Despite the recent celebration of my six month blogiversary, I still feel like I'm continually learning the ropes of blogging and slowly building relationships with the talented bloggers in this amazing community.
Initially, I was very hesitant to monetize Cashville Skyline. After all, the primary goals have always been to improve my writing, learn more about digital marketing, and hold myself accountable on my journey to financial independence.
When I learned how easy Google Adsense is, it was hard to resist not giving it a try. In spite of my curiosity, I was concerned about the ads being obtrusive to readers.
At the end of April I reluctantly added a few ads to the sidebar and footer, but they have only earned about $21 so far. Because of their placement, they are rarely clicked on, so I'm heavily relying on impressions.
I know that I could probably generate three times the revenue by placing ads within my content, but I'm very nervous about turning readers away. I've seen bloggers do it tastefully, but I've also been an annoyed reader, trying to navigate through a minefield of ads.
Clearly, I still have a lot to learn about Google Adsense and what type, size, and placement of ads are most effective. I'm wading into these waters slowly.
I started receiving inquiries to push products via Cashville Skyline almost immediately. I couldn't believe the volume of emails I was receiving for books, apps, and services when I barely had any readers!
Initially I was flattered by the inquiries, but I quickly realized these people were just looking for free promotion.
I was recently approached by an affiliate who works with financial products. He mentioned a specific credit card that I'm already using to hack travel rewards. With the end to my traveling gig rapidly approaching, I've been exploring other ways to travel inexpensively.
How do I feel about affiliate links? Honestly, they've never bothered me as long as the blogger is transparent and genuine.
I told the representative that I wasn't interested in mentioning any products that I haven't personally used and enjoyed. I am willing to tastefully mention a product that I'm already using and like, but I'm still feeling hesitant.
But honestly, since I've recently quit my job, am I really in a position to be turning down opportunities to make money?
With FinCon rapidly approaching, it feels unavoidable not to be inspired by other bloggers who are making legit side income from their blogs.
These bloggers open, honest, and spend endless hours producing amazing content for the rest of us to enjoy.
Why shouldn't they be compensated for their hard work?
As personal finance bloggers, are we foolish not to carefully consider opportunities to generate additional streams of revenue?
SHAMELESS PLUG: I am available for hire! If you like what I do and are looking for an extra hand in writing, social media strategy, etc., let's talk!
Readers: Is monetizing a blog selling out? What turns you off as a reader? Any advice at achieving a tasteful balance?