How To Make Money From Blogging Even If No One Is Paying You Part 2

By: | August 9, 2015 | Tags: , , , , ,

Should bloggers self host? Click to see the answer.It is common knowledge that if you want to make money blogging, you should self-host.

However, before making that decision, you should be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of self-hosting.

Disadvantages to Self-Hosting

1. Not all your blog followers will follow you.

A reader wrote and said she returned to a WordPress.com hosted blog after she tried to self-host but lost all her followers.

Like with any decision, you should do research.

Before making the change, I read articles that said it was possible to redirect your followers to your new site.  I spoke with bloggers who brought their followers with them, and my tech helpers said they would ensure my WordPress and Email followers would go with me to the new site.

Also, I have a MailChimp list of additional followers.  When people sign up for my blog to get my free incentive, they sign up through MailChimp.  I have hundreds of people on that list.

Worst case, and all those sources were wrong, and I lost my following, I knew I would still have that base.

It is important to know that you will lose some of your followers.  My followers primarily come from WordPress.com, WordPress.org, or are Email subscribers without blogs.  Those followers transferred.

If you have any followers on Blogger, Google’s platform, they will not transfer to your new site.  They will have to sign up again.

2. You can still make money blogging without self-hosting.

  • Accept a credit card donation.

WordPress.com users can make money from blogging.

A Momma’s View, which is at https://amommasview.wordpress.com, is a WordPress.com site.  As can be seen by the screen shot, this blog has the potential to make money.

When I first wrote How to Make Money Blogging Even if No one is Paying You Part I, I indicated I felt accepting money for blogging which gives out free information on the Internet is in some way tacky.

I have since changed my position.  Notice this comment I received from a reader after I published a post he requested:

Thank you … when I… become something good, I will definitely come to see you with a surprise…

Suppose the blogger did want to thank me by making a donation to my site.  If I don’t have the “donation” option, the reader can’t make that choice.

I shouldn’t assume people think having a credit card donation on a website is inappropriate in an age where information disseminated on the Internet is free.  I shouldn’t think for people.

I know a WordPress.com blogger who receives credit card donations, and then goes out of his way to write thank you notes, just like I would as a teacher if a student’s parent gave me a holiday gift.

How to get a credit card donation option on your blog:

The admin blogger of A Momma’s View  explained, “Check it on WordPress Support page (look for Buy Now or Donate button).”

  • You can sell ads on a WordPress.com website!

During my interview with the A Momma’s View blogger, she shared,

“Depending on the plan you’re on, you can’t sell ads…”

Notice she doesn’t say that you can’t sell ads on WordPress.com, she explained, “Depending on the plan you’re on…”

I also interviewed Stella, the blogger at FashionandStylePolice.  She explained how you can have ads on a WordPress.com site.

“I am on WordPress.com with my own domain. I have had ads [and] a reblog since I had my blog. I had to apply to WordPress to get ads on my blog. It is up to them to decide which blogs on WordPress.com has ads.”

3. Self-hosted bloggers lose the ability to be reblogged.

For bloggers who depend on reblogging for readership growth, this can be perhaps the biggest disadvantage, especially if you can still make money blogging in these other ways.

This can also be frustrating for their readers who might want to share their work in this way.

4. Self-hosting can be time-consuming.

Many decisions needed making.  Some of them are still underway.  I had enormous help, but it still took a week to set up my new site.  Do not attempt this unless you have time to set aside.  I am not tech savvy.  Validating my new site at Pinterest, signing out of my old site and into my new… Setting up a new site, like any new venture, takes time.

5. Self-hosting can be expensive.

There is site maintenance involved.  In addition to paying for a new domain, a theme, tech help that might be needed, there are site maintenance charges unless you are knowledgeable enough to maintain your own site.

Advantages to Self-Hosting

1. You have more freedom. I interviewed Trudy of Rendevous in New York.  She explained why she self-hosted.

I waited a while to start my blog. And I knew that if I was going to start creatively writing a blog, I wanted to have full control on how I managed my blog, how I wanted to monetize it, free to use any language I felt necessary without worrying about repercussions, free to take on affiliates and not be worried that I am breaking a list of rules that I’m not aware of. It’s my baby to raise at my pace, the way I say. It’s liberating, frightening, and a learning experience.

2. I can still receive comments, and people are notified of my comments.  I heard this was not possible without signing up for Disqus.

3. The WordPress app still works.

4. You are able to install social sharing buttons. Shareaholic buttons are easily installed using a free plugin.

The StumbleUpon button is available, even though it is no longer available through WordPress.com unless you install it manually.  Another button I am excited about is Flipboard.  Both sites are huge referrers of traffic for me.

These buttons could lead to more social shares which could lead to more traffic.  Perhaps because they are larger, readers will see them and remember to share if they like your article.

5. You have the potential to make money.  According to the Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging, “Anytime you get lots of eyeballs in one place, there is money to be made.”

How to Make Money Blogging Even if No one is Paying You Part I explains how you could make money by becoming an affiliate of Amazon.com.

You could sign also up for Google Adsense.  According to the Huffington Post Guide, “The program matches ads to your site’s content.”  Therefore, these could be ads for products your audience genuinely needs.

