The Secret World of Blog Advertising

So you wanna start a blog do you?  So did I.

Congratulations! You’ve started your blog!  So did I.

Things are going well, people who don’t know your middle name are reading your posts … you think you might wanna start to run advertising.  So did I.

Only, when I started my blog and decided to start putting up ads I had no one to help.  No one to tell me what to do.  No one to demystify what might be the best kept secret in the world (next to how Joan Rivers stays looking so young).  Just kidding.  Llamas in Peru know she just drinks a lot of water and gets plenty of rest.  While sitting in her plastic surgeons office.

Actually now that I think about it Kate (Centsational Girl) was a huge help and generous with advice when I was starting out.  And still is.  As was Alice from Savory Sweet Life.  That poor woman answered every stupid question I had.  Have.

So blog advertising.  Even if you don’t have a blog you’ve probably wondered about the ads you see on blog sites and why they’re there.  And I’m gonna tell you allllll about it right down to how much money you can expect to make.

A Little Background

Bloggers blog for free.  They blog their little hearts out and ask for nothing in return from their readers.  So to make money, because Yes, Virginia … blogging is a job … we place ads on our site.  Suck it.

I’ve had people email me to ask me to take my ads down.  ‘Cause they bug them.  My general response is, “Well, if the ads come down, so does the blog.  Take your pick“.

There was a time when saying your blog was ad-free, or non-profit was a badge of honour.  As far as I’m concerned it’s a badge of stupidity.  If you saw $20 sitting on the sidewalk wouldn’t you pick it up?  Yes.  Yes you would.  Not selling advertising on your successful blog is like not picking up that $20.  Getting paid for something you love to do  is not selling out … it’s selling yourself short.

So.  That’s why bloggers run ads.  To make money so they can continue to run their blogs.  It’s either run ads, or charge readers for reading posts.

There are 3 main ways bloggers advertise on their sites.  Google Adsense, small, privately sold ads in their sidebar, and through Vertical Ad Networks.

Here’s how they all work …

The most popular first choice for bloggers looking to run ads are those from Google Adsense.  They’re easy to  implement and reap little reward.  BUT … you’ll make money and get your readers used to seeing ads on your site.  The Art of Doing Stuff gets around 500,000 pageviews a month.  I make around $350 a month from Google Adsense by placing one Google ad at the bottom of my post prior to the comment section. Google ads are “pay per click”.  This means the blogger doesn’t get paid unless you click on the ad.

You get paid 15 – 30 days after month’s end.  So if you made $50 in July, Google Adsense will direct deposit that money to you in the middle of August.





The next step a blogger usually takes is to run ads in their sidebars for small businesses and people who have Etsy sites.    These ads are normally 125 x 125 pixels in size.  My ads run for $50 for the month.  Smaller blogs would charge less, larger blogs would charge more.  I normally have between 10 and 14 Etsy ads on my site every month.  So that’s between $500 and $700 a month I’m making from these small ads.

You get paid up front.  I bill on the 1st of the month for all the ads running that month.


The real money making for bloggers comes in from Vertical Ad Networks.  Once your blog has at least 5,000 views per month you might be big enough to get the interest of a vertical ad network.  The largest networks like Glam, Federated Media, and BlogHer require more views or some kind of “in” to get noticed.  You can apply online and if you’re lucky they’ll like what they see and send you an email inviting you to join the Network.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I’ve recently switched to a new network.  I left my old network and joined Glam at the end of March.  I will also be working with a new Canadian company SheBlogs. Glam will cover my ads that are seen in America, SheBlogs will run the ads that are seen by my Canadian readers.

Vertical Ad Networks take care of getting advertising for your site.  They buy and sell in bulk.  Vertical Ad Networks are relatively easy to deal with.  They give you a “code”, you insert it into your website and the ads automatically run. The more ads you run on your site, the more money you make, although it isn’t recommended that you run more than 3 or 4 ads from the vertical networks.  When you work with a vertical ad network they’re going to want the biggest and bestest spots on your site for their ads. They sell your ad space for a certain amount of money.  You get 50% and the network gets 50%.


