There’s been a little buzz around the taijiquan blogosphere about monetization of blogs. Martial Development outlines how the IRS paid him $500 to create the blog and Formosa Neijia outlines some changes to his blog that include advertisement.
While anyone can start a blog for free ( see wordpress.com or blogger.com ) some of choose to go the other route and host the blog ourselves. This means we’ll incur some fees to keep the blog alive. For myself, I pay the following fees to keep wujimon.com up and running:
- $5 per month for web hosting via A Small Orange
- $9 per year for the domain name (wujimon.com) through NameCheap
- $15 per month for DSL Internet Access
- Total :: ~ $250 per year or $20 per month
So.. to keep wujimon.com up and running, it financially costs me roughly $20 per month. HOWEVER, to be fair, I would have DSL Internet service with or without wujimon.com. If I remove this item, it’d cost me roughly $6 per month to keep wujimon.com up and running.
Now the question is, why not just use a free service? The simple answer is FLEXIBILITY. With my own domain name ( wujimon.com ) I can do a lot of things. One of the main reasons is having a semi-permanent email address. Consider all the times you’ve had to change email b/c of internet service providers? But what about using yahoo/gmail? Sure, I use those, but I think it’s more “professional” to use my own domain name. This way I can be: MasterOfDisaster@wujimon.com on my martial arts name card.. Then, all I need to do behind the scenes is to forward emails to my yahoo/gmail acct and none would be the wiser. Plus, it’s easier to remember wujimon.com instead of *some_name*.wordpress.com
I’m a techie by day, so I want to go in and tweak things to my heart’s content. I tried to use the wordpress.com free service for a bit, but over time, I just missed having my own hosted server. With my own hosting, I can modify wordpress, add any plugins I want, change any templates or styles, and ADD MONETIZING features that are otherwise not available. For some more pros/cons, check out Hosting your own blog versus wordpress.com.
So.. back to the whole monetization aspect. Ads can be intrusive and a lot of folks may be put off by them. However, if done correctly, they could be a good source to help offset the financial costs of maintaining a website. Note, I’m focusing on financial costs as that’s measurable, compared to “personal time cost” which is not. Any blogger knows, quite a bit of personal time can be spent on creating content for our blogs. Therefore, we must have an innate passion and desire about our subject matter to keep us going. I often tell folks if the goal is to make money or attract a lot of readers, then ‘fo-geda-bout-it’. Sure, having readers is nice, but if we’re constantly looking at our stats to see how many page hits we get a day, we’re in it for the wrong reason.
So.. you’ve had a blog up and running for at least 6 months or so that you update regularly. Now you wanna know how you can make some money to help offset the financial costs of hosting your own blog. Well.. look no further as there are a tons of avenues to explore. Instead of paraphrasing and recapping, I’ll point you to Lorelle on WordPress: Monetizing WordPress Plugins [via]. Some of these plugins look quite tempting ….