I hear people sell their books on their site.  People have requested being able to purchase a book full of my blogging tips, so they have them all in one place.  If I ever pursue that dream, I should be able to sell my book on my site.

6. I hear Google Analytics gives better information about where your referral traffic is coming from on a self-hosted site.  I like to get good return on my time investment by promoting in places where I get the most referral traffic.

7. Many self-hosted companies offer free 24/7 tech. support.  A Small Orange, which is my company, does, and they are very knowledgeable and helpful.

Should #bloggers self-host?

In closing, I can not adequately analyze the merits of self-hosting since I’ve only just started my path down a self-hosted site.

Fortunately, I had wonderful help along the way.  For this reason, I found starting a second blog far easier than starting the first. My friends have been valuable resources to me, friends I didn’t know when I first started blogging.

Shoutouts go to Trudy of Rendevous in New York, Shawn from Down Home Thoughts, Terri from Perspectives On…, Stella from FashionandStylePolice and Elena from Living With Batman for helping me begin my self-hosting journey.

In addition, I had talented tech help. Teresa from Boutique Vendors Designs set up my site, and Jacqui from WackyJacqui’sDesigns redirected my content and followers.

I don’t know if I will ever write a book or make money in any way from blogging.  I don’t know if I will be able to make better use of Google Analytics.  I do know there are no chances if I don’t stay on this self-hosted path.

Readers, please share, so bloggers know the full ramifications of self-hosting before they consider trying it.

What are your thoughts after reading this?  Do you think you might be tempted to try self-hosting?  If you are already self-hosting, are you happy with your decision?  Why?  I look forward to your views.

Related post:

http://www.livingwithbatman.com/2015/05/17/transfer-blog-wordpress-com-to-wordpress-org/

 

  1. Rob Alberts

    One of mine blogfriends is now asking for some money to be a follower.
    Though I love reading that blog I refuse to pay.

    Since blogging is a hobby of mine.

    Kind regards,

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Rob,
      Am I understanding you correctly? He wants you to PAY him to read his blog? I never heard of that. I understand your refusal to pay. There are plenty of free blogs on the Internet with the same information, I am sure. Thank you for writing and telling me about it.
      Janice

  2. Jim Buchanan

    I self host without any wordpress involvement. The site isn’t too sophisticated, but I have fun and I can do absolutely anything I want.

    I used to have ads on the site (before the blog section was added). I made fair money many years ago, but all the affiliate terms changed to the point that I was selling people’s stuff, but not enough to earn anything. Now I just have ads for non-profits like the suicide prevention helpline (I blog a lot, but not exclusively about mental health)

    Do you allow links to our blogs here? I don’t want to post it without asking…

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Jim
      Thanks for reading what I wrote and writing me. It’s been great getting to know you better the last few days, first on Pinterest and now here.
      I appreciate the courtesy of asking before posting a link. I know many bloggers consider it inappropriate, spammy even. However, if you could post a link with an example of what you are referencing, that could help all of us.
      Janice

  3. Trudy

    Wow Janice, thank you for featuring my comments in your post. I sound so intelligent and informed. Lol!

    • Janice Wald

      I am grateful for your help. It helped being able to pick your brain. Thank you again.
      I installed Shareaholic. To my delight, there was a StumbleUpon button there. Do you have it? It’s under “More”. I don’t know how to get it visible, but at least it’s there if readers want “More” choices.
      Please confirm you are getting my posts in your Email. I was told WordPress.org readers were also transferred, but I wanted to make sure. Thanks.
      Janice

  4. Jeanette Hall

    I tried self-hosting back in 2012. Lost a lot of money and almost cost me my marriage! Won’t be trying it again.

    Glad you are experiencing good fortune with your site!

    • Melinda

      Oh my goodness, Jeanette! How awful that it almost cost your marriage! Was it from the stress?
      Melinda

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Jeannette,
      Thanks for writing. I only just started self-hosting on Wednesday.
      Do you have any advice for me, and others contemplating, on what we can try to avoid doing so save ourselves money and the stress you experienced?
      Janice

      • Janice Wald

        Hi Jeannette,
        In my Email I was able to read your response to my question. Strangely, I don’t see it here. Thank you for explaining those personal details. I did not mean to pry.
        Janice

  5. John doe

    With the information you provide and the speed that your blog has grown, if anyone will be successful at self hosting it will be you. I am sure the advertisers will line up to be on your site. Whenever you write your books on blogging tips, the way all the different social media sites support you and your efforts to help people, anyone who has ever read your blog will want to buy them.

      • Janice Wald

        PS Did you notice ads are on my site? By the time I went to bed last night, they were there. I was excited to see them. Some of the ads aren’t what I would click on, but as I said in my post, I shouldn’t think for people.
        Janice

  6. Melinda

    Janice, this post comes at the perfect time for me. I’ve been considering whether or not I could make money doing something I love doing. Thanks for giving a balanced view of both sides.
    Melinda

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Melinda,
      Thanks for complimenting my balanced reporting. I was glad I was able to share WordPress.com ideas so if people want to stay there, they can try those two options for monetizing their site.
      Janice

    • Janice Wald

      PS There were many humor bloggers at my blog party yesterday. I haven’t checked today, but if you haven’t already, why don’t you leave a link to a post?

