Sunday, December 9, 2012

Google Affiliate Ads for a Self-Publisher's Blog: Selling Out? Smart Business? Or Making a Living Self-Publishing?

I will have been a high school teacher and coach for 29 years when the 2012-2013 school year ends. Very few of my college classmates who entered the profession are still in the classroom. I don't know if that is good or bad, but I do know the challenges of teaching are many these days.

As such, I have some distinct financial goals with my self-publishing enterprise. I would like to be debt free as soon as possible. That means paying off what we owe on the children's education (with one yet to go to college) and paying off our mortgage on the house.

Retirement? What's that?

Ideally, I would like to be able to work for myself and be able to engage in what my wife and I want to do. That will require being debt free and earning a decent income.

As such, it would seem wise to have as many different sources of income slowly (preferably quickly) coming in as possible.

Hence the decision to monetize this blog.

To some readers of this blog, this decision is probably viewed as a sell out of sorts. To others it might seem like smart business. One moment, I think I am selling out and the next I think this is a necessary business step.

I do know this, I have always viewed this as a business. A business I have made too many mistakes in learning and it has cost me money in a wide variety of ways. What pushed me to the decision to monetize is the realization I might be leaving money on the table I could otherwise be earning.

This experiment hopefully will not cost me any readers of this blog, and in the learning process, I will earn a little money. Another of those revenue streams that needs to trickle in.

One of the common needs of all authors, regardless of the type of work published, is the need to have a platform to connect with potential readers. One of the most common platforms is a blog.

If you can monetize your blog without losing readers and visitors, I have decided it makes good business sense to do so.

Selling your own books direct from your blog or website, or steering buyers to Amazon with Amazon Affiliate buttons and earning commissions in the process is certainly acceptable.

But what about appropriate advertising and affiliate advertising sales? Certainly a bit more commercial and to some, selling out. Most of the blogs I read I visit for the content and not to be sold products.

Can you strike a happy medium in the process? I hope so. And so the experiment begins with this post with adds for three books I actually own, have read and found portions of the information applicable and of value to my tiny self-publishing empire in one way or another.

I like the concept behind the Google Affiliate Ads better than how the Adsense ads work. I have no control over the Adsense advertisers that wind up on my blog but can at least preview and select products that are advertised on my blog in the Affiliate ads.

As I have stated many times on this blog, self-publishing is a business. Finding sources of revenue to increase income levels is an important activity. If you have a blog, and invest considerable time in writing posts and building an audience, you probably need to find a way to generate some income through the blog.

So yet another experiment in expanding my tiny empire begins.

I would love for other authors who visit this blog to share their opinions, ideas and experiences with others by posting comments about the topic of this post.