After seeing this documentary last week, I began to question my own ways of monetizing. I'm a baby blogger, nearly 5 months old, with only 5500 views per month. Therefore, I do not expect to make much money through advertisements, affiliates, sponsorships and the like. I've never been given a product to review, and the items I've used for giveaways have all been purchased with my own money.
Of the income I've garnered through blogging thus far, 82% is the result of direct sponsorships. The rest is from companies I've chosen to be affiliated with. To be more specific, here's the breakdown of the affiliate programs I participate in and how much I've earned:
Google AdSense: $7.01
Amazon Associates: $3.63
Just Fabulous + ModCloth (via Commission Junction): $1.50
We Love Colors + Lulu's (via ShareASale): $0.00
Shopzilla Publisher Program: $0.00
Total all-time earnings: $12.70
Part of me wants to believe that every little bit counts. Let's rewind and take a peek into my work life. For over a year, I had both a full-time and part-time job. Together, I was getting 50-60 hours per week and a steady income with benefits. From a logical standpoint, I should have been happy -- but I wasn't. At the end of February 2011, I quit my full-time job and was promoted at my part-time one which, as you may know by now, is this fabulous clothing store.
I'm now only working 30 hours per week, which gives me plenty of time to concentrate on my writing and photography and spend time with my boyfriend. My job combines fashion and people, the two loves of my life. I'm more happy and relaxed than ever, but let's face the facts: I need money to survive. This is Los Angeles, people. Rent here is double what it was in Michigan, where I'm from. Gas prices are sky-high. And, um, I'm a shopaholic.
All of this considered, I'm grateful for these ads and affiliates. I'm not getting much, but I'm getting something. However, I haven't even made enough through any program to request payment; for some companies it's $10, for others it's $100.
That's when I begin to wonder: is it worth it? Am I really getting anything out of this, or is it a waste of space and time? And then comes the worst thought of all -- am I selling out?
As a blogger, has monetization been beneficial to you? What about as a reader -- do ads distract? I'd love to know your thoughts.