Monetizing My Blog

When I was first deciding whether to start a blog, I had the idea that blogging would somehow be a way to generate income.  Maybe I could make enough to support my quilting, or even contribute to the household.  I had some nebulous idea that my website would get enough traffic that I could put up ads and they would make money for me.

I spoke with a friend of mine who has a blog, Stephanie at Late Night Quilter.  Her blog is a great resource, and her Facebook group is very active.  She helped me dial back my income generating ambitions and realize that blogging is more about being part of the larger quilting community.

Here is a breakdown of ways I found to monetize my blog.

Advertising:  On WordPress you can do this once you pay for your site.  I use the free site, so this is not an option for me yet.   I’ve read that it is time consuming and represents a rather low return on investment.  I think I would have to pay at least $100 per year to set this up, with no guarantee that it would make me more than $100.  If you see an ad at the bottom of the page, it is something WordPress puts there for their benefit, not mine.  I have to pay to make it go away.

Affiliate links:  Several websites offer programs where you can sign up for an account and receive a modest commission for sales generated through your links.  I have an Amazon affiliate account.  I made $2.61 in my first three months.  I have made nothing since then.  It only works if I put in links to each post, and that isn’t appropriate for all of my posts.  If I am going to put in a link to something, please be assured, I really love it.

Craftsy has an affiliate program as well.  I’m in the process of signing up with them.  I’m hoping to work on my free motion skills, and I have purchased a few patterns with them.  I have yet to take a class, but I have downloaded some patterns.

Pattern Sales:  This is something I actually am learning about now.  I would very much like to develop my own quilt patterns.  To do it right takes a lot of time, and I want my customers to feel that my patterns offer good value and a unique product.

Selling quilts/products:  I have an Etsy account.  I seem to spend about $2 per year and never sell anything.  Again, until I am really serious about this, I’m not going to drive myself crazy.

Sponsored events:  I don’t know how this works.  I don’t put in enough effort to find a sponsor and host an event yet.  I assume I would need more than the 180 followers and 10 daily visitors I currently have.

My point here is that I drove myself crazy thinking about ways to make money with my blog for a few months, despite an experienced friend’s advice.  I don’t know what traffic is for an average quilt blog, if there is such a thing.  I get between 50-200 readers per week, more if I post about a finished quilt and share it on all of my various Facebook groups.  This is not enough readers to generate a substantial income, and that is perfectly fine.

I also only spend a few hours each week working on the blog.  Clearly, I need to put more effort into it if I want to get money out of it.  Just throwing my thoughts out into the internet is not reason enough for me to get paid.  I’m not James Patterson.

Initially I was a little disappointed about it not being a money making project.  I have gotten over it.  I don’t want the blog to be a source of stress.  I do think that as I continue to add more resources and come up with new projects, my followers will grow.  Eventually I may be able to use what I am building to generate income.

My blog isn’t a business for me.  It is a way to connect with other quilters and learn from them.  It is also a way for non-quilting friends and family to see what I am up to, without being locked into my endless babbling about my favorite topic of the day.  I’ve been participating in the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop and I have been learning so much.  Connecting with other new bloggers has been very valuable, and I’m seeing the blog more as a two-way conversation, rather than just a repository of my knowledge.

This is by no means an exhaustive research project.  I have spent several hours searching and chatting with others, but I am certainly not determined enough to find every way to squeeze a buck out of my blog.  If you have any suggestions for monetizing a blog, please share them.  I know I’m not the only one who is interested.

*The featured image is an origami of a dollar bill.  My only explanation is that I didn’t want to use stock footage money photos, and I didn’t want to steal photos, either.  So here it is. You can find instructions to make your own origami shirt out of a dollar here.  Mine isn’t very good, and I skipped a step, because I didn’t know what they were talking about until I was finished.

6 thoughts on “Monetizing My Blog

  1. Very interesting post. I have no intention of making money off my blog, but I find the possible ways interesting. I also appreciate you sharing your thought process and realizations.

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  2. Love the origami shirt, and your honesty in admitting that you weren’t sure what they were talking about in one of the steps. That happens to me all the time with origami! 😉 This blogging business is like origami for me. I just trust myself and keep going, folding paper with no idea of what I’m really doing. Still most of the time I end up with something beautiful!

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  3. Thank you for posting this. I have read many articles online on this same topic and find yours to be one of the most helpful. It is honest, informative and well written. Thanks again and if you wish to turn your love of quilting into an income too, I believe you will!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wise words! Like the other ladies, I initially started blogging as a way to document my quilting journey and tell my stories, but it didn’t take long to discover this amazing community! I don’t have a shop yet. I’m hoping I can market myself a little first by having a blog… but I won’t count on it too much! 😉 Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Well said and oh-so-sad-but true. It’s very unlikely most of us will make money from blogging. My compensation comes from people reading my stories. It feels good to know people value what I have to share.

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  6. I liked your origami shirt and thought it was a clever photo to use. For me, the goal of my blog is to connect to others who might have similar interests, chronicle my journey and provide the story behind my projects to those interested in my products. So far, I only sell in person, but I am leaving the door open for online sales in the future.

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