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Blogging 201, Day Thirteen: Marketing, Advertising, and Monetizing, Oh My!

Today’s assignment: put on your CEO suit and think through whether marketing and monetizing are right for your blog. If so, take one step.

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Blogging is always a labor of love, where rewards take the form of engaged readers, substantive comments, new friends, and a better understanding of yourself as a writer. It’s also a time-consuming activity, though — and time often is money (directly or indirectly).

Should you invest money in promoting your blog? Should you try to monetize your carefully crafted content?

Today’s assignment: put on your blog’s CEO suit and draft a marketing and monetizing plan for your blog. Execute the first item on your list.

Why do this?

  • Because the lessons you learn from thinking strategically about your blog are important whether or not you make money off of it.
  • Because, for some of us, our blogging and professional lives might have significant overlap, and this is a natural next step to consider.

Note: Marketing and monetizing your blog might not be a priority for you, and that’s fine. We still recommend you think through these issues, as it’ll force you to think seriously about your blog’s strengths, target audience(s), and brand.

If this isn’t for you, spend today analyzing the early returns from your poll and creating a three-step plan to act on the results, or reaching out to a few potential buddies.

Promoting your posts

We start blogging because we have something to say, but we’re also motivated by other (successful) bloggers: Andrew Sullivan, Jenny LawsonNate Silver. Their success makes us wonder: could we also make it big in the blogosphere?

Statistically, most of us don’t become rich and famous through blogging, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to broaden our reach.

One of the tools in the aspiring mega-blogger’s arsenal is content promotion: you pay money to get eyeballs on your posts. The idea isn’t just to get a traffic bump, but to engage audiences who otherwise wouldn’t have known about your blog. Several publishing platforms let you do this in a fairly low-cost way. On Facebook, you can promote particular posts or advertise your blog generally. Twitter and LinkedIn offer promoted tweets and sponsored updates. StumbleUpon charges a fixed fee for readers it sends your way.

Beyond the extra views, these programs allow you to choose specific audiences for your promotion, using parameters like interest, age, gender, and geographic location. This means that a well-targeted promoted post might reach precisely the readers you’d want.

Here’s our post fleshing out the pros and cons of paying for blog traffic, if you want to ponder this a bit more.

The cons of paid promotion are obvious: readers might not actually stick around. It might turn you into a stats-obsessed zombie and distract you from what really matters: expressing yourself. It also costs money.

Still, today’s assignment is to check out the various avenues for promoting your content. Would any fit your blog? What demographics would you target? How would you budget it? These are valuable questions that will help you focus your brand, whether you decide to advertise or not.

Becoming an ad (wo)man

With blogs, money can also flow in another direction: towards you. Should you monetize?

Bear in mind that making significant money blogging is rare, and demands a long-term investment of time and other resources to develop a mass a following. Per our own ads guru: “All bloggers should understand that they would need hundreds of thousands of page views to generate meaningful earnings.”

That said, as long as you’re aware of the odds and stay focused on publishing posts you’re proud of, blogging can be a source of supplemental income.

Depending on your blog and goals, there are a few ways to monetize on WordPress.com (those of you who are self-hosted or using other platforms will have additional options):

  • You can start at the level of the community, and add a donation button to your sidebar so readers can “tip” you (note: this requires a PayPal account).
  • If you review books or gadgets, talk about fashion, or otherwise mention products in an organic way, you can apply to an affiliate links program, where merchants would pay you for any customers you refer to them via your content. Amazon Associates is the biggest and most popular. (If you’re a WordPress.com blogger, be sure to review the guidelines on affiliate links first).
  • If your blog has consistently strong traffic, it might be time to consider applying for WordAds, WordPress.com’s advertising program. If you want details or are wondering whether your blog’s a good fit, here are some insights from Jon Burke, the WordPress.com ads wizard.

If you want your blog to be an ad-free zone, you can consider the no-ads upgrade to remove the ads that WordPress.com sometimes displays.