      • Melinda

        I have the grand baby and can’t get to the computer. And I can’t do it on my phone.
        🙁
        Melinda

  7. amy

    hey i have started a beauty and lifestyle blog, could you give it a look and let me know your thoughts. i would really appreciate it <3

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Amy,
      I did look at your blog. Thank you for asking my opinion. I am impressed for a new blog. I also have some suggestions. I have your Email and will contact you privately .
      Janice

  8. Susan Langer

    Great post. I have 4 blogs. 3 of them are self-hosted through WordPress.org and Go Daddy. The cost for self-hosting is not too expensive if you plan ahead. I just started one blog at a time so the cost was spread out. You have a lot more freedom with self-hosting. I use Sharaholic too and it is great. Good luck, Janice. 🙂

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Susan,
      I so respect your opinion as someone who has been at this far longer than I have. Thank you for offering your view about why self-hosting is a good choice. I offered both sides, and readers are writing about which they prefer. Clearly, four days is too early for me to tell, but so far, I am loving it. Thanks!
      Janice

  9. Bella Silverstein

    Janice, thank you so much for posting this. In today’s gig economy, I’m more than ready to try something new. I’ve already decided I want to self-host, and I’m in the process of figuring out the details. When the time comes, I’ll revisit this info. I need all the help I can get! Many thanks for this.

    • Janice Wald

      Bella,
      I am thrilled to hear this. You must know that. Last year you helped me, now maybe I can be a help to you. You are a beyond brilliant writer. I am looking forward to having this in common with you.
      Janice

  10. Janice Wald

    Hi Linda,
    We haven’t “spoken” in a while, but I’ve seen your picture at other’s blogs. It’s great we are in the same communities.
    I am glad you appreciated my article. Thank you for writing and telling me.
    Janice

    • Janice Wald

      Thank you very much for your compliments on my article. I appreciate you reading what I wrote.
      Janice

  11. Judy

    As always, great information!
    I’m not ready to contemplate self hosting yet as I’ve just started blogging and need to get much more comfortable with that and really find “my style”. So for now, it’s amateur hour and I’m okay with that.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Judy,
      That’s cute–The Amateur Hour. I think that used to be a TV show. I felt the way you feel for almost a year. I agree with what you wrote–all in good time. Thanks for writing.
      Janice

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Gail,
      I believe this is your first visit to my blog. Welcome! Thank you for reading what I wrote and writing me. Pleased to meet you. I’m glad you found my article interesting.
      Janice

  12. josbons

    I am tempted to try self hosting, but i will have to give it a long thought before venturing into it or not. Thanks for sharing Janice.

    • Janice Wald

      I will let you know how it goes; it still has not even been one week. I am glad you found your way to my new site. You can follow by putting in your email on the home page where it says subscribe. Thanks!
      Janice

  13. Sue Coletta

    I must have missed this post. If I’m understanding you correctly, even if you have WordPress as your company, you can’t keep the same domain name? I own two domains, why can’t I switch them over to the new site, do you know? Also, when creating your self-hosted site, did it interrupt your WordPress.com site? I have a new book coming out in the fall and I wanted to be able to sell books on my site, but I can’t lose my followers. I have nearly 5K followers. To lose them before the launch would be suicide. I don’t know what to do. I see way more advantages to self-hosted than disadvantages, but it’s nerve-wracking to think about losing followers. Any advice?

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Sue,
      Great news! I just found out today we can redirect traffic, and it’s free. I have the instructions. Do you want me to send them to your Email?
      Janice

      • Janice Wald

        Hi Sue,
        The only followers you will lose will come from Blogger; I don’t have that many there. Self-hosting is a new experience due to the plugins. StumbleUpon is here and the other perks I wrote you about on the other post. If I lost anyone, it was not a significant number. I don’t have that many followers on Blogger. I can’t reblog or be reblogged. Your StumbleUpon reblog is blank, but I have the StumbleUpon button here. Any questions I left out, just ask.
        Janice

  14. Teresa

    Thank you for the shoutout! I really appreciate it. It was a pleasure working with you! I am glad that you and your readers enjoy your new blog!

  15. Lisa

    Great post! You have a lot of very helpful information here and there are definitely a few things I didn’t know! Visiting from Saturday Sharefest

    • Janice Wald

      Hi,
      Thanks for coming and checking out my blog. I appreciate you clicking my link. Nice to meet you.
      Janice

  16. Pingback: 18 Important Things You Should Know About Self-Hosting
  17. Mark

    Once again you have shared several excellent points Janice!

    And you have provided several reasons why, we should seriously consider the self hosting path!
    Thanks for being so forth coming
    with your excellent information!

  18. Bella D. @ Self-Publishing Made Easy Now

    This is a well-written article. It is good to know first the advantages and disadvantages of self-hosting before trying it out. Thank you for sharing your knowledge about the topic. This will surely enlighten the minds of those who have an interest in self-hosting.

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