February 26, 2013

Can You Actually Make Money Blogging? - My Experience

Can you actually make money blogging?  This is a post I have thought of writing several times.  I thought about being generic and giving a few tips or ideas on how to make a few dollars blogging... But I've struggled with this one question.  Do I share the actual numbers with people, how much money I've made each month from my part time blog?

Is it appropriate to discuss actual dollars and cents with people?  When I first started blogging I wanted to know the truth.  I wanted someone to tell me their actual figures, what their success or lack of success had been.  I saw posts that said things like "I make enough each month for a fancy cup of coffee"... or another that said "I make a pretty good living from my blog".  But nothing that spoke of actual numbers.

Let me start of by saying this:  Nobody is going to get rich quick blogging!  And if blogging to get rich is your goal, you might want to rethink blogging all together.  If you're going to blog it should be something you are passionate about.  Your topic should be something that interests you and that you want to share with others.  When you blog, even if you hope to make a little extra income, you need to understand that normally it takes anywhere from one to two years to even begin to make any money.  Yes, that means you basically are blogging for FREE... so if you don't love it, you probably shouldn't do it.

I've decided to share my story and the actual $$$ amount I've made from my blog.  It may encourage you or it may discourage you, but hopefully it will reach those who are thinking of blogging while trying to make a few dollars at the same time.  I hope that nobody is offended by my discussing actual dollar amounts.  I am not bragging (as you will see, it's not enough money to brag about) Lol...  I just want to share the truth about my experience.

First I will tell you a little about me, I love decorating!  I was a single mom for many years so decorating on a next to nothing budget was the only way I was able to decorate.  I learned how to take inexpensive items (other peoples junk) and turn them into one of a kind treasures.  I've always been crafty and so it's something I found that I love to do.  

Early 2001, as a single mom, I went from being a full time working super mom (who pretty much handled everything and then some, without getting much sleep), to being sickly and constantly in pain.  Long story short, late that year I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) and have not worked full time or held a regular job since.  You can read more about my life and living with chronic pain if you are interested on my "About Me" page.    

In 2003, I married my now husband Jim.  He likes my "thrifty ways" so he encourages me and helps me with my many projects.  We had a successful eBay store for three years (2006 - 2008), where we sold furniture appliques and made custom chandeliers and lamps.  It was a good fit for me since I got to do it from home and on my own schedule (when I felt well enough).   I shared several of my chandelier creations on a prior blog post (Chandeliers I've Made).  At the end of the three years on eBay I decided I didn't want to do it anymore.  What was once so creative and fun, became more about manufacturing items and I admit that I completely burnt out on it.

I haven't worked a job of any kind since eBay.  Well, other than being a wife, mom, homemaker, maid, cook, chauffeur, home decorator, etc...  I haven't worked a paying job.  Although I wanted to start a blog for fun, I figured if I could make a few dollars at it, why not try!

I started this blog on September 6th of 2011.  I created it through the Blogger platform, which I still use today.  The one thing Blogger does that helped my blog in the early days was that they automatically list blog postings and pictures in Google search results.  So most of my early hits were from the Google search engine.  As for how I get additional traffic to my blog, I will leave that information for a future post.  This post will focus on how I make money from my blog.

When I created my blog, I immediately put Google Adsense on the layout.  It was something the Blogger platform made simple to add, so I signed up for it and I added it.  This was probably not the smartest thing to do in the very beginning because I may have lost some potential followers because the advertising could have scared them away.  But, it is the route that I chose to take.

As for my earnings...  I have listed all of them below.  In the beginning Adsense was my only revenue source.  After a time, I added additional sources.  After awhile I added additional income sources.  Each you will see as you continue reading below.

Google Adsense earnings from September 2011 - (don't laugh)  .47
(yes, 47 cents).  Google doesn't actually pay you until you reach the $10 threshold, but that was okay.  I wanted to blog as a way to share my love for decorating on a budget and make a few friends along the way.  Any money I actually made from it was just icing.  Okay, 47 cents wouldn't even buy icing, but you get the picture :)

October 2011       Google earnings   $ 3.55
November 2011   Google earnings   $40.00
December 2011    Google earnings  $67.88

Wow... I was shocked at this point.  I realized that the Christmas posts were drawing many many views.  People started looking for Christmas Decorating ideas in early November and into mid  December.  I was thrilled to see I was making a few dollars so early in my blogging endeavor   However, come January, it would likely be slow (and it was).