Other ideas to think about: if you have a strong brand and a loyal readership, you could consider selling branded merchandise. If you’re a self-published author, promoting your book is a form of monetization. If you’re a DIY or design blogger, linking to and otherwise featuring your Etsy or Ebay store is a way to capitalize on your blog’s success.

Think about the most organic way you might monetize your blog: which option appeals to you the most? What are the best ways to leverage your blog’s strengths? How much time would you allocate to such an effort, and how would you balance it with your blog’s main focus? If you decide to go for it, take the first step: add a “donate” button or affiliate link, or complete the WordAds application.

We know there’s a lot to think about here. Don’t feel like you need to make this decision today, and use the comments and Commons to hash things out with your co-bloggers.

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    1. We generally reply to all support requests received through the WordAds Support form within 24 hours. If it has been more than 24 hours and you used that form, please check your email’s spam folder. If you did not use that contact form, please feel free to contact us through that.

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      1. Regarding support requests received via our WordAds support form, we generally reply within 24 hours, as mentioned above.

        Regarding WordAds applications, because of the volume of applications, we are unable at this time to reply individually to all applicants.

        Our advertising partners have minimum traffic requirements, and when your site traffic meets these requirements, we’ll be in touch.

        For now, I recommend reading this guide with valuable suggestions on legitimately increasing your traffic.

        I want to strongly emphasize sharing your blog with your friends and family. If they like it, they’ll share it with their friends, and so on.

        Like

  1. Oh well, not for me then.
    I will come accross as being negative – then again I’m french so i’m used to it 🙂 – but I’m not one for advertising and monetizing my blog.
    As a reader, as soon as I see a page with logo, ads and so on, I’m turned off and quit immediately without even reading.
    I don’t like and don’t want a blog that says, buy,clic, buy, clic and make me some money.
    So as a blogger, I’m the same. I may be naive but I don’t want to advertise things. I want to talk about things I like and I would hate readers to think that I’m not 100% sincere and somewhere in my mind there’s also a till.
    Finally, I know it takes time and money to blog, but doing something you love shouldn’t always be about making money out of it.
    And therefore I’m out!

    Like

    1. I recently came across a blog that had a donation button but to me it looked like a very regular blog. I was confused but to be fair I didn’t spend enough time there to see if it indeed was just a regular blog or the person also had a shop for products or whatever. Generally speaking, money puts pressure on you. I too want to write about what I want, without outside pressure.

      Like

    2. Hahaha.. Same, short on budget…Well those ads appear on sites that get huge traffic.. All there needs to be a click out of 100 bloggers may be 5..

      I am just building reputation first.. 🙂

      Like

      1. It does on wordpress blogs with the free address wordpress.com. If you decide yo buy your domain, then the ads stop. As I said to someone else, since everything is free to set up your blog (with the extra lovely help from the happiness engineers), it’s only fair the money from the ads running on your blogs (which you have no power over) is for wordpress.
        Somewhere on you dashboard you have all the explanations.
        Here’s the link to the domain thingie 🙂
        Hope that helps!
        https://wordpress.com/support/domains/

        Like

  2. I run my small business out of my blog and I too (like murielle) won’t find it good professional practice to fill my blogs with ads. I think I will leave this function.

    Otherwise, some good tips though

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    1. I reckon if you have money to spare and already popular in your work, giving it a try on facebook is good.. They will bring 600 likes with just 50-60 dollar budget.. Trust me that is huge exposure and a great traffic to your website..

      I am still deciding not to go, because right now dont have any followers.. First I want to build reputation..

      Good luck to you buddy:)

      Like

  3. Hmm, let me offer some alternatives. See those image widget ads? Yea, why not use them as advertising spaces? Some great places to find potential buyers to buy those spots are Fiverr if you haven’t heard of, or even Craigslist. Depending on your readership and exposure, you can adjust your rates accordingly, how big your ads will be, and how long will they stay up for. Even the position for your ads matter. You can charge a more premium price for ads on your sidebar, and slightly cheaper for your footer ads.

