Money and This Blog

I find it rather interesting that there are all these sites dedicated to making money with blogs such as Problogger. I read a few of them more out of just trying to build a better blog rather than make money. Frankly I’m not doing this to get rich or even have it as a side income. I only expect this blog to pay for itself and it shows in its income.

So I thought it would be interesting for everyone to see the books of this little operation to date. First off let me make this completely clear. I have not taken one cent of the money this blog has earned for myself. Rather I hold it all in trust to pay hosting and domain costs and fund the odd contest as the cash flow will allow.

In one year this blog has made a whole $310. Earth shattering isn’t it? (Insert sarcasm sign here) Most of the revenue has been from Adsense while that one paid post and one advertising deal has made up the rest. So space that over all 253 posts this blog made a mere $1.23 per post. Clearly I’m not going to do this instead of my day job anytime soon.

Expenses have been fairly modest. There has been domain fees, hosting fees, mailing books to contest winners and that one $25 gift card giveaway I did early this year. Total cost is around $100.

So if I’m not doing this for money, why the hell am I dragging myself out of bed five days a week to write posts? Because this blog has been a good learning experience. I’ll summarize some of my lessons below.

  1. Yes you can make money online. The draw back of course is to make any decent money you need to work VERY hard at it and have multiple websites and different ad programs.
  2. Blogging is actually MUCH harder than it looks, especially if you want to do five posts a week or more. It takes planning, editing (yes I’m still working on this one), research, site optimization (including coding, design, customization and branding), reading and commenting on other blogs/websites, conducting interviews, reading books to review and dealing with media and reader email.
  3. Some of the benefits of a blog is it really teaches you about running your own business. You learn about marketing, product quality, time management, leadership, negotiations, and that all important public relations.
  4. It takes a lot of time to find your groove in a blog. It’s taken me most of a year to really understand what I want themes of personal finance I want this blog to focus on such as early retirement, the emotions behind money and our decisions about money, finding happiness and with the odd shot of thinly veiled environmentalism.
  5. Start up costs can be extremely cheap if you shop around. My seed money for this blog was only $50.
  6. If you want to do blogging somewhat seriously then you should decide that upfront and get your own domain name. Jumping domains is one sure way to lose some of your audience.

So folks I hope you find that little peak behind the scenes somewhat entertaining. I ask your forgiveness if I come across in a reflective mood, but this blog’s birthday is Friday.  So you know that means I’m going to have another contest.