Gasp, right? A blog without ads? How am I supposed to make any money?
Okay, so I didn’t remove all of my ads. I still do sponsored posts. But I had Google Ads on my blog for a quite a little less than a year, which is about half of my blog’s lifetime up to this point. I posted them in my sidebar and in my most popular posts, and I was actually getting quite a few clicks on them.
But a few weeks ago, I decided to take them down. All of them.
And here’s the (first) problem with Google Ads: you can’t cash out until you’ve made $100. It would have taken me an astronomical amount of time to get the money for the ads based on how much traffic I get on my ads.
Not only that, but they’re tacky. No one likes being bombarded with ads when they go onto a website. And that’s coming from someone in marketing.
But neither of those are the reason I finally decided to cut the advertising cord on my blog.
I was listening to a webinar by Mariah and Sarah a few weeks ago, and Sarah said something that really resonated with me.
You’ve worked so hard to get people to your blog. Why are you giving them an opportunity to leave? They better be paying you good money to have their ads there.
And here’s the thing: you don’t make a ton of money with Google Ads. Remember my figure about making less than $20 in 10 months? Yeah, not exactly thrilling.
So, how do I make money with my blog?
Because, let’s face it, blogging ain’t cheap. But it’s fun, and I’d love to make an income from it.
There are two main ways I’m making an income from my blog now: design services and Etsy.
Etsy is the easiest, because I’m able to make a passive income from it. This means I make something once, and people can pay for it and download it all at once. I don’t actually have to do anything.
I’m in the process of filtering out my handmade Etsy products so it can be almost entirely devoted to passive income.
The second way is through my design services. I’m working with clients to build websites, design graphics, and monetize their blogs / websites just like I have been. It’s not nearly as passive, but it’s awesome to help clients realize their potential.
For example, I helped Angela from The Full Tummy (plus And Possibly Dinosaurs) not only set up and design her website, but also create a meal planning printable to offer her readers for free. We worked together to figure out the best format for her website and printable, and she ended up really happy with the final products.
If you’re interested in working with me on website and design projects, drop me a line!
I’m really happy with my decision to remove ads on my blog. It was a hard decision because it’s so non-traditional, but it’s been a great change for me.
Sure, I lost out on $20 of ad revenue because I’m not going to get to the $100 minimum for withdrawal. But it’s not worth it to encourage people to leave my site for a minimal payout.
I’m pretty sure that’s part of Google’s business plan. Jerks.
Do you have ads on your blog? Why or why not?
Sara Strand says
I would absolutely LOVE help. Seriously. I like the look of my blog, but I want it to be brighter, cleaner. I have lots of ideas, zero talent, and less than zero time because it’s hard to do much with a baby demanding love and being extra adorable. If people knew how long it takes me to type up one blog post? They’d be amazed I am ever able to make it coherent. HA!
Haha, I can (sort of) relate thanks to my 9-month-old puppy! Getting anything done when he was just a few weeks old was a pain. I can’t imagine how demanding a baby must be! Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can see how I can help! 🙂 xo
Emily Vanderhoof says
This is a great heartfelt post! I agree it stinks to go onto a link for a post and have to click around several ads just to see the post you wanted. I haven’t been able to apply for google ads yet because I’m just 6 months in this month. Although I was planning on it. I might reconsider now after reading this! Thanks for the insight!
Thanks, Emily! While I know my way of doing things isn’t for everyone, I definitely recommend you think outside the box when trying to monetize your blog! 🙂
Meghan Hayes says
That makes so much sense. You’ve worked hard to get people there. You want them to click on your other posts, not leave. I bet your bounce rate improved a lot. I didn’t know you helped make printables. I might be working with you soon!
I definitely have seen an improvement! I’d be happy to help! 🙂
Meghan Hayes says
What widget do you use to advertise your top posts? I think that would be useful in my sidebar instead of ads.
It’s a Jetpack widget (so it should automatically be installed if you’ve set up Jetpack) called Top Posts & Pages (Jetpack). You can choose how many show up and if you want posts and pages or just posts. 🙂 Hope this helps!
Meghan Hayes says
I know I have jetpack, so I’ll have to look for the Top Posts & Pages widget
Life Anchored says
Totally agree! I think I’m going to take mine down now that I read this!!
That’s awesome! Glad I could help! 🙂
Shann Eva says
You make a really great point about Ads. I wish I had another way to make revenue, like Etsy, but I’m not really talented at making anything…at least yet. Thank you for giving me something to think about. 🙂
Haha! I’m sure you’ll find some other way, though. 🙂
Cynthia @craftoflaughter says
I sure do love the way you think, my friend!! You always speak the truth!
Thanks, Cynthia! 🙂
Brooke Knipp says
That all makes a lot of sense. I hadn’t gotten around to putting Google Ads up and I think I probably won’t bother. I was worried about the aesthetics of it and didn’t want to take attention from what I wan’t people to see/experience. That advice from Mariah and Sarah is so SMART! Why haven’t I thought of it that way before? Thanks for sharing your thought process (and experience with G ads), I really appreciate the food for thought.
I’m so glad you were able to find this helpful! I’m seriously so glad Mariah and Sarah opened my eyes to it, because otherwise I’d be checking my Adsense account every day getting really excited about the pennies I would be making. No thanks! 🙂
Angela Morales says
I’m so proud of you and so thankful of our friendship… but you already know that.
Katie @ Doing Dewey says
I’ve gotten rid of ads because I couldn’t get them to fit into my design in a way I was happy with. This was easy decision for me because I wasn’t making a ton of money on them. I’m currently not doing anything else to make money through my blog, but I’m working on changing that. Mostly passive income would be amazing 🙂
That’s so true! They’re awkward to fit into most designs. Good luck with your money-making ideas! 🙂
Katie @ Doing Dewey says
A Life of Love and Joy says
I haven’t started having ads on my blog page and you brought up some great and valid points!!!
Thank you!! 🙂
Trish Nicholas says
This is an excellent point, and I plan to take mine down soon. Not just yet, as it’s currently my only method of blog income (however insignificant it may be), but definitely in the future!
That’s awesome! Have you started brainstorming how else you can make income?
Lovebug you are preaching to the choir here. I removed them because I feel like they really take away from the look of a blog! You are awesome!
Agreed! 🙂 So glad we’re on the same page!
Veronica | TwoEasels says
Oh good for you. When I see ads in the sidebars of blogs I get super annoyed but if they’re in the post then I just click off, I can’t stand them. Ads are taking over the world. So great! I won’t click off you’re site now. Hehe.
Haha yay! Glad to hear it. 🙂 I’m the same way! I love people making money of their own accord rather than by random people clicking on something. 🙂
Juliet W. says
I love your perspective! I cut down on my ads on my blog when I went through a revamp in September and I now only have two ads on my sidebar.
However, I want to cut it down to nothing eventually … ok well maybe I should just cut the cord now because Google Ads has made me less than 30 cents and Amazon Affiliates is planning to kick me out … anyways, yes ads are annoying! They certainly have the potential to make or break a design or turn potential readers away. I will certainly keep this in mind when I make the decision to remove all ads on my blog or not in the near future!
– Juliet from http://www.thelittlejewelsoflife.com
That’s so awesome, Juliet! I love that you’re so open to changes in your blog design, especially when it comes to income. 🙂
Michelle Westbrook says
Adsense will send you the $20 if you close your account. I had $11 when I closed mine. I removed my ads too!
Yay! Oh my goodness thank you so much for sharing! I had no idea!
Michelle Westbrook says
You’re welcome. I was surprised myself. I was just going to let it go since it was only $11 and then they sent an email letting me know 🙂