    Please however make sure that the ads are at least kinda a li’ll related to the content of your blog? I mean, I’m reading about the history of television when I’m suddenly invited to meet all the single ladies in my area. Like, leave me alone.

    Anyway, another idea will be to maybe feature a link at the end of your post? Those links will have to be purchased by your advertisers, so in a way you’re selling the end of your post to them. Likewise for pages, maybe you can have sponsors? Sponsors usually pay more, and if you have a decent amount of viewership, maybe you can offer them naming rights to your page. It won’t look really personal anymore, but the money. Yea, personally, I wouldn’t get them to do that unless it flows nicely. How stupid will it look when my page menu reads “Taco Bell Photography”. Come on, it’s your own photography.

    Your custom banner might also be a good space to feature some small ads (so as to not ruin the overall feel of your blog. I repeat, your, blog). There are so many possibilities within your blog that you can turn into advertising spaces. However, be warned that with every advertisement placed, it’ll feel less and less ‘free and personal’, and some YouTube creators are prime examples of how commercialisation of their content has brought the quality of their videos down.

    Never do things because of money. Do it because you want to. Anything else is just a bonus. If you want to, maybe you can advertise for NGOs for free. Tell them about your plans, and they’ll be sure as heck happy to send you some images to use in your image widgets and all that. You’re also building up connections and networking in the process, so who knows, maybe the NGO might ask you to do some work for them, like shooting some videos, photographing an event or even do the one thing that everybody here loves. Writing.

    Share with me your marketing ideas in the comments below 🙂

    My blog is http://LhuWenKai.com. Greetings from Singapore btw!

    Like

    1. Note that if you blog on WordPress.com, you can’t sell space in your sidebar/header for advertisers — if you want to run ads, you need to apply to join the WordAds program.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wondering if she knew that.
        She is right about the ads should be related to post. A match may be difficult at times.
        Interesting assignment, Michelle. Even a beginning blog can think about this: the potential, and the reality (One of the first thing people ask when they find out you have a blog is “How much money do you make?” It’s not exactly that common or easy, as you say)

        Like

  4. Well, this confused me a bit: the article encourages us to monetise, but the tip in the sidebar says that we can buy an upgrade to remove the WordPress ads from our blog — that’s the opposite of monetisation, isn’t it? It seems contradictory advice to me.

    In any case, I’m with Murielle, I don’t spend time on blogs that use ads. I actually purchased the upgrade for my blog that removes WordPress ads because they were quite distracting. As to the Donate button, I was considering it but received some negative responses from readers, so I’ll probably not go this way either.

    The tips above on selling via Etsy and such are useful, though, and I may need them one day.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I guess that’s the difference. Anyway, I’m not doing ads (I don’t think I would even qualify for WordPress ads, there’s a requirement on having a decent traffic to qualify).

        Like

    1. WordPress.com runs ads on all our blogs — the money the ads bring in goes to us, and helps cover the cost of offering free sites. The “No Ads” upgrade takes those ads off your site entirely. If you decide to run ads on your site, you share in the revenue.

      Like

      1. That is fair enough. You guys are providing such a great service with all the resources, assignments, challenges, almost there 24 hours a day.. you guys deserve something in return.. 🙂

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  5. Has anybody used Kickstarter to help fund some of the things they want to do on their blogs? I’m thinking of starting a “Wednesday Where in the World?” feature where there are obscure photos and people have to try to guess where that picture was taken. I’d like to offer the winners some sort of prize (like a $10 Starbucks gift card) or something. Any thoughts?

    Like

    1. That’s a really great idea actually. Maybe you can get a few like-minded people on your venture, and like in return for their contributions towards the gift card, you can give them a shoutout, or like a sponsor status. I wouldn’t mind being your first contributor to kick things off a li’ll.