So if Toyota buys an ad spot for $10, you get $5 and the network gets $5. The “leaderboard” or the ad that runs across the top of your page … and a 250 x 300 pixel ad “above the fold”.  Above the fold means the ad can be seen right off the bat, without having to scroll down the blog page.  If above the fold isn’t possible because of your blog layout, then the closest thing possible is what they’ll want.

You’re given a variety of choices in terms of what you want shown on your blog.  If you don’t want ads that are video … you just say “no video ads please”.  If you want videos (because they pay more) but won’t accept video ads that automatically play … you just say so.  The choices are all up to you.  Generally speaking, the more invasive an advertisement, the more money you get paid for it.

So, as a blogger you have to decide where you draw the line. Over the next couple of months I’ll be running a variety of ads, deciding which ones work best for my site. Vertical Ad Networks normally pay on a “pageview” basis.

You get paid for every time someone views your page regardless of whether they click or not.

Most networks pay according to your CPM.   Your Cost Per Thousand (M is the Roman numeral for 1,000).  Let’s say you get between $2 and $3 for every 1,000 pageviews you have. If your blog gets 5,000 pageviews a day, you’ll make $10 – $15 a day for every ad from the network on your site.  If you’re running 3 ads, you’ll make around $30 – $50 for the day.  More pageviews translates into more money.

Vertical Ad Networks often work on a 60 – 90 day withholding cycle.  If you make $50 in January you might not see that money until March or even April.


Confused?  Yeah.  So was I.  That’s why I’m doing this post for you.  It’s kindda boring.  Sorry ’bout that.

A look at my full page shows you where all the ads I’ve talked about are positioned.



Money made from advertising isn’t huge. It just isn’t.  That’s why in the future, chances are you’ll be seeing more and more “in your face” ads on blogs than ever before.  It’s something we’ll all have to get used to and accept.   The thought of less than discrete ads doesn’t thrill me either, but neither does the thought of having to go back to buying no name cheese and dressing up like a ticket taker so I can slip into movies.  Those outfits are gross.

So if advertising dollars are kind of slim, how are you supposed to make any money?  More readers.   The more readers you have the more money you will make.  The amount of time and energy put into your blog will stay the same, but your income will increase as you get more and more readers.

This seems like a perfect time to introduce my latest venture.  The Art of Doing Stuff reader drive.  Do you know someone who would appreciate my particular brand of laugh til’ you cry DIY?  Someone who would like to read my posts?  Well then tell them about me!  Phone, text or email them!  Let them know I’m here.

Did you really love a particular DIY?  Click the little Pin it Button at the bottom of my posts.  Stumble it, Tweet it, Facebook it. One Pin can have a HUGE impact.

This is the only way my blog, or your blog will get more readers.  I share everything with you and hope you will in turn share it with your friends.  This advice is true for any blog you read by the way.  If you like it, let other people know about it.

If over the next month or so, you post and Pin and Tweet and email your little fingers to the bone and I see a measurable increase in traffic … I will have another tea towel giveaway.

If  not, it’s back to something like this.  Your choice.



  1. Alix Bouchard says:

    Will it be a random tea towel giveaway?

    • Karen says:

      Alix – LOL. Yes that’s the portion I haven’t figured out yet. If there were a way for me to track things I’d give tea towels to people who did the most to help increase my readership. But it’s kind of hard to measure. If anyone out there has any ideas with regard to this feel free to let me know. So … at this point. Random giveaway with special consideration to people who people who let me know that they’re Tweeting, Facebooking, Pinning etc. over the next month. I feel like such a numbers whore. ~ karen

      • yea, I think that’s what most people do to drive readership – one entry for a “like” or tweet or post (on their own site). That way a person who supports you on multiple streams will get more entries.

        Out of curiosity, what’s your take on sponsored content?

        • Karen says:

          M – There’s no real way to measure a true increase in readership derived from a particular person, so I’ll probably just go for a random drawing. 🙂 As far as sponsored content goes, it depends. I have never done it myself but wouldn’t rule it out. If it was something I truly loved to use – The Foodsaver for example – and they wanted to pay me to talk about how great Foodsavers were, I’d do it in a heartbeat because I truly do think everyone should own one. At one point I was approached by a coffee lightener I never use and would never use so I refused. It’s not that I think it’s a horrible product, I just can’t push something I don’t use myself. Unless it’s a Mercedes. ~ karen

  2. Becky says:

    Thank you! I have always wondered about that. But now I feel kinda bad that I never even pay any attention to the ads.

