Carly H., a regular reader of this blog, asked: “Does it help to add advertisements to a blog? How much money can you make with that approach?” This got me thinking. I’ve been blogging for 10+ years, and here are some observations on how I’ve fared.
The number of visitors to my blog continues to increase month by month and year by year (see picture below). Occasionally, I activate ads in my blog, and I have made about… a record $13 :-) Why is that? My blog focuses on content that I personally like. This is not mainstream content, it isn’t about gossip, sex, politics, current affairs, or even a single clearly defined, single topic. Readers apparently like to read the posts and follow my blog, but some probably find ads distracting. In short, monetizing a blog through ads doesn’t add much value, neither for me as a blogger… nor for the reader.
Search Engine Optimization is a very intriguing topic that you will need to consider if you write a blog. I have invested months in studying and implementing SEO and I still follow most of the rules in the SEO rule book – if that is possible at all; essential settings are easily overlooked. The effort is considerable! In reality, most of the referrals to my blog arrive from Facebook, others from other social channels, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. I do get an ever-increasing number of hits from search engines, but here singular content seems to be the most important; at the moment, this blog post about the Truth and the Lie is the most popular.
Blogs compete for attention, and as more and more people are blogging, the tougher it gets to stick out from the crowd. I try to focus on content and less on the methodology and possibilities to monetize. My main purpose is to make potential readers aware of my books and paintings, and for that the blog is useful; a single site to attract people to.
Talking about selling books. I write adventure / SciFi stories (see here) and self-publish these. Here’s a very Intriguing Observation: >95% of my books are purchased as eBooks on iTunes/Applebooks. All other ebook formats (such as Kindle, Kobo) or paperbacks make up the other 5% of my sales. I suspect this skewed distribution across channels has to do with the genre. Interestingly, every second person that I meet tells me that they prefer reading paperbacks: well folks, it’s not reflected in my sales😜. I am curious to get ideas about this phenomenon.
Nowadays, anyone with a laptop can be an author. Writing has been democratized, which is absolutely marvelous. And getting involved in the ever-changing landscape of online marketing is also highly rewarding. Enthusiasm for the written word and perseverance and the motivation to try out new things; are the ingredients that will help you to be a successful, satisfied author and blogger.
Originally posted 2018-08-26 05:11:00.