Don’t make an advertisement of yourself

Everyone no doubt had phrases uttered to them when they were a child. Some of them made sense and many others didn’t seem to. Whether it was “having your leg pulled” or my Granddads “I’ve got a bone in me leg” which he said whenever he was asked to do something he didn’t want to or the once popular by my mother at least “why don’t you take a photograph? It will last longer!” which was frequently uttered to anyone who stared at her.

One saying I sometimes heard was “don’t make an advertisement of yourself” which means something along the lines of not to do anything stupid.  I’ve no doubt disappointed at least one person as a few days ago I got an email from WordPress stating that my blog was now able to enroll on Wordads.

Of course most WordPress blogs have adverts on them unless the owner is happy to pay £30 or so to remove them.  The difference with Wordads is that if you’re lucky enough to to be enrolled in the programme then they will pay you and the adverts seem to be of a higher quality.

If anyone is finding my blog less appealing than it was before Wednesday, do let me know.

I’m not sure what the number of visitors are required before a blog can become commercially viable to advertisers but we can take a guess by looking at my stats. Last year I had about 83,000 visitors and this year am on track to get over 100,000!  I don’t think there is much to be proud of about blogging but getting 100,000 readers in one year to my totally plain blog is a nice achievement that some more commercial or professional sites would be impressed by.

I never started off my blog with an aim to become in any way successful. In fact I thought I would run out of things to write after a week or two and after that, didn’t really think anyone would be interested to read what I write.  Over 3 years later and I’m getting more readers per day than I got each month and more in a month than in my first year. Longevity it definitely a factor but also I’ve always tried to write interesting and sometimes lengthy researched posts; rather than write little and often every day I go for something substantial once or twice a week.

I’m not in anyway specialised in what I write and I use a standard template for the site. I don’t take much effort with my photos but seem to know how to use them as I can get hundreds of visitors a day from image searches. Apparently most blog sites deal with fashion and or beauty and these sectors are most likely to make money but these along with food are the only things I never write about. Maybe my blog is the exception that proves the rule… To borrow another old saying.

So am I going to get rich from my blog adverts? I doubt it though payment is based on where visitors are from and what is being advertised. Maybe my blog attracts a better class of reader but I’m not sure of that at all, I’m talking of my other readers, obviously not you… You brainy, trendy, lovely reader you.  Maybe my more in depth approach and to any subject might attract better paying advertisers. It could be that there is a demand for my sort of blog as opposed to the great but very numerous lifestyle blogs. I know for about 2 years I’ve had companies trying to get me to follow sponsored posts but I don’t do that and as a basic WordPress blogger, I think my blog could be suspended if I did.

Either way or indeed anyway, it is nice that what began as a hobby to practice writing can actually earn some money.  I think it goes to show that you don’t have to follow the well trodden path to become a successful blogger or indeed writer.  You don’t need to promote yourself to death or spend a fortune on designers or editors, just work hard and stick at it and people will eventually find you.

My blog is still very much a hobby but it is also a great way to meet friends, attract freelance writing leads and give my books somewhere to live away from Amazon. I also tie my tours into my blog site and so as Google largely prefers original content to bland material, my tours often rank number 1 or even 19 on Google, well above large national and international firms with a big advertising budget but a little less talent.

Looking at it this way, my blog is also a shop window to the world and a huge part of my income from related or linked activities and all without spending s penny, except for that £9.99 hosting fee.  So it’s nice to now get paid more directly for my blog and though I do it out of love, it seems that in this case capitalism seems to think my 6 or 7 hours blogging a week is actually worth something.

I’ll finish this slightly out of sorts post with one last saying from my 80’s childhood, “look after then pennies and the pounds will look after themselves”. Or should I use “where there’s muck, there’s brass” meaning that if you work hard in a dirty or unglamorous job that no-one else wants to do, you can make it rich.  Probably both of them cover my approach to blogging, authoring books, business and life in general.

Wherever you are, I wish you a good and safe weekend.

About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including several #1 sellers. I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. I run my private tours company with one tour stated by the leading travel website as being with the #1 authentic London Experience. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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8 Responses to Don’t make an advertisement of yourself

  1. Mama Cormier says:

    The ads don’t bother me. Your content is what matters to me. Carol

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amy Reese says:

    Great stats, Stephen. Congrats!!


  3. Ankur Mithal says:

    Well done Stephen! In case you don’t see the ads that your readers see, two of the four I am seeing are travel related.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ankur Mithal says:

    Not sure about their revenue model, but it might also help if your readers click on some of these ads 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Malla Duncan says:

    That’s amazing, Stephen! And jolly good luck with it! I don’t mind ads at all – as long as they don’t put those bouncing ones in the middle of your writing! (Just have to hope). Your blog is terrific. It’s always different, interesting, in-depth and so well-researched – and I love your travel ones because you show such great pictures and provide so much information that I felt I’ve taken the tour with you. And that’s your talent and rabbit-out-of-the-hat success. I only follow 4 or 5 blogs because life is short, but yours I never miss. Keep us informed about your progress.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Good info! Congrats on the milestone!

    Liked by 1 person

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