  3. Teresa says:

    If ads are what it takes to keep laughing till I cry from some oF your posts, so be it. Does getting your log in a reader still count as a page view? Oh, an BTW, I will be spreading the word!!!

  4. gloria says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I still have questions though. I always do. I know you said you have some choices, but how much control over the ad content do you have? What if you are given an ad for a product you don’t like, would never use in a million years, would never endorse? Also, are there successful blogs that don’t have advertisers? I read lots of blogs, but can’t remember seeing any lately that didn’t have ads.

    • Karen says:

      Gloria – No. No successful blogger can get by without ads. At this point it is the only way to make money from a blog. There are other supplemental ways to make an income, but without ads, there’s no blog. Like when you read a magazine, there’s always ads. When you watch a television show, there’s ads. That’s how money is made. You have some control over ads, but not complete. You do have the right to say no if someone wants you to do a “paid post”. I’ve never done one, but as a “for example”, if someone came to me and said we’d like you to do a paid post about how terrific this product you actually hate is – I could say no. As far as the ads that run on the site, I screen my Etsy ads and only put up stuff I like. For the vertical ads, I don’t regulate it at all. I don’t care if they put up diaper ads even though I don’t have a need for diapers. With Google, you can block sex ads, dating ads, ads to do with religion etc. etc. ~ karen

  5. Laura says:

    I think I remember you saying getting your photos “pinned” increases your traffic. Can you put a “pin it” button on each post? I have seen said button other places. I try to remember to pin and I have all my friends reading! I’m going to start clicking on those ads!

    • Karen says:

      Laura – Um. There is a pin it button, LOL. It’s right above the comment section (at the end of the post) overtop of the post it to Facebook button. ~ karen!

    • Karen says:

      Kay – I also just added a Pin it button to the top of every post. It seems to show up better there. Not as many distractions. They don’t make the Pin it button in various sizes. Supersmall is the only option. :/ Karen!

  6. I have been touting your (admirably) skinny arse non-stop already – why? Because we all love ya baby! Also face it: your readership is already growing by leaps and bounds. Nil desperandum.

  7. Wow you really demystify it all, well written my friend and thanks so much for the shout out!

  8. Kailee says:

    Would you willing to sell your tea towels? And would that make you any worth while amount of money? Because I would buy one. I’ve seen other people say the same thing. I’d rather give my money straight to you to keep your blog up and running.

    • Karen says:

      Kailee – I’m afraid the tea towels wouldn’t make me any significant amount of money. If I were to sell them in fact I wouldn’t really make any money at all when you factor in the amount of time it takes to make them I’d earn about .25 cents an hour, LOL. But thank you! ~ karen

  9. Thanks for all the tips and explanations. One question I have – how long did it take for TAoDS to start bringing in revenue? Even if it was just google pay outs? Thanks for sharing with us all.

    • Karen says:

      I started to use Google Adsense about 6 months into my blog, I think. With around 180,000 pageviews a month, 4 Google ads on my site made me around $70 a month if I remember correctly. ~ karen

  10. Tara says:

    Don’t we all aspire to get paid for doing something we love? Also, everytime we open a magazine there are ads, and that’s after paying for the magazine to start with.
    I think it was very open of you to talk about advertising including actual rates.
    Maybe bloggers could be referred to as independent writers or something so people won’t freak out so much about advertising 🙂

  11. I have been spending the last few weeks considering doing advertising on my blog, and BAMMMmm you wrote about it. I LURVE u Miss Karen {is that appropriate}? *_*.
    Thanks for all your awesome info, and yes, as always, I share share share you with all my friends and family. I keep quiet about it so you aren’t toooo convinced that I may be a stalker.
    I.O.U. {but I am not pulling the weeds in that new monster garden}

  12. Pamela Yool says:

    Thanks for sharing this information about blog advertising. Although I don’t have my own blog, I do enjoy reading blogs…so this was pretty interesting to lean how they make money. I just started following you on Pinterest and will pin a few of my favoutrite posts & hope you get more readers (and more money). Thanks for sharing all your great ideas ! 😉

  13. paula says:

    karen, as always, keeping it real. great explanation, answered a lot of my questions. i couldn’t do what you do each day. number 1 reason is that i am not witty, number 2 i just couldn’t devote the time and effort that you are. i’m happy to click on ads, pin this etc., just to keep your blog up. i love your blog and it starts each and every one of my days. thank you.

