Seems like everything does, doesn’t it?  Even if you blog as a hobby, its probably going to cost you money (if not that it will definitely cost you time).  Some of us monetize our blogs to make a little pocket change every now and then.  There are the many, or maybe few,  who are able to make a full salary on it.  However, many times to make money, you have to spend it.  Take a traditional job for example, you have to spend the money to buy gas for your car to put in it to be able to get to work.  There’s no way around it, but when it comes to blogging, is there?  I’m sure there are those who are successful bloggers who have never spent a penny on it.  I’ll say they are a lucky bunch.

I’ve been back blogging for about 10 months and I can tell you that it has cost me money.  Yes, while I have brought in some very minimal income blogging, its nothing compared to the money (and time) I’ve put into it thus far.  My blogging income is just now starting to break even with what I’ve spent on it.  Unfortunately, I did not be do my holiday shopping with my blogging income :-/.  I haven’t generated nearly enough of it to do so, hats off to those of you who were able to.  I truly aspire to be like you one day.

I follow sooo many blogs, from mommy bloggers, to fashion/beauty bloggers, to food bloggers.  I see the many ways in which they engage their readers/followers, and how they gain a strong following and it is  unique to each blogger.  I see those that post a lot of Evergreen content, you can read my post on it here, and others who literally and only host/co-host link parties.  You look at those two methods and they are at to different ends of the blogging spectrum.  One is pushing out content that is useful to people in a practical sense, hence Evergreen.  The other, drives a lot of traffic, but could potentially result in empty followers, because the only reason you give people to return to your blog is to link up.

People will always use Evergreen content, but when the trend of link parties and blog hops (which I love participating in) goes away, what will that one blogger do?  Okay, so anyway as I digress, because I promise this is going somewhere.  Both cost money, time, and energy.  Yes, they both have a pay off as well.  The point I’m making is that no matter what the content you post, you want it to bring you some type of return on investment.

What about you – Do you treat your blog as an investment?  Do you look for return with it?

xxoo,

Tenns Reid

I'm Tenns, the blogger, graphic designer, and business + content creation strategists behind Bliss & Faith. This is my little corner of the web that I've dedicated to helping fellow bloggers and creatives reach their goals. I'm so glad you dropped by and hope that you that you find valuable resources here to help you achieve your dreams!

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41 Comments

  1. I love to read your blogs on blogging. I have learned many new concepts from you, as well as a few reality checks. Why is you start out blogging to share a skill, knowledge, or just show people what your talent is to like minded people, and it turns into an expensive hobby?

    1. Thanks so much Karen! I really appreciate your kind words and glad you’ve been able to learn a few things from my posts. I have to agree with you, on how blogging becomes and expensive hobby. I guess its like most things we enjoy doing, they always end (or most of the time) costing us something. I guess nothing in life really is free! 🙂

  2. While I sort of dream of making money off of blogging, I recognize that my ability to is limited. I blog really for the love of writing, and the hope of sharing ideas that matter to me. It confuses me sometimes to see blogs that are dominated by hosting blog-hops. Do people really find joy in that? Where is the sharing of ideas?
    I also wonder to what extent blog hops do things. How frequently are they visited by people who aren’t just there to link up their own blogs? Do they really drive traffic anywhere but to the host? And if so, why are bloggers participating in them anyway?

    1. Don’t we all! Its so awesome that you enjoy blogging for the love of writing. I’m a pretty good writer, not the best, but I love to share and that’s what I love about blogging the most.

      I get just as confused, because I don’t really see any real engagement with visitors. That is one of the reasons that prompted me to write this post. Although I run a link up myself, its a very small part of my blog. I do get traffic from it, but not nearly as much as I do on other posts. However, I actually do engage those that link up and I don’t so much worry about if they follow me here, there, and everywhere, because I value engagement and simply finding new content and blogs to read. When it comes to me linking up, yes it does drive some traffic to my blog, because of the exposure. Yet, I don’t rely on link ups for that. Most of the time I’m able to come across some really good posts, buts its because I’m looking for them and don’t just link up and leave. This is not true for everyone though, and that devalues the whole idea of the link up in my opinion.

