Friday, March 7, 2014

Naked Blogging: How Much Is My Blog Earning?

For me, blogging provides a way to practice my writing skills, share an exchange of thoughts and ideas, and promote something near and dear to my heart -- financial literacy. Last September I came up with a brilliant idea - I decided to pledge my blogging profits to as interest-free microloans for small businesses operated by working, impoverished women in developing countries.
Kiva is a non-profit that allows you to lend as little as $25 to a specific low-income entrepreneur in the developing world. You choose who to lend to - whether a baker in Afghanistan, a goat herder in Uganda, a farmer in Peru, or a tailor in Iraq - and as they repay their loan, you get your money back. It’s a powerful and sustainable way to empower someone right now to lift themselves out of poverty. And when your loan is paid back, you can re-loan the same funds over (and over) again.
How has my blogging for Kiva pledge worked out so far?
My Kiva Activity:
Number of interest-free loans made = 12
Number of successful invitations = 2
Number of loans made by my invitees = 3
Number of gift certificates given = 2
All of these loans are being paid back by the recipients according to schedule. No defaults! One woman paid her loan in full, so I "recycled" my loan to someone new.
However, these loans were funded by me personally; not from blog profits. Despite a growing readership, my blogging project is showing a net loss thus far. Why?
Two reasons:
  1. I've been slow to monetize my blog. Being a new blogger, I chose to focus on creating high quality content and growing a readership first.
  2. I spent all of my blogging-related income in NY City when I was invited to appear on the Montel Williams Show. They paid for airfare, ground transportation and one night hotel stay for me and my travel companion, but I paid for my meals and the rest of the weekend. Manhattan is expensive. In the end I think it was worth it anyway, because appearing on their show provided an excellent opportunity for me to promote financial literacy for women.
Here's a full income and expense disclosure (through May 19, 2008):
Blogging-related Income:
$793 BlogHer Ad Network
$192 Amazon Affiliate
$28 Commission Junction
= $1,013 Total Income

Blogging-related Expenses:
$1,090 Travel (Montel Show paid airfare, ground transportation, 1 night hotel; I paid 2 nights, meals, incidentals)
$250 Writing conference, seminars
$98 Subscriptions, books
$6 Business cards
= $1,444 Total Expense

What now?
I've been told that with the amount of traffic my blog receives, it could be earning much more. Yesterday I placed several small banner ads on my web page. Hopefully they will generate some income without being too obnoxious.
How can YOU help me make a difference through Kiva?
  1. Donate using my Paypal account (specify "Kiva" as the purpose).
  2. If you find my blog helpful, useful or entertaining, add my blog to your blogroll or tell your readers and friends about it. This helps because the BlogHer Ad Network pays per 1000 page views.
  3. If you're an Amazon shopper, use my store link to make your purchases and see my favorite books. (It won't cost you a penny extra to enter Amazon through my affiliate link.)
  4. If you have an online store or service you'd like to promote, send me an email to inquire about advertising on my site. (Banner ads and no-follow text links only.)
  5. Take a look at the banner ads displayed on my blog. If you're interested in one of the offerings, check it out. I've hand-select products and services that I personally find interesting. (Note: Due to my lack of firsthand experience with some of them, I don't necessarily endorse all of them. Please evaluate and use your own judgement.)
  6. Register for your own Kiva account and make loans directly.
  7. Share other blog monetization ideas with me (by email or comment).
Thank you!
Read More:
The Powerful (and Addictive) Nature of Giving
Join me in changing the world - one loan at a time.
My Kiva Lender Page

Click here to view some of my favorite books.

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