Your Life Your Blog: Philosophy of Monetization

Welcome to the second Your Life Your Blog (YLYB) of the new year! Last week, I decided I would add a blogging tip to each week’s linky post. It’s not because I am superior or that I have it all together. It’s just that I’ve made mistakes, had some successes, been around the clock, and also, willing to publicize my experiments.

One of those experiments is in using affiliate marketing to supplement my blog revenue. I’ve made a total of $5 so far, and it’s kind of tough, because I am not a huge product/review blog  (I do some reviews/giveaways and deals).  I am very anxious to read the Guide to Monetization by MomDot’s Trisha which is supposed to be published today (I’ll add the link when I get it).

A lot has been written about monetizing your blog, but not much has been written about why. I remember when I struggled as to whether to monetize and treat this as a sort of business- or at least make some latte money for the time I spend.

Here is the first thing to consider when deciding whether to monetize and why.

  • What do you have to “sell?” This advice is from Maria Bailey, ever so wise business woman.  Figure out what you have that is of value.  Is it your knowledge as an expert? Access to your network? Social Media Marketing?  Consulting? Blog Design?  Page Views? Posting deals before the rest of the web?  Decide what marketable skill you have. Maria suggests developing a product to sell through your blog.

I love to network, create relationships, share knowledge, and entertain.  I do that through my blogs, MomTV Show, Facebook, Twitter, etc.  I also teach other businesses how to do the same thing (which is my main source of monetization).

The best source of monetization, in my opinion, is beyond the blog.  Can you get a freelance writing job, teach workshops or webinars, sell an ebook or product, or do consulting?

Through talking to some other wise business women, I came to these reasons why I monetize my blogs, and use them for credibility in my other pursuits.

1. If I worked in a traditional full-time job, albeit doing something I love, that company would pay me for my time. If I wrote for a magazine, newspaper, or if I hosted a traditional TV Show, the publishing company would have a contract with me for a salary, then the ad dept. would sell ads to make the money to pay the “talent.”

Well, a blogger IS the:

  • Company
  • Publisher
  • Marketing Department
  • “Talent”
  • Editor
  • Design Department
  • Research Staff
  • Tech Support (My tech support dept. is horrible, btw)
  • Did I miss something?

2.  While I do NOT feel entitled to “get paid,”  I spend a lot of time doing this, so for the sake of my family, I either need to work my butt off to supplement the family income, or find another “job.”  I’m making a go at creating my job from something I love to do.

3. Most PR companies are used to reaching out to writers who are already working FOR someone.  As we’ve established, we ARE our employers, so we have to find a way to bridge that divide.  Of the many reasons I’m excited to attend Blissdom Conference in February, is the session entitled “Evolving as a Professional Blogger — The Evolution From Earned Media to Paid Media

I’m interested in Hearing from you!  Do you monetize?  Why?


Now let’s LINK!  Hit me with your favorite post from the last week, and don’t forget to link back here so others can join if they want!

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About Sarah Pinnix

I'm a mom, blogger, vlogger, libertarian. I love Jesus, and my husband, too. Social Media Strategist for a Non-Profit (All statements here are solely my own)


  1. Muthering Heights
    Twitter: MutheringHeight

    I would LOVE to monetize, but I have no clue where to start!! LOL!!!

    {Although I DID get the savvywidget link…thank you!}
    .-= Muthering Heights´s last blog ..Isn’t It Just Like Life? =-.


    Twitter: reallifesarah

    Yay! I’m so glad you got that! I’m really looking forward to Trish’s post about monetization. It’s so hard to put it in a nutshell, ya know?


  2. Sarah, these are such great points. I am along the lines of just the latte money. I am very wishy-washy when it comes through affiliate, I think the effort is more than it is worth. Or maybe I am doing it wrong.

    .-= niri´s last blog ..My Shake ‘N Bake Tofu! (Giveaway – 5 Winners) =-.


