Blogging For Money :: November 2008

by derek on December 3, 2008 · 33 comments

For the first time since starting these Blogging For Money updates, I failed to provide an overview last month. As much as I’d like to blame it on the craziness of returning from a family vacation and then getting caught up in the holidays, I just kept putting it off and lo and behold it is now December.
In order to monitor progress, I will say that the month of October had been a pretty good month in terms of blogging revenue. For the month, I earned $713.17; down less than $30 from the prior month. Following the recent trend, I would expect the earnings for November to rebound and result in a modest increase in earnings.
Unfortunately the yo-yo trend has been broken – on the bottom end.
While I have been investigating a new affiliate network, I have yet to actually earn anything. Coupled with the glitch at PerformancingAds that locked up an advertising spot for most of the month, I am not surprised that there has been a slight decrease in November.

Dollars and Cents

The purpose of these monthly updates on my earnings is to demonstrate for all of you to see which tools are working on my blogs and which tools are not working. While that doesn’t mean everyone will experience the same results, as every blog is different, my hope is that it stokes the fire inside you to experiment with your blog until you find the right combination of tools.

Here is the Blogging For Money recap for November:

  • AdSense:
  • Kontera:
  • ReviewMe:
  • TextLinkAds:
  • Amazon:
  • LinkWorth:
  • Private Ads:
  • Affiliate:
  • PayPerPost:
  • Misc:
  • Grand Total:
  • $107.77
  • $5.49
  • $0.00
  • $183.48
  • $15.64
  • $101.50
  • $155.50
  • $28.06
  • $0.00
  • $6.00
  • $603.44

With a decrease in earnings, one would think that there might not be too many bright spots. However, there are a few developments that are reason to remain encouraged:

  • AdSense Earnings :: For the fourth consecutive month, AdSense earnings have surpassed the $100 threshold. While some of you may scoff at such low numbers, I know many people still waiting for their first $100 check so that is extremely encouraging.
  • Amazon Earnings :: While not earth-shattering numbers, the earnings from Amazon have been a pleasant surprise. The last two months have had enough earnings to move into the second tier of affiliate commission, which is encouraging.
  • Private Advertising :: During the month of November, I secured a new private ad deal that will run for three months but also saw one private ad deal come to an end. Private ads have been one of the best, most consistent sources of revenue all year.

Obviously not everything has been positive, as otherwise we would be talking about an increase in earnings as opposed to a decrease. Here are a few of the discouraging developments that will need some attention moving forward:

  • Kontera Earnings :: Month after month, I continue to try and give them the benefit of the doubt. There had been a brief moment of hope when the earnings had more than doubled in September, however that moment has since passed. Kontera…you’re fired!
  • TextLinkAds Earnings :: At one time this had been one of my strongest sources of revenue. While it still earns a nice chunk of change each month, it has continued to decrease and has given me reason to consider moving towards private ad deals only.
  • PerformancingAds Earnings :: As I mentioned earlier, there was a glitch on the PerfomancingAds servers that caused one of my two ad blocks on this blog to be locked out for nearly the entire month – meaning no opportunity for income. After seeing the response from Chris, there is hope that this will reverse.

Plans for December

How much did the slumping economy impact my earnings in November? It is hard to quantify but it may have played a role as companies spend less on advertising. Traditionally the holiday season is when the earnings ramp up, so I have my work cut out for me in December.
As noted above, I have pulled the plug on Kontera for the time being. There have been too many months with earnings less than $10 to justify keeping it around. However, as we have discussed before, pulling the plug doesn’t mean my work is over. There is testing that needs to be done to see if removing Kontera has a positive impact on other revenue sources, such as AdSense.
With the server glitch at PerformancingAds behind us, I’d like to see the earnings return to form and book a couple of ad spots this month. In addition, I will keep experimenting with affiliate networks to try and squeeze a little earnings out of that pot as well.
The holidays and new year will be here before we know it. That means it is important to also take the time to slow down and enjoy time with the family and friends. As always, please ask any questions that you have in the comments below and we can continue the discussion.
How have your earnings been this holiday season?

