Making Money Blogging: The Fine Line Between Profitable or Pestering

 

Making-Money-Blogging

 

Making Money Via Blogging Without Turning Off Your Readers

 

The purpose of this post is two-fold:

  1. To keep my followers updated on exciting changes in, and how I feel about, advertising here at The Caffeinated Day Tripper.
  2. To welcome other bloggers, advertisers, critics and experts into a conversation regarding how best to balance the needs of the blogger versus the needs of followers.

 

You just want to immerse yourself in something about which you are passionate: Fashion, food, exciting but affordable day travel

*cough*

You love to write, or snap photos, or share valuable advice with family and friends. You think, “If only I could combine all of these inclinations.” Then it hits you…a blog!

You start planning out this amazing blog utopia.

<–insert dream-sequence music here–>

It’s a pretty picture, in your mind: Stunning graphics, clean themes, exciting video, photo galleries, slide shows! You begin looking into hosting platforms. Sure, some are free (www.blogger.com and www.wordpress.com, for example) and perfectly fine, if you are just beginning, but you do get what you pay for.  For the most part, they offer limited customization, cookie-cutter themes and what about the almighty plugin? The functionality and (well, I’ll just say it) SUPER-BITCHIN’-COOLNESS  that plugins add is impossible to resist!

For starters, you’ve got to have an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Pack, XML Sitemaps to help Google (and, yes, others) index your posts, something to reduce the file size of your images so your page can load faster (reducing your bounce rate) and that Anti-Spambot plugin that keeps “Hot Thai Masseurs” from commenting, “We enjoy this. Please Click Here For Free Exciting Offer!” on your post, 8 Reasons to Go Air-boating With Your Family in Florida’s Everglades.

Awkward! (And, sadly…true story.)

Also, how can a real blogger live without their own domain name?

For example:

You have a name, right? Wow, me too! Okay, now imagine your incredibly awesome, lovingly-chosen-by-your-adoring-mommy-&-daddy, name with a .com after it. Are you kidding me? That’s killer, right?

What about space? How much does your free provider offer as opposed to a paid service? You have GOT to have tons of space for all that slick content you’re going to offer!

You start looking at the limited possibilities available with some services and wishing you could bring a bit more to the table for your followers.

 

How Do You Become Profitable (Or Break Even) Without Pestering?

 

Let’s also talk about *looks around and whispers*…monetizing. I know talking about making money blogging can be a bit like putting on an itchy wool scarf but the reality is that a lot of bloggers, eventually, need to earn a little cash, even just to break even and pay the costs associated with providing a professional blog that features high-quality content. That is what’s most important, right?

That’s where this post comes in.

 

How I’m Handling The Dilemma of Making Money Blogging

 

You’ve probably already noticed that I use Google AdSense ads and search tools on the blog. Yesterday, I also opened up The Caffeinated Shopper: An Online Shopping Mall For Travelers and Hikers, powered by Amazon.com.

Here’s the thing. I’m trying to walk that delicate balance between providing interesting content and, well, paying for it. What I don’t want to do is bog you guys down with a bunch of pop-ups, ill-placed ads and flashing gizmos. So, I’m trying the store out. I’ll do my best to hand-pick quality Travel and Hiking Gear & Essentials (maybe even a cute travel-related gift item or two for the Day-Tripper in your life) that can actually better your experience here. I want to offer a more targeted solution so we can help one another out. That includes my fellow travel bloggers!

So, if you need anything for your next trip, stop in and take a virtual look around. See something you like? Consider buying it through our store. If you don’t, no worries. In the end, what’s most important is that you enjoy your time here, learn a little something, find a new adventure and return to interact. I value your time spent here at The Caffeinated Day Tripper. I know how busy you are!

 

Are you a blogger, walking that fine line between becoming profitable and pestering?

 

How do you handle the costs of running a blog via potentially alienating your followers? Have any advice for new bloggers on making or saving money on services?

 

Are you a fan/ follower of blogs who wants to offer your opinion on what sort of ad you’d prefer to see? Are you an advertiser with other ideas to offer?