  14. Thank you for this post! Your honesty is sooooo appreciated. I’ve just recently crossed over the 5000/month mark and am thinking of starting to run ads soon. This post was immensely helpful and informative!

  15. Lynn says:

    I am SOOOO glad you understand and execute all that
    biz….. I am a blogger groupie you see, the one who clicks the ads if you will. I read every word of your posts (with the exception of this one maybe) and what I really want to know is, what is your middle name? Ann, Lucy, Michelle, Bertha, Beatrice, Louise, Martha, Myrtle, Kathryn, Carmen, Lola, Samantha? Oh well, even if you don’t give it up, mystery is sexy they say. Even if blogging is not! 🙂 Pardon me while a clicking I go…

  16. Louise says:

    I’m not sure I ever noticed the ads on top or the Etsy shop ads. One thing I noticed recently, and I’m not sure how these ads work, is that when I’m searching for an item I need – for example right now I’m looking for a towel rack that stands on the floor – then I notice ads for towel racks on some web sites I visit after that. One thing for sure is I’m not sure I would stick around very long on a web site or a blog with the kind of invading advertisement you’re showing us lol I had a toilet popping up on my screen! lol I pin a lot but not as much DIY’s. I’ll try to help you when I can, now that I noticed your pin button. One of the best ways to get more readers I guess is to get invited to Nate Berkus or similar shows. I guess you need to get noticed first, so that’s a vicious circle 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Louise – Nate Berkus is cancelled, LOL. And actually to be honest with you, as someone who has a background in television and has done a lot of television and radio interviews to promote this blog, the results are negligible. Internet mentions is what attracts more readers, not other media. Oh! And I actually really like that toilet ad. I think it’s cute. Like I say, you’d better prepare yourself for ads. Any of the bigger and better blogs have them and won’t be getting rid of them any time soon. Like I said, it’s either ads … or having readers pay for access to our sites. ~ karen!

      • Louise says:

        Internet mention is what it is then 🙂 And crazy ads lol I haven’t seen any of those popping ones anywhere though and I do visit the bigger and better blogs as you say. I think they’re the bigger and better blogs anyway. I was wondering about Nate Berkus being cancelled, I kept forgetting to check out if it was. Now I know 😉

  17. Susan says:

    Pinned it to my chest! Can’t say it’ll get much attention there as my chest doesn’t get much attention but I tried! …. Maybe I should pin it to my ass! It’s bigger!:-)

  18. Shirley says:

    Fascinating stuff, Karen. I doubt I’ll ever have a blog, but I’d really appreciate it if you could figure out a way for me to make money off my Christmas newsletter. 🙂

  19. Nicole says:

    Karen, thank you for this! I always wondered about the ad rates on blogs, and since most people don’t like to discuss money, I figured I’d never know! I do have a question – I use Google Reader to keep up with the blogs I read, so how does that work with ads? Obviously, with your blog, I have to click through to your actual site to continue reading, but there are plenty others where I get the whole post right there. While I love the convenience of having all my fav blogs right in one spot, I’d feel so guilty reading for “free” if my other fav bloggers aren’t getting ad revenue from me!!!

    • Karen says:

      Nicole – You are reading for “free”. I choose to have only a few lines of the post come up so you can ascertain whether you’re interested in it or not. Then you have to click to read the rest. Bloggers who allow you to read the whole thing on the reader are either way nicer than me, LOL or … don’t realize that they’re missing out on the advertising dollars from all those subscribers. (most likely the later) ~ karen

      • Or you can put an advert in your RSS feed! That’s what I do, and it’s my most profitable ad.

        • Karen says:

          Yes, that’s what the Google Adsense ad I mentioned is. But that doesn’t take the place of the real money from Vertical Ad Networks. Google is a nice supplement but it’s not something one can make a living from. ~ k!

  20. Natalie says:

    I immediately went to pin the introduction to the coop blog post – because it is amazing, and inspiring, though I’m doing honeybees this year, and waiting on the chickens. I found out though that I cannot pin any of the photos (besides ad photos and the header and stuff). It seems to be only with that post?