    Twitter: reallifesarah

    That’s what I’m wondering about affiliates, too! I need a crash course!


  3. I love your thoughts! I linked up to my post that pretty much sums up ALL that I’ve been up to since the 1st of the year. (It’s my weigh in post.)

    My hubs has done quite well as an affiliate marketer over the last year and I’ll tell you this: The best sales he gets are not from blogs, the way that we blog, it’s from sales pages. You know, the kind you land on with all the colors and fonts and click heres? It’s true. He has tried to get me into affiliate marketing on my blog, and I’ve tried a little bit of it. I’ve told him, it just doesn’t work the same way. I laughed last week when he and his business partner started a blog to try to sell some affiliate item and I found out they gave up after a week. I said, “why?” He said, “it didn’t start making money fast enough.” ROFLOL. No KIDDING – right?

    I don’t care if it’s “old school” or “chump change”, Google adsense and amazon affiliate links have done better for me than anything else I have tried, since I don’t have a highly specific blog niche, like, say, coupons or recipes alone. It’s not much but I’m keeping them around. I do have a few things I want to try in 2010, including writing my own ebook. We’ll see how that goes. 😉


  4. i’m an amazon affiliate and i’m not making buckets of money, but it occasionally adds up enough to buy our school books. i also do blogher ads which are enough to fund my coke habit (the soda, not the hard stuff). i’d like to be more knowledgeable and do more. i’d like to kick blogher to the curb and find small business ads. i just don’t know how to start.
    .-= melissa stover´s last blog ..10 of our favorite gifts =-.


  5. Lucretia Pruitt says:

    Awesome post Sarah!!

    I remember when the whole “putting Google Ad links” or even graphic ads was seen as “betraying the blogging community.”

    There are still those who will be offended that anyone would even consider putting up affiliate links on their blogs. Those same people seem to have no problem with buying magazines with advertising or watching television with commercials – but they don’t seem them as the same sorts of thing: informational &/or entertaining writing by someone who needs to make a living too.

    I’m going to Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas next week. I’m very much looking forward to seeing what the affiliate community does differently from the non-monetized bloggers. Not sure that I’ll have the right stuff to make it a good idea – but I’m willing to learn! 🙂
    .-= Lucretia Pruitt´s last blog ..Just Breathe. =-.


  6. Personal blogs are hard to monetize. Affiliate programs aren’t a bad way to go. Neither are ad networks. Each program has different rules, so it’s important to know what you’re signing on for (ie, can you approve the ad before it goes live on your site?).

    The things that attract advertisers aren’t necessarily the things that attract readers. The trick is to figure out how to find the common ground. Great points!
    .-= Melanie @ Mel, A Dramatic Mommy´s last blog ..Bloggers, Conferences and Sponsorships: Think Outside the Box =-.


    Twitter: reallifesarah

    Thanks Melanie, great thoughts!


  7. I love the question about what do you offer. It’s a key point that’s often left unanswered. I’m speaking on the Blissdom panel you mentioned. I hope you’ll drop me a note and share specific thoughts about what you are hoping to get out of the session.
    .-= kim/hormone-colored days´s last blog ..Stop Discriminating Against Us! =-.


    Twitter: reallifesarah

    Oh, great Kim! I can’t wait for the panel, I’ll definitely introduce myself at the workshop. I think it will be interesting to hear about going from Blogger to spokeswoman? Looking forward to it!


  8. this is the first ive heard about this, I will have to check it out great post


  9. Catherine B
    Twitter: shoeboxdaily

    My blog is fairly new but I am interested in making a bit of money (who isn’t right)? At least to offset some of the time I spend writing. I like your ideas and those of your readers. Great post! Thanks
    .-= Catherine B´s last blog ..A letter to my children =-.


  10. Kristina
    Twitter: 3kiddosunder4

    I am trying to monetize, but I am just flying by the seat of my pants, really. (Am I supposed to admit that?)

