When I first started out, I saw blogging as an extension of my offline life. I helped people in real life. I was in business and so I thought I could bring that aspect into my site.
It’s been a journey (a rather long one) and I’ve learned a couple of things when it comes to how to make money from a blog.
I started out with a job board in my old blogspot (free blogger website). You know, the banners you put up on your site and when people click and pick up work, you earn something.
Months later, I’d earned exactly…. zero. I pulled down the job board fast.
I read up on it and installed it on my site. My earnings after almost two years of blogging? 5 dollars.
On a side (but important) note, my problem with Ad sense was that it didn’t seem to catch on that I am a Christian.
I tried to block all the tasteless URLs, even checked-off that little box that allows Google to target the audience according to their browsing tastes.
Still some clever URL would once in a while pop up on my site and scare/shame the daylights out of me. And my readers.
I removed Ad-sense from my site.
I cranked out a 17,000-word e-book manuscript at the beginning of this year. I planned to sell it for a a dollar or two. But a friend helped me revise my thoughts.
Now am tying up a little 7,000 word ebook to give away for free (in exchange for subscription).
My lesson? Consider generosity first. Sow where you want to go.
I’ve written so many manuscripts that I’ve lost count. I burned some of them (long story), lost some and have three remaining in my hard drive.
Again, publishing is less than straight forward (and expensive) in Kenya compared to the US. So my thoughts and ‘books’ piled on.
My blog has given me a place to practice publicly and consistently. And has made me realize that there’s a lot of re-writing to be done in my remaining manuscripts.
I have also learned that most of the money will come from associated products, not from the books themselves.
I have a brick-and-mortar kind of business background. All my consulting, coaching and events planning was done off line. My main marketing thrust was word of mouth. Going online (and starting from scratch) has turned my head around.
Blogging has taught me a thing or two about adapting, re-learning (and unlearning), networking and growing. We have to start somewhere. Although personally I prefer to start right before that final step.
I’ve discovered that the things you learn on the way to the top are the things that keep you thriving at the top.
My biggest lesson yet…
In my journey, I have once again confirmed that there’s more to life and writing than making money.
Blogging is not about making money. But about helping people. And doing so in line with my passion and purpose.
Money is a byproduct of good deeds. Without this revelation, online business (and ministry) can be a long hard process.
Question – Have you ever tried to make money from a blog? What lessons have you learned? Share your story below.
* Image credit: graciepoo (Creative Commons)