I also blog.
I have been blogging for some time, but it's only in the last few months that I have started to think about the idea of generating an income from my blog. Lots of people do it. I have been cautious about the whole idea as I don't want to compromise my blog. I'd hate for my need to make money to take the authenticity out of what I write.
However, towards the end of last year, I thought it might be worth a try.
The first thing I tried was google ads. I have a made a few pence, but that is all.
I have also added a couple of affiliate ads to the side bar. I have been told that 4 sales of the Baby Care DVD (code BLISS to save yourself £5!) are a result of people reading my review, that's good to know, and I should see a little income from this. Writing this review did not compromise my integrity, so it's all good so far.
After going to Mumsnet Blogfest in November I thought I might try and take it a step further. I responded to an advert for bloggers to follow an Elimination Diet. I liked the sound of the diet because it was about identifying your own issues rather than following a rigid plan that someone else has written and you can never stick to - so I made further enquiries. I kind of hoped it would be paid, (that was one of my first questions) but no! What they offered was to promote my blog through their 'extensive networks' and bring me more traffic, and a free copy of the book.
I figured I had nothing to lose. The diet sounded interesting and more traffic would be a good thing, especially as I now had affiliate ads on my blog. There was also the fact that as a result of not being paid, I didn't have to lie, I just had to tell the story as it was with no obligation to anyone or incentive to increase sales. I liked that, but the thing really that sold it to me was the fact that if I was blogging about a diet, I would have to stick to it, and that might just bring me some results!
It did work, from the diet perspective. I lost 5kg and 32 cm and was never hungry. I learned some interesting things about my own body's response to certain foods and I did stick to it. I also think it is a healthy approach to eating.
My question for this post though is was it worth it as a blogging assignment? Was it worth the hours I invested. I wrote a total of 27 posts over 6 weeks and this is what happened.
Did it bring me extra traffic?
No. I tracked all the tweets and their retweets and found that in 27 blog posts I got only one visitor as a result. I also looked on stat counter at where my visitors have come from and have not found a single person that came from the 'extensive networks' they told me about.
Did it bring me more followers?
No. In fact I think it could have lost me a few. I have just been looking at my stats on feedburner and I lost a significant number of followers on 8th Jan - the day that I posted 4 items about the diet. I also had less page views in Dec that in did in previous months.
Did it bring me any income?
No. As I said there was nothing for the posting, and as far as I am aware none of my affiiliate ads generated any money during that time?
Was it worth it?
From a personal perspective yes, but as an income generator, definitely not.
What have I learned?
When someone says they have an extensive social media network check it out first! Their 'strategy' is twitter and Facebook, and the number of followers for each is very small.
Time is precious, especially when you only have the hours that your kid sleeps to generate an income for your family. I have used a minimum of 27 hours of precious money making time to generate zilch pounds sterling! This is NOT money wise!
It's not all about money - I am still pleased I did it. I feel better, and lost weight and inches.
Will I do this kind of blogging assignment again? maybe, but again only if doesn't compromise my integrity, and if it doesn't piss you off, and I will check out the 'promises' before I commit and hopefully benefit my family a little next time as a result of what I learned this time.
Is this real???
What can you tell me? I am curious to know your thoughts.
If you are a regular reader, did it get on your nerves that I was blogging about this diet so much? Did you read less? Please be honest.
Are you a new follower that found me through the 'extensive networks' that the publisher provided?
Or did you start following though my own social media profiles because of the topic of the diet?
Are you a blogger who makes money through your blog? If so do you have any tips to share with me and other folk thinking about this idea?
Thank you in advance for your feedback.