Making Money Blogging Without Being Obnoxious
September 30, 2018
Taking My Blog From Hobby to Business with Advertising
If there is one part of blogging that I’ve been super squeamish about, it’s not the sharing of personal stories, or being a goofball, or the technical stuff. I’ve even gotten used to promoting my work. But a hump I couldn’t quite get over – making money blogging. Without being obnoxious.
Dolla Dolla Work From Home Bills, Y’all
Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to make money from my blog. What a fun job! Plus as it turns out some people make a living that way, and the more I learned about blogging as a business the more I became intrigued by the idea.
The main ways bloggers make money – being paid by a company to write about their product or service, selling their own physical or digital products, affiliate marketing (linking to other sites that sell things), and advertising. But I only wanted to do sponsored blog posts here and there for products I was really into. And I didn’t have a product of my own to sell. Oh, and when I first started out the affiliate links I used were for things like bulk orders of Lunchables Pizza or a pinata shaped like a treasure chest because that was more entertaining. Shockingly low conversions…
Plus, I felt super uncomfortable asking readers for money in any way. Coming from a career in nonprofit education and very far removed from fundraising, I had little experience on the money side of a business. I was staying firmly in hobby blog zone, which was very fun, but I was also really unsure how to hit the financial goals I had set for myself as a writer.
If you’re a blogger, read the next two sections! Don’t care so much about web advertising for your blog but curious about entrepreneurship? Skip down to my Q&A with entrepreneur and founder of Fomo, Ryan Kulp! This post contains affiliate links.
Let’s Talk Advertising
So what was a blogger to do?
The money making idea I felt most comfortable with was advertising on my blog, if it wasn’t all up in your face. But Google AdSense ads were a little up in your face, and if you wanted to make a real income from it you needed a lot of in your face click throughs. Another reason I was a little hesitant, the first ad that popped up on my site when I started with Google AdSense was for for mail order brides… (Panic, panic – SHUT IT DOWN!) As a result, I buried my Google ads on the page, kept them super limited, and made enough
money cents to pay for the electricity to type that sentence.
The other option for advertising was Mediavine, a well known advertising network in the blogging community that pays its publishers quite well for featuring ads in their content. But the catch is you are required to have a certain number of monthly page views. 25,000 to be exact. Not QUITE there yet.
Fomo: Fear of Missing Out (On Hopes & Dreams)
So when I came across a new advertising network called Fomo Publishers Network I was intrigued. Fomo is a social proof marketing platform that drives trust, traffic, and conversions. Companies work with Fomo to highlight actual customer behavior, which makes the company’s product all the more appealing to the next customer. (Sally just bough a widget. Hmm, might be a good widget. Fear of Missing Out! Clever cats.)
As a blogger on the Fomo Publishers Network ads from these companies are served on your website. They are small pop ups on desktop or mobile and they highlight products that could be of real interest to readers based on your content. Payout to publishers is based on impressions, so the more views you have on your content, the higher your earning potential. AND there is no minimum page view requirement. Perfect option for small to medium blogs! Note: There isn’t a fee to join – that price you see is for advertisers! Click “Sign Up” at the top right to create your publisher account.
Here’s an example of one of their ads on my site.
With Love, Becca has been a member of Fomo Publishers Network for a couple months now and I’m super psyched about the decision. My website brought in more advertising revenue in the first few days than I had made with Google AdSense in 6 months… It’s been steady, reliable, straight forward, and totally unannoying. I’ve been able to make money blogging and invest in tools and education to help me hone this craft. Hooray!
The Whole Entrepreneurial Deal
Since I was super into Fomo’s whole vibe, I wanted to learn more about the founder behind the curtain. Plus my career coach brain always loves tapping into the minds of entrepreneurs. Fomo Founder, Ryan Kulp, graciously offered to answer some of my questions and I’m excited to share his story with you. Welcome, Ryan!
Ryan. Thanks for being with us over on With Love, Becca! As a career coach I talk a lot about finding your career sweet spot – the overlap between your skills, passions, and the value you can provide to others. Is your role as founder of Fomo a career sweet spot for you? If so, how did you uncover it as you progressed through your early years/college/career?
It certainly is! I’ve worked full- or part-time with over 35 venture backed tech companies, but Fomo is my most important contribution. From a young age, even through college, I founded multiple small businesses that helped prepare me for my current role as a founder and manager. I’m still learning (and failing) daily, but Fomo is the culmination of all my marketing and leadership experiences.
Talk to us about entrepreneurship! What’s the biggest lesson you have learned since launching your own company?
A lot of folks misconstrue “entrepreneurship” with “getting rich,” But most entrepreneurs will agree these do not go hand-in-hand. First and foremost entrepreneurs want to create a world that doesn’t exist, and they want the freedom to do it. This usually means sacrificing income, vacation, job security, and more.
Only later, after months or (most likely) years of hard work, does the income follow. and even then, entrepreneurs are risk-takers. Through Fomo I’ve been blessed with ample resources that I could have deposited into my own bank account, but instead I chose (and continue choosing) to reinvest profits back into the company.
Perhaps a curse of entrepreneurship — and this is not to garner sympathy whatsoever — is that when you begin to drive material profits you’re more likely to reinvest than cash out. Up and coming entrepreneurs should consider this paradox before leaving a high paying job.
What’s next for Fomo? What do you see as the “next big thing” for your company?
We’re at a fun inflection point right now, where we have a core product that grows steadily and solves a proven market demand. but we also have this new advertising network, which has simultaneously greater potential but also greater risk of success.
For now, the future of Fomo is scaling our new ad network and continuing the execution of our vision to give honest entrepreneurs the credibility they deserve.
Being a founder of a company is EXTREMELY time consuming, but there’s life outside of work too. What does your life look like outside of the office? Unicycle riding? Goat Yoga? Any good Netflix recommendations?
I do a lot of things outside Fomo. For one, I co-run a micro private equity fund, which acquires small technology companies and grows them towards a second sale. We currently operate an e-commerce store, an invoicing app for florists, and a few others.
I’m a big fan of drama television, and this summer got caught up on Ozark, Better Call Saul, Suits, and at least a few others. I also write 1-2x /month on my personal blog or as a contributor to tech publications.
There’s no excuse for not having a life outside work, even if you go 12 hours a day. you still need to eat (see: watch 1 episode), sleep (see: read 20 pages of a book in bed), and commute (see: listening to new music). This concept is increasingly becoming known as work life “integration” instead of work life balance, which seeks to cut off one area for the other. In the integration mindset, However, you instead find ways to seamlessly enjoy a personal life mixed in with the usual work stuff.
Let’s Hear it for the Bloggers
Interested in learning more about the Fomo Publisher Network and becoming a partner? Check it out here. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made for my blog so far and I hope you know I wouldn’t have touted them if I wasn’t a big fan. Ain’t nobody got time for nonsense.
If you have signed up and need help integrating Fomo with WordPress? Here are instructions!
Thanks for reading this businessy post in a land of parenting funnies! Next up, probably a post about how my 2 year old can help you negotiate your salary… Ooo that sounds fun actually…
With love and respect for the blogging business,
Looking for more on the business of blogging? Check out some of my go-to resources.