This week is a big one for people who love books. While many publishers, bloggers, authors, readers and writers are in New York City for Book Expo America, those of us left behind are talking about books and blogging as part of Armchair BEA. Today’s blogging topic is all about blogger development:
Day two we we talk about how we develop ourselves as bloggers. Have you branched out into your community? Do you partner with other bloggers? Have you gone “pro” or begun supplementing your income through your blog? Are you a long-term blogger, and how has your online personality developed over the years? These are simply ideas. Think development and tell us what comes to mind.
I’ve been blogging for five years, but I didn’t start earning any money from my blog until about a year ago. I’m certainly not an expert in monetizing your blog, but I thought for today’s topic it might be helpful to share how I make a little money as a way to demystify how it can work (with the caveat that this is only my experience and certainly doesn’t represent the only or even best way to make a little money blogging).
I earn income from blog-related activities in two ways: advertising on this site and freelance writing and reviewing. On the advertising side, I work with a company called LitBreaker, which specializes in advertising for book-related blogs. The CEO, Jason Chambers, has been great to work with and I like that the ads are bookish. The amount of money I earn each month varies and depends on the number of views my site gets and the number of people who click on ads.
As a freelancer (not my day job), I write regularly for Book Riot and do occasional reviews for some other publications. Pitching freelance pieces is a whole different ballgame that I wrote a little bit about during last year’s Armchair BEA. Book Riot pays (basically) based on pageviews, while the other publications I write for pay a flat rate for each piece.
Because real numbers can be helpful, over the last 12 months my blogging income has broken down like this:
- LitBreaker: $310
- Freelancing: $282
- TOTAL: $592
A chunk of the money I earn goes back into blogging. Because I’m self-hosted, I pay Bluehost to host my blog, GoDaddy for my domain, and a security site, Sucuri, to protect my blog from hackers (you can read about how my blog was hacked in this post).
In a year, those regular expenses total about $185. I’ve also had one-time payments for things like a custom blog theme, registration for the Book Blogger Convention, or other blog-related technology that I use some of the income to pay.
Obviously I’m not quitting my day job with any of this, but it’s nice that I’ve got a couple of ways to help pay for ongoing site maintenance (and, let’s be honest, a few books). If you have any more specific questions, I’ll be happy to answer them in the comments section!