  3. I like your post, and I agree, it would be superb to be one of those succesful bloggers than can monetize their blog easily, but, for most of us the only we can try is to be good enough to obtain a few dollars per month.
    You have a great blog and a beautiful baby, congragulations!.
    Greetings from Spain 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Rehtse! I really appreciate your kind words! 🙂 I agree with you totally, because that really is the reality, especially in my case. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  4. Good point! I just recently added ads to my blog after almost a year of blogging. I really don’t expect to make much money off of it, if at all, but I’m not looking at it from an earning perspective. I really enjoy blogging and sharing my projects. And, who knows, maybe I’ll take the ads off down the road. I don’t want them to hinder readers (a lot of people read at the office and a lot of companies block Facebook, so content can be hidden because of a giant FB popup). Great article on Evergreen Content!

    1. Thanks so much Brooke! I can tell you straight up that I make very, very, very little money off the ads I run. Sponsored content and affiliate posts are my main sources of income, but those are few and far between. Unfortunately, I don’t have thousands visiting my blog daily, so ads don’t do much for me. Many times, in order to make decent money from ads, you have to have a lot of traffic, like thousands of views a day. Maybe one day I will, but for now, I’d rather continue to blog about what I love and want to share, than just for traffic and money. I’m like you, in that I don’t want ads to hinder my content or diminish the visitor experience. I’d rather not have them, than to sacrifice my blog not being easy to read or navigate.

  5. Hi there, I really enjoyed your post. I’m a new blogger so I’m definitely not making money 🙂 But I would like to look at it as an investment of sorts, I’m investing in my self. I look at my blog as my little piece of my world I get to share with whomever wants to look or for me to read through later and see where I’ve gone or not gone throughout this journey. Thank you so much for linking up at the MaMade Blog Hop 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Debbie! I’m glad you enjoyed my post! I agree, having a blog is definitely an investment. This is especially true if you’re self-hosted like I am. However, its one of the reasons that drove me to go the self-hosted route. I truly see my blog as an investment, but not just monetarily, but in general. Like you, I see it as my little piece of the world that I can share with the rest. It really is awesome to be able to look back and see how much you’ve chronicled over time! 🙂

  6. I generally break even or just use the excess money for fun. I don’t generate a lot of money with ads, but I get money from syndicated or hired articles for BlogHer, as well as twitter campaigns.
    Without photography, I’d probably be doing more but right now it’s just mostly fun for me!

    1. That’s awesome you’re able to break even or have a little extra. Every penny counts! At least you have photography to fall back on, since its your profession and it makes you have a great blog. I’m always working on 10,000 other things besides blogging to make a little bit of pocket change. Reason being, is that I know that blogging just isn’t going to do it for me right now. Maybe one day!

  7. I’ve actually built an online presence and have created relationships to the point where I’ve been getting money not through my blog but from people who were reading it and found trust with me so I’m helping them with health and fitness. I’ve also come across an opportunity to help my husband and his friend’s business so I will see some income for working on that new blog. For Homemaking With Style, I decided a month or so ago that I really wanted to just be my own brand. I left the affiliates and I rarely sign up for an opportunity because my passions often conflict with what mainstream brands want to market. So for now, I’m just having fun with that blog 🙂 Great points, doll, of course. It makes so much sense what you are saying.

    1. Thanks so much! 🙂 That’s so awesome you’ve been able to take advantage of some really good opportunities outside of your blog, but because of it! I’m slowly getting to the point of ending many of my affiliate relationships, because I don’t see much return from them. I also have been focused on building my brand, as well as some other extra curricular activities and interests outside of my blog. Plus, if it stops being fun and seems like too much work, I loose interest in things. I don’t want that to happen with my blog.

  8. I know exactly what you mean! I have been blogging for a few years, but I’ve recently become more serious about it. My goal is to work from home and the blog is a good place to start…but getting started is rough.