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Ajith Edassery December 3, 2008 at 2:20 pm

TLA sales seem to have affected your PR badly… The way to deal with TLA is probably to use it two or three cycles per year in between the PR updates?
Ajith Edasserys last blog post..Right Time to Start Your New Self-Hosted Professional Blog

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derek December 3, 2008 at 4:16 pm

Absolutely it impacted my PR – right or wrong, I have decided not to let the fear of a penalized PR hinder me from doing certain things.
Now, I could certainly be more discrete about it but then that would go against the transparency that I strive to provide here.

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Greg December 3, 2008 at 2:45 pm

$100/month with AdSense is definitely nothing to sneeze at. I noticed that you don’t have AdSense up on this blog. Mind sharing which one of your blogs is raking in the AdSense numbers?
Gregs last blog post..Win A Tabletop Games Package: Clue, Operation, and KenKen!

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derek December 3, 2008 at 4:18 pm

There are a few targeted posts on this blog that are running AdSense (hmm, might be fun to see if you can find them, lol) but most of the revenue comes from my personal finance blog.

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Gary December 3, 2008 at 2:49 pm

Nice work, Derek! Keep at it and your numbers will grow. Gotta love making money online hey!!
Garys last blog post..PhantomSkinz Exclusive Holiday Sale!

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derek December 3, 2008 at 4:19 pm

Thanks Gary! I’ll certainly keep on keepin’ on to make those numbers grow.

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Damien Riley December 3, 2008 at 3:50 pm

I pulled in about $200 last month but through the blood sweat and tears of sponsored posts. I lost my 2 advertisers when Google smacked me from a 4/10 to a 1/10. My hope now is that the blog and the two new urls will have some PR at next roll out to get advertisers interested again.
I’ve learned so much in the past couple years about this “business.” Thanks for another post to help me make sense of it 😉
Damien Rileys last blog post..Talk Radio and Me

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derek December 3, 2008 at 4:24 pm

Congrats on the progress Damien! It does sting when the advertisers bail as a result of the PR drop, as I have had happen to me too.
As you mentioned, making money via sponsored posts requires a good deal of time and effort. Although I must say that I write a pretty mean review, maybe I should give that more consideration.

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Nick@romandock dot com December 3, 2008 at 5:25 pm

Even with the decrease, your numbers are nothing to sneeze at. I see you were talking about your finance site being the big adsense earner…it might be fun to see a break-down of how much comes from each of the different sites rather than just what programs are making you money (or maybe go all-out sometime and do a combination breakdown by site AND program)
Nicks last blog post..Second Guessing My Permalink Structure

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Ling@Uptake December 4, 2008 at 12:42 am

I just got my first Adsense check after 3 years, so I know how great it feels when Google sends you money. Makes me think I shouldn’t have abandoned the blog, but I don’t know… You think it’s worth the trouble to maintain one blog monetized with Adsense and TextLinkAds? Cause I really don’t have the time to run multiple blogs.

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Neil@PS3 December 4, 2008 at 1:02 am

That is not a bad little amount of cash. I don’t aim my sites at advertising at the moment but have a couple of adsense ads which make me about $2 a month.
I have been looking into the prospect of creating a blog dedicated to actually trying to make money and if I could get it half as popular as here it would be worth it.
Thanks for the blog Derek, and keep up the good work.

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Jessica W December 4, 2008 at 3:11 am

Congrats on your earnings. I am glad to read that you don’t fear from Google penalizing you because of TLA’s. That’s the way to do it, you own this blog, and you can do what you want with it.
I have one Holiday/Christmas site, that is making enormous increase in my Adsense numbers these days :).. Too bad it’s seasonal site and it lasts only one month yearly :(…
Jessica Ws last blog post..Why is Professional Web Design so Important

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Nicole Price December 4, 2008 at 9:07 am

Yes, the economy is affecting everything and I would say that you have got away quite lightly with just a $30 drop. My best wishes for a better December.
Nicole Prices last blog post..Stylish Cookware

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Nicole Price December 4, 2008 at 9:10 am

In the hurry, I goofed up on the question. If you are going to be preoccupied with the festive season, quite how will you recoup the drops?
Nicole Prices last blog post..Stylish Cookware

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Josefresco@Airsoft Rifles December 4, 2008 at 9:12 am

Would love to hear your thoughts on InLinks and whether or not it’s a safer bet than normal TLA.

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Larry @ Metal Halide December 4, 2008 at 1:02 pm

I also have been doing sponsored blog posts. Made about 125 last month.

