A number of WordAds bloggers have indicated that they would like to learn more about what should expectations be for their WordAds income and what they can do to earn more. I heard a number of different perspectives and can see that I can’t address this question in a way that everyone can agree with. But I can explain my own mindset to
earning income from blogging.
Blogging For Its Own Sake
In January 2005, I launched a blog in the technology category called alarm:clock. I had previously been a journalist covering technology but had transitioned to working on the business side of technology so welcomed the advent of blogging so that I could continue on with my craft. I found that blogging was a great way to cut up my business day with creative bursts. I also found that I was learning things that I wouldn’t if I was just reading other blogs. Moreover, I enjoyed meeting with other bloggers.
Blogging To Enhance Your Career
A surprise benefit of blogging was that people I didn’t know had heard of my site and so we got off on the right foot. They felt they could trust me because I was in the public. I could also introduce myself to top tech entrepreneurs and investors who might have less time to talk with me if I had just emailed them with no other context. I also heard from people that they held me in higher regard because of my commitment to the site – it signaled that I cared about technology and wasn’t just a mercenary.
Blogging For Beer Money
In 2006, Federated Media (FM) launched a blog ad network. I applied and was in the first group of Web sites that we accepted by FM. I was interested because I wanted to learn more about online advertising, I knew that I would like the ads from FM, and as one professional blogger told me, when you have good ads on your site, your site looks professional. It would be better to have non-paying ads on your site that look good than no ads. With the first $40 earned my co-blogger and I spent the beer money on martinis.
Meaningful Income Is Possible
In 2009, I had more time than usual to work on alarm:clock. I was posting a lot and wrote some unique posts that drove a lot of traffic. As a result traffic grew very nicely. That translated to a spike in income and one month I received a check from Federated Media for over $8000. It was pretty exciting, although I honestly can’t recall what I spent the money on. I even considered working as a full-time professional blogger. However, online advertising and traffic are fickle. The month after you receive a big payment and you think you have hit a plateau your traffic and ad payments might fall the next. So it’s always good to be conservative with your expectations.
Working on ads on WordPress.com has been interesting as I am working again with Federated Media and many bloggers who I feel a kin-ship with. Some bloggers financial expectations are not realistic. Unfortunately advertisers do not pay hundreds of dollars for 2000 or 3000 monthly page views. We have also heard from bloggers that they expect to have strong earnings from Amazon.com type affiliate programs. We have tested any number of affiliate programs and have found that the impression-based ad programs that we are working with pay much better than affiliate programs, which only pay bloggers after an item has been purchased.
As we have communicated to a number of WordAds sites, it’s challenging to forecast revenues with a simple metric because we are always looking to improve payouts from partners, sometimes ad performance will surprise, and payouts from country to country vary wildly. The best way to produce a forecast is to get a couple of months under your belt and then see how your changes in traffic effected your payout.
On behalf of the WordAds team, we are enjoying this endeavor and look forward to helping you to achieve your blogging financial goals.