    Thank you for linking up with the MaMade Blog Hop! I know that a lot of people do link up and run, but some do try to utilize the tool. I’m trying to get better about commenting on other blogs and returning the favor to those who help me. Good luck with everything!

    You can find me at http://emismom.blogspot.com

    1. Yes, getting started really is the hardest part! However, once you get started things usually level out or your at least get a better idea of what you’re doing.

      I try to do the same with my linkup as well, so I know exactly how you feel! 🙂 Thanks so much for dropping by!

    1. That’s great! Every little bit counts, especially when it comes to the work it takes to run a blog. I agree, it is so important to pay attention to what your readers want. If anything it will keep them loyal, trusting, and supporting you.

  9. I loved t he way you described the blogging spectrum! I have often thought about those two differences in gaining followers and driving traffic…When I first started blogging, I thought I HAD to host giveaways to get followers and I thought I HAD to pay people to design my website for me, etc. I have only done one giveaway and it cost me $12. The web design is mine, as is the maintenance, but I did buck up for my own domain. It’s definitely a daily lesson in problem solving, to be sure! I love reading your posts and participating in the hops you host, so whatever changes you make, please don’t make them big ones! Great post. 🙂

  10. I try to spend a lot of money on my site, but I have but in plenty of sweat equity. I, too, designed my page and am still reformatting everything from when I transferred from a free wp to a self hosted site. I recently started hosting a link party with 3 other ladies/friends as a way to traffic to my site. I have met some great bloggers thru the link party that I’m sure I would have never found otherwise. I am slowly building my content and working to engage with my readers. Stopping by That’s Fresh Friday.

  11. I think it’s a really hard balance–trying to provide content that you can be proud of while also considering the economic side of making a living on the internet. Every person/blogger has to do what fits for them. That’s all we can do, right? 🙂

  12. I’ve only been blogging a few months and am definitely committing a great deal of time. So far I only spend a few dollars a month and hope to break even this month lol. I have been focused on content and networking, but this month I am co hosting a couple link parties to see how that goes. I definitely want my content to be 90% niche content and just a little of the linking and affiliate posts.

  13. That’s great that you were able to break even! I have been working for the past 6 months to monetize my blog and have found some ways that have worked a little and others that have worked a ton. But I still haven’t been able to break even yet.

    Thanks so much for sharing on Turn It Up Tuesday! We love having you! 🙂

  14. I definitely blog for fun. Well, perhaps therapy is a better description since most of what I write has come from self-reflection. I’m a DIY type of person so I really haven’t spent any money on my blog but perhaps I should! I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the subject 🙂

  15. I have only recently started to really try grow my blog (within the past two months or so!), but am hoping to eventually make money off it (or, save money on doing things!). It certainly does take a lot of work, so good for you for breaking even &eventually making money!

    1. Thanks so much! Yes it is a ton of work, much more than most know and understand! I don’t break even every month, but I do bring a little bit here and there. I consider any month I do, a very lucky one! I’m still growing and have so far to go. 🙂

  16. This is a great, down to earth, blogging as it really is post. I wouldn’t argue with making money from my blog and certainly aim to do so, but being a business owner in an industry that focuses on women (beauty and fashion) if your “why” isn’t clear and isn’t more than just driving traffic to get ad deals, people, especially women, will see through you and not come back. Find your “why” (why are you putting all these extra hours in and planning all these posts?) and build around that, with focus on what you can be an authority on, and you will be found, have followers, and succeed. Thanks for posting in Mommy Monday Blog Hop!

    1. Thanks so much! I totally agree with you on it being so easy to see through it when bloggers are only posting to get ad deals and such. I’m all for making money from blogging, but would never want my readers to feel I have no heart in my posts. I don’t want my blog to feel like a commercial, because its not. Unfortunately, I’ve followed (and had to unfollow) a few blogs that simply just became commercials. I want my blog to be a place where I can express myself and give back, if I just so happen to make a little money in the process, awesome! If not, I’m still meeting my goal. 🙂

  17. I have found it very hard to balance working full time, blogging and being a Mom. I aspire to have my blog be my full -time job but I recognize that will probably not happen….one can dream. Even with the time and effort it takes to run my blog I still love every second of it.