 

I love hearing from readers so, please, leave your feedback in the comment box below!

 Don’t forget to follow the blog to keep up on all latest posts. You can also like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter & Google +!

Thanks for all of your support, as always!

About the Author: Erin

35 Comments

  1. Reply Marie-Carmen

    Yeah I’m still stuck on the self-hosting line and not making money out of blogging.
    Like some said I’m considering selling photos or things like that but while on the move it’s hard work. I’ll get to it after Mongolia I guess (hope)

    Enjoyed your post! Hope you’ll keep doing well with your blog!

    • Reply Erin

      Thanks, Marie-Carmen. Good luck with yours, as well. I love the idea of selling photos. Been toying with it myself. Mongolia is actually on my list of places to see so I am very jealous! Take lots of pictures for me!

  2. Reply fly mobile games

    Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you been
    blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall
    look of your web site is wonderful, as well as the content!

    • Reply Erin

      Thanks, folks at Gamezebo. Blogging since November. You’re pretty damn good-lookin yourselves. Lookit you, with all your games.

  3. Reply Bob R

    Ditto to other comments above. I’m trying to decide which direction to go too. I’ll probably choose a variety of things, but most likely spend more time marketing my own photos. I’ve managed a few sales already so have to keep that going. Good luck – you should revisit this theme each month; I began a monthly ‘blog’ review which updates progress in different areas. I think readers and prospective advertisers/sponsors/buyers value the transparency and honesty those posts provide.

    • Reply Erin

      You’ve hit on another genius aspect! Marketing your own photos! Being profitable without pestering. I absolutely adore what you guys have brought to the table here. :) Thanks, so much, for stopping in and sharing your experience and advice.

  4. Reply Michele

    As we are currently travelling long term the challenge for us is to actually make the time to keep the blog updated. We hoped to make some money as we went but in reality I do not think we are committed enough to put the time in to make it financial. At this stage we are trying to do stories of our adventures and see where it goes will watch your blog to see how it pans out. Good luck

    • Reply Erin

      Thanks, Michele. I can’t even imagine trying to travel long term and keep a blog updated, never mind profit, as well. That’s why I’m The Caffeinated DAY Tripper…lol! Good for you guys on living the dream! Your memories will be worth a fortune!

  5. Reply Sharon

    I hope to turn my blog into a business. To meet this goal, my main aim at the moment is to continue to build my readership. I don’t want to risk potentially alienating people just to make literally a few bucks, so I am hoping to wait until I am able to make a reasonable amount of money before monetising so that the work and potential cons of monetisation are more worthwhile… hopefully that makes sense! I am not a fan of google adsense though, I don’t imagine ever taking that route. I would want advertising more personalised to my blog. Anyway, good luck!! :)

    • Reply Erin

      Yes, building your readership is the KEY to all of this! Totally makes sense which is way more important than cents. Great to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks for adding your 2 cents!

  6. Reply A Southern Gypsy

    I’m trying to decide what road to take as far as this goes. I’d really like to be making a little money before I leave so it can offset some of my cost but we shall see. Great post Erin :)

    • Reply Erin

      Thanks, :) You are going to have a fabulous time and I can’t wait to hear all about it! Good luck with whatever you decide as far as $ goes.

  7. Reply SJ @ Chasing the Donkey

    Thanks for sharing, I have a few $$ coming in but I am not yet sure what to do with the $$ aspect. I have thought about the store front like you, but it does not fit my brand. I hope you make a few $$ from Amazon. Best of luck.

  8. Reply Chris Boothman

    This is a really great post but you are so right, it’s a huge dilemma! Here is my stance over at A Brit and A Southerner. We have taken the decision so far to monetize everything ourselves and have no real inclination to change this opinion. Our reasons behind establishing our travel blog was purely to share our experiences and help others learn about different spots around the world. However, as we are seeing an increase in traffic, other options are beginning to open up to us, including potentially advertising etc.

