Updated January 2019
I like wineries (stick with me, I’m going somewhere with this!) and if I’m visiting a new region, I tend to go to one or 2 big wineries and then hunt out the smaller boutique wineries. They’re better and so much more personal. You tend to learn more about their wines, the history and even more about the region you’re visiting.
Not long after I started That Noise Is Mine I knew I wanted to keep it more like a boutique winery. Non-commercial and non-mainstream very much reflects my attitude towards life. Income stream and monetising were never in the forefront of my mind.
After I’d been blogging for a couple of months and starting to grow my site I felt under pressure to join affiliate programs to make this magical income everyone talks about through advertising.
I signed up to the usual “big brand” programs, popped some ads on my site, links in some posts and sat back ready to watch the money roll in.
*crickets chirping* – Ummm, hello, money…… Where are you????
Look, don’t get me wrong, I have made some money from advertisements and links but not enough to even cover the expenses of running a blog (most of my income comes from Instagram which will talk about another time).
So, a couple of weeks ago when I received an email from my host provider saying you’re using too many resources, I was instantly demotivated. After getting some advice, I knew the best way to move forward is to upgrade the hosting of my blog which means spending more money.
And I want quality hosting, which means spending even more money!
Now, I’m no different from you, the reader of this post. I’m a Mum, I have four kids, I am a student, and I don’t have endless amounts of money to throw around. To find out that my blog had grown so big and receiving so many hits I was using too many resources excellent, but we all know that those hits do not convert to dollars.
To invest more money in my blog, I need to make more money on my blog. So I went to work and looked at my ads to see where I can add more.
Disillusioned, disoriented and demotivated I consulted a contact I have who specialises in marketing some larger big name blogs.
He hadn’t seen my site for about 12 months. His feedback was tremendous and mood-boosting except for one thing which I thought I was doing right. Affiliate advertising.
His advice was that some affiliate marketing and associated ads are tacky and cheapen a blog. There is very little money in affiliate marketing for most bloggers, AND everyone has the same ads. Many of the larger blog sites do not use and have never used affiliate marketing to make money. Seeing as I am going for a more boutique feel he said the first thing I must do immediately is remove the affiliate ads.
Huh? How do I make money then!
Well it turns out there are more subtle ways to make money on a blog:
Create a product or service
Such as an eBook or self-help guide, a course, a membership area of your blog or even a service such as coaching or consultation.
Sponsored Posts and product reviews
Ok, so there isn’t big money here, and these can still cheapen your blog if not done correctly. The key here is to be choosy. Always keep your reader in mind. Get a feel for who they are and what products and services they use and always make sure it is a product or service you use or support which will make your post or review much more realistic.
Sell advertising space
Similar to sponsored posts and product reviews BE CHOOSY!! Once again, know your readers, know what they want and what they are likely to buy and then approach businesses.
For myself I want to support new and small businesses, so while I still do product reviews for larger companies and promote certain brands via Social Media, any advertising on my blog is sold to smaller businesses.
Consider your range of merchandise for your blog! There is plenty of online business, such as Cafe Press, where you can create your merchandise which they sell on their site. You then receive a cut of the profits. But like with everything else I’ve mentioned – keep your reader in mind and be choosy.
Whichever way you go to make money from your blog it is a good idea to keep the bigger picture in mind – the overall vision of your blog, after all, your site is a reflection of you. I have come across blogs which have nothing to them, but advertising – no word of a lie, one blog I came across had a post reviewing a particular type of Gun followed by a post reviewing toddlers toys!
Some attempts to monetise your blog can appear desperate.
Take a look at your advertising, if it’s not a product or service you support – why is it on there? Do you see the same ads on other blogs and websites – mix it up? And think about what else you can offer your readers.