    1. I can only imagine how hard it must be to balance it all. Hats off to you! You never know, it’s definitely possible, but it does take a lot of effort. I started my blog when I worked full-time and pregnant, and I’ll say I was almost better and more efficient at it. I guess it’s causes I’m caring for my son the bulk of the time now. I’m still holding on to the dream of it being a full time job, because for the time being it’s the bulk of what I have earnings-wise.

  18. I definitely try to get a return on my time investment when it comes to blogging and honestly it’s tough when I spend a lot of time on a blog post and get no response or return. Those are the bad blogging days.

    1. I totally understand and agree! Those are the days when I spend the most time on social media or completely step away. Sometimes I have to regroup, so I don’t get stuck in a rut. Also, so I don’t put unnecessary pressure on myself to draw income. Right now for me, it’s a slow and steady process.

  19. You are most certainly right that even if you don’t spend $ that you’ll be spending plenty of time with your blog. Who knew how much time it could take?! For me, it’s just a lot of fun to write and read other blogs and for now my only investment is time and the reward is knowing that someone read it and maybe even liked something I shared! 🙂

    1. I know right! I probably spend more time on it that I ever did at any job. Well kinda…being in the military was pretty long days. Still the return was a bit more tangible. Just goes to show how much I’m enjoying and love what I’m doing!

      I make sure I take out time to read and enjoy other posts, because that’s a part of blogging as well. If it weren’t for me doing that I would have stopped a long time ago. 🙂

  20. I really can relate to this post! I have been blogging for a few months now, with the intent of turning my family coaching practice to the vitual world, am however realizing how hard of a job this is! I am truly learning and growing and enjoying my core passion of writing but no where close to generating revenues! which to someone like me who as been independent like forever is very challenging.
    Loved the post! Thanks!
    Marwa from blossomfamily.net

  21. On one hand, I think that it’s very much like any other business, the more you put in, the more you get out. I started out just trying to drive traffic to my site, but that fell off quickly, now, I try to do things that are in line with what I am about, including any affiliates I have. I’m not quite breaking even yet. But I really need to do some research on what is the most cost effective. I love blogs with new content, because I have a reason to come back besides linking up, even though I enjoy linking up too! Thanks for enlightening us at Countdown in Style.

    1. I would agree that blogging is very much like any other business as well. I remember trying to just drive traffic to my site as well, long before I knew anything about monetizing and drawing income from blogging. I simply wanted interaction, for at least one person to stop by and read my content and maybe share their thoughts. When I learned of monetization, I thought “why not?”, I can do something I enjoy, and income a little bi along the way. I had no idea that there were people out there making a year’s salary blogging. I’m very careful with any affiliates and sponsored content that I work with or feature as well. It has to be something I feel can add value to my readers. For me, some months are better than others when it comes to how much I make blogging, but that depends on so many factors.

      Even though I follow so many blogs, I’m always subscribing to more, because I love reading new content and interacting with new people. I enjoy linking up, because link ups are a hub for so many good posts, plus a way to drive traffic to my blog by linking up! 🙂

  22. I have a full-time job & I started my blog without even knowing that people can actually earn from blogging. So I just used blogging as an outlet and haven’t really thought of monetizing – not just yet. Maybe next year when I’ve done a lot of research about it I can try. You actually have really great points here! 🙂

  23. I think the mistake people make is that they think blogging is easy. You sit at home, you spend 30 mintues on a post, and you make a ton of money.

    I can tell you that I put in hours a day just on one blog post, not counting social media engagements, etc. It’s a lot lot lot of work. I have lost sleep on my blog.

    Breaking even? Not a chance. I have made some money – for sure – but nothing for the time and effort I put in every day. Not even close. Do I cover my expenses for the blog – sure. Yeah, I do. Do I want to make more – of course.

    Yeah, I shake my head when people say you don’t have to put money into it. When have you ever got something for nothing? I never have. Anything that’s worth having is worth investing in (time and money).

    Thanks so much for this post!

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