Saturday, April 21, 2012

Now I can get that chai!

We Americans have this cultural thing about not discussing salaries.  I was surprised to hear from a Norwegian friend that what *everyone* makes is actually public knowledge.  Fascinating.

So maybe it's incredibly bad form for me to talk about how much money this blog makes, but I have to think there are people who are curious.  And honestly, it's so little money that *I* should be embarassed about it.

She can't believe I'm telling you this! 
Photo by Kristi Lloyd Photography

I think I love the idea of making money from blogging more than I'm willing to put in the effort to create an actual blog that would bring in real cash.  For one thing, I blog about random stuff.  I just can't focus on one thing and create a specialized niche blog like I'm supposed to.  I also don't have enough time to endlessly tweak for SEO, maintain my own hosted Wordpress, etc.

But I was curious about whether I could make *any* money.  Turns out the answer is yes, which is kind of cool. 

I've had Amazon referral links for a little while, maybe 3 years, but I put them in pretty rarely when I'm discussing a specific book or product. Over that time I've earned a kingly $21 from Amazon in credit, which of course, I promptly used.

This household spends a LOT of money on Amazon. It's so convenient, and since we gave up our Costco membership, we actually use it to buy some things in bulk, like Apple Sauce Cups for T's preschool lunches. (See how I put my link in there? Tricky, right?)

I had Google ads for a while because Blogger makes it so easy.  Unfortunately Google doesn't pay you until your balance reaches $100.  I think I've made about $8 total there.  I'll probably never get to the $100 threshold, which I'm sure they expect, so I don't count this in my total.

Someone on Etsy told me about Project Wonderful ads, which I have on the left sidebar.  It's an auction-based inexpensive marketplace, and is pretty easy to set up.  I've had these since 2008, and have made about $40 from them, which is pretty good.  I suppose I could set my minimum ad price a little higher, but I often have times where the spots aren't filled (because so many people set a $0 minimum) so I think my 1-cent minimum is working out ok.

I also have BlogHer ads, which are my favorite.  They're really nice people to work with.  Some people make real money with them.  I'm not one of them. 

I started with their ads in 2007 and took a hiatus when I wasn't posting for most of 2010 and 2011.  In total during that time, I've probably made about $40 from those ads.  In addition, I've done a few book reviews through their awesome Book Club, for which I got a free book (yay) and $20 each, so by far those have been the most "lucrative".  I'm glad to be reading for pleasure again, and have discovered some pretty fantastic books that way.  The per-hour rate for all that work isn't much though, so clearly this is a labor of love.

So, I've been blogging since 2005 and have made a total of $141, plus some awesome free books.  Not exactly time to quit my real job, huh?  But enough to pay for my domain name and the brief period I spent hosting my own Wordpress instance (disaster).

And, I still have money left over for a couple of Starbucks soy chai lattes!  Sweet.  So, wanna share your lucrative blogging stories?

*Edited 4/23/2012 to add Project Wonderful stats.


  1. Interesting. Salaries are supposedly taboo to discuss in Sweden, yet public knowledge in that you can find out anyone's salary by looking it up at the Tax Office. And even though it's supposedly taboo (what I was taught in Swedish class and what Swedes will tell you about their culture), people seem to bring it up a lot in conversation.

    1. Interesting that people bring it up in conversation. It almost never happens here. I don't care if someone wants to talk about it - it's not something I feel is really personal, but if I think someone is going to feel BAD about it, I'd rather not talk. I guess it's because I'm fine with where I am.

  2. starting in 1982, i worked for a software company for almost 10 years. as new-hire #49, the word in the hall was that it was ok to go into a database & see what everyone made. VERY INTERESTING! but then they actually created a Personal Dept, & all the fun ended:(

    1. Those HR people are always spoiling the fun :)

      I think companies don't want you to talk about it so you can't compare and use it as a bargaining tool. Which, frankly, I think is BS.

  3. Oooh, I loooove this kind of stuff. I will totally tell you how much money I don't make offline some time! Nothing! I make nada! (Still, I love blogher, too, just seems like you can only make money if you're one of a few select bloggers who get zillions of pageviews a day.)

    1. If you're lucky you can make $3 per month like me. I'm sure you get more pageviews than I do :D

  4. I really should be doing stuff to check off my to do list right now. And then go to bed. Sleep you know? But I keep stopping my work and popping into your blog to read more!! This has to be the bestest blog post I have ever read! I really dont know why, but people never talk about how much they earn. I have earned like $5 bucks from google ads-- I finally removed them :)

    My blog gets me absolutely no income. But I do get paid for the layouts/cards that get published in some magazines. Some, not all. I submit to mags more coz of the thrill of opening a magazine and seeing something you made in print :)


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