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  6. My suggestion, based on 7+ years of blogging, would be: Don’t monetize your personal blogs – focus on interaction/community building, learning and sharing, there. If you want to monetize, create niche blogs focused on a certain topic that you are passionate about/know a lot. The narrower and focused the niche is, the better.

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    1. But you missed out your reason for your thinking. Can you tell us? I monetized my personal blog with WordAds and can´t find a problem imo.

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    1. You forgot to mention that the poll has questions regarding your blog. I have to visit that first.

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  7. To be honest I hate the donate here button, my first thought is it looks like a charity, there is nothing wrong with charities but these blogs aren’t charities and it just puts me off.

    There are no numbers of stats given unless I missed something as to what is considered a strong readership or viable to even have a donate button. I mean if you have a readership of 100 and low stats why would one put a donate button on, it in my opinion is only going to lower your readership by putting people off.

    I also don’t like going to a blog and seeing loads of adverts. I would rather go to Amazon direct or google exactly what I want to buy and go to the products website direct.

    However, I think reviews are great on products and one can paid for those, but i think they should be appilcable to what you write your blog about, ie if you write about dogs, don’t necessarily review hairdryers.

    I have a blog called Living in East Sheen, which is only about where I live in a specific post code, it is very niche and hence has a very low following, but what it does do is allows me an outlet to show a slightly more business style of my writing and from this I am really hoping one day I might get paid to write newsletters or some freelance work but it involves lots of legwork, getting to know people locally, writing articles on them etc etc which I actually love, but of course bills don’t get paid from fresh air.

    With eclectic, I write my funny stories, actually not so much time these days with all the challenges, but I don’t want ads, or donate buttons, one day yeh i would love to write short stories like my mother did, but that is all a dream. Mostly I love getting great comments and feedback and that I made someone smile, be interested in something or laugh x

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      1. I think its not bad to have a donate button unless your story is true and you want to give something back..There are some bloggers who have great followers and their followers usually donate so they can do much better job by publishing another book, etc. In return the main blogger gives them credits, reblog their posts, put them on the blog roll, hence extra traffic flows in..:) Its omething to look into once you have many followers 🙂

        Like

    1. Donation buttons aren’t right for everyone — I totally agree.

      It can work for some. People are willing to pay for a site that delivers great reading material. I often point to Brain Pickings, an excellent blog by Maria Popova. It’s crammed with tons of thought-proving material. The site is ad-free by Maria’s choice and runs on donations. I’ve donated in the past and feel that it’s probably time for me to donate again, given how often I return to the site. Check it out — I bet you’ll enjoy it.

      http://www.brainpickings.org/

      Like

  8. I have a writing blog which is partly personal, partly professional, and I have started to illustrate my creative writing posts with pictures of passages from my books. I think this works pretty well. I don’t have enough traffic to get ads, and I don’t wan’t a donate button for the reasons everybody else has given.

    Like

  9. Happy Sunday all! I’ll ask this question again, as I didn’t receive help the other day. I have a business and am attempting to link it to my wordpress. I’ve succeeded by adding a link widget into the sidebar. The problem is, the image will not appear just name. When I put in image address and RSS feed, a box will show but not the actual image. I’d really appreciate help with this. Thanks in advance

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    1. why dont you use an image widget this you can link back to whatever URL you want and put the title of the business on the top? Text widgets I believe don’t show images x

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  10. I don’t mind the idea of monetizing my blog one day, but I do agree that the advertisements should be within your niche and I don’t like the idea of a Donate button. As Michelle said, WordPress already utilizes blogs to advertise unless you pay for the No Ads Upgrade. For example, my blog is on fashion and lifestyle so I think having one or two clothing and accessory brands advertise on my blog might even fit its look.

    From what I understood by reading the comments, does advertising in the sidebars require a self-hosted blog? Where would WordAds appear if someone qualified for that?

    Like

    1. Advertising (therefore using flash things) requires a self-hosted blog. Since you’re using a free platform (wp-com) it’s only fair the money for the ads they place goes to them.

