May 272014
 

I have been thinking a lot about money lately. How to monetize my blog so I can stay home and have enough cash to finish my degree. I am still trying to figure out exactly what to do to make this happen. There are so many different opinions about it. Where do we start?

Of course there are affiliate programs and Google AdSense. I have a few of these but I don’t think they do much good right now. I need more traffic to make them a viable source of income. I also have Kontera and Chitika on my site. I have used sponsored tweets as well. As of today, I have earned a grand total of $.85. I should be excited that I have made any money at all online but it is not enough to be successful.

The good news: I don’t care right now. My blog is still in its infancy and just getting started. I had the most visitors to date yesterday and I am very excited. I have topped 1300 visitors and can count on a few visits every day even before I get something posted. Thanks for that. I amnot keeping hard and fast to the three month mark that seems to be when people give up. I started mid December of 2009 but didn’t start pushing it until January. I consider my blog to be a month and a half old right now. I figure by april I should be cruising along quite well. My exposure has been more than I ever expected to this point. My Alexa raking is rising, and while I am not fixated on this number I do want it to go up and not down.

I know some other bloggers who are working on the monetizing thing too. James over at TheInfoPreneur has a ton of great stuff and is now working on compiling some of it for sale.  His experience has got me thinking about my site as well.  James is a wealth of information on how to blog and how to be a better person.  He posts tons of content and his site has skyrocketed since he started it.  He has been a major inspiration for me (no he is NOT paying me to say this.  Yet. 😉 ) and getting my blog going.

Now, I am basically a cheapskate.  I don’t have money to throw around at the latest make money online scheme.  Kidney transplants and dialysis is expensive, even with insurance.  So, being a cheapskate, I am extremely picky with what I buy.  Like with James, is there stuff I would buy from him?  Yes.  Will I actually buy stuff from him?  At this point I honestly don’t know.  If I was making money myself would I? Yes, most definitely.

This brings up another question.  How do I go about monetizing without driving people away.  I know this is the same struggle that many bloggers get to.  I know that it takes selling your own products to make a bunch of cash.  I have seen several places that will give you exclusive resell rights to certain products.  Can I sell other people’s stuff like this and keep the cash?  Sure.  Do I want to?  I am very lukewarm on the idea.  I don’t want to be another one of “those” type blogs.  Many of these give you “300 products you can resell” for like $15.  How do they make any money for these products?  Sure they get the $15 but why are their products so cheap?  Are they outdated? Are they just rehashes from other sites?  Are they plagiarized from other sites?  Too many questions.  I may put some ebooks up for sale in the future and some affiliate programs but not right now.

The next thing I am trying to figure out is what do I have to offer that would be either of use, or entertaining enough to entice fellow cheapskates to part with their money.  My wife and I have a business that we have been working on selling handmade quilts, table runners and some other crafts at Brenda’s Quilt Shop.com.  It has been doing ok in the real world, selling several to friends, neighbors and associates.  We have even sold several things on eBay, but we barely broke even with eBay and PayPal fees and postage.  I am still going to use eBay over the holidays to sell our stuff but I want to sell with the website as well.  On this website I want to focus on selling my writing.

Now, what can I sell of my writing?  I am not an authority on WordPress like Dave Doolin, or on blogging or on content production.  Anything I wrote on the “how to” front would be rehashes from other places.  Is there a market for fiction?  I am going to make an ebook of my Saturday fiction serials when they are finished.  They will be free for a while at least but would anyone want to spend money on them later?  Maybe send them out for free to email subscribers and beg for reviews before selling it.  I have other short stories that I am going to run on Saturday’s as well.  I am looking at revising some of my old stories that I just love so maybe they can stand on their own as an ebook.

I can write ebooks on simple car repair and maintenence, but that is not something I talk about in more than passing on this site.  I can write about kidney failure and taking a 1 year old through 2 years of dialysis and a kidney transplant.  I have written tons of blog posts on that as we were going through it while not calling it an actual blog.  www.carepages.com page: ameliarosematthews.  Would that sell?  Maybe.  I have seen several things about self publishing on Amazon for both Kindle and .pdf ebooks.  That is always in the back of my head.

I just wonder if anyone would buy anything that I can put out like that.  Or is my ego just not big enough yet to say screw it and just do it.  I figure I have until April and the 3 month wannabe blog hurdle crossed before I have to actually decide and just do it.

For now, I will just write and write and hope like hell people come to read!  Don’t forget to check out my Pre-Writing Challenge page that will start on Friday the 19th!  That will be more writing!  I am also going to work on some guest posts for other sites.  All of these things have to be good somewhere right?

Until tomorrow, I have some thinking to do.

Thanks for being here with me.

Justin

  17 Responses to “Can MY blog make money too?”

  1. Hey Brother,

    Good post man and good to make these plans public, it’s the only way to get everyones view. How about something unique to stay at home dads? It’s a bigger market than you realise.

    Looking forward to your plans man, thanks for the mention dude
    .-= TheInfoPreneur´s last blog ..Who Wants A Guest Post Pt2? =-.

  2. I’m right there with you man. I started my blog on Jan 1 besides a few set up pieces in December and am focusing on content while churning through ideas for monetizing

    Feel free to hit me up with any ideas you’re having along the way for some feedback.

    Definitely go on with the fiction. If it doesn’t have a demand soon, it’ll only be amatter of time. You’ll gain a lot of popularity with your blogging and have a good audience for I in the future. I feel good about that.

    I think the car repair idea is actually kinda cool. You could even link how to videos on it and sell a whole series by topic (changing brake pads, changing oil, etc.) And maybe specialize by make and model.
    .-= Carlos Velez´s last blog ..The Wu-Tang Plan, Part 4. C.R.E.A.M: Communicating to Readers is an Essential Aspect of Monetizing =-.