    • Karen says:

      Hmm. Weird. I’ll go have a look. Thanks. ~ karen

    • Karen says:

      Natalie – Well, I looked into it and it seems to be a new issue with “Flickr” where all my pictures are hosted. I’ve done everything that was suggested to make my pictures accessible again to no avail. I’m sure it’s something most people have complained about/had issues with. I’ll look into it again in a day or to. That sucks! ~ karen

      • Natalie says:

        I just wanted to let you know to see if it was something else – no biggie, and I will pin others (and it once possible). I am far too into Pinterest.

  21. Sally says:

    Thanks for the explanation about ads and how bloggers make money. Even though I don’t blog I appreciate the knowledge. I can’t tell you how many of my friends I’ve sent to your blog world! Your humor and range of expertise are the selling points. I’m heavily into pinning what I think others would appreciate knowing and will, now that I know each pin will throw you a few cents here and there, pin more of your posts. Good luck, Karen, and keep up the good work!

  22. Babs says:

    Thanks for the great tips. I’ve just started looking at advertising for my blog, and I need all the help I can get. 🙂

  23. Dawn says:

    I love your blog so much I disabled AdBlock on your site. Because you’re awesome. That’s why.

  24. Lib says:

    I have a question I’ve always wondered about. When I read a blog on Google Reader or any other RSS feed, does the blog still get credit for a pageview?

    And, does the blog still get paid?

    Because some blogs have a couple of ads at the bottom of their RSS feed, but most don’t. Even the ones that I know sell ads.

    Its confusing.

    • Karen says:

      Lib – The ads at the bottom of the feed are Google adsenese. So the blogger gets paid for those *if* people click on them. If they’ve included their whole post on the reader they do not get any other advertising revenue because people aren’t visiting their actual page with their ads. A lot of bloggers don’t realize they’re missing out on hundreds of dollars a month or sometimes even day by including their whole post in their RRS reader. ~ karen!

  25. Karen J says:

    As always, straight up and to the point!
    Thanks Karen.

  26. Carol says:

    Thanks, Karen, for this very helpful information! I need to start advertising on my blog, but was dazed and confused about it all, so this is a great start for me. Much appreciated!

  27. Heather-Mae says:

    So I’ll just click the google ad to exit the page from now on before moving to check my Facebook. Yes, I read your blog before I check Facebook. I guess I’m a fan!

  28. Karen says:

    Cool! I “share” your site with friends often – tea towel or not! Love your humor, diy, and not to mention your awesome name 😉 I’ve often wondered how the whole ad thing worked, whether you had to go hunt them down or not. Kudos to you for making it all work!!

  29. Karyn says:

    I’m sooo confused…what and how are we pinning? I’d love to help you make money as I think everyone should be living their dream. Let’s face it, I do not know many people that actually work a job they love or hate for free. H-e-l-l-0!! Everything I do cost money so how do you supose I pay for it?? I fwd your post I recieve through e-mail to friends all the time. I love your humor. It is one way I live in the world of scarastic humor without people judging me>>>LOL How else can I help you make money?

    • Karen says:

      Karyn – While the end result is making a living being a blogger, what I’m looking for is just for you to share my site. The readers are my means to an end. Are you a member of Pinterest? Google it and have a look. It’s basically an online scrapbook for everyone. Pretty addictive. You can create your own pinboard of your favourite things and follow the boards of others. Then, once you’ve joined (you need someone to invite you for some weird reason) you can click on the “Pin it” button my my posts and the post or idea will be added to your board. Once you have a look at Pinterest you’ll better understand what I’m blathering on about. ~ karen!

  30. Karyn says:

    aha…Of course I aleady addicted to pinterest and my garage has taken on a “no car zone” because of all the projects I have going…ok so I will start pining your stuff and keep sending your awesome post to all my friends. DONE!

  31. Dee G says:

    Thank you for the blogosphere Facts of Life. Sometimes it’s easy to take things for granted and we forget, even if you enjoy doing this, you have to make a living too! Will get better at passing the word around.

  32. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    This looks like a job to me..You do so much work to entertain and teach us Karen..You certainly do deserve to make some money..

