A few months ago, I wrote the post How to Make Money as a New Blogger and shared my top strategies for making money on a new blog. In that post, I also shared one way NOT to make money as a new blogger: Advertising.
But about a month after publishing that post, I decided not to follow my own advice. I got curious and put ads onto my blog. I used Google AdSense, which is probably the most popular advertising program for new bloggers. Why? AdSense has no minimum page view requirements, so new bloggers can easily get approved and start advertising.
With AdSense, you can start displaying ads in one click. Then you just sit back and watch the money roll in. You get paid based on impressions (how many people see your ads) and clicks (how many people actually click your ads.)
Sounds like a good deal, right? So why did I quit Google AdSense after just two weeks?
Extremely Low Earnings
After two weeks of displaying ads on my blog, I checked my earnings: I had made $2.48.
I was literally making pennies most days. The days where I made the most were when someone actually clicked on one of my ads. On those days I made about $0.60.
For bloggers who get a ton of traffic, I could easily see it being possible to make a couple of dollars a day. However, I was getting 100 to 150 page views per day during the two weeks I had ads running because my blog was still pretty small.
So this amount of page views translated to a really, really low amount of earnings. Even worse…
AdSense’s Minimum Payout is $100
AdSense has a $100 payment threshold. I did the math. At the rate I was going, it would take me another year and a half to hit $100 and get paid.
That seemed insane to me, considering I have made $100 in one day from affiliate marketing on my blog. (I’ll talk more about this in a minute.)
The Ads Were Ugly
The good thing about Google AdSense is that you have to do very little work after you set it up. You can simply turn on ads and Google will select ads for you and test and optimize them as time goes on.
However, the ads that they choose aren’t always pretty. A lot of them looked spammy and ugly to me, and sometimes they were totally irrelevant to my blog.
The last straw was when I pulled up my blog on my phone and saw a giant advertisement for an online slot machine game. I blog about blogging, social media, and helping girls start their own business… ads like that are NOT the message I want to send out.
Would I Ever Use Ads Again?
Maybe. If my blog ever starts seeing major traffic (I’m talking 100,000 monthly page views) I would consider trying ads again. I would want to use a big network like Mediavine or AdThrive that have high minimum page view requirements and better payouts.
But for now, I am focusing on growing my blog and my brand. I don’t want to clutter up my space with tacky ads that earn me pennies a day when I can focus on other activities that ACTUALLY earn a lot of money.
So How Do I Make Money Blogging?
I make money on Blog Darling in two key ways:
- Affiliate marketing
- Selling my ebook Get Paid to Pin
Affiliate marketing is one of my favorite ways to make money blogging! And unlike advertising, you don’t need a ton of page views to make money. In fact, I made my first affiliate sale with less than 1,000 page views.
Basically, affiliate marketing is promoting products and services that you love and getting paid a commission when someone makes a purchase through your unique affiliate link.
For example, I am an affiliate for Bluehost, which is my web hosting provider. I wrote a post called How to Start a Blog and Make Money and I used my Bluehost affiliate link in it. If anyone clicks on my link and signs up for Bluehost, I earn a commission (at no extra cost to them!) This is how I made $100 in one day one time.
If you need some help finding affiliate programs to join, I wrote a post about the Best Affiliate Programs for Bloggers to Make Money. No matter what you blog about, there are plenty of affiliate programs out there to join!
If you want some tips for writing blog posts that convert (AKA people actually click on your affiliate link and make a purchase!) then check out this post of mine!
As a blogger, you can write blog posts and include your affiliate links in them, but you can also promote your affiliate links in plenty of other ways. Some of my favorites:
- On social media like Facebook and Instagram
- Send emails to your email list with your affiliate links in them! (You can use the Core Affiliate Strategy for this, seriously so easy and profitable!)
- On Pinterest (that’s actually what my ebook is about!)
If you want to learn even more about affiliate marketing, I recommend signing up for my FREE 5-day email course Blog to Biz, where I share all of my affiliate marketing tips!
Selling My Ebook
The other way I earn money on my blog is through selling my ebook Get Paid to Pin.
My ebook is actually about affiliate marketing (can you tell I’m a fan?!) and more specifically, affiliate marketing on Pinterest. I wrote it because I knew it was something that would be helpful to my blog’s audience.
And that’s the key to creating a successful ebook or really any kind of digital product! If you don’t want to sell an ebook on your blog, you can sell other digital products such as:
- Online courses
- Stock photos
- Social media templates
(Check out my post 10 Best Digital Products to Sell in 2018 for even more ideas of digital products to sell on your blog!)
The beauty of selling an ebook or digital product is that the investment needed to create it is very low (I just had to spend $15 on a SendOwl account to host my ebook – so easy!)
All you’re really out is the time it takes to create your product, and you can probably do that in under a week! After that, the potential for income is limitless.
Easy Passive Income
Affiliate marketing and selling my ebook are both passive income just like advertising, meaning that once I get everything set up, I can basically sit back and start earning.
The difference (unlike advertising) is that I don’t need a lot of page views to make money! Like I mentioned, I only had about 1,000 page views when I made my first affiliate sale. Now I wake up most mornings to an email letting me know I made an affiliate sale.
When I launched my ebook, I was getting about 4,000 monthly page views and I had just over 200 email subscribers. Yet I still made more than $100 in the first two weeks of launching my ebook! Much better than making $2.48 in two weeks…
This is just my personal experience with Google AdSense and making money on my blog. What works for me might not work for everyone! However, I hope this post has been helpful for you and gives you some ideas about monetizing your blog!
Disclaimer: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, and at no extra cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you purchase through my links. I only recommend products and services that I have personally used and love.