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Product Reviews December 4, 2008 at 2:02 pm

Didn’t realize there was such an earning potential in blogging. I just like to read them, maybe time to get more active. Thank you for the info.

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Steve@Free iPods December 4, 2008 at 4:33 pm

Excuse my ignorance but how do you make money from Amazon?

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derek December 4, 2008 at 4:44 pm

Amazon has an affiliate program. When someone clicks through to Amazon using one of my links, I receive a commission if they buy the product from the link (or any other product at Amazon).
When I first started with their program, I believe the cookie was good for three days from the original visit; meaning if the reader clicked my link to Amazon and then returned at any time in the next three days to buy something, I received credit. If I am not mistaken, that window has now been reduced to 24 hours.
There are multiple options with regard to the links too, as I can link directly to specific products (as I did on this post) or I can provide a search box like I have in my right sidebar that passes along my affiliate id.
Does that make sense?

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Khaled December 4, 2008 at 5:06 pm

I have yet to use any advertising on a site, how do the search engines view adverts from Amazon’s affiliate program or Google adwords?

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derek December 4, 2008 at 10:35 pm

The search engines don’t have an issue with things like the Amazon affiliate links, or the AdSense ads, unless the site is nothing but ads.
Have you heard the term Made-For-AdSense (MFA)? Basically, that refers to sites that have no real content but are designed exclusively to entice people to click the ad away from the site. Google frowns on sites like that, but if you’re running ads on a standard site or blog, there shouldn’t be any problems.

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Andrea December 5, 2008 at 8:30 am

“How have your earnings been this holiday season?”
What earnings?? :p
Congrats on the numbers, that is awesome. use it for christmas money!

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aqiq@travel sickness December 8, 2008 at 4:27 pm

You are correct about adsense earning. Although it seem like lower earning but there a still a lot if people still didn’t make it till $100. I’m also still struggle to make 100 bucks permonth.
aqiqs last blog post..Travel sickness

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Rebecca December 9, 2008 at 11:05 pm

Congrats on the figures, even in a slumped economy.
At what point in the growth of your site did you start getting involved in private advertising? Were you contacted by an advertiser?
Rebeccas last blog post..Car Donation In New York

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derek December 12, 2008 at 7:57 am

I’ll have to check my records but the private advertising deals started relatively early on. In all cases with the private ad deals, I have been contacted by the advertiser.

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Justin December 11, 2008 at 4:05 pm

I haven’t much luck with adsense. I’ve left it on another website of mine…I think it pulls in maybe 100 every few months. Ah well…Good Job
Justins last blog post..Florida Insurance

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Kathy Scott December 11, 2008 at 6:13 pm

I am a SAHM first and a CPA second. I have a couple of contractor clients who aren’t working which means I am not working.

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derek December 12, 2008 at 7:58 am

Kathy, welcome to the blog and thanks for the comment. You’re right that there is a large trickle effect with the state of the job market and the economy.

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Steve@Trade Show Guru December 11, 2008 at 7:20 pm

hey Derek,
Inspiring numbers! Almost an order of magnitude better than some other bloggers I’ve been following. I appreciate that you list each program so one can get a sense of what works and what doesn’t.
~ Steve, aka the blogging-newbie trade show guru
Steves last blog post..Trade Show Secrets

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derek December 12, 2008 at 8:00 am

I’ve made a real effort to be as transparent as possible with what does and doesn’t work for me. And if you ever have a question about anything, all you have to do is ask.

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polet_2001 February 28, 2010 at 10:40 pm

Hope i will also earn in adsense the way you are earning there:) Congrats!
.-= polet_2001 hopes you will read… Do it all marketing =-.

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Brian H. April 20, 2010 at 8:15 am

On one of my blogs the other day, I had 19,000 impressions for Commission Junction. Not one click.
I also had about 12,000 impressions for adsense and made about $1.00. I’m getting sick of all this. I don’t know how to get people to click.
The majority of people came to the website because they searched for Marta Kaczynski, the Polish president’s daughter. When I moved my recent comments equal with the blog posts, more people clicked on other posts.
I also noticed, that my exit activity showed more Google ad clicks than adsense reported. Not liking that either.
Sorry to vent my frustration, but just needed to do so.
.-= Brian H. hopes you will read… Blu Ginger Thai Cafe in Irving, Texas =-.

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