January 2012  Google earnings   $ 27.64
February 2012 Google earnings  $ 17.84
March 2012 Google earnings      $ 25.65
April 2012  Google earnings       $ 29.00
May 2012   Google earnings       $ 27.23
June 2012   Google earnings       $ 40.26
July 2012    Google earnings       $ 63.76
August 2012 Google earnings     $123.02
September 2012 Google earnings $ 98.87
October 2012 Google earnings    $101.95
November 2012 Google earnings $201.03
December 2012 Google earnings $175.70

The holidays again were very busy on my blog.  Because of them I actually received a 1099 from Google for 2012.  I figured this was pretty good considering it was my first full year of blogging!  It's easy to see that the pattern of slow months early in the year and then getting busy around the holidays would be a normal thing for my blog.

As January came I knew revenue would decrease again, but I didn't know how much.

January 2013 - Google earnings - $40.33

Now that it is the later part of February, and I can see that February will be higher than January this year.  As my blog grows, so does the amount I make from each of my revenue streams.  Above I only  showed you only the Google Adsense revenue for each month.  However, I also have two other sources of revenue on my blog.  I use Amazon Associates.  This is where I link to Amazon items and if people purchase those items, I get a percentage of each sale.  I did not use this much in the beginning.  I will give you a per quarter breakdown for last years earnings.

Q1 2012 - Amazon earnings  $   3.23
Q2 2012 - Amazon earnings  $ 22.35
Q3 2012 - Amazon earnings  $ 51.90
Q4 2012 - Amazon earnings  $112.79

You can see that again Christmas (the holidays) are when people are spending the most, so this is when the earnings go up.  I shop myself quite a bit on Amazon, so now I buy crafting items on Amazon and then share them with my readers.  

I have a third revenue stream and that is BlogHer Publishing Network.  I signed with the BlogHer Publishing Network at the end of August 2012.  I will share with you the revenue from September through December, and then January.  BlogHer works differently than Adsense in that with Adsense you get paid per click.  With BlogHer you get paid for visits to each page.  When I signed with BlogHer, I had no idea what to expect earnings wise.  I figured $10 to $30 a month.  I was pleasantly surprised after my first month!  Since the blog is very busy around the holidays, it was a perfect time to start with this kind advertising.

September 2012 - BlogHer earnings   $133.73
October 2012     - BlogHer earnings   $101.85
November 2012  - BlogHer earnings  $231.52
December 2012  - BlogHer earnings   $196.22

This January (after the holidays) visits to my blog fell off drastically again.  I've seen this happen now two years in a row.  For January 2013 BlogHer earnings are only $27.  February will be a bit higher (estimate about $50). 

Keep in mind, I am only a part time blogger.  I usually blog a couple of posts each week.  Depending on my health and the speed which I finish my projects, determines how often I blog.  I realize if I blogged more, I would likely make more.  I'm not getting rich off of blogging, but the extra income does help.  It mostly helps me support my many ongoing projects around our house.  Thank you to my readers for helping me support my decorating habit :)  

There are of course many ways to make money blogging.  I have mentioned just the few that I have chosen to use.  I try to keep my blog posts relevant to what I do.  And I keep the advertising off to the side or top out of the way.  I try not to let any of it interfere with my blog content.  Blogging does take time and effort.  It is nice to be able to make a few dollars while doing something you love.

Each persons experience with Blogging is different.  I hope my sharing this information has helped or encouraged you in some way.  I chose to be completely honest with the numbers and my experience, as it's the only way to truly share this type of information.  

Blessings...

Until next time,
Diana

Visit link for my Additional Blogging Tips

21 comments:

  1. I also use blooger for my blog I want to ad blogher and amazon associates by tI do not know how can you please explain to me how to do it???
    thnak you
    Brenda

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    1. You can go to https://affiliate-program.amazon.com to sign up for the Amazon affiliate program. Once you sign up you will go to their site, sign in and get information on how to add them to your site.

      As for BlogHer, have to apply to be a part of their Network. Their website is http://www.blogher.com/publishing-network/welcome

      I hope that helps.
      Blessings,
      Diana

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    2. Thank you for such honest information on a topic that seems to be hush hush! I enjoy your content-you keep it basic enough to give it a try and actually succeed!

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  2. Thank you so much for the information. I've been to a few blog conferences and no one would tell us how much we could possibly expect to make. Your info has been extremely helpful!

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    1. Your Welcome Dru :)

      I had that same problem when I was looking into it originally. I wanted some specifics. Even though every persons experience will be different, it is still good to get an idea of what some people are actually making from it.