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      1. Hmm that’s fair—once someone grows their readership enough maybe then they can self-host their own site. It would be a dream to be that successful, but we’ll see where this goes. Right now I’m just blogging about things that I enjoy and can hopefully entertain my readers. Thanks for the link, by the way! It helped clear things up 🙂

        Like

    2. Where would WordAds appear if someone qualified for that?

      Ads from WordAds appear below the post on single post pages in all themes available at WordPress.com, and some themes also allow additional header, sidebar, and homepage ads.

      For more details, see our FAQ.

      Like

  11. Whether you as a blogger gets paid for ads or not, it’s good to try and grow readership. Remember increasing hits per blog is really important to Word Press as a company/business – they can use the numbers to attract companies that place ads – and maybe investors. Many of us appreciate what WordPRess offers for free – so a little help from their friends?
    Lots of great info in this post.

    Like

  12. I have applied to WordAds and I have a few affiliate links, but nothing has come of it because my blog is so new I guess. I have thought of adding the donate button to help fund my travels, but again, the blog is so new that I cannot imagine anyone actually donating anything.

    -Amanda

    Like

    1. Regarding your WordAds application, our advertising partners do have a minimum traffic threshold. Looking at your page views, it’s not possible to earn meaningful earnings given your traffic levels. A site generally needs thousands of consistent page views each month to earn meaningful earnings. As your traffic grows we will continue to apply to get ads activated, there is no need to re-apply.

      For now, I recommend reading this guide with valuable suggestions on legitimately increasing your traffic.

      I want to strongly emphasize sharing your blog with your friends and family. If they like it, they’ll share it with their friends, and so on.

      Also, please note that you can always contact the WordAds Team directly via this contact form.

      Like

  13. I don’t want to monetise my current blog, but eventually I would like to use it to showcase my writing style. I’d like to eventually earn some money by writing paid blog posts on behalf of others. I don’t mean writing product reviews or promotions. I think what I want to do is called ghost blogging.
    Can someone point me in the direction of reliable resources that will help me research this more (there seems to be a lot of strange people out there giving peculiar advice)? Eventually I need to earn £500per month. I tend to take a week to draft a decent post. Is it possible to earn this sort of money from writing one ghost-blog post per week?
    I am obviously not ready for this yet – I still need to improve my writing quite a bit. However, it would be good to know whether or not it is possible to make an income via this route.

    Like

  14. Hi All:

    So, I signed on just now to read how others felt about this and it is nice to see that there are so many people interested in discussing the pros and cons of monetizing from your blog. Here’s my 2 cents…no pun intended.

    First, Michelle: I think this is a great exercise because not only does it get us thinking about the monetizing thing, but also about why we blog. I am glad WordPress.com has ads on free sites because, well, we wouldn’t be able to use this great service if it didn’t exist. Having had my blog hosted other places, I will say WordPress.com is the best and I am glad to pay for the upgrade to remove ads on my site but more importantly to support WordPress.com.

    That said, I am with the folks here who head for the hills when they come upon sites filled with ads. I find it to be a real turnoff.

    I think, too, that to gain any revenue from advertising you really have to have a large readership and the only way to get that is to focus on developing a great site with unique content. I was an affiliate with a few places for a while when I had my site hosted elsewhere but didn’t make than a few pennies from it for 2 reasons: 1. My content was just not that good yet. 2. The terms in which you actually get paid are really specific. In the end, I just decided that it wasn’t worth it to clutter my site with ads for so little gain…. Then a funny thing happened.

    I focused on building a better website at http://www.gathering-flavors.com . People started to find me on their own. And some, because they liked what they saw, asked me to help them build their own websites and blogs. I now have a small business working with people to build websites. At first I did it for trade for services, now I charge a fee. Gathering Flavors is personal blog and my web design blog, http://www.denatestabray.net, supports my budding business.

    Go figure.

    So, that’s my 2 cents.