  33. Chris says:

    Will send an email and link to my friend in Hong Kong so she can share it with her collegues. First found you many moons ago while having a discussion that a certain show wasn’t the same without you. When I did a search I came upon this Blog and have been reading it ever since. Your dry wit is wonderful! What’s a click or two on an ad in return for the giggles you give me!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Chris! I’m actually doing my very best to get out of television entirely. I’ve done it for a veryyyyy long time now and I love having complete creative control over what I say/do. ~ karen!

  34. Pauravi says:

    This was the most informative post for a beginner like me. BTW, I love your blogs!

  35. mary c says:

    This was SO NOT BORING!! What a great post. Well written and super informative. Thanks-a-mucho.

  36. Shauna says:

    Hey Karen, prior to reading your threat, er I mean post today, I actually responded to a FB inquiry from SITS (a blogger group) asking what our favorite blog is – surprisingly, I didn’t say my own (maybe not so smart of me), but I gave them yours, with the full clickable url. Because I want to make it easy for people to click through and find you.

    p.s. and totally off topic – do you let your chickens free range or do they stay in the coop most of the day. My chickens free range and the mess is getting ridiculous. We’re going to be re-landscaping soon and I’m afraid they’re going to destroy everything, but feel guilty leaving them in the coop all day while we’re at work.

    • Karen says:

      Shauna – I felt exactly the same way about the coop. Even with a fairly large run. Often though, if chickens are only raised in their run and coop they’re fine with it. However … having said that … I just couldn’t do it. So I’ve haphazardly partitioned off my side yard for them. I, of course, will be doing a post on this in the future. 🙂 The chickens now have their own backyard to crap all over and I get to keep mine crap free. ~ karen!

      • Shauna says:

        I look forward to the post, perhaps it will give us some ideas of what we can do before we re-landscape everything and are stuck.

        • Karen says:

          Well the first thing you have to do is pick a section of your yard (preferably something right around your coop) and dedicate it to the chickens. Then it’s just a matter of fencing it off. This can be done a variety of ways … some expensive … some not. But it has to be high. Chickens, as you know, actually CAN fly. ~ karen

  37. Jenn says:

    I pinned it, I pinned it 🙂
    This is a great overview of blog advertising too. Now to decide if I’m going to really blog, or just keep playing around with the idea of blogging part-time!

  38. Lita says:

    Dear Karen,

    I find myself pinning your posts often. You’re a fun read. Here’s hoping the readership follows according to my opinion of your level of fun-ness 😉


  39. Beth J says:

    This is a really great, helpful post! Thanks for putting real numbers in there; I’ve read a ton of posts on blog advertising, but seeing the actual numbers makes it a lot more concrete.

    I think I might actually go for it.

  40. Tara says:

    I am so glad you took the time to write this particular post! I have a friend who I am always telling about you but I keep waiting for that perfect post that I know she won’t blow off. This is it! This is the one! She is a new blogger and needs to know this stuff. There’s no way she could possibly deny your brilliance now (or mine for finding you;-)). I also just clicked on the Google Ad thing. Now that I know that’s all you need, I am only to happy to always click it.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Tara! I did a post similar to this in the past and found everyone clicked on the ads the first day then promptly forgot. 🙂 Which is fine … it’s new readers that every blogger wants! ~ karen

  41. Preston says:


    I'm dying without one :'(

  42. Spokangela says:

    YES! I was hoping the ‘this’ link was back to the cheese eating, finger giving, stick figure 🙂 I laughed my ass off when you posted that!

    And, oddly enough, even though I’ve been following your blog for a year (and LOVING all the amazing things you do, even trying some stuff myself) THAT was the post to make me finally text my sister and tell her that she must follow you.

    Oh, and I also desperately want one of your darling meat cleaver tea towels 🙂

  43. Marsha Blatchford says:

    I’d never read a blog in my life until I discovered pinterest. That’s how I found you, and a few other bloggers. I very much enjoy your sense of humor and talent. Your ideas have inspired me and I’ve found a renewed interest in the beauty of my home.

  44. Aimee says:

    This? Was an excellent post. THANK you.

    I just added you to my blogroll…I hadn’t updated it in nearly a year (yikes!), and a lot of folks I read religiously need to be added. Thanks, too, for that reminder.

