I used to struggle to monetize my blog. I spent hours blogging and couldn’t seem to make steady money, or reliable income with my blog. It was definitely frustrating seeing other bloggers come to what seemed like such easy success. I wondered what I was doing wrong, and after my monthly bills, didn’t have much money left over to spend on blogging classes to learn more about how to successfully start my blog.
Then I took some time off of Facebook and Twitter to focus on growing my Pinterest Account, right now I manage over 10+ group boards, and regularly manually pin my content. I have tried different methods to discover exactly what works with Pinterest and how to use this incredible took to make more money with my blog. During that time I was reading a lot of blog posts and seeing many suggestions for Medavine and Google Adsense. Since I wanted to monetize this blog, which is a new blog, compared to a few of my other blogs which I’ve been running for a few years, I wasn’t able to initially qualify for Google Adsense or Mediavine, but I’m personally of the opinion that it shouldn’t matter too much if you’re just starting or have a ton of followers, if you’re serious you’re going to NEED to start monetizing even when your blog is young if you really want to do it right!
A Young, Naive Writer
Now, by do it right I mean, I was blogging since I was in college almost 5 years ago, but in college, it was more about fun and practicing my writing than it was about monetization. At the time, I never saw blogger income reports, and influencer marketing hadn’t really caught on yet. No this was back in the good old days, when you got to see more of the everyday life of the average blogger, a simpler time before the love for blogging really took over. Back then I got started with my blogs on Google and at the time, all I knew about Google SEO was that I wanted to have a blog with my name, you can check it out- ErinElizaCotter.Wordpress.Com so that it would pop up quickly whenever someone googled my name. I knew I wanted more control over my google search results.
Later I took a job at a local Atlanta Magazine, where I really started learning serious Google SEO and how to utilize it in online blog posts. My job was to write online blog posts for the magazine, in addition to editing articles and compiling lists of local events. Still I didn’t know too much about the ins & outs of webmastering, and since I worked at my college newspaper, where we sold ad space for revenue and at the magazine, where they had an entire team devoted to selling ad space and we regularly got pitched by PR teams from major brands, I didn’t ever really catch on to affiliate marketing or ad space, in terms of Google Adsense or Mediavine. I didn’t know I’d need to monetize my blog, and I didn’t know that it was even possible to make money with affiliate marketing.
My Early Mistakes
My early blogging mistakes were partially due to the aforementioned lack of knowledge combined with the fact that I never thought about blogging more than as a hobby. My early mistakes were getting a start on WordPress.com because it was free… Ahhh FREE. I’m sure I thought I was getting a great deal. But alas, It became too hard for me to monetize my blog with free WordPress, and then I purchased their middle plan, it didn’t allow for plugins, but cost me over $200… I couldn’t qualify to pay MORE money on a blog that was making ZERO dollars and to put back in $100+ dollars without any money coming back in, it seemed crazy to me. Now I’m probably just cheap, and I’m also obviously a scaredy cat, scared that I couldn’t be successful, because after dishing out that cash, I still couldn’t make any money.
Now here is my big mistake.
I thought if I kept creating content, the hosting problem would take care of itself. That wasn’t accurate. You really need a quality host. There are some things that content by itself can’t overcome. You’ll be burdening yourself too much if you endeavor to rely on your amazing content to sell itself. You’ve got to make spreading your content easy. Without a good host, it’s like trying to spread cold hard butter on fresh soft bread. It just sticks there in one place and you can’t get it to do anything.
I also never invested in a theme, a professionally made theme for my blog, but now on this site, I’ve picked a theme from Creative Market and on my other Bedtime Stories for Brighid Blog, I’ve used a theme from Angie Makes which I highly recommend as this company has many great themes, plus an affiliate program.
I finally moved my Bedtime Stories for Brighid Blog, my mommy, and parenting blog, over to WPEngine Hosting, and I’m thrilled with the company, if I could do it all over again, I would start initially with them. I tried Siteground, and while I like the affiliate program, I need more support one on one with my blog, I use Go Daddy for this site’s hosting and I REALLY like my GoDaddy hosting, but by far my favorite is WP Engine, even though they are much more expensive than my GoDaddy Hosting. They cost almost $40 per month… They’re worth it! They have live support 24/7 supper fast hosting, and a ton of great articles, plus they will help you get your https sercurity certificate for free, GoDaddy currently charges almost $60 for one wesbite, plus WP Engine has monthly plans and a ton of other perks so it gives me a little wiggle room, and they have an awesome affiliate program that pays $200 per person you refer, so I’m not so worried about the monthly fee since I can be a part of the awesome affiliate program.
How I Changed My Game
Like I mentioned before, I spent a good deal of time away from Facebook and Twitter to grow my Pinterest Account and Group Boards and in that time, I learned about Gourmet Ads, which is a company similar to Google Ads and Mediavine. In the blog post I read, which I can't find at the moment, a blogger shared how she was making money with Gourmet Ads. I was interested to learn that she was able to start making money with her food blog through Gourmet Ads. Gourmet Ads is similar to Google Adsense and Mediavine. They post ads on your website, likely that your audience will be interested in and you will get paid each month.
This is great news for smaller bloggers who don't have the website traffic to get in with Mediavine and are looking for a way to start earning legitimate ad revenue from their website.
I submitted one of my newer websites and was allowed to interview with the company. They went through my site and even put the ads up for me, so the entire process was SUPER easy.
In fact, it couldn't be easier. They also pay $60 per new blogger that you refer, and in just one week sharing my link via Twitter and recommending Gourmet Ads on Twitter to some bloggers I interact with, I'd already referred 5 new bloggers to them!
I have already started seeing my earnings on the platform and it's very encouraging, even though I literally started my blog this month!
I couldn't be happier with the platform and definitely recommend it to food bloggers who are interested in an easy way to monetize their website.
Try Gourmet Ads today for your food website, plus you can use them even if you are already working with other ad companies!
I discuss which affiliate programs are my favorite on Quora,