    I hope each of you are satisfied with your blogging. That it brings you joy and channels your creativity. If you make money at it, all the better.

    Happy Blogging!

    Dena

    Like

  15. Been kind of outside last few days and haven’t had much to do with blog etc. I might at some point be able to use donation button and word ads. My insurance blog might be the place for the word ads down the road, but with just starting it and only one post so far, not ready for that. All are great ideas though. I’ve noticed several comments that don’t like the idea for the donation button. At one time I tried using “go fund me” as a way to raise funds for a horse rescue operation – not successful. We have the land but need money build fund it with needing to build new barn… well things will happen all in good time.
    I want to actually publish a book of poetry so I may put a donation button there to help raise funds for self publishing… we will see.
    All feed back appreciated. 🙂

    Like

  16. Any blogs to wish to be monetized should be designed accordingly, otherwise, any addition of ads might place negative impacts on the harmony of the blog page.

    I don’t have any plan for advertising or monetizing in my blog right now, but my mind might change in the future. Then I will consider to redesign my blog page.

    Like

  17. We are in day thirteen talking about marketing, promoting and what not.

    Well right now in the stage of still learning how to engage and short on budget, so not looking into any paid advertising at the moment. I still need lot of support and more traffic to the site on the regular basis. Everyday I work on improving the website/blog so can reach my blogging friends, facebook and twitter.

    I have two friends who I have made editors of my facebook page. I have given them permission to send invites and help me promote my page. Just today got new five likes, and we are growing. Since Ive started these assignments my traffic has grown significantly, Almost 50-60 everyday/last two weeks, compared to 5-20/day in March-2nd week in april. My plan is to promote by word of mouth, facebook page, twitter, google +. I have started using more hashtags now for twitter and facebook. Also soon will be hosting a facebook event as a SURVEY DAY and will invite all my facebook friends. On wordpress I am thinking to go on reader everyday and follow my four tags – fitness, health, recipes and food and try to engage with 15-20 everyday. Also I am engaging on wordpress now for atleast 6-7 hours a day.

    inviting donation can be a good option, but first I want to gain trust of the wordpress, friends, facebook community. I need followers who believe in me and feel by helping me they will me making a difference to me and in return I can help improve their lives and bring some positives to all of them.

    Finally did the blog roll part of assignment 10 , actually understood what it actually meant. Took me a while to figure it out and choosing the ones I should. I have my favorite ones in there which are linked to who we are and what we do. I divided them into two categories – “FRESH AND HEALTHY FOOD COMMUNITY” and “FITNESS AND TRAINING COMMUNITY”. I used the links, categories to do it. If you hover over the pictures you will have a slight idea what’s it about. Let me know if you guys like it and check if you are one of the few in my “blogroll”.. Any recommendation and feedback from the bloggers and support team is most appreciated..

    I have already sent a request to word ads though, they said will take one -two months.. Hoping for the best and in the mean time improving on my blog 🙂

    Regards,

    Eat All Fresh

    Like

    1. Wow, you changed your banner. The site looks very dynamic. I like the idea of having people acts as editors. I am not sure about the monetizing after reading the article by Jon Burke. I don’t know if people would follow me if my site was full of ads. I do like being able to promote products or events I like. I’ll have to think further on this.

      I hope you’ll let me know how the WordAds turn out. I see your blog now has an .me extension. Did you just pay to have your own domain? I’ve been thinking about that for a long time now. I would have to do that if I wanted to use WordAds.

      Like

      1. Hi cteachr,

        Yes I did change it. Glad that you like it, thank you. Same bit confused there for that reason want to build trust out there first. I guess ads are not so bad unless they are pop up ones and irrelevant. Yes ofcourse will inform you on how I went with WORD ADS. Yes I did buy a domain name, as word ads asked for that option. Luckily it was available. Yes had to pay, but was just 10 dollars for a year + 13 to get it to work with wordpress.. 🙂

        Yes you may have to pay if you want to use Word Ads..

