review in two circumstances. One, I either LOVED (or hated) a product I bought and used myself and had a strong opinion about it. Two, a company contacts me and asks me specifically to review something. In that case, I don’t pay for the product and consider that blog earnings.
Just because I receive a product for free, doesn’t necessarily mean that I give it a glowing review. Despite the fun factor, I try to be as objective as possible.
Those are the three ways I get revenue from this blog, but I certainly don’t blog for the money primarily. While I started equestrian blogging to make a marketing experiment, I have decided recently I enjoy more doing fun to me content instead of “this will have X marketing results” content. I still like the side money I make off the blog, but to grow that out more I’d have to make major changes such as domain name, branding, etc. My blog is essentially a part time job as it is, and it’s important to me that I enjoy doing it. Right now, I enjoy my mix of mostly horsey but other life stuff as well. Anything I earn from it is a bonus.
Have you experimented with making money with your blog, or have questions related to blog revenue?