Making Money on Your Blog: How to Diversify (So You Don’t Get Burned)

I’ve given a variation on this presentation about five times over the last two years — the technology and tools change and the overall strategy of making money from blogging changes as well. But my message doesn’t: It’s not a good idea to put all of your blogging eggs in one basket.

If your ad network revenue suddenly drops or your payout is cut in half — your income takes a nosedive. If you kill it in affiliate sales but all of a sudden your most popular product gets recalled — your income takes a nosedive. If you sell sponsored posts and all of a sudden your best client goes bankrupt — your income takes a nosedive.

But if you have action in a lot of different verticals — you’re more protected (and you can offer your readers a lot more value as well).

Blog Rates

I recorded a webinar version of the presentation recently and wanted to share it with you here. Have questions? Want to know more about the tools I talked about? Need help reviewing your site? Let me know.

The video is embedded below.


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  1. says

    Hi Katy! This was a VERY helpful presentation. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

    I have two questions for you.

    First, how do you get analytics for a given campaign? Do you just give the brand your blog’s google analytic stats from the time period their ad was up, or is there a way to record impressions and click throughs on the ad itself?

    Secondly, if you’re putting up private ads, how do you code them so that they are actually ads? In other words, if a user has an ad blocker on their browser, how do you ensure that the ad will be blocked? I have an affiliate ad up right now that I just coded as a clickable image, and I know that’s not the right way to do it, but I’m not sure how it’s actually supposed to be done.

    Thank you so much!

    • says


      Great questions!

      1) For banner ad analytics, it depends completely on how you serve or deliver it. You can set up a trackable link or code that you assign to the ad, then find stats for JUST that link in your Google Analytics dashboard. Frankly, though, it’s tricky and that’s one of the reasons I recommend PassionFruit Ads. You can not only track impressions, but clicks, so it’s much easier than trying to do that manually. If you do choose to go the Google Analytics route, it’s done through the “Event/Campaign Tracking” tool.

      That also allows you, by the way, to track all traffic from that code even if it’s installed on multiple sites — so if you ran three blogs and wanted to get your client impression totals for the ad on all three properties, you’d just use that code. Again, pretty advanced, but doable.

      2) That’s an interesting question! I don’t use ad blockers, so I’m not 100% certain how they work, but I believe that you have to make sure that your ad code includes a tag/class that tells browsers what it is. My passionfruit ad code includes , for example. I believe Google AdSense’s entire URL is generally blacklisted or blocked by the ad blocking tools. Not sure if that helps…

  2. says

    Haha the dog in the background. Woof.

    This a great presentation, especially the bit about CPM and how to set your own price. This is extremely helpful since I had no idea how people arrive at the numbers they do. Also, where can I find your rates (out of curiosity) you mentioned they are up but I can’t find them? Also, your About Me page arrives at a 404 error.

  3. says

    Thank you for sharing! I am just in the process of moving to so I can start monetizing my blog. Do you have good resources for the first time you try to reach out to a company to get a sponsored post? Or I’d like to reach out to business to review their fitness classes?
    Thanks for your help!

  4. says

    As always, the best info! Thank you! I am working tonight on upping my rates because I am worth it! I’ve had so much fun diversifying the ways I make money blogging and am grateful to have found your site and booked Google Helpouts with you!

  5. says

    Thanks so much for this info! I’m starting my second year blogging and it’s pretty much just crickets still but eventually I want to bring some kind of income in. I need to get started on my media kit now!

  6. says

    This is SO helpful!! I just moved my blog to bluehost and have so much to learn about self hosting. I’m not used to having all of this control. I’ve been combing through google and the FF blogger support group for helpful tips. Thank you so much!!!


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