    I love writing and blogging, but if I am going to keep it up, I need to at least supplement our income somehow.
    .-= Kristina´s last blog ..armpits through the eyes of a four year-old =-.


  11. Teri Lynne
    Twitter: TeriLynneU

    Sarah, I just started doing some affiliate stuff … and am looking at other ways to monetize. Would like to make a little money, of course!!
    .-= Teri Lynne´s last blog ..I hurt people =-.


  12. I agree that personal blogs are hard to monetize, however, I make enough to pay the cleaning lady. 🙂 No, I’m not getting rich from it, but it’s better than nothing.

    I think the best way to monetize a personal blog is with an ad network. There are restrictions, sure, but you’re also getting the benefits of professionals working on your behalf. I also sell some private ads — text ads work well for me. I have some that renew monthly, and it’s nice a nice source of “passive income”.

    I find affiliate links to be very NOT successful. The only exception is at Christmastime. I do pretty well with Amazon affiliate links with my gift guide (and I also ask family and friends to do their Christmas shopping through my affiliate button.)

    Nice post, Sarah! Thanks for putting it together.
    .-= Musings of a Housewife´s last blog ..Advice for Making the Most of Blissdom =-.


  13. Mama Laundry
    Twitter: MamaLaundry

    This has given me so much to think about – thank you!

    My blog is a spin-off of my home laundry business actually, so I definitely don’t consider it a personal blog. But it IS personal in that I talk about my life, how I do laundry, etc. But I feel like it is more educational than personal – or at least I hope to steer it in that direction.

    I found through my home laundry business that so many people struggle with laundry and want to make it a simple process. Hopefully I can help with that.

    All of that to say, I’d definitely like to monetize in the near future.

    Where would you suggest a new blogger start? I’m still a baby at 6 weeks old! I don’t have blog stats, etc. Maybe start there?

    Thanks for the opportunity to link up! Found you on Twitter, btw. I can’t wait to take a look around! I can already tell you have a wealth of info for this new girl!



  14. I agree with you that the best money comes from opportunities gained because of your blog. That has been my experience (writing, consulting, etc.)

    I’m a minimalist (so I don’t like a lot of ads on my blog) and somewhat of a control freak (in that I want final say regarding what ads will/won’t run on my blog) so a lot of ad networks are not a great fit. Rather than straight ads, I’m focusing more on forming a few select (mutually beneficial!) sponsorship partnerships with companies that are natural fits. It will be interesting to see how this whole thing evolves…


  15. Alyssa
    Twitter: alyssaavant

    You and I have spoken about this before. I don’t make money from my personal blog at all. I have however received opportunities to go to a conference or do something like that as a result of my personal blog.

    However, I started my ministry site Beauty by Design before I started blogging at Life from my Laptop. I started the site to raise awareness about my speaking and events, that has been successful. I speak (for pay) at least once a month.

    I also in the midst of getting my ministry rolling started a ghostwriting business back in 2007, this was to help me pay the bills while I was getting other things going. THis is where I make the bulk of my income (basically a part time salary or better).

    THough I struggle sometimes with wanting more, I believe I am doing better than I sometimes think.
    .-= Alyssa´s last blog ..I Could Use Your Help =-.


    Mama Laundry
    Twitter: MamaLaundry


    What does that mean exactly: “a ghostwriting business.”

    Just curious 🙂 I’ve never heard of that.

    .-= Mama Laundry´s last blog ..How to Fold: Underwear =-.


  16. I tried affiliate marketing but it must not be my thing LOL I make money from establishing relationships with my readers who then hire me for professional organizing services. I also get paid for ad space on my blog as well as some freelance writing. I guess my blog is just my vehicle to paid work, versus being a source of income on it’s own (if that makes any sense)
    .-= Melissa Multitasking Mama´s last blog ..Fresh Perspective =-.


  17. lealsAstert,, impamsChisy, breast actives, reiliedoptero



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