The top partner has the first shot to fill an ad – if they don’t – they “pass back” that ad request to Adsense (since Adsense is a 100% fill solution but tends to have lower CPMs than other ad networks).
For some reason, bloggers hate the idea of spending money on advertising. But if you look at the latest structure of Google, for example, you’ll notice how much of it is weighted towards ads. On my laptop they take up the whole screen before I scroll.
However, given that there are over 72 million active users using WordPress today, it’s clear which platform is the boss. Even my own blogs and sites are built with the WordPress blogging platform. Here’s why:
Thanks for explaining things so well and in an easy to follow even for a newbie. You covered everything right to the last detail, and im sure anyone looking to start a blog will really find value here.
Janice the runner might want to post a photo of her running, along with a couple of paragraphs about how she discovered her love for the sport, her running goals and maybe a bit about her life when she’s not hitting the road.
With paid methods, you have the opportunity to pay for traffic and clicks right away. And if you do well in targeting your audience on the right channels you can easily build your audience with advertising to supplement your organic efforts.
On the other hand, with a self-hosted blog on your own domain name – you are the REAL owner of your blog. You’ll be able to name your blog whatever you want, for example “YourName.com” or “YourAwesomeBlog.com. You can end it with .com, .co.uk, .net, .org, or virtually any other web suffix. Add to that unlimited bandwidth for videos, images and content plus the free themes and you have a winning combo.
I blog anonymously and chose to create a separate Facebook to host my fan page.  I still haven’t been able to successfully post directly from my blog to my fan page instead of the update ending up on my dummy Facebook persona (though I also haven’t tackled it lately), so I made the right choice for the moment.  Speaking of which, any tips on that? 
Hi Danielle. It looks like Facebook has removed the more detailed categories from the pages since this post was written – I just set up a test page and I don’t see the page type listed anywhere. You can choose the broad category “website” when setting up your page as mentioned above in the post, though.
I feel really fortunate to get that attention, but also kind of know that if I’d just written a little 500-word update on the topic nothing would have happened. The whole thing would have fizzled out. Unfortunately, that is what happens to a lot of bloggers.
You might also want to check out my post about blog design dos and don’ts. There are good tips in it, but it also mentions the free theme I recommend: GeneratePress. Read How to Install a WordPress Theme to set it up.
In addition, you don’t need to be an expert on your topic in order to have a successful blog. For example, readers of a cooking blog don’t want to read a textbook from a food scientist, they want to hear the experiences of someone who has actually cooked some real meals, mistakes and all.
It’s not because they were stupid. They didn’t get one of my emails and say, “Oh, look honey, this is a fabulous opportunity to throw our money away. Let’s give this good-looking fellow $10,000 just for the hell of it.”
Don’t worry if the images you see here vary slightly from the ones you see on your screen. The process is the same. Bluehost is always tweaking and making site improvements. You might even catch them in a sale!
It all depends where the most people are that will be interested in your site / niche / product. I target ads in countries such as UK, USA, Canada and India, only because there are vast numbers of English speakers there with enough disposable income to want to buy through my sites.
PS. I joined in the conversation as I can genuinely relate to this problem and have been thinking of buying a bicycle . Those #iCycleToWork kind of hashtags and ideas are inspiring, and can be used by the whole online community.
Advertising is easy to start making it a popular income stream for many bloggers. However, it’s not nearly as lucrative as it once was and it requires a lot of traffic to be truly profitable. Therefore, it’s not a top recommendation of mine.
As with many of the items on this list, this works best if you specialize in a niche. If you offer everything, it’s impossible to compete with a big shop like Amazon. But in a small niche, you can differentiate yourself and really stand out.
You see, when you first start a blog you have to do a lot of groundwork that takes time. Research, pillar articles, networking, logo creation, social media accounts set up, etc. It is a very time consuming process.
I LOVE this post and have shared it as far and wide as I can. I must admit, having recently started writing for the HuffPost, I’ve felt guilty for hardly posting anything on my own blog (just don’t have the time to do both) so your post has made me feel much better for prioritising the guest posting.
Same thing with guest blogging. If your post is good, you’re in. The editor won’t even look at your blog, most likely. Or if they do, it’ll be a cursory glance just to make sure you don’t have anything offensive on your site.

Great post, do you have more advice on paid advertising spend for blogs? I have a blog getting decent traffic however I would like to expedite that a bit with a bit of paid advertising. I’ve ventured a bit into facebook ads but am looking for other channels to promote as well. Any advice would be appreciated so I can expand my readership.
My response: you’re 98% right. Unless you’re selling exclusively to multimillionaires, the vast majority of your customer base won’t be able to afford premium products, but what’s interesting is it doesn’t matter. Often, you can make more money selling to the 2% than you can to the entire 98% combined.
Question for you. What’s your opinion on turning off blog comments? I like engaging with readers and bloggers and having a dialogue with them. But I know some bloggers are turning off their comments. I don’t know about this. Some readers may feel you’re turning your back on them. Others may not care at all.
Sunday funday. Taking it easy before I hit the lightroom harder than ever. The work never ends. Loving the newest blog post. If you haven’t seen it then you should :o) More abandoned pictures very soon. Thanks everyone for all the support.
This is absolutely fantastic stuff and a real eye opener for business like mine, where we want technology to be our main driver given today’s day and age. I really appreciate the honest insights that you’ve put forward, and we will look forward to always learning more about the business through your posts and will definitely spread the good news.
Just one word: WHOA! This post was so good that I bookmarked it!! 2 things amazed: your story about how it took about 8 years to bring it to that point (proves that there’s no overnight miracle that can happen in a snap of a finger) and the fact that you use tools and strategies for your every single moves while blogging!
Contrast this with a blog about Justin Bieber. The readers of this blog are likely to be teenage girls, who usually don’t have very much purchasing power. Because of this advertisers will likely pay less for each click.
Be Honest. Your blog needs to be authentic—it needs to feel real—if you want people to read it. You can be your blog, or your blog can be you. That is, do you really embody the stuff you write about? If not, people will see through you. “Be the change you want to see in the world,” is the famous Gandhi quote. Perhaps bloggers should build the blog they want to write for the world.
Honestly, I’m not sure it’s possible to invite friends to like the page without them figuring out that the page belongs to you. It wouldn’t say that anywhere, but if I saw a notification that said “Lisa invited you to like this page” I would assume you were involved with the fan page somehow.
So one thing I wanted to tell you about blogging this year is that you really want to start thinking about blogging in the next year. That means planning, researching and developing ideas now instead of later.
You are man of kind. I do blogging since 7 years ago. I didn’t earn much like others. The reason behind i didn’t gave readers value. I pushed them to click my advertising. That’s silly. But, now, i understand that readers need something useful for their life. I called it human to human approach. Not human to machine, like the way i did. E Since months ago, i read your blog everyday. Just like a breakfast at Tiffany.
Publish Consistently. Teach web crawlers to come back to your site on a regular basis and improve your rankings over time by publishing regular content for site visitors to enjoy. After all, the point of having a blog is to build a bigger following. Ranking higher in search results will help, and becoming a source to rely on for consistent content helps as well.