Hey everyone, it’s Finance Fridays again. Technically today’s topic of “Monetizing My Blog” isn’t exactly a Finance Fridays topic for everyone. However, it is kind of a Finance topic for me, so I figured I’d share.
What do you mean by “monetizing”?
Well, it basically means I’m going to try to create a revenue stream on my blog. I’ve been blogging for more than 3 years now (almost 4). There were some false starts and mistakes, but I think the most important thing is that I tried my best to be consistent to my MWF schedule. Even if for some reason I couldn’t write a post, I tried to post either an apology or an explanation so my readers would know what was going on.
Over the last few years, while there are some costs to running the website such as hosting costs and the fees for AWeber and such, the majority of the “cost” of this website is my own sweat equity. At this point I think that everyone knows that I am a living, breathing doctor and I work full-time. I run this blog in my spare time and while it isn’t a ton of extra time, it’s probably at least another part-time job’s worth of work I do every week on it. Of course, a lot of that was front loaded during the first year where I had no idea what I was doing.
However, I’ve now kind of settled into a rhythm and proven to myself I can stick to this. I’ve written 406 posts so far, which is more than I ever thought I could (or would). Since I plan to do this for the foreseeable future, it doesn’t make sense anymore to just keep throwing away money every month. Give that I’m pretty invested in my site, it’s probably time to try to generate some revenue.
What does that mean for you, the reader?
Not much really. You can still expect 3 posts a week on MWF with the same topics.
The only real change you guys should see would be some unobtrusive banners from sponsors. I plan to keep them on the lefthand side (or maybe righthand side). It will likely be very similar to how White Coat Investor and PhysicianOnFire do it. This may also end up changing the layout slightly. However, like I said, I’ve kind of grown to love my customizer theme, so I’m going to try my best to keep it. But we’ll see.
However, if my blog was ever to be successful enough to warrant a blog manager, then you may see some sweeping changes to the layout. I would imagine they would make the UI/UX much better than it currently is and organize things much better than I ever could. We’ll see.
I had originally planned to try to monetize my blog this year (2018), as one of my New Year’s Resolutions… but well, that didn’t happen. Life comes at you fast. I was kind of just in a comfortable rhythm of writing my posts MWF, working, and family stuff… and ended up not dedicating any time to thinking about monetization.
Perhaps my New Year’s Resolution for 2018 was short-sighted. However, I’m going to make a concerted effort to come up with a reasonable pricing plan for sponsors. For starters, I am imagining something pretty simple like Platinum, Gold, and Silver tier sponsors. Tentatively, to start out, I am thinking there will be 1 Platinum Sponsor, 3 Gold Sponsors, and 5 Silver Sponsors. Perhaps a Diamond tier sponsor would be above Platinum someday, if there was interest.
For those who reached out that wanted to be sponsors, I will be emailing you by the end of the month. If you don’t hear from me by the end of the month and happen to read this post, please send me an email titled “Sponsorship Inquiry” or something along those lines.
What about Sponsored Posts?
I get a few emails about doing sponsored posts. However, currently I don’t plan to offer this service. That said, I may offer it in the future, especially if it is truly educational content, such as related to changes in disability insurance or student loans or how to negotiate contract or something to that effect.
Additionally, I get a lot of requests stating that they don’t want their sponsored posts to be designated as “sponsored”. This I can not do. I have tried my best to be as transparent as possible when it comes to any revenue I make on this blog (very little currently). Therefore, you have my promise that if I ever do offer a sponsored post, it will be designated as such. More so than that, I reserve the right to add my own commentary.
I may do random short posts sometimes on interesting things that I read or watch around the net. For example, here is one:
Basically, this guy is a small time LEGO YouTuber republicattak who has been around for about 8 years or so. He devotes much of his spare time to recreating Star Wars scenes and even does some stop motion stuff. He’s built some really amazing stuff.
Unfortunately, someone came and STOLE the majority of his LEGOs, worth about $18000. As you can see in the video he gave a tearful goodbye to his YouTube followers explaining what happened. However, another LEGO YouTuber MandRProductions (Ryan McCullogh) found his sad goodbye and did both a video about it and started a GoFundMe for him.
The internet sprang into action and donated $18350 in 2 days. What makes this story even more amazing is that republicattak asked Ryan to stop the GoFundMe at that amount stating:
Donations are really enormous, and I don't want to receive more money then I lost, this is why it's closed. ALL the given money will serve for a new LEGO adventure thanks to you.
— republicattak (@republicattak) October 9, 2018
“I don’t want to receive more money then I lost”
Some people are so good in this world… and some, some are just so bad.
When I heard about this I was going to donate or send him a set, but by that time he had already closed the GoFundMe. I’m hoping that he is able to replace his collection and start anew. This dude needs build the Ultimate Collectors Edition Millennium Falcon that he never got to build!
Small changes to the blog coming soon, likely happening in 2019.
I’m going to try my best to continue this blog for the foreseeable future, so I think it’s time to see if this paper airplane can fly.
***This post is actually mostly just to put my plan in writing so I can hold myself to it.
I hope republicattak gets to build his LEGO collection again.
Agree? Disagree? Questions, Comments and Suggestions are welcome.
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Good luck with monetizing. I hope it works for you. I struggle with that issue.
So far, my blogging has been for free. It likely isn’t sustainable though. I will follow and maybe copy your coming success.
Very interesting post. I guess I was a lot more impatient than you. My blog will turn 6 months old this upcoming week and about 2 weeks ago I actually started contacting people to see if they were interested in placing banner ads or affiliate programs..
To my surprise the majority of them said yes and I officially started monetizing my blog last week or so.
It’s a lot of work blogging (when I was a reader of blogs I never really appreciated the effort it took to write a 5 min post). Now I know it can easily take 4-6 hours of my time (likely more than that) to get a post I like into its final form.
It definitely is a labor of love but if I can paid for doing it I would be foolish not to try.
I had been running Google AdSense when I first started but as soon as I got sponsors I took it down. It was very little revenue (should be called Google AdCents) and some of the ads they placed were a bit intrusive. So I hope my readers think it was a great move dropping that and doing sponsorship.
It is very hard to gauge what ad space is worth. No two blogs are the same and it depends on traffic and audience (luckily physician finance blogs have a desirable demographic sponsors would like to address so we can command more of a premium than someone who say is blogging about cacti).
Best of luck and please give tips if you have any. I am sort of feeling my away around this and can use all the help I can get
Remarkable about the lego guy. I applaud your decision to monetize. You’ve put in an incredible amount of work for free. I hope you do well and feel free to reach out if you have any questions.