        Have a great day and thanks for your feedback 🙂

        Like

    2. I have already sent a request to word ads though, they said will take one -two months.

      Because of the volume of applications, we are unable at this time to reply individually to all applicants.

      Our advertising partners have minimum traffic requirements, and when your site traffic meets these requirements, we’ll be in touch.

      Also, please note that you can always contact the WordAds Team directly via this form.

      Like

  18. I signed up for WordAds shortly after the program launched, but I don’t have enough traffic to really see much benefit. I haven’t discontinued it, though, because who knows? Anything can happen on the internet.

    I did decide to add a donation button, though. If it works, great! But if not, oh well.

    Like

  19. Wasn’t able to comment on yesterday’s post but if anyone is a teenage blogger, or interesting in a random life/college blog and would like to be my blogging buddy (or need a blogging buddy) let me know! Please and thank you!

    Like

    1. Hi Kim, we’ve been closing comments after a couple of days in order to keep up with all the conversations.

      I’d suggest posting this in the 201 Commons which is a private blog for participants to reach out about buddying up, asking questions, etc. You’re on Blogspot, so I’m not able to search your username via our admin tools to see if you’re already a member. If you’d like to join the Commons but need an invitation, you’ll need a WordPress.com username, which you can get here:

      https://signup.wordpress.com/signup/?user=1

      Let me know what your username is, and I’ll send you an invitation.

      Like

  20. I hadn’t actually read this assignment until now, but by coincidence, or maybe because of the thinking that this course has sparked, I did my first ever experiments with paid advertising on facebook and twitter yesterday, not for my own blog, but for one that I run for someone else: http://www.bernardyoung.co.uk

    I have to say it was very interesting. We decided to limit the total investment to £10 for each platform. For both what you do is set up your account and put in a limit of what you are prepared to spend and then define how, over what time period, what target groups etc. On facebook I boosted a single post from a page that is set up as an authors fan page. On twitter I promoted two tweets. Looking at the analytics, I would say that the facebook investment was much more effective pound for pound. That is basing it not just on the statistics that are given by the insights in facebook and analytics in twitter, but also on the trackable views on the wordpress blog. (The content of the post and tweets were the same). But also interesting is that I have had higher organic reach and engagement figures using tactics on facebook that involve only time investment not paid for advertising, which I have written about here http://karencropper.wordpress.com/2014/03/21/how-to-get-more-people-seeing-facebook-posts/

    I have to say while I have the chance, thanks to the people organising this course. It has been very good value for money ;-). Very high quality, thought provoking and useful. I have been sharing the posts with various other people I know. I’ve been on the other end of organising online seminars and I know how much work and effort is involved in making it run smoothly and effectively. So well done.

    Like

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your case study and your experience!

      We appreciate your kind words about Blogging 201 and are glad you’re getting your money’s worth. 😉

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  21. well, thinking that if you are interested in that, you should go at it! I would be too, but first I have to progress through the technical (for me really hard) details of making your blog better, understanding it, first. The next step after that, would be monetizing….The very first step, is to practice the writing part, read other’s stuff, see who is out there in the world.

    Foolishly I spent a few bucks, because I thought it was a good idea to make my blog ‘pretty’…..but, I guess it’s alot like my home. I like it already, if I go off half cocked, without the ground setting preperations, then it falls through. If I decide I need a drain in my basement, and hire someone to drill a drainage hole, etc, without doing the research (where to put the drain? What kind of drain? How much money do I really want to spend? I can have a drain, but that leads often times, to spending more money after the drain is installed….) No, no drain…..I’d love a sink in the basement, but no go.
    Maybe, eventually, if it looks like what I write inspires others, or can help them, maybe….not looking that far down the road, yet.
    First I need to graduate into ‘yes, I understand how to do more than just type in a blog’…
    I admire all of you who do know what you are doing, and can promote yourselves and be a business, or at least make a little money.

