If you are reading this post, chances are that you’re a subscriber or have visited via social media. Thank you for visiting, reading and commenting. The reality is, whilst I love to write and share my stories, recipes and reviews with you, the bulk of my traffic comes via the unreliable and erratic world of internet searches rather than consistent, dependable traffic. So, I am at a Blogging Crossroad…
As an outsider looking in, you probably think I have a fairly good blogger’s life and, you’d be right. I get invited to events, have scored a couple of short trips and occasionally get sent products. A box of muesli however, does not cover the costs of running a blog let alone provide an income or even pocket-money. When I say costs, I mean fees such as domain names and web hosting but I also mean my own time. My witty bon mots, historical research, writing, editing, recipe preparation, photographing and more, all takes time. We all know, time is money.
The time has come to make a decision. Do I A) take steps to generate some income to cover costs? or, B) do it for the love of a good bowl of muesli? (The answer in case you haven’t guessed is A) It’s what is known as ‘monetising a blog’. It’s a simple formula:
more traffic (visitors) = improved ranking = ability to generate greater income
As this is a brave new world for both of us, I wanted to share with you some things that may look or feel a little different on TIFFIN going forward. Whilst things may look or feel different, good content, great recipes and fun stories will always be at the heart of TIFFIN.
The eagle eyed amongst you may have spotted that in the past 12 months, I have partnered with a couple of companies to write some paid posts. These stories use my original content. I still take the time to write, edit and photograph and do not use media releases or pre-written posts supplied by the sponsor. I like to think that regardless of who is paying for my time, you are getting an enjoyable story, set of tips or recipe like this one for BBQ’d Spring Vegetable Salad, rather than just an advertorial. I am always transparent about paid posts via an *asterisk at the top of the story and a disclosure at the bottom.
Affiliate links are links from TIFFIN to online retailers. I prefer to use affiliate links rather than advertising banners because I already use links in my stories to share interesting websites or background information so it’s a style my readers are comfortable with. If someone purchases an item from a retailer via the link on my blog, I receive a small commission. The emphasis is on small but hopefully it will add up. I have selected affiliate companies that are directly related to the topics on my blog: food and travel. Most are Australian companies, with the exception of well known international travel wholesalers. (Need a hotel room? Click here and show me the money! Of course, you’ll need some travel insurance with that…)
You won’t see hundreds of links that have nothing to do with the story. Just an occasional link that is directly relevant. The links are located within the story or at the end. I am always transparent about affiliate links, with a disclosure at the bottom telling you about the link and that I will receive a commission if you purchase via the link.
Subscription Pop Ups
Don’t you just hate them? The reality is, they work. There is a huge amount of research and a whole industry around pop ups and the number of ‘conversions’ to subscription. Do you know what my two most popular posts are? They are the two that are constantly in the sidebar – Ribs and, Gem Scones. I get visitors to them every day. They visit, they cook, they leave. What if only one visitor a week subscribed via the pop up? It would garner me an extra 52 subscribers a year who would hopefully return to the TIFFIN when they got a new post in their inbox. Remember: more traffic (visitors) = improved ranking = ability to generate greater income
So, I’m giving pop ups a go. For now. To start, I’m targeting the pop ups on popular pages so I can test the waters and see what works. At some stage I’ll be setting a pop up to the home page but for my tastes, that’s a little aggressive to start with. Let’s see what happens over the coming months.
What’s In It For You?
I’ve talked a lot about me in this post but what’s in it for you? As my traffic improves, I would like to think that this will provide more opportunities for both of us. Perhaps prizes, discounts, vouchers, opportunities to attend events. Some things may work, some may not but if I don’t give it a go, I’ll never know. I hope you will continue to visit and take the time to comment. I love comments! If you are not a subscriber, and you have gotten this far, I hope you will consider doing so to show your support. If you are a subscriber, please show me the love by sharing this post on your social media networks (there’s a share button at the bottom).
What are your thoughts about this? How do you feel about links and pop ups? Do you think I should monetise my blog or write for fun? Will you keep reading? After all, you’re my readers so I’m keen for you to join in the conversation.