I set a goal for myself last year when I finally decided that I wanted to get back to blogging where I would try to earn some “passive” income off of my site. The thing is, I wasn’t getting enough views at that time (or in previous spans of time where I was more active) so I wasn’t qualified for WordAds or Google Ad Sense. I thought if I posted regularly, I would be able to gain readership and eventually have a good backlist of posts where I would get the views to qualify for WordAds. That’s not quite what has happened.
I bought the upgraded WordPress Premium package for $96 a year. This allowed me to get WordAds on my site so I can see that I’m getting hits and that transfers into $$$ (lol, see below), but it also allows me to include a payment button on the site so I can ask for money through PayPal. So my last year of active blogging has brought in some money, but it’s not anywhere near where I wanted to be in terms of income.
I also had an affiliate program with Amazon, and still have an affiliate program with Rakuten Marketing, so I could potentially earn income from sales through those clicks, but alas, I was kicked out of the Amazon program twice for no sales within 6-months (though I can still try again without delay or limit), and I have not earned any commission from the various stores in Rakuten.
Here’s some transparency about how much “bloggers” earn:
Payment Button: $1.00
Affiliate Marketing: $0.00
July 2018-2019 Total: $2.42
Since I can’t cash out my WordAds income until I reach $100, it’s a bit premature to say that I’m on a good track. However, I can see that I have surpassed my views for last year already so I am steadily increasing my online presence.
Is it worth having the Premium Plan from WordPress? In some ways, yes. I have access to better themes and more storage, and if I ever do get more viewers, I can certainly monetize my blog much easier without feeling like I lost potential income. But the drawbacks to spending $96 are kind of obvious–I’m not anywhere near where I need to be to earn back what I’ve spent on the package. And I’m not where I need to be in terms of writing consistently “viral” content.
I have a few theories on how I can improve my blog to monetize it, but for some of them, it would mean paying outside help to make the site pretty and potentially hiring a graphic designer. Since I just want to keep this “for fun” those expenses don’t really make sense right now. Other ideas don’t require any outside help, like posting at different times or researching better SEO practices. I’ve also considered writing for other websites and having that link back to my own website for more traffic.