Blogging Doesn't Pay The Mortgage {But Selling Ad Space Might Get Me A Nice Cup Of Coffee}

by - January 25, 2014

This is my 382nd post.

I am more than three years deep.

And this is the first time I've ever made any income with my blog.

cheque, blog income

In short, I have made 13.4¢ per post.

And, if we say I spend a rough average of two hours per post (writing, proofing, photography & photo edits), that's a whopping 6.7¢ an hourIt's going to take an awful long time before I can pay off my mortgage. It's going to be an awfully long time before I can take a yearly vacation to Europe.  It's going to be an awfully long time before I can buy myself a nice cup of coffee on Wednesday Night Write Nights.

blogging, writing, no one said it would be easy, tough gig

I would love to lay before you the romantic notion that I blog because I need to - that without it I am an empty pit of purposeless sludge - that it defines me - that it soothes me - that I would do it even if no one ever read it.

That is (mostly) true.

But I also WANT TO GET PAID!  I give a huge piece of my life to what I'm doing here.  I make sacrifices.  I ignore the laundry, the dishes, bathing the poor, filthy children!!! I am constantly thinking, 'how can I turn this into a post?' or 'it just takes one spectacular piece of brilliance to catch the eye of Arianna Huffington and then I'll be able to say "the rest is history!" from the front porch of my paid-in-full writing retreat along the banks of a bubbling brook in a secret place that's always sunny and warm...'

I've learned a lot along this journey. I've attended seminars and classes and the hardest truth is that rarely is it about the writing.  It's about how far you're willing to prostitute yourself to get noticed:  How shamelessly do you self-promote? How much of your valuable space will you sell to advertisers? Will you write sponsored posts? Will you invite guest bloggers into your space?

I've spent a long time avoiding the monster that is advertising because, quite frankly, I don't like visiting spaces full of ads.  BUT, when I took a moment and realized the investment of time and thought and heart  I decided to make the plunge.

And the water is unsettlingly cold and uncomfortable, sloshing around in my shoes, tickling my ear with it's chilly breath as it whispers, "Sell out...sell out....ssssseeeeeeellllllllll out!"

As ridiculous as it sounds, even though I am very careful to only promote products I would actually use myself, I really do feel like I am selling out every time I update my ads -  BECAUSE IT REALLY SHOULD BE ABOUT THE WRITING - And, as of yet, I have turned down every opportunity for a sponsored post because I feel like it plunges a stake through the heart of what I set out to do in the beginning - to tell my truth stories - I'm certainly not doing that if I'm using my space to promote Mabel's Labels. (In the interest of full disclosure: if you click on that link and buy something in the next 90 days, I'll make 10% of whatever you spend...see what I did there?) 

It comes down to integrity.

But my integrity wants to get paid.

I am torn.

{I'd love your thoughts.  You're the reader - without you I'm just another crazy writer throwing her self-important thoughts into the ether - how do you feel about blogs and advertisements?}

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  1. Don't let people guest post on your blog! Your space is yours and we (or at least I) like it that way! haha. Selling a little ad space is by no means selling out. Some writers don't get discovered til they're like 50? Don't beat yourself up for not having made millions by only 34 ;)

    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Aidan! I feel the same way about guest posts - it's okay to be selfish about my space, right?!

  2. Dont beat yourself up over a few ads. You are a wonderful writer and we will still be reading :)

  3. Dont beat yourself up over a few ads. You are a wonderful writer and we will still be reading :)

    1. Thanks, Brianne - your encouragement is so nice to read!

  4. Heidi EastmanJanuary 28, 2014

    Advertisements are easy enough to ignore, but guest posts are annoying (with the exception of Victoria Elizabeth Barnes, obviously). I like your writing and you should be able to buy a coffee (or even a new coffee maker) from your writing.

    1. If Victoria ever asks I'll say 'Oh YES!' but until then, I'll keep it all to myself ;)

  5. I feel your pain! I've been blogging for three years too and I have made about $80. Painful.

    1. Ugh! Nice to know I'm not alone though :)

  6. It is your blog that you put hours into. You can make money. In an ideal world you would make money from your work, but don't feel like you're selling out because you're using ads!

  7. I visit your blog space to read the thoughts you share and I would be so happy for you to make some income from it. The quality of your work reflects the time you put into it. Keep up the good work!

  8. Really? The church loans in USA products are very effective to solve church financial problem.


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