Failing at your own business–Blogging

Reposted as a guest blogger at Writers Bra.

You’ve all seen the headlines “Make money blogging” “Become a millionaire blogger” “Quit your job and blog the day away.” Well, as with all too good to be true schemes, making incredible amounts of money with your blog is realistically not doable for average folks. That’s not to say that there aren’t bloggers out there who found the magic formula and made lots of money blogging. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be books or courses showing you how (and making money for their authors). Unfortunately, I’m average folks and this is how monetizing my blog is going for me. (Spoiler alert–read the title of this post again)

So what is the magic formula?  Problogger reveals all:

  1. Set up your blog
  2. Start creating useful content
  3. Get off your blog and start finding readers
  4. Build engagement with the readers that come
  5. Start making money from the readership you have through one or more of a variety of income streams

Provided you’ve achieved steps 1-4, it’s time to start thinking about monetizing your blog. Here’s a list of income generating ways to consider. Some I’ve tried, some I plan to, and some are just not for me.

Advertising Income

The easiest way to add advertising income is to apply for Google Adsense.  If you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you’ll see areas where Google Adsense will place appropriate ads.  I don’t have to do anything but attract readers.  Well, that’s not exactly true.  I have a privacy policy and an About page with a way to contact me.  (See also 12 Things to Do Before Applying for Google AdSense)

Other advertisers include Infolinks, BidVertiser, and Medianet.

Affiliate Income

I also use affiliate income. With these types of link, if someone clicks and buys a product during that session, I earn a commission on the sale. I link to Amazon and Amazon Mexico products in my posts and include links to a variety of products that I think my readers would be interested in through FlexOffers and ShareaSale.

Find a sponsor for your web site. Get paid for your great content.

I have yet to earn any money through the last two sites but there are a lot of great companies listed!

I had an astore through Amazon as well, which listed products that I thought people considering moving to Mexico would find useful. This had been the most profitable option for me. In 2016 I earned almost $20. I know, I know. I’m rolling in the big bucks. However, mid-way through 2017, Amazon decided to shut the program down. So much for that!

amazon earnings 2016

I have also signed up for Zulily and G Suite affiliate programs. I’m always on the lookout for other companies that I think might be useful for my readers.

(See also The Ultimate Guide to making money with the Amazon affiliate program and 10 popular affiliate programs for small and medium sized blogs)  

I have added a disclaimer on all my affiliate link pages to satisfy legal requirements.  (For more information on this requirement see Best Practices: Blogger Disclosure Examples and Tips)  

With ads and affiliate links as additions to my posts, I’ve opted for readability over prominent ad placement. I probably sacrifice earnings, but my readers come to my blog to read my stuff, not shop. If they happen to see a link or ad that appeals to them and I earn a commission, well, that’s great too.


Some blogs organize conferences to add to their income. One of my favorite blogs Raising Miro organizes World schooling summits and Teen Learning retreats.  This isn’t something I do right now, but maybe in the future?  Who can say?

Memberships and services

Other blogs offer paying memberships. has a free version and an upgraded version.  For a yearly fee, you are entitled to use other services not permitted to the free loaders.

Other sites offer personal coaching or access to special lists and exclusive deals. I don’t know what I would offer paying readers that would differ enough to make it worth their while. I have mentioned that I’m available for certain jobs (See Failing at your own business–web design) but have yet to earn any money from readers contacting me.

Selling Products or Promoting a Business

My friend at had an online business selling organic baby products for years.  She moved to a more informative setup and no longer sells those products but it was a major source of income for her family for quite some time.  I’ve started my writing career along with illustrator Claudia Guzes (who sells her artwork) with my first e-book.  I hope to add a whole series of e-books to my name in the near future.  I’ve promoted business as well, not that I receive a commission on that, but perhaps someday. (See Modern Day Marias–Maggie the provider and Modern Day Marias–Nicole the Liberator).  I like to think I’m paying it forward.

Courses are another way to offer a virtual product that will keep providing income.  I’ve highlighted a few that I particularly on my Finding your Passion page.

Asking for donations and Crowdfunding

I’ve seen bloggers asking for donations on a variety of sites.  However, I have taken my donate button off because Paypal does not allow for donations to any organization except non-profit.  I also had a crowd funding option (Indiegogo) to receive donations for La Yacata (See Generosity) which I removed, mostly because after a year I hadn’t received a cent.  I’ve heard about this option doing well for some people.  Unfortunately, I’m not some people.

Syndicating content

I have used syndicated content for one of my guest bloggers Jamie Miranda.  I asked permission to use her original blog post on my site with a link back to her blog.  I do not pay my guest bloggers, but appearing on my site does increase SEO for the original blogger.  Apparently, there are paying gigs out there for syndicating content.  (For more information See The 101 on Content Syndication: Who, What, Where, When and Why)

Reviewing Products

I’ve just begun my venture into reviewing books for pay.  You can read all about that here)  Although I have yet to make any money doing this, I have high hopes.  If other products come my way for review that would appeal to my readers, I’d be interested as well.

Become a professional blogger

If you love blogging, there are people out there who will pay you to write their blogs.  This isn’t a feasible option for me as I can barely get out my own posts in a timely manner.  I’ve got too much else going on.  But….it’s an option. (See How I Make $5,000 a Month as a Paid Blogger)

Selling the blog

If you’ve established a successful blog that you no longer wish to pursue, instead of just letting it languish away quietly, sell it.  You’ll get a better price if you’ve done everything legally by the book (no copyright infringements, adequate disclosures, etc).  (See also Signs You Could Sell Your Blog and Make Money)

There you have it, folks! The recipe for successful monetization of your blog. Have I missed anything? Let me know.




Filed under Blogging, Economics, Employment

11 responses to “Failing at your own business–Blogging

  1. I think that the idea of making a blog, then gaining a loyal readership, and monetizing really does sound simple, but I agree that there is a lot more to it in order to make a living from blogging. It’s difficult to put yourself out there and not see the results you wish you had. Ultimately, trying different things should show you what is successful for you personally or what isn’t and gives you the tools to analyze and make the necessary adjustments to create more success.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. There’s lots you can gain from blogging but i think you must first pass the stage of building your brand and getting good readership.. before you can think of monetizing


  3. I agree earning money from blogging is not as easy as it sounds. There isn’t a cookie cutter method that works for everybody.
    I just thought of another option that you didn’t list here- writing an ebook. You can use kindle’s ebook program and people can pay a small fee for downloading it. The content should be attractive enough to make people want to read it, of course.


  4. Oh, I just reviewed and realized you did mention you are writing an ebook 😀 lol
    You could check out the kindle platform. Other bloggers have recommended it to me. I want to write an ebook, I just need to think a good topic.


  5. JasmineZelda

    I know what you mean! It always sounds so simple but what most people don’t realize when they start dreaming of a blog that they ca sustain themselves on is that it takes a LOT of time and effort. Great post about concrete things people can do!

    Liked by 1 person

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