Author Topic: Fniancially Self-sufficient Blogging  (Read 4757 times)

StarswirlTheMustached

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Fniancially Self-sufficient Blogging
« on: January 25, 2013, 05:13:38 PM »
I know many of you blog-- and most who do seem to have gone the MMM route of rented hosting and your own domain. I have a simple question: does it pay for itself? If so, how much traffic does it take to offset the cost of hosting/domain with ad revenue and/or change in the tip jar? And how do you get that much traffic?

You might have guessed that I want to start blogging (not frugality-- I doubt I have much to add to that discussion-- but a general science communication blog) but I don't have any money to throw into the vanity of my own nameplate. I mean, if a free blogspot is good enough for folk like (published Sci-fi author) David Brin or (published polymath author) John Michael Greer, why not me? Or maybe it's that they're already published on paper in the real world that they can get away with the indignity of having their name trailed by .blogspot.com.
Certainly when I tried that years ago, I didn't get any hits... but I really don't want to be pissing into the wind AND pissing away money to do so. Any thoughts?

arebelspy

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Re: Fniancially Self-sufficient Blogging
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2013, 06:15:53 PM »
It'll probably cost you, but not much.  20-50 per year.  It'd basically be a hobby-type thing.

Most won't make even enough money to cover hosting, so it'd be a labor of love.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
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StarswirlTheMustached

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Re: Fniancially Self-sufficient Blogging
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2013, 02:38:58 PM »

It'll probably cost you, but not much.  20-50 per year.  It'd basically be a hobby-type thing.

Most won't make even enough money to cover hosting, so it'd be a labor of love.
Why not just use a free account, then? Does it make such a huge difference in attracting readers if they're going to myblog.com instead of myblog.wordpress.com or myblog.blogspot.com?

I guess I could have asked this in the other blogging thread, but I didn't want to derail it over the financial question.

Doubleh

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Re: Fniancially Self-sufficient Blogging
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2013, 03:13:37 PM »
If you just want to have your own address there's no reason why you can't buy your domain name for something like $10 a year and use free Wordpress.com hosting - this is exactly what i have done for my company's website. You still won't be able to do all the fancy stuff MMM can but then given your question I don't expect you want that. And to the outside world your site will look more individual.

KGZotU

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Re: Fniancially Self-sufficient Blogging
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2013, 04:31:30 PM »
Why not just use a free account, then? Does it make such a huge difference in attracting readers if they're going to myblog.com instead of myblog.wordpress.com or myblog.blogspot.com?

I guess I could have asked this in the other blogging thread, but I didn't want to derail it over the financial question.
Doubleh points out above that you can buy your own domain for $10/yr and direct it to your blogger, wordpress, or whatever site. Hosting can cost as little as $5/mo, but there can be some mental overhead in setting up your blog that wouldn't be there in a free service.

I host my own blog because:
  • I feel a lot smaller if I'm just another blog in the wordpress or blogger constellation.
  • I've enjoyed programming my own blogging platform.
  • I need a webhost for some of my arbitrary content and other web-based projects..

arebelspy

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Re: Fniancially Self-sufficient Blogging
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2013, 04:55:47 PM »

It'll probably cost you, but not much.  20-50 per year.  It'd basically be a hobby-type thing.

Most won't make even enough money to cover hosting, so it'd be a labor of love.
Why not just use a free account, then? Does it make such a huge difference in attracting readers if they're going to myblog.com instead of myblog.wordpress.com or myblog.blogspot.com?

I guess I could have asked this in the other blogging thread, but I didn't want to derail it over the financial question.

Vanity.

(Among other reasons.)

In all seriousness, since your blog probably won't make money, and if you don't intend to move it that way, using a free one is probably fine.

There are reasons for paying (potential income, wanting your own domain for branding purposes, etc.), but they may not apply to you.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2013, 04:57:21 PM by arebelspy »
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

DebtDerp

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Re: Fniancially Self-sufficient Blogging
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2013, 07:01:35 PM »
OP, I just started blogging and I went with the wordpress.com account. I'm not doing it for an income stream and I just want a platform to get my thoughts down on "paper". I am considering purchasing a domain though. You can do it straight through Wordpress.com for about $20 bucks. Not a bad deal.

c

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Re: Fniancially Self-sufficient Blogging
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2013, 09:29:58 PM »
I have a blogger account, it's free and (mostly) meets my needs. My blog won't be an income stream, it's an online journal of the work I'm doing on my apartment, some tutorials for my side-hussle and photos of my cats. I enjoy doing it as it keeps me on track with my projects and my family like seeing what I'm up to. None of what I blog about is anything that has wide appeal or is particularly niche - the things that seem to make for popular blogs.

Strangely it does attract readers who I don't know personally, and not just spam bots. I don't think the fact that it's a .blogspot vs a customurl.com makes a difference.

Nords

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Re: Fniancially Self-sufficient Blogging
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2013, 09:59:41 PM »
Why not just use a free account, then? Does it make such a huge difference in attracting readers if they're going to myblog.com instead of myblog.wordpress.com or myblog.blogspot.com?
I guess I could have asked this in the other blogging thread, but I didn't want to derail it over the financial question.
The biggest difference is in your choice of themes/plugins... and in the amount of revenue that you receive.

WordPress.com greatly restricts the plugins & themes that you can use on their site-- like blogging with training wheels.   There are still plenty of choices, but inevitably you'll chafe at being locked out of some really cool tool that you'd like to try.  Their WordAds revenue program is pretty lame, but it's improving... and it's free.

Here's a comparison of my blog between WordPress.com and WordPress.org:
http://the-military-guide.com/2013/01/03/2012-blog-revenue-report/

If I recall correctly, Bluehosts's "$5/month!!" means "... with a multi-year contract".

I know many of you blog-- and most who do seem to have gone the MMM route of rented hosting and your own domain. I have a simple question: does it pay for itself? If so, how much traffic does it take to offset the cost of hosting/domain with ad revenue and/or change in the tip jar? And how do you get that much traffic?
I'm averaging $100/month AdSense for 400-500 hits/day.  The first three months paid back the cost of the move (and all the bells/whistles that I splurged on).  My revenue might be a function of the keywords associated with "military financial independence" or it might be related to the number of hits.  However there are many other techniques (affiliate sales, credit-card offers, contact lists, eBooks to name a few) to generate more revenue.

Traffic is a function of how popular your niche is and how hard you work at it.  Content at least 2-3x/week for at least two years, along with guest posting on a half-dozen other blogs and thoughtful comments on another couple dozen.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2013, 10:04:34 PM by Nords »