Reader Question: Blog Advertising

I am starting a new feature here at Practicing Frugal where I will answer reader questions that I receive. If you have a question that you would like me to answer in a future reader question post, leave a comment on this post or just shoot me an email.  I look forward to getting your questions!  If you would like your comment to remain anonymous, just say so in the email.

Question Mark Blockphoto credit

This weeks reader question comes from Ande, who blogs over at Glory Gardening.

What company do you go through for ads to make money on your website? I had just started to see doubling in my growth and income, I got excited because Adsense was going to send my first payment, and then I received an email that they canceled my account due to fraudulent clicks. They denied my appeal and wouldn’t give me any more info. I guess the bigger question is how do you make money from your site? You spend so much time writing quality content and teaching us readers how to save money, I’d like to know the trick to the other side.

Well the truth is Ande, that this blog makes just enough money to pay my yearly fees to maintain it.  That is pretty much because I really haven’t taken the time, until recently, to monetize it like it needs to be monetized.  For one, many advertising sites require you to have a certain size readership, so I have been working on increasing my readership and content first.  Earning money on blog advertising is not easy.  There is quite a bit to learn, which in turn takes quite a bit of time.  For me, time is an issue, so many times I have to chose between writing blog posts or improving the blog.

Another stumbling block is that while many times I recommend a product that can be found on amazon, or an ebook that can be bought from Amazon, I cannot make any affiliate marketing commission from Amazon.  There are some states that are not eligible for Amazon affiliation, and I happen to be in one of them.  So if you are able to be an Amazon affiliate, you are headed in the right direction.  We all love Amazon, and it’s a great way to see the product and read other reviews.

I have included ads in my sidebars, but they pay per click or per action, which can be tricky.  I use Adsense, Commission Junction and Impact Radius for many of these spots. I also have affiliate accounts with companies that I feel passionate about (Home Educating Family, What’s In The Bible, Bundle of The Week, Paperback Swap, etc.)  This is where I make most of the money I have earned.  I recommend these products because I love them and believe in them.

I would also recommend visiting websites for products that you feel passionate about or recommend.  Many times at the bottom of these pages you can click on “affiliate” to get information about becoming an affiliate for a certain site or company.  You can also use the contact link to write the company about your blog and ask about doing a review and giveaway for them.  Keep in mind that you may get rejected more than accepted, but that’s what reaching out is all about.  I have found some great products by doing honest, heartfelt reviews.  I may never ever earn a dime from Thred Up again, but I wrote that post after my very own experience.  At least my readers know how things went for me,and can make an informed decision on whether they want to do business with them or not.  I would rather earn less money than promote products I wouldn’t use myself.  Of course that does not mean you own or use everything you advertise (we are cannot be hoarders here), it just means that you think the product is useful, like the product, think it works and would recommend it.

Another thing I am going to be doing soon, is sponsorship on some other sites that I respect.  While it does cost, it will be great to get word about my blog out there.  This is how I have found many of the blogs that I read.  It drives more traffic to your blog, which in turn will up your revenue. Another way to increase your traffic is by writing guest posts for to be featured on other blogs.  This is a great way to get seen too.  How many times have you read a guest post and wanted to know more about the author? I have done it just about every time.  I click on the link to their blog everytime.  It’s a great way to find new blogs and meet more people.

Don’t forget that in the end, your blog is a business too.  Keep your receipts for expenses and statements on earnings for tax time.

Here are some resources from Money Saving Mom on advertising:

How To Make Money Blogging

5 Tips For Selling More Sidebar Ads

The Pros and Cons of Joining an Ad Network 

Here are a few more resources from Blogging With Amy:

Advertising Pages:  My Non-Expert Recommendation

How Much Do Real Bloggers Actually Make?

How Do I Get Started Making Money as a New Blogger?

How To Make Money Blogging:  Affiliate Marketing Explained

I also learned so much from Blogelina (this is my affiliate link).  There is some great resources available from her site for free and for a minimum cost.  I participated in

Good luck on your blog advertising!  I do hope this answered your question.  If you learn any new tricks, feel free to come back and let us know!

Have any suggestions to add for Ande?  Feel free to chime in and give your opinion (expert or not).    

Keep the questions coming in dear friends.  I want to know what you want to know!

making a habit out of living frugal…..

Like what you see here at Practicing Frugal?  Why not subscribe to get a daily email of frugal updates?  Just fill in the form below.

Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner

 

Reader Question: What About Snacks?

I am starting a new feature here at Practicing Frugal where I will answer reader questions that I receive. If you have a question that you would like me to answer in a future reader question post, leave a comment on this post or just shoot me an email.  I look forward to getting your questions!  If you would like your comment to remain anonymous, just say so in the email.

Question Mark Blockphoto credit

This week’s reader question comes from Nancy who emailed in her question some time ago, but I thought I would address it here on the blog too in case the rest of you have often wondered the same thing.

I notice, from looking at your grocery pictures, that you don’t buy very many snacks.  What do you eat for snacks, or do you make your own?  

That’s a great question Nancy.  I actually do buy some snacks in my grocery trips, but I find that when we eat healthier foods, we stay full longer.  We tend to eat quite a bit of oatmeal for breakfast.  I find oatmeal keeps us full longer than cereal.  It is a healthier choice for us too.  Sometimes we have bagels and boiled eggs too.  I find that when we eat french toast, pancakes or muffins without any lean meat or another protein, we get hungry faster.

If you look back at my grocery trips, you will notice a great deal of fruit.  Fruit is one of our regular snacks around here.  There’s nothing more refreshing than some great tasting, in season fruit.

We also enjoy nuts, carrots, cucumbers, pickles, yogurt, granola bars, toast, raisins, yogurt raisins, homemade muffins, crackers, cheese, popcorn, homemade popsicles and peanut butter crackers for snacks on a regular basis.

I keep a basket in a cabinet low enough for the girls to reach of items that can be eaten as a snack.  That makes it easier for them to know what is okay, and it’s easier for them to reach.

Sometimes we get a bag of chips or some ice cream bars for free that I use for a different snack or a special snack and sometimes we make something from scratch like brownies or a cake.  This doubles as a snack we make and a learning to bake lesson!

Sometimes the last princess will wash off a tomato at the garden and eat it!  (she makes me so proud!!)

So I promise that my kids do get snacks, but all in all I know we are eating pretty good if we aren’t emptying the snack cabinet.  If my kids are constantly eating snacks and I look at what we have eaten, it usually coincides with some of what I call “empty” meals we have had.  A meal of simple carbs or no protein is what I call “empty” and we tend to get hungry faster when we eat these types of meals.

Thanks for emailing me your question Nancy.  I hope to hear from more of you guys.

making a habit out of living frugal…..

Like what you see here at Practicing Frugal?  Why not subscribe to get a daily email of frugal updates?  Just fill in the form below.

Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner