How NOT to make money blogging

22 thoughts on “How NOT to make money blogging”

  1. Interesting concept, asking for donations essentially. At the moment I make money purely by ads. My costs however are also minimal. Ignoring my time I only pay for hosting at 50 dollars or so a year. Im averaging maybe 15 dollars of profit a year. I’ll ignore the monkey in the room that I could write for freelance or pretty much anywhere for more per word then 15 dollars for 147000 words a year. But I learned things from blogging this year that brought more value then essentially half an internet service bill for a month. Totally worth it. Not all payments are monetary.

    1. I agree that there’s benefit to blogging that can be outside the monetary side. I’ve learned and grown a ton from blogging – in terms of my writing and getting outside my comfort zone. But I also learned and grew a ton during my day job, which provided me with a healthy paycheck.

      Growth and monetization shouldn’t have to be exclusive. I think it’s fair to also look for the monetary side in addition. You don’t have to write “just for the money” to hope to be financially recognized for contributing something worthwhile.

  2. Yes, it isn’t worth the money unless you’re one of the top bloggers. I blog because I wanted to break out of my comfort zone – always hated writing. It would be nice to eventually make some $, but it still needs to be a blog that I would read myself. I’m still far away from trying to monetize anything but ask myself the same questions that you do. Thanks for the post!

  3. Good luck. I doubt the NPR method would work. Old school bloggers have tried that before and it doesn’t work. Budgets are Sexy couldn’t make it work.
    If you don’t want to put up ads, I suggest writing a book or generate a useful course. It’s tough to find a balance between serving readers and generating income.

    1. I’ve thought about an eBook or a course as well. I think you’re right that it’s a cleaner way to do an exchange of value without getting into the tug-of-war between monetization and reader satisfaction.

      The irony is that many ebooks seem like nothing more than blog posts repackaged and merged. It’d be nice if we could skip that step 🙂

  4. It’s a slippery slope for sure. I have Madeline $13 on google and like $1 on Amazon thus far. I do have banners that have made me monthly payments and that is how I have paid for the blog so far. Not sure where the site will go but for now that’s where I am.

  5. I love the honesty. Thanks. I get tired of seeing all the “here is how I made 125K last month from blogging” emails. I apparently suck at making money too. Fortunately I love the creative outlet and I don’t need any more money.

    1. I definitely hear you. If I were FI already, I’d be in the same boat – at that point, I might try to get enough to cover costs, but more than that wouldn’t do me much – I’d probably just redirect it to charity.

  6. Fabulous post. It’s tough to make money when you aren’t one of the top bloggers. I just started a coaching course after many readers asked for one. Hopefully that’ll provide value to readers in exchange for some money. 😊

    1. Ultimately, any monetization setup I can think of is going to need to write a check or have a bank account with your name to do a transfer for payment. You can certainly be anonymous with your readers, but I can’t think of a good way to keep 100% anonymous unless you can find a way to get paid in bitcoin 🙂

  7. Enjoyed the post, good dose of reality. I am enjoying the process of blogging and not worried about $ at this point in time. Hoping my readership increases though. 🙂

  8. You’ve got a great blog, Chris! The Patreon idea is interesting – I hope it flies. I do like that it’s a “clean” way of getting money for value – it’s not sales.

    We lightly wrestle with the idea of monetizing, but why? To make $10 an hour if we’re lucky, when we’re already retired? And Mr. G is not going to suddenly drop his opinions which could be required for any real monetizing. Still, we may revisit Amazon affiliate links, which we dropped, or accept sponsored posts if they fit our values. And Mr. G has been working on material suitable for an e-book.

    The thing about monetization that bothers me most is those sites that have been around for like a minute, that are already charging for their “expertise”. Power to them if they can cash in but they lose my readership.

    1. Thanks Mrs. Groovy! It’s definitely an interesting experiment – we’ll see how it goes 🙂

      If I were already retired, I’d be in the same boat – the extra money wouldn’t bring much at that point. I’d love to see an e-book from Mr. G and I’m sure I’m not the only one 🙂

  9. It is definitely not easy getting people to get to your website. I’ve been in this for a couple months and have less than a 100 views with no comments or subscriptions. I do write anonymously and don’t share my blog on social media. But I am hoping with time my blog would get some attention. Patreon page is not a bad idea but I feel I am too new for this on my website.

    1. Raman,

      You should definitely add your blog to the Rockstar Finance website list! It’s like free publicity, and anytime you add a post to your site it gets posted there too! That’s basically the only way I’ve been getting hits 😀

  10. I’m pretty much in the same boat as you, though I’ve only been blogging for a little over a month. I’d love to make some side income, but I don’t really want to put ads on my site, and I’m not sure yet about affiliate advertising – I do think if you have enough viewers that it’s ok to do a little promoting on your site! No free lunch! 😀

    1. Hey Shawn,
      Thank you for the kind suggestion. I just submitted my blog for their review and we’ll see where we go from there. Appreciate your help and I’ll be sure to check out your blog too! Cheers!

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