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  22. Comments on day eleven are closed, so I put this here, because I am so touched by what happened: Yesterday, an artist from Armenia, Anahit Mughnetsyan, whom I only know via social media and only through our new blog, posted a full entry on http://what-ifblog.net. I know I said before it feels scary to “buddy up”, but what I didn’t know was the joy of sharing and having somebody respond so earnestly to our thoughts on our artistic topic “identity”. Thank you, Anahit. And thank you to the daily post people to encourage us to reach out and dare and try new things, even if it feels scary.

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  23. I like the concept of WordAds, but I find the execution to be frustrating. There seems to be a ton of ambiguity and secrecy and only a couple ounces of information and solid answers. For example:

    I really wish WordPress/WordAds could give more concrete information on the traffic needed to a) be accepted, and b) make more than pocket change each month. Unfortunately, everything you see is vague and unhelpful. Surely there are some numbers that can be cited – every WordAds participant has at least X followers or sees at least Y unique views per day/week/month. Knowing some baselines would probably help reduce the line of blogs wanting to participate in the service.

    Which brings me to my next point: I applied for WordAds back in 2013 – as in March 2013 – and I have not heard anything back on if my application is still be reviewed or if it is still pending. When I try to sign up again, I’m told that my “Application has already been sent for this blog”, but that is the only information I can find.

    I’m left to assume that I don’t meet some part of the criteria, but I have no feedback on what it is. I feel like I get respectable traffic, my posts are something I’d read to my grandma, and I feel my traffic and quality improves every month. But without even a form letter of “you do not meet requirement X”, I have zero idea what’s going on.

    Yikes – well that got a little more vent-y than I wanted to be, but I’m wondering if others share my frustrations.

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    1. I applied for WordAds back in 2013 – as in March 2013 – and I have not heard anything back on if my application is still be reviewed or if it is still pending.

      Our advertising partners do have a minimum traffic threshold. Looking at your page views, it’s not possible to earn meaningful earnings given your traffic levels. A site generally needs thousands of consistent page views each month to earn meaningful earnings. As your traffic grows we will continue to apply to get ads activated, there is no need to re-apply.

      For now, I recommend reading this guide with valuable suggestions on legitimately increasing your traffic.

      I want to strongly emphasize sharing your blog with your friends and family. If they like it, they’ll share it with their friends, and so on.

      I really wish WordPress/WordAds could give more concrete information on the traffic needed to a) be accepted, and b) make more than pocket change each month.

      We are not able to publicly disclose what the minimums expected by our advertisers are, but the application system is fully automated. Once you reach the minimum, your application is automatically sent for evaluation and hopefully approval.

      Please note that you can always contact the WordAds Team directly via this contact form.

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  24. Interesting food for thought indeed. I would never pay for viewers as it means something to have my readership slowly grow, organically. I do, however, get approached from various companies wanting me to advertise their products in some way on my blog. Most recently Kenwood and KitchenCraft as you can see on my recent posts 😀 It’s payment in and of itself to get free goodies to play with and write a review for. I think important to note when considering taking up the offers which will come your way is the time commitment needed to prepare posts which use a product you’ve been asked to blog about. It took 3 months to get the Kenwood post off the ground with negotiations through the agent who approached me and make all the bakes I wanted to to show the stand mixer off to its best. Not to mention the other “ordinary” posts I was churning out at the same time. I don’t want my blog to turn into one advert after the other but if companies I already like want me to showcase their products I will do, as long as they are good! I can’t see the day where I will have the time to devote to both my own agenda on my blog and product reviews (often with my own agenda or recipes wedged in too!) as having a full time job and a Hungry Hubby to share my life with, there just aren’t enough hours in the day!

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  25. I definitely want to monetize my blog. I’ve been thinking about selling a custom mug, with the Crazy Good Parent logo on it, in addition to giving one to contributors for posts. A donate button might work as well, but I’d have to get over my sense that I’m not a charity. (Though my blog might be!)

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