      Take care,
      Diana

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  3. Thank you for sharing. I have been wandering if "making money" via blogging would be worth it. I may just have to get back on track with my blogging!

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  4. What a great post!! I already use Adsense and Amazon, but I have a question about Blogher. How long did take for you to be approved? I applied a couple of months ago and I haven't heard back from them. Thanks so much!!

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    Replies
    1. Rose, When I applied to BlogHer I heard back within a few weeks of applying.

      Their website states: All applicants will get a confirmation email that their application has been received. Then, if we think your blog is a good fit for our network, we will contact you within 45 days and let you know.

      I hope that helps :)

      Blessings,
      Diana

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    2. Thanks Diana! Well, I had been accepted into a few of the social network opportunities, but I got to thinking about the confirmation email that you mentioned - I hadn't received one.... apparently, that's the one application I never finished! So, I finished it last night and got confirmation - now I just need to wait! Thank you!!

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    3. Your welcome Rose! I'm glad it helped :)

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  5. Hi Diana,
    This information is what I have been thinking about and looking for. Thank you so much for sharing. I have been blogging for little over a year. Just like you I blog because I love and passion about cooking, decorating, crafts, arts, etc. I too suffered from health condition. I know that blogging will not make you rich; just my gut instinct but would be nice to have some type of income as blogging does takes a few $$$. Thank you so much for sharing I am now following you though FB

    http://www.curiositaellya.blogspot.com/

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the follow. I popped over to your blog and am now following you too :)

      Blessings,
      Diana

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  6. This is great information, and so helpful for new bloggers! It might be helpful to add somewhere in the post how many visitors/pageviews you get per month as well, so that new bloggers can compare and see what to expect.

    I also got frustrated with the lack of info out there regarding how much one can make on a blog, so I wrote a similar article about seven months ago, and shared how I make money, and how much I make with each method. I've seen other people share similar info since then, so perhaps we'll start to see more and more people sharing details on how and how much they make. I just think it's so helpful for people considering blogging as a part-time or full-time job, or for those just starting out.

    Here's my post: http://www.addicted2decorating.com/how-i-make-money-on-my-blog.html

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  7. Thanks so much for being candid and open! I'm a numbers kind of gal and when you actually get the nitty gritty details without having to "wonder" it's like a birthday present!!! I'm a new follower, and I will certainty be looking forward to more!!!

    Kate @ Uniquely Undone

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  8. I too am too sick to work a "traditional" job. I like crafting, ebay and blogging because it is something I can do at my own pace and if I am sick for a few days it isn't the end of the world. I have looked all over for information about how much money one can make blogging and love how you have broken it down by months and quarters. I am on social security disability. I am encouraged to work if I can but I am limitied to the amount of money I can make before they would expect me to go back to work on a permenant basis. Since my blog currently has a fantastic following of 5 people (its only weeks old) I believe that it is too early to monitize however, knowing my options and how much could potentially be earned on a part time basis will help me make the decision whether or not to monitize in the future. I will most likely stop selling on Ebay once I sell the rest of my "inventory" as I have lost the passion for what I was doing and it has not only become a chore but has also become stressful and stress is one of the triggers for my disease. Awesome post and I thank and commend you for sharing the information.

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  9. Hi Diana,I am now following you .Thanks for great post.I am blogging 1 year.I love this.See my blog ,and send me some critics to be a better.I am Serbian and didnt understand evrything about blogging.I means if I took Adsense i didnt put anything else on my blog.I try your experiance.Thanks for sharing.Please,tell me what means icon DONATIONS.I would think I donate some money for You or some clik,make money for you. Please,answer me and come to visit my blog.KIiss:)))

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  10. I so appreciate your forthcoming of information and your honesty. I've not been interested in blogging but this was nice of you to share. I wish you much success as you continue on your journey :)

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  11. I love this post! So helpful. I've been blogging for a year and a half. I have some trouble holding a job, due to the medical treatments I need to do in order to stay healthy. I mostly blog about my Cystic Fibrosis, but now I'm incorporating my hobbies and crafts too, since I'm not working as much I have more time to blog. I'm looking forward to reading your post on getting more blog traffic, etc :-) I think I will use Adsense, etc now, and see how it goes! fellow blogger Cheriz (www.cheriz.org)

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  12. Great tips for a new blogger. I started blogging to help others and myself, not to make money. However, if I can make some extra money at the same time that would be a bonus.

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I love all of your comments and I read every one... I'd love to hear from you!

Blessings,
Diana