  45. Tracy says:

    Thank you – awesome post.

  46. Gayla T says:

    I sub to a high school kid who does awsome paper art and he is talking about his facebook helping his YouTube thus his blog. I share his facebook stuff all the time cause it’s right there on my facebook and I know that many of my friends who scrap now sub his blog. Do you do that? I’m not great about pinning things because for some reason my pinterest has always taken me to my granddaughter’s page and they never acknowledge my messages to fix it. She gets on my computer when she is here for visits and I’m sure that’s why. As to clicking on ads….I seldom if ever do it but sure can if it helps you. What is following me around are Toyota ads. Now I know why. I did click on one as I’m thinking about trading in my 14 y/old one. Yes, I know but I drove the last one for 400.000 miles and this one just rolled over 100,000. They last forever if you keep the oil changed. So now everywhere I go I have Toyota ads popping up and I have Norton to keep it from happening. At least now I know why. If it helps you make a buck to be it. One of my grands works for a huge advertising company in Chicago and they have huge accounts like Disney movies and major soft drink companies. I had no idea until then what a rat race it is and the internet has really killed TV. The money is jumping over faster than you can believe. She was making vids in high school that were awesome and she says TV is dead meat and they are picking over the bones like vultures. She went to Chicago on a summer internship and never came home and has no degree yet so you know she is good to be pulling the big bucks from the big accounts. It’ like early days in silicon valley to be in internet advertising and it’s good you are riding it for all it’s worth. I’ll start clicking on the ads like a good subscriber.

  47. Jessica in WI says:

    Let the pinning frenzy begin! I love your blog and read it daily. Sometimes I check for a new post, forgetting I have already read it. Then I feel sad.

    Plan to share you with EVERYONE! Karen needs money folks!! I cannot be deprived of this blog so hop to it!!

  48. Sarah ATD says:

    Thanks Karen! As a newish blogger, I’m just about ready to venture into blog ads, so this is perfect timing. I try to pin your stuff whenever I can (I get the most hits from Pinterest too). I love how helpful and entertaining all your posts are! Thanks for being awesome!

  49. Kasia says:

    I feel so honored that I *knew you* before your ads… but not bothered one bit by them. We all gotta make a livin’ 🙂 And you add to my life, even though I don’t *know* you, so why shouldn’t you profit from that somehow if I do!!!

  50. lori says:

    Thanks Karen,
    I actually enjoyed you column a lot today about advertising on your blog. I learned a lot and understand more!
    I discovered you through a Pin and have been very glad I did! You are a thought provoking humorist,who shares a love of domestic goddess-ness! Yet with-in budget and with a love of simpleness.
    I have been promoting you and will continue to do so!
    (I also have 5 chickens and one lonely duck—need to find another duck!)

    • Karen says:

      Lori – Hah! Your last line made me laugh. Thanks for sharing and all the compliments! That’s been my goal all along. Make em laugh so hard they don’t even realize they’re learning. ~ karen!

  51. Lindey R. says:

    I swear on my stand mixer I was going to send you an email this week begging you, when you had a moment, to explain this all to me. Very, very grateful for this post.

  52. Cathy says:

    You are the second person (in the blogs that I read) in the past month or so who has written about the ads and such. I found out a lot from the first post and much more from yours. It’s very helpful for people like me who are relatively new to the blogosphere and who do not have blogs.
    I read blogs that offer email – it’s the only way I understand how to follow. Now I just need to find someone to explain how to access blogs in different ways (i.e. RSS readers, Linky Followers, etc.). There has to be a better way than getting umpteen gazillion emails every day. I read your blog everyday (and pee myself almost everyday) so just click over to your blog to the post as soon as the email opens.
    As for ads, for some reason I am able to tune them out. I just don’t pay them any attention. Not so good for you guys, I now know. Also, you’re right, you are providing us – the readers – a service so why shouldn’t you get paid to do it. Having said that, though, if it ever comes down to having to pay to read a blog, I wouldn’t read the blog – I would unsubscribe. And if all the bloggers started to charge, then damn, just think of all the spare time I would have. Boring spare time but still spare time. hah!!!
    So now, after all this blathering and malarcky (sp?), I’m glad that you and other bloggers are starting to “come out of the closet” (so to speak!) and telling us civilians what’s what. If I had know right from the beginning (I’ve only been reading blogs for just over a year) I would have done things a lot differently.
    Thanks again for my daily laugh and for being willing to explain to the rest of us what’s what.