    I would prefer to get other benefits from the blog rather than financial such as free products, hotel stays etc. so that we can help others expand and market their brands. It’s a real tough dilemma though for sure and maybe if you ask me the same question in 6 months, I will likely have a different opinion because this is an ever changing market that we must all be ready to adapt to!

    • Reply Erin

      Thank you, Chris! I love that you added an entire other aspect to this discussion: benefiting via free products, hotel stays, etc. Wish I had thought to include that as part of my post, as well, because that can be just as profitable as money and perhaps more beneficial to a traveler. And, yes, adapting to this ever-changing environment is KEY! Smart guy, great comment!

  9. Reply Samantha @mytanfeet

    I think it depends on the blogger goals – do they want it to be their main source of income? is it just for fun? Do they want to make a few pennies if it’s possible? We started our blog with a goal in mind and have been working towards that goal since the day we bought the domain. Great post to let readers know about your path to monetization, it’s all about providing the best value to the reader and not losing their trust.

    • Reply Kelly Dunning

      I agree with you, Samantha – gaining the trust of the readers is important. People know when they are being spammed and they won’t read a blog that is entirely promotion. The goal is to provide good quality, useful content as a first priority.

      • Reply Erin

        This is why I was so excited about this week’s blog post. I knew you guys would offer such great perspectives and advice on this subject. Anyone who should happen to stumble upon this post is going to have plenty to digest. Thanks for your thoughts, Kelly!

    • Reply Erin

      See right there, Samantha, are 3 great questions that every fledgling blogger should ask themselves! Set those goals early on and work toward them! Excellent advice. Thanks for adding so much to the discussion and, yes, we all agree that we need to strike some balance between value & trust :)

  10. Reply surfingtheplanet

    You raised very interesting points in this article. To tell truth, we haven’t really given too much thought to these things yet,as we have really been using our blogs mostly for fun, although we have a couple of clickable Ads in our homepage. We will be interested in participating in any kind of discussion on this matter, at the moment can’t give you many new ideas as we lack experience on the subject. Thanks for the interesting post!

    • Reply Erin

      Hey, thanks for stopping in and taking the time to comment. There are lots of new bloggers out there who are in it just for fun. Placing a few clickable ads is a great way to focus on the fun and maybe grab a few $ along the way. That IS a new idea and thanks for it :)

  11. Reply frankaboutcroatia

    Great post, Erin! I’ve been thinking about monetizing for a while, and I want to put up few affiliate links, but the time seems an issue. Between creating the content, distributing it, and all the time I spent on social media (that seems like killing both my time, and my creativity), I still haven’t made even the first step in this direction. Great that you did. Let us know how you are doing.

    • Reply Erin

      Time is a killer isn’t it? Yikes! I, myself, have a tough time balancing the writing, photo editing, social networking, site maintenance and research. This advertising is more of an experiment in further educating myself…lol. When you do find time to take that first step, please let us know how it works out for you and thanks for taking the time to comment

  12. Reply Jonny Jenkins

    Great post Erin,
    I’m currently in this exact dilemma at the moment, and honestly not overly sure of what approach I’m about to take.
    It’s certainly reassuring to see others struggling with the two (major) sides of this industry that don’t always seem to align.

    • Reply Erin

      Thanks, Jonny :) I hope others, who are struggling with this, feel comforted that we’re all in the same boat. I’m hoping to get some good feedback too: Do’s don’t, advice, personal struggles. Check in again in the future, maybe we’ll have some clearer answers. ;) Solidarity, brother!

  13. Reply Travelling King Blog

    this is a great topic to touch on and it is a fine line – for me i enjoy blogging (but also work) so i pay for blogging from my day job and occasionally make a few bucks here and there

  14. Reply Travelling Book Junkie

    Wow, its like you are inside my head – all these things you have said I have either thought or am still thinking about. Any tips that you can share moving forward will be greatly appreciated. :)

    • Reply Erin

      I guess we are all living in the same reality, as bloggers. And please also share YOUR tips too. We can all learn together!

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© Erin Jorgensen and The Caffeinated Day Tripper, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Erin Jorgensen and The Caffeinated Day Tripper with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.