Sunday, September 20, 2009

Can You Make Money Blogging?

Thursday was my one month anniversary with this blog. I meant to post this then, but I guess I had other things on my mind. So, here is my anniversary post, with updated stats.

A few months ago, my father told me how he and my step-mom were taking over my step sister's father's finances. Although my step-sister's father made a decent amount of money, he was having a hard time staying afloat. It was an issue of money management and responsibility.

I was so jealous. I had always wanted to take over someone's finances, but no one had ever asked me. How jealous I was actually surprised me. I work hard to make our life good on my husband's income. I do some interesting things, but no one asked me about what I was doing, so I wasn't sharing with anyone, except sometimes my father, who also does interesting things.

I shared my ideas with my husband, too, but when I shared them with him, he felt like I was implying he wasn't a good provider. But he is. He works just as hard or harder than people who make much more money than him.

Then I saw this post at Gather Little By Little about how to make money online. Blogging was at the top of the list. I know some people make a full time income blogging, but I didn't want to work full time, even if I could hold my babies while doing it.

Still, I had such an overflow of ideas, I thought I would start and see what happened. The name of the blog was easy, since this was about how we thrive on little. It is also intriguing, even shocking, and the name itself is one of my main marketing tools.

Whenever I comment on someone else's blog, I sign with "Emily @ Under$1000PerMonth." That's how most of my first readers found me. Then, the word started to spread about my blog, as some of my ideas are not so mainstream.

For a one month old blog, I'm getting a good amount of page views and unique visitors per day. But can I make money doing this?

Here are my stats, up to date:

Amazon referrals (haven't really pushed this one): $0
Swagbucks: 65 bucks, or about $7.00
Adsense: $48.50, about $12 from the days that the Nest Forum people swamped my site

What about an hourly wage? It is hard to determine how much time I have put into this site. The average post takes half an hour, including pictures and some research. But I have just about as many unpublished posts as I have published. And it is hard to calculate how much time I spend just thinking about this stuff. Then there is my "advertising," reading and commenting on somewhat like-minded blogs, which I would be reading anyway. And then there is design and some very basic HTML I've mastered. And keeping up with discussions in the comments section, which sometimes get a little rowdy. I'd assume my hourly wage is somewhere around $1 per hour.

Standard Tips For Blogging:

If you're not writing about something you are passionate about, you won't write well on the topic.

If you're not writing something other people are passionate about, you won't have readers.

Would I still do this if I weren't making a profit?

For one, I haven't seen a dime of what I've made. You need $100 to cash out from AdSense. I may never make it. Most likely, I will, though. (Rest assured, I've set up the automatic deposit to go right into savings. It will not affect our frugal living.) We also have not received the Amazon gift card from swagbucks, and it will be going to one of my husband's theology books.

To answer the question: Yes! If I had readers of this blog, but no revenue, I would continue. If I didn't have readers yet, I may think the whole thing is pointless, because without any readers, wouldn't it kind of be?


Captain Cleavage said...

thats vury interesting. But i disagree about the whole thing being pointless without readers though. I have 2 i have had for over a year and one for the past few months. One is a pregnancy blog the other is an "everyday life" blog. I have a grand total of i belive three readers and I only got them in the past 6 months. But I still blog. It is only pointless If you get absolutly nothing out of it. Sometimes it feels good to write out your thoughts and see them word for you a diffrent percpective :)

p.s.I would totally let you take over our finances...but we are doing well and I am pretty sure you would take away my yearly shoe and ebay allowances! lol

Treva said...

I don't think blogging for personal satisfaction is pointless. But, then again, I majored in English where writing is pushed as the #1 cathartic activity one can embrace. Even if you had no readers I would encourage you to continue.

Emily said...

I agree that just writing out the ideas would give me some satisfaction, but my desire was to SHARE them with people, not just have them, so for me it is a little different. Captain Cleavage, I really like your "everyday blog," and I pop over there whenever I see your comments to see if you've updated, so you have me as a reader.

Captain Cleavage said...

YAY! lol

Atheist Mama said...

I just started blogging and I don't have many (any?) readers, but regardless, I'm going to keep blogging. I've always enjoyed keeping a journal of sorts, and it's just easier for me to do it online.

I put Adsense on my blog as well...but mostly just for kicks. I don't plan on making money off blogging. I mean, if I i'm not counting on it ;)

Emily said...

Athiest Mama, You started your blog yesterday, and your blog is a hit in the making, if you keep it up. As you say, it seems like you're the only Mommy blogger without a Christian slant, which gives you a corner on a niche. I like the new background, BTW. (:

Atheist Mama said...

Thank you for the background compliment! I found "the cutest blog..." through you :)

Leslie said...

Well, I hope you can make money doing it but I'm happy to hear that you will continue anyway. I LOVE this blog!!! My husband lost his job, and we are living on my one very tiny income right now so it is nice to get tips. Keep up the great work!

Jules said...

So, do you "have" to post every day? Is there any kind of 'agreement' with the Ads/ referrals? I enjoy writing my thoughts out, but don't know if I could make the time every day for it!

Emily said...

Leslie, I'm sorry about your husband, and I hope you can see all that's possible on a tight budget.

Jules, I can blog whenever I want. I like blogging every day, but it is all based on my own inspiration and whims.

The Baglady said...

Hi there! It took me 6 months to get a paycheck from my blogging, but now I make about $1100 a month on average. Just keep on writing about the stuff you care about and you should be fine! BTW I saw your comment on a Wise Bread article. I am Xin from Wise Bread

Helen Hunt - Free Link said...

I know that $1000 is small, but for those in the developing countries, it's more than what most people earn in a year.

That said, I make much more than that myself every month on top of my job as a female software engineer.

Thanks for the post :)

Evans said...

There's nothing small these days as long as there's easy money to be made online.

I'm still looking for the best way to make money :)

Heather said...

Dear Helen Hunt, when you point out that most people in developing countries live on less than $1000/year, it is important to keep in mind that the economies are not comparable and even standards of living are different. If you were to adjust for economies of scale, currency exchange, and what is considered "poor" or "rich" and in different contexts (rural vs. urban), it still doesn't nearly close the gap, but it puts an annual income in a bit more perspective.

vm said...

I make 0$ blogging. I don't even try. I enjoy blogging because it allows me to share my tips for living "eco-friendly," raising a kid in the city, sharing family milestones, and anything else that strikes my fancy. I guess in a way it is very narcissistic!

PC Repair said...

I just started my very first site on PC Repair in the hopes that I can make little money online just like everyone else.

I will keep an eye on this blog.
Thanks for sharing with us :)

Ryan said...

I really like the idea of signing comments with your domain name. I think I'll be using that from now on. Nice content as well, I can tell you really enjoy your subject matter.

Ryan @ Plantingdollars

Anonymous said...

So, if you don't mind answering - what do you use to make money from your blog - what little things do you have that generate income? Is it just AdSense and SwagBucks? I'm curious because while my blog has been pretty slow, I'm back in the mood of writing more, and would love to be able to supplement our income if possible by doing what I love! I tried to sign up for one, I forget which, and it required a credit card number (which I don't have). Are they all the same? Does it matter if you live in Canada as opposed to the USA? Thanks!

Emily said...

Anon, I used Adsense, Swagbucks referrals, and Amazon. Click the button on my sidebar to get started with swagbucks. It's a search engine that pays you to search. You also get income from people you refer to it. Amazon I make money with by writing about products, linking to Amazon, and I get commission on sales.

Now, months after I wrote this post, I also do BlogHer, which pays per impression, and commission junction, which pays on a commission on sales. As far as I know, these all work the same for Canadians.

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