How I started to make money from my blog

I’ve received some questions from long-time readers about how I make money blogging. It’s something that only started recently, even though I’ve had this little blog since August 2010.

 How I started to make money from my blog

This is the step-by-step process I’ve taken to help grow and monetize my blog:

I joined the Yakezie network

The Yakezie network is a group of personal finance and lifestyle bloggers focused on networking and helping each other out. This has been the single most helpful thing I have done for my blog. The forums alone help answer all those questions I’ve had about blogging, such as “How do I SEO?” , “How can I put in a favicon on my blog?” and “How do I get advertisers interested in my blog?”

I focused on increasing my Alexa rating

Part of the Yakezie Challenge (a requirement to become a Yakezie member) is to increase your Alexa rating. An Alexa rating is a type of ranking system determined by how many people with the Alexa toolbar installed visit your site. The goal is to get in the top 200,000 websites. It is rumored that many advertisers start contacting blogs when they reach that threshold.

When I began the Yakezie Challenge in November 22, 2011, I had an Alexa ranking of 1,004,000. As of yesterday, I am at XXXXXXXX. And I’ve already had a few advertisers contact me directly.

I increased exposure

I have guest posted for several blogs in an effort to increase exposure. I have also outsourced carnival submissions. Carnivals are a type of blog series that collects links from a bunch of different blogs on one particular topic. The whole point of blog carnivals is to gain links to your blogs which a) help increase your blog’s rating and b) help increase exposure.

Google PR is something I only recently learned about as well. Google PR is a tool that helps show you how well Google ranks your blog. The ranking system is from 0-10. My blog is a PR2 and I have been working really hard to try and become a PR3. The higher your PR, the more you can charge for advertising, because it means Google ranks you as a more reputable source.

There is a whole world on increasing your PR–it’s very easy to get lost and overwhelmed. Take it one day at a time if you start to delve into this arena.

Outsourcing

I outsource carnival submissions, which are a very time-consuming process in my opinion but necessary to increase links, to Corey from 20′s Finances. His rates are extremely reasonable and I have been very happy with his services.

I use the advertising services of Crystal from Budgeting in the Fun Stuff and Justin from Money is the Root. They are much more experienced bloggers and have connections with several advertisers. For a commission, they haggle on your behalf. I love both of them!

For the record

I do not ever plan on quitting my day job to be a full-time blogger. I admire others who have made this possible– a la Young House Love, Dooce, Pioneer Woman, Crystal, etc. But it’s not for me. For one, I really like my job. And two, I have amazing benefits that I’m just not willing to give up. And three-let’s be honest, I will never make that much money.

I see the advertising as an added bonus to my hobby. I’ve gained a lot of exposure to my blog but I am still a little fish in a big pond. The fact that I can make any money from my blog at all is a huge gift to me. As I’ve stated before, any money that I make from blogging goes directly into a vacation fund. So here’s to living it up.

What do you think about advertising on your blog?

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19 thoughts on “How I started to make money from my blog

  1. January 24, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Congrats on heading down the road of blog monetization! Sounds like you’ve got a good start by trying to improve your page rank and alexa. It will certainly lead to more advertising opportunities, although I’m sure you may not want to accept them all. That’s part of the tough part figuring out what types of ads you’ll accept, and which you won’t. Be careful not to focus to much on one stat or another though or you can quickly forget that it’s all about having great content, and providing value to regular readers as well as those searching on the internet.

    I’ve been blogging about personal finance for 4 years or so now, and I now make more than enough to cover my wife’ salary since she quit to take care of our son at home. It’s a rewarding hobby that has become a second income!

    Keep up the great work!

  2. January 23, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Thanks for the tips! I’ve debated on joining Yakezie, mostly because I’m just a newbie and don’t know if I need to establish myself more to join. Much to think about…

  3. January 23, 2012 at 6:53 am

    Joining the challenge 3 weeks ago was the smartest thing I’ve done for my new site. I’m really enjoying meeting all the other challengers and members. I need to up my Carnival game.

  4. January 17, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Until November I said no to any requests I got for advertising, I finally switched to self-hosted and have had a few inquiries since. It’s an avenue I’m exploring but I still have no intention of becoming a full-time blogger, I think i wouldn’t enjoy it and would probably run out of things to write about because I would end up forcing myself to write. Glad it’s working out for you :)

  5. January 17, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    I haven’t realized that you were blogging much longer than I thought (who knows where I was getting my info from!) :) You are doing great, and I am more than sure that with time your income will increase more. I’ll be watching you! :)

  6. January 17, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Thanks for the mention! You’re doing a great job!

  7. January 17, 2012 at 6:41 am

    Sounds like you’re doing all the right things! I’m doing much of the same, except I’d like to outsource more. Other than that, it’s been going great so far!

  8. January 16, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    I don’t know if it’s true, but I’ve read that the Google page rank will be updated towards the end of this month. I hope you make it to 3 then (and I hope I make it past 1 then)!

  9. January 16, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Another great post! Thanks again for answering my emails and putting me in touch with Crystal. And now I have even more ideas! :)

  10. January 16, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I hadn’t heard of several of the things you mentioned. It takes a lot of time and dedication to run a successful blog like yours, way to go!

  11. January 16, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about hosting my blog and opening up room for advertising. This and your last post on when you decided to start advertising have pushed me more and more to consider going that route soon. Thanks!

  12. January 16, 2012 at 8:43 am

    I think you have a great system going. Good luck to you this year with earning a decent amount of “side” money.

  13. January 16, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Thanks for sharing this! I am working on how to do these things but still maintain my anonymity. I fear it may not be possible, but alas, I have no time to manage two blogs and I love my TG Blogs site so much. Anyway, I am looking into your great tips! ;)

  14. January 16, 2012 at 6:21 am

    Thanks for this! Ever since I bought my own domain, it messed up me Alexa and PR, so I’m hoping this will fix soon.

    • John@MoneyPrinciple
      January 16, 2012 at 1:47 pm

      If you changed the blog to your own domain the best way if you can do it is to put a 301 redirect on your old site. You can do this if you have access to the .htaccess file (assuming Apache as a web server).

      And while you are at it, if there are any alternative names (eg http://www.mydomain.com as well as mydomain.com) you also need to have a 301 redirect.

      Don’t use aliases – they point to the same site but are treated as different by the engines. It is a minefield. :-)

      Otherwise I’m afraid you have to start again.

      Sorry to add some geek stuff to a PF blog!

  15. January 16, 2012 at 5:54 am

    This is a great message and I thank you for being open to share your road to success. I hope we at Gals Dig It can make advancements the same way you have!

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