    • Thanks for the idea bounces. Same goes for me too, I would be happy to provide feedback. I do like the videos for car repair, that would not be hard to do and it would give me an excuse to write off a Flip video…. These economic times people would probably spend a few bucks to save more at a shop. thanks for the feedback and the ideas.

  3. I think the fiction idea was good; if/when you get that set up let me know and I’ll be happy to review it for you. 🙂 As for anything else.. not sure yet. In a similar boat to you myself, but the 3D world already has a lot out there in terms of products, so there are set models to follow if I wanted.

    If you want to bounce ideas round, like Carlos I’d love to help.

    • I think my first product will be fiction and I will take you up on the review. I will also take you up on the idea bounce. Feel free to bounce off of me too!
      thanks for reading and commenting!

  4. First, I totally sympathize with you. I am right there with you. Not necessarily because I want to make money off my blog, but because I want to reach people… products make you an “expert” and connect other dots later.

    But, having just glanced at your blog I do have some thoughts. I think that the things we are best at, are most knowledgeable on, are the things we take for granted. They come so naturally to us, we don’t realize someone might pay to get at what we have. So, here are my ideas for you:

    1) The car care works. I think it would work BEST if you could target it to women, i.e. “Basic and Simple Car Care for the Working Woman,” “How to Change a Tire in High Heels” etc. If you did what Carlos said and made videos it could be a whole program and the videos would promo the product via YouTube.

    2) Think about what you wish you knew two years ago before the kidney issue started. Now, write that book. Does it have to be targeted just to Kidneys? Could it be something for all kinds of transplants or for chronic illness of all kinds? Of course you can sell that, talk about support, finances, emotions, stress, loved ones… You’ve been there so you can offer something others can’t.

    3) Duh, a product for stay-at-home dads. The market is smaller, but it also has way less people reaching out to it. Stories, tips, advice, etc… about being the one at home rather than the one at work.

    4) Fiction writing. Why not combine your pieces along with writing instruction? (How to write things have a big market…) I just got a Tarot book in the mail; the artist painted an entire deck (took 5 years) and while the actual deck is coming out this spring, in the interim she self-published a hrd cover book. The book has her final paintings, the info on interpreting them, lore, inspiration, and pieces from her early process and sketchpad in it. I bought it (I both paint and read the tarot – this book was made for me!). Why not do something like that for short fiction writers?

    I just got an eBook (free) from this guy: http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/ – i haven’t read it yet, but maybe it will help you?

    Hope my thoughts are helpful, or maybe get your brain churning.

    Yours,
    Megan
    .-= Megan´s last blog ..And Then I Cried… =-.

    • Gee thanks for all of that info! Sorry about the spam thing. First, Car care may be very viable as long as it is not too technical. The kidney thing is what I am famliar with, but it is hard to want to tell “our story” and not sound whiny or put upon. I guess I need to get over that I just don’t want to play the sympathy card and have people feel sorry for us because we don’t feel sorry for us. I am still wavering on that. The stay at home dad stuff I need to narrow down and I am sure there is several somethings there. I like the writing instruction idea, that could pad what is just a short story. That said Stephen King has movies made from his short stories…see shawshank redemption and the green mile. I have a couple of ideas right now that are about 100 words into that I could write a parallel how to guide for…hmmm
      Thanks for all of the great thoughts Megan. the blogosphere is really coming through for me!

  5. Did my comment somehow get lost (eaten?) in some wasteland of comments? Cause that would suck as it was a brilliant comment (if I do say so myself)!

    (Email if you didn’t get it and I’ll resend you it – it included topic suggestions…)

    Yours,
    Megan
    .-= Megan´s last blog ..And Then I Cried… =-.

  6. Hey dude!

    The way to look at it is that you need to enjoy the journey no matter whether you’re making money or not. Loads of people try to make money but ultimately lose their passion because all the fun goes out of it. Enjoy what you’re doing and the money ideas will come to you a lot easier.

    • thanks for that perspective too. Right now it is about writing and connecting with people. I am loving it and can’t see that changing. I just need to add the money part so that I don’t have to deliver pizza all summer while the wife is on maternity leave 🙂 I just want to keep writing, it is getting much easier. thanks for being part of it man.
      Jusitn

  7. On the Kidney: You are thinking about it the wrong way. Don’t think about writing it like an AutoBiography that people like me would read and feel worry for (though if you do go that way read Michael J. Fox’s for how to do it without the pity/whiney-ness). Think about writing it for people going through what you are going through. Then you are going to teach them how to see it the way you do and not feel sorry for themselves.

    On Writing: Janet Evanovich (of Stephanie Plum fame – if you ever need to laugh…) wrote a book on writing. All it is is a serious of questions from her website, her short and quick answers, and then examples from her books. You could do something like that in no time! Except your examples would be your short fiction (and poetry 😉 )…

    Yours,
    Megan
    .-= Megan´s last blog ..What Was I Thinking? (aka The Pre-Writing Challenge) =-.

    • Good tips, I hadn’t thought of the kidney story as anything but the autobiography type. I will have to think more….
      PS I don’t know why you keep getting sent to the spam filter, It is not on purpose! It may be the .ca on your email. I will keep watching the spam folder closely.
      Thanks for being here and posting!

  8. Maybe your blog program just feels that I talk too much? (Everyone always has an opinion on that!)
    .-= Megan´s last blog ..Daring Monday: Fear-Less =-.

  9. Well, I don’t know if that’s going to work for me, but definitely worked for you! 🙂 Excellent post!

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