How I lost money trying to make money on this blog

I tried to monetize this blog with ads, and it backfired. Here’s how.

I used to earn about $100 a year in AdSense revenues on this blog when I self-hosted it. It took too many hours of my time to do manual updates, so I moved my blogs from WordPress.org to WordPress.com even though I knew I was giving up the right to have AdSense on my blog. Not having to bother with installations freed my time, and for months I was happy. Then I started getting more page views than ever on my blog posts–maybe because the ease-of-use allowed me to blog more–and I resented not making money. I was happy when WordPress announced WordAds, but I got tired of waiting for them to materialize.

I tried to move this blog to Blogger so I could make money from AdSense again. I spent a day making the transition: reading the pros & cons of WordPress vs. Blogger, exporting my blog from WordPress, importing my blog to Blogger, configuring DNS, transferring domains, setting up my Blogger theme, tweaking widgets, etc. It was a lot of work.

My main blog’s theme is interpreting, but my posts about communications & media got the most page views, so I figured I’d move them over to my little “ad farm” on Blogger. I left the original post pages here and wrote “Moved to [new URL]” on them. I thought people would click through to read the posts in their new, more profitable home until people started finding my posts on Blogger through Google searches. Not quite.

What I found in one week was that:

  1. I made no money from AdSense ads. I got page views, but no ad clicks, so no revenue.
  2. I still got a lot of page views on “Moved to [URL]” WordPress posts, but very few click-throughs to the Blogger posts.
  3. I make more money in a day’s work than in four years of blogging.

I love blogging, but I love interpreting even more. Why waste time trying to make money blogging when I can make more money working? This experiment taught me a new appreciation for the value of my time. The easier it is for me to blog, the quicker I can write about what I love, and the sooner I can get back to enjoying it!

Author: Daniel Greene

I facilitate communication between Deaf and hearing people, and I teach people American Sign Language (ASL) and interpreting. Apart from doing the work I love, my greatest joys are family & friends, entertainment, food, photography, and travel.

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