In 2022 I have a goal to better monetize this blog so I’m doing a Blog Monetization Challenge. I’ll be tracking it here on the blog itself as well as on my digital marketing tutorial channel on YouTube.
Before I get into the 2022 Blog Monetization Challenge details and what I plan to achieve, let’s take a look back at when this blog started and what work has already been accomplished.
2020 Blog Recap
- Started March 2020.
- Number of posts published in 2020: 60
- March 2020 Views: 72
- December 2020 Views: 3,450
I started this new blog in March 2020. This was after medium amounts of success with other blogs previously on different topics of personal finance, earning money online, YouTube, etc. I wanted to start fresh with a new domain name that matched my brand change.
I pulled over some content from old sites and did minimal amounts of reworking to make sure it passed duplicate content scans. This is how I published the majority of posts the first year and did not create much “new” content for the blog.
Promotion wise there was zero work put into the blog as my main focus in 2020 was growing my two YouTube channels about personal finance and online marketing. All traffic in the first year was organic search traffic from Google and a few redirects I put up on certain posts that I moved over.
2021 Blog Recap
- Number of posts published in 2021: 88
- Published in September 2021: 22
- January 2021 Views: 4,256
- December 2021 Views: 10,329
In 2021 I put more work into this blog but still a small amount compared to what I did with my YouTube channels. Luckily the work on YouTube paid off and I quit my job in August and hit my first $10,000 month in December.
Toward the end of the year in September I started putting more work into the blog by creating new content. This coincided with an accountability challenge with someone else building their own blog. The majority of content I created in the whole year was made in the last four months of the year.
That work did start to pay off as I had the best month ever for the blog and hit 10,000 views in December. It’s not monetized besides a few affiliate offers currently but I’ve hit the minimum level for most ad networks. However, if the goal is to ultimately qualify for inclusion with Mediavine I’m a long way from the 50,000 sessions minimum.
Why Blog? Aren’t Blogs Dead?
Right now YouTube is the only place I create content and it’s the main source of my income. I’m a full time creator and depend on that income. I know that I need to diversify.
The first thought is to diversify to other video platforms like TikTok or Instagram but those are still platforms controlled by other companies – my account could be shut down in an instant. I’ve seen it happen to people who did nothing wrong at all.
I do plan to create more social content on those platforms but my goal for 2022 is to grow MY OWN spaces including this blog. But blogging? Really? In 2022? Aren’t blogs dead?
The fact is that personal blogging is dead. Blogging about your day or what you ate and having a community interested in you specifically is no longer a huge phenomenon.
But blogging itself? It is still an incredible way to reach people and create content that earns money and leads to sales. Blogging has changed drastically from what it used to be but is still relevant in 2022.
There are still many positives to blogging.
Some benefits to the audience:
- Combines multiple content types: Blogs are great because you can combine the written content with an embedded video or tweets or Instagram post or anything else. This pulls together multiple types of media to create a nice guide that works for all types of learners. Whoever lands on your article can engage in multiple ways.
- People still read blogs: While podcasts and video content exploded in popularity over the last few years people do still read blogs. Most people skim and skip through blog posts to find the information they need. Formatting blog posts is very different than it was in the past to fit this format of scan-reading.
Some benefits to me as a creator:
- Easier to update: While social content tends to have a short self life, blog content can live on for years and years. It can also be updated and reworked when things change. You can update a blog post every year but you can’t update a YouTube video – you have to start from scratch and remake it. Updating blog posts is much easier than updating any other kind of content.
- Easier to create in noisy environments: I’m a mom of two small kids living in a small house. It’s hard to always have time to create videos when my kids are noisy or I’m trying to be quiet so they sleep. Blogging allows me to create content in the environment I’m in and still give value to the people I’m trying to help online.
- Writing is fun: I actually love to write! Many of my previous jobs included content marketing and I’ve always loved writing. Growing a blog feels like a fun side hobby for me where I get to bring back more writing into my work life.
Creating a strong foundation on my own website gives me another revenue source in case the YouTube algorithm stops loving me as much. In 2022 I will be putting work into the things that I control like this blog.
Control As A Creator
I already have a $10K per month online income thanks to YouTube, but I’d like to diversify to platforms I fully control.
That’s why I’m planning to do this blog challenge and why I fully moved my printables shop to Shopify.
When you are creating content or selling on these other platforms like YouTube or Etsy you are giving up control.
You receive tools and traffic in exchange but ultimately are at the mercy of the platform.
If they shut down – you shut down. If they decide against you – you have little recourse. The lack of control makes it very scary if it is your only platform.
Having full control over your content only exists when you are building on your own platforms. Otherwise you are just renting internet real estate.
Building out my website here on penniesnotperfection.com is about taking back control as a creator. I won’t be abandoning the other platforms but I will be focusing more on the ones I fully control like my website, shop, and newsletter.
Blog Monetization Challenge Goals
Let’s talk about what I want to accomplish with this blog. What are the blog monetization challenge goals?
Currently I earn $0.00 from this blog directly.
In the year of 2022 I would like to change that by growing my traffic and joining an ad network. Specifically I’d like to join MediaVine. MediaVine has some of the best ads and I align best with their holistic approach.
To do this I will need to grow the blog traffic to hit their monetization requirements:
So why not join a different ad network now at 10,000 pageviews?
For this website I have high expectations of quality and that will extend to the ads shown and products sold. Ad networks like Google Adsense and others show subpar ads in my experience. I don’t want that attached to Pennies Not Perfection.
Since I’m already earning money on YouTube I can wait to join a better quality ad network. I can take my time and create quality content that will grow until I hit the pageviews needed.
Blog Monetization Challenge Content Plan
In 2022 I’ll be creating content based around a few different topics. Instead of niching down here on the blog I’ll be using it as a hub for the main areas I already create content on via YouTube.
Blog content topics for Pennies Not Perfection:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Creator Tutorials
- Debt Payoff
- Digital Products
- Investing Money
- Online Business
- Personal Finance
- Paying Off Debt
- Real Estate
- Side Hustles
And more! Anything about saving money or making money is fair game since Pennies Not Perfection is all about using money to help you live the life you want. Remember you don’t have to be perfect with money, you just have to try!
Blog Monetization Challenge Updates
Here I’ll link to all of the future monthly updates for this challenge.
I hope sharing the ups and downs of growing this blog will encourage others!
Mary is the founder of Pennies Not Perfection where she shares her journey to build wealth through online income. She quit her day job in 2021 after she paid off her debt and doubled her 9-5 salary.
Mary's favorite free financial tool is Personal Capital. She uses their free tools to track net worth and work toward to financial freedom.