There are probably thousands of ways to make money blogging. And I don’t use most of them.
As a followup to my recent guide on how to make money blogging, I feel that it’s appropriate to tell you how I don’t make money blogging.
I know everyone says this, but I blog because I genuinely want to help people. I love to learn, write and teach, so this is a fitting place for me to be. However, because of that, I don’t make anywhere close to as much money as I could with this blog. And I’m fine with that.
In fact, I’m going to show you several ways I’ve cut my income for the sake of my readers.
Let me explain the ways I choose not to make money blogging, and why. I’ll also tell you 3 things I promise to never do as long as I own this blog.
How I Don’t Make Money Blogging
I’ll make this easy. By choice, I really only make money from affiliate deals with products I love and use, and from freelance writing. That’s it. I’m going to go over all the ways I used to make money, but right now, until my book is finished, I’m only making money from two sources: affiliates and writing.
I always seem to shoot myself in the foot. Once one source of income takes off, I decide that it’s not valuable for the entirety of the blog, so I end up removing it. I made money with ads, then I removed them. I started to make a lot of money with sponsored posts, and even bought a new iMac out of the deal, but then I stopped accepting them. The fact is, if it doesn’t benefit you, the reader, I’m not going to do it. My first priority has always been my readers. I’m serious about that. Now here’s the list:
- Advertising – For many reasons that I’ve written about here, I chose to remove the ads from this blog. I have no problem with ads and I think they work well on many websites, but for me, they are usually ugly and distracting for anyone trying to read the article. How many times have you clicked a Facebook article only to find that each point of the article is on a separate page? It’s no secret that they’re doing that for the sake of advertising. And it’s annoying. I don’t want to be annoying. (Full Disclosure: There are still some random ads in old articles, but I will work to remove them in the near future. I will have to remove those ads one-by-one, and probably to the music of the Foo Fighters album.)
- Sponsored Posts – I admit it. I accepted sponsored posts for a long time here, but I don’t anymore. I’m not talking about articles that start with “this article was brought to you by x company,” I’m talking about articles that people pay me to post without their name attached to it. After listening to a M.O.N.E.Y. podcast episode about sponsored posts, I decided that they’re not right for me. Basically, a sponsored post is a low quality article that I get paid to publish (usually to include some link as a means for increasing the website’s Google ranking). Doesn’t that just sound wrong when you hear it? I didn’t think it was harmful since it was just an article, but then I realized that it had an effect on my entire brand as a blogger. So no more sponsored posts; however, if you’re a blogger, feel free to hit me up if you want to submit an article. It doesn’t merit an entire point in itself, but I also don’t accept “paid links;” these are links that I insert into my articles for money. Lame. P.S. If you see a few sponsored posts come out after this post, it’s only to fulfill agreements and contracts that I’ve already committed to. 🙂
- Pushing Mediocre Products – As I mentioned in my guide to blogging for money, I only promote products and services that I personally use and know are high quality. For example, I searched the internet for hours (months actually) to find the best web hosting company, and I believe I found it, so when BlueHost contacted me and offered to pay me a higher commission than SiteGround, I turned them down, because it’s not about who pays the most. It’s about who provides the highest quality service, and who will be the best company for you to use.
- Paid Related-Links – Have you ever finished an article and scrolled down to see a bunch of ridiculous articles that seemed irrelevant? Yes, I’m sure you have. You’re reading an article about investing, and you scroll down to see: “This magic pill will help you shred 100 pounds in 4 minutes,” and I’m only slightly exaggerating. And God forbid you accidentally click on those articles. These are there so the website owner can make money when you click on them. I don’t do that. I think it’s tacky and useless, and it adds absolutely no value to my website other than the value that goes into my pockets (or would go into my pockets if I had them). Those links don’t even take you to real articles, they take you to landing pages to push some crappy product.
3 Things I Promise to Never Do
Now that you know how I don’t make money with this blog, here are three things I promise to never do, whether they would potentially earn me money or not:
- Clickbait Titles – I have written some articles, like this one, that were on the verge on being clickbait, but I try to avoid anything like that now. What I am promising to never do is to write blatant clickbait pieces, such as “A Police Officer Pulled Over a Black Man and Asked Him to Step Out of the Car…You’ll Never Believe What Happened Next”…and then the article or video explains that the police officer hugged the man and gave him a gift certificate to Chili’s for being such a safe driver. That’s a great story, but the title is annoying. I also promise to avoid the whole “you’ll never believe #8!” taglines when I share list posts. Sure, both of those things are effective to get clicks, but I won’t do it. Get that junk outta here!
- Sketchy Marketing Systems – I wrote about this a little in my article on Tai Lopez. Once I have a product for sale, such as the book I’m writing, I promise to never use a sketchy marketing system that includes fake Facebook and Twitter testimonials, and uses marketing techniques like countdown timers. You know, the timers on the side of the page that say “you have 6:38 left before you lose this deal!” That’s just stupid. I know the majority of you know that you aren’t really on a timeline to buy that product, but either way, it’s annoying.
- 50 Page Articles – I said this earlier, and since I don’t do ads, it wouldn’t make sense for me to do this anyways, but I will absolutely never write a multiple-point article, such as 50 Ways to Save Money, and make each point a different page. How many people make it to point #50? Or even to point #5? I mentioned that this is done to include more ads, but it has to be one of the most annoying things on the internet. Almost as annoying as trying to read an article someone shared and being hit with five pop-ups, and of course you accidentally click on one when you try to “X” the pop-up. How many people actually end up reading articles like that? Some websites actually use timed ads to pop-up in the place of a video’s “play” button a few seconds after the page loads, so right when you go to click “play,” boom! You click an ad! Ridiculousness.
I want to be transparent and honest with you. I want you to know you can trust me. If I tell you something is free, then it’s free. If I tell you something costs $10, then it costs $10 and only $10. I’m not going to lie to you. I have a passion for writing, so that’s my focus. And since you’re my reader, you’re my focus.
For example, when I write a review post, I’m not going to be overly positive about a product just because they pay me or send me free stuff. I’m going to be honest and tell you everything I think about it. I hope you can trust me on that!
What do you think about these ways to make money? Share all your thoughts below!