I think that the #2 and #3 questions I get about my blog are “Do you make money with your garden blog?â€ and “How much money do you make with your gardening blog?â€ For the record, the #1 question is “Is your garden really illegal?â€
So, the answer to the money questions is yes and about $5 a day (all types of advertising I do included). $5 is not a ton of money, but it pays the hosting bills and leaves enough left over to buy a few more plants, which is reallyÂ the only reason I see for profiting fromÂ garden blogging anyway.
In the blogging world, there are two camps when it comes to advertising. There are those who believe that the web should be free and pure and unsullied by material trappings (kind of like Buddhist monks, except without the orange robes and chanting) and then there are people who need to pay bills and understand that the saying says “the LOVE of money is the root of all evil.â€ Money itself is just how we keep the hosting and plant bills paid.
When it comes to making money from a gardening blog, you have a few options. And, for the record, these are listed in the order of how much of a percentage of the profit they make from this website.
Private advertisingÂ – I get approached a lot for private advertising. I consider this to be anything from receiving free product to (honestly) review to a one on one deal to add a small blurb to a partcular page. Garden bloggers probably miss out on this income more than any other simply because their site lacks a Contact Form. If people can’t contact you, they can’t offer to give you money or free things.
AdSenseÂ – AdSense is a nifty little program from Google that allows you to add a little bit of code to the pages of your site and they will display ads that are related to the topic of the page. You get paid a percentage of each click. Pretty darn handy for people who don’t want to fuss much.
I have one tip for AdSense. Less is more. I know from experience on this site that I make more money with less ads on the page than I did with more ads on the page. Just keep it in mind. And don’t cheat by clicking on your own ad. They can tell that you cheat.
Affiliate advertisingÂ – There are several programs on the web where you can sign your website up, pick a few ads and then you can add those ads to your site. If someone clicks on those ads and buys something, you get a commission on the sale. Some of the bigger companies are Commision Junction, Performics, AmazonÂ and LinkShare.
These are the primary ways I make money on this blog but there are other ways. I know many bloggers participate in the BlogHer advertising network, text-link-ads.com,Â paid blog postsÂ and other types of advertising. If you see an unfamiliar type of advertising on another blogger’s website that you would like to try, ask them about it (provided they have a contact form).
Can you go overboard with advertising? Frankly, yes. You need to take a long hard look at why you want to make money on your gardening blog. Could I make more on this blog? Yes (and for the record I make much more than $5 a day on other websites I own). Can you make a living off of a blog? Yes, I know several people who do (though not in this industry). Do you want your blog to end up looking like the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile where it is apparent that the sole purpose of your blog is to be an advertisement to make money? That is a personal question.
You have to realize that the more advertising you have, the more people may be turned off. You have to balance.
Me personally, This Garden Is Illegal is for my fun. Profit is an afterthought. If it pays for a few more plants without taking the fun out of writing, then I am all for it. But really, I would do this even if there were no money at all involved.