  53. Jen says:

    I always wondered what sort of money the adds made for bloggers….now I know. Fascinating! I wonder sometimes about the product ones, where the blogger is telling a story…involving such product. I can see it, if it’s like you mentioned…but what do these bloggers get promoting “Bush Beans”….or Chef Boyardee? Like seriously…a years worth…or some good money?

    • Karen says:

      Jennifer – It would depend. Anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars depending on the product and the blog. I don’t really judge other bloggers for doing it. It’s really no different than when you watch Survivor and they hold up a big bottle of Sprite or the Amazing Race and they have a tight shot of the Toyotas or whatever that they’re driving. ~ karen

  54. Becci says:

    I like to read your blog, and this post helped me a lot because i’m thinking about putting ads on my blog, too. Mine is still a small blog, but i do have more than 5000 views a month. (you meant views not visitors, do you?)

    Oh, and sorry for my english – i’m austrian and still learning 😉

  55. michele says:

    Thanks so much for this! I had no idea how ads worked and just ignored them for the most part. Now I shall pin and click away because I love your blog and want you to make loads of money;-)

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Michele – I want to make loads of money too. Actually … that’s not true. If I wanted to make loads of money I would have stayed in television. I want to make an adequate amount of money. And I want to be happy. 🙂 ~ karen

  56. caryl hodgdon says:

    you have a blog??? I was just looking at the ads! Kidding you’re the best start up of the a.m.. Thanks for the info. Loved the bracelet i ordered from compass.

  57. Alex says:

    Your google adwords ad is advertising google adwords on your post about ads.
    Oh, the irony.

    On that note… I’m actually really glad you posted this in real language. I’ve been confused about how the whole ads thing worked for a long time, it’s nice to know how it all works! 🙂

  58. This is essential reading for all new bloggers, IMO. What I’m pleased to see is that you left out the bane of my existence – the text link SEO marketers. My inbox is filled with their requests on a daily basis, and I think they cheapen a blog if not properly disclosed.

  59. Jo-Anna says:

    This is such a great post Karen! I’ve shied away from advertising out of fear that my readers would hate it. But your words really make sense to me – why shouldn’t a blogger get paid? I run my site like a business, building my ‘brand’ and I’m not getting a cent for it – crazy stupid really. It’s time to make some money.
    Thank you for all the honesty and real information!

  60. Jenn says:

    Hi there Karen, I randomly came across your blog through another random blogger that I was reading while procrastinating and she had linked to this post. First thank you it really helps clarify some of my confusion.

    Secondly, I’m curious about the small ads (Etsy type ones). How do you connect with those businesses who want to advertise on your blog?

    Thirdly, what do you think of syndicating content? I’m part of the BlogHer network (which hasn’t made me any money to speak of) and they just asked if they could syndicate a post of mine. I’m also curious about applying to join something like Wellsphere or Demand Media. Do you have an opinion on these types of outlets?

    Lastly, have you written any posts about building an audience? I would love to hear your perspective on that.

    I hope you don’t mind so many questions from a random stumbler. I’m going to pin and tweet this post for sure. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Jenn – The Etsy advertisers come to me, not the other way around. When I started to offer the Etsy ads I ran a whole post on it. I also agreed to do an entire post on each person who advertised with me the first month. That got the ball rolling.

      I’ve never done syndicated content and frankly I’m not even sure what it is, LOL. A lot of people write for other places and do things like that and it works well for them in terms of audience building. I’ve found I don’t have time to do anything other than create content for my own blog, which works as well. If you’re always posting new content you’re bound to build an audience. Either is a good option. You *do* need your posts or writing to be seen elsewhere in order to get readers. For me it was a few mentions on Design*Sponge that got the ball rolling.

      I haven’t done a post about building an audience but will think about doing it. 🙂 Good luck! ~ karen

      • Jenn says:

        Thank you for replying. I’m not sure Etsy ads will work as well for the health blog niche as they do for design/fashion blogs. I haven’t noticed health blogs having those sort of ads on the sidebar very often but I’m certainly going to explore the option. