I’ve been blogging for a little over a year now, and I decided the time was right to start monetizing bottlesoup.com. As I began the process, it was important to me that my readers didn’t feel bombarded by advertisements and sponsored posts. I wanted my audience to feel like they were still receiving the same great, snarky content. In short, I wanted the advertising to be minimal and effective.
In July 2014, I began researching which advertising networks I wanted to use and signed up accordingly (Linqia is my new favorite). Registering and getting approved for different advertising venues can be a long process, so if you plan to start monetizing your blog expect a waiting list before you can truly begin earning money on your blog.
I am very lucky to be a part of the Inspired Bloggers Network, and although I am not a Christian blogger by any means (let’s face it, I’m a closet Atheist who would really rather not get into a religious debate with anyone) I was welcomed into their group with open arms. These ladies and gentlemen are serious, professional bloggers and I love all the advice I’ve received from being a part of their clique. Around the time I was really starting to monetize my blog, Tabitha Day Philen of MeetPenny.com and founder of the Inspired Bloggers Network (IBN), graciously began a Monetize 45 blogger boot camp for all those involved with the IBN. I eagerly read each email and was truly humbled by the experience. I still have a lot to learn about blogging, but here’s what I really took away from Monetize 45:
• You can reasonably expect 10% income growth per month, and you should make that your goal.
• Income is contingent on page views, and page views are contingent on quality, consistent content and diligent marketing
• You can do everything right and still only make $0.03 a month
As disheartening as the last bullet point sounds, I am one of those incredibly stubborn “the rules don’t apply to me” types, and I took it upon myself to just go for it.
July & August were rough. I didn’t have any real guidance from Monetize 45 yet, and I was just sort of winging it. In July, I earned $90.28 from a combination of referral credits, free products, sponsored posts, and cash. August proved more challenging, and I actually made less than I did in July (a mere $70.43, most of which was referral credits from Diapers.com). I felt pretty beat, but I kept reading other blogger’s stories and given my steadily growing traffic, I was determined not to fail.
I’m glad I didn’t give up, because October is proving to be a more profitable month than July and August already. But, this post is about September, and I’m happy to report that in September I hit it out of the ballpark earning $343.55 from my blogging skills alone. Here’s how I did it:
- I joined Influenster over the summer, but I didn’t receive my first VoxBox until September. It was from Victoria’s Secret and valued at over $115. Do I count this as income? Absolutely! I needed a new bra and more yoga pants, anyway. If you want to join Influenster, just as me for an invite.
- I earned $10 in referral credits from diapers.com, and I can use that on any one of their websites. So far, I’ve earned $180 in referral credits and I’ve used it to purchase formula, toys, stroller parts, and even coffee. This is probably my favorite referral credit program as it’s incredibly easy to use and very reader friendly (your code gives first time users a 20% discount off their entire purchase, mine is CASS1062, if you need anything 😉 ).
- $26 in Aveda products. I use Aveda hair care products, so this was an awesome blogger bonus for me.
- Google Adsense
- $3.67 in advertising revenue. This was my first month really using Adsense, so I’m happy with that. Plus, October is already looking a lot better!
- Freelance Writing
- $188.88. You might be asking, “What does freelancing have to do with blogging. In short, my expertise as a blogger is what provides me with the opportunity to freelance.
This brings my grand total to $343.55 earned in September 2014.
I hope this post is helpful to other new bloggers who are starting the monetization process. If you’re a blogger with some tips & tricks, I’d love to hear from you! Look for October 2014’s report next month 🙂