That’s nothing new and perhaps a gross understatement, but it’s a fact. Friends and family ask me all the time, “Don’t you make money off your blog?” and my answer is usually a qualified, “Yes, but…”
Back in 2007 I opened up my site to sponsored ads. In the beginning it was a huge boost to my income. At one point, I was bringing in over $1,500 a month in ad revenue. My readership was growing and scrapbooking companies were looking for creative ways to reach their target markets online. It was a win-win on every level. While the numbers from 2007 were not to be repeated, over the years this ad revenue made up a piece of my overall income pie. As a self-employed person, there are a handful of pie pieces that come together to keep me here, doing what I love to do, and still managing to pay my bills, put food on the table and partially send a child to college (with a bit of help from the federal government).
Online classes, digital products and freelance jobs make up the core of how I make a living. Aside from my blog sponsorships, the core of my income is not coming directly from this blog but of course, they are served and supported and promoted by it.
I’ve decided to close my sponsor program in August. While I have appreciated the opportunity to work with numerous companies over the years and greatly appreciate their financial support, it’s time to try something new and so I’m adding Google Ads to my site. One of the reasons is that a) it’s one way to add a bit of income, though I have no idea how much that will be and b) I am no longer beholden to my sponsors which means no more giveaway posts. If I want to giveaway something of mine, great. But going forward, I’ll no longer be hosting other companies’ giveaways unless it’s someone I choose to promote on my own.
I have friends who do what I do and I love their work. In that regard, I’m freer to promote those types of things. It also means that the pressure I feel to make sure I have new posts always ready to roll will be partially lessened.
I love having a blog but that doesn’t always mean I have a zillion ideas in my head at any given moment to post and share.
I see my blog as a few things right now:
1. A scrapbooking design and resource blog. I know good design and I’m able to talk about it as it relates to this fine hobby of ours.
2. A lifestyle blog…of sorts. You are never going to get wardrobe tips from me, but yes, I do talk about lifestyle things from time to time. I mean, remember that post about the egg cooker? That’s valuable stuff, people.
3. A product and class promotion vehicle. I mean, if I can’t pimp myself out here, there where? This is where the true revenue generation comes from.
4. A personal blog. The reality is, and I speak from over 10 years of blogging experience, the posts that seem to hit home and garner the most feedback and views are the personal stories about real things. That actually makes me happy. I started this blog as a means of self-expression. I didn’t plan a CZ Design machine which is probably why I’m still trying to get comfortable marketing the shit out of myself. But a CZ Design machine is what I have and so I work to balance these areas of blog content.
So that’s the scoop. You will now see an ad on my sidebar. Don’t be afraid. If it’s something you are into, by all means, click on it. I can take all the clicks I can get.
In the mean time, I will still feature my affiliate sponsors in my sidebar. These are companies whose products I use and wholeheartedly endorse and from whom I earn a small percentage on clicks to purchases by you.
And yes, believe me, every little click adds to a small piece of the pie.
I honestly don’t know what my financial story will be from year to year. We are facing some really big changes in the next 12 months as Dan is one semester away from becoming a student teacher, on his way to changing careers and teaching elementary school. Student teachers do not get paid. They do not get benefits. I’m feeling the pressure more than ever to make my work all that it can be.
I appreciate my readers’ support tremendously.