Can You Make Money Blogging? November 4, 2019

While a very small number of bloggers and vloggers hit it big shortly after starting out, those are the exceptions, not the norms. One blogger I read took several years after they upgraded to the Premium Plan ($8/month) before they started seeing the ads generate enough income to cover the cost of the plan. Even now, they barely see more money than the cost of the plan. I wouldn’t recommend trying to monetize your blog/vlog unless you meet the requirements to do so. There are a number of popular bloggers and vloggers who give great suggestions on ways to generate money from your blog/vlog.

With YouTube, there are a number of options to generate revenue that are at available at different levels. YouTube tends to offer specific financial incentives once you reach specific thresholds. I haven’t dealt with Instagram or Twitch as to how they handle monetizing, but it sounds like they are both addressing it to compete with YouTube

I would warn against product placement unless you clearly identify it as such and that’s true on blogs and vlogs, regardless of whether or not you are paid to place the product. At a minimum, announce you are doing product placement verbally (for vlogs) and in text on the video or post. I would include if it were paid or unpaid. Otherwise, you may get viewers who assume  you are being paid. I know of one genealogical DNA blogger who also vlogs that uses product placement. I don’t if they are paid to do so, but they have made it clear in other venues, they are using product placement.

Personally, I wouldn’t use product placement unless I was getting paid and I would disclose the general payment arrangements to avoid having to deal with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) if they determined I violated their guidelines. Likewise, if I ever start adding affiliate links, I will clearly mark the links as such and disclose a rough estimate of how much income I receive from the links.

Don’t expect to get rich quick by blogging or vlogging. Don’t expect to generate enough income to make it worth your while. Again, there are exceptions, but many of those tend to build an audience using various social mediaTwitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.

I do occasional product reviews, but I am not paid to do the reviews. On the unlikely off-chance I am offered free or reduced prices on any products I review, I will make it very clear if the product was free or I received it at a discount that’s not available to the general public.

This post is not designed to discourage people who want to turn their blogs/vlogs into revenue generating streams, but to let them know it’s generally not an overnight event.

About Wichita Genealogist

Originally from Gulfport, Mississippi. Live in Wichita, Kansas now. I suffer Bipolar I, ultra-ultra rapid cycling, mixed episodes. Blog on a variety of topics - genealogy, DNA, mental health, among others. Let's
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2 Responses to Can You Make Money Blogging? November 4, 2019

  1. V says:

    All very good, very sage advice. Honestly, I think people just assume it’s easy to pay for a premium account and watch the money start rolling in. In reality, there’s a lot of ‘wining and dining’ so to speak before you can even get to a place of making a profit, nevermind just breaking even.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed. It’s a common misconception. I figure it will be a bit under 4 years before I can upgrade to the level where I can monetize my blog, but I expect it will take at least 3 – 7 years before my blog pays for itself. If I had better video equipment, I would go the vlogging route and link the videos to my blog as there are options with vlogging I wish WordPress and other blog platforms would consider adopting. I think I posted the link, but PewDiePie is YouTube’s biggest star with over 10 million views/ day. Imagine if Twitch or Instagram convinced him to jump ship. It wouldn’t end YouTube, but it would make a semi-decent dent in their bottom line. Not to mention be an incentive for other YouTubers to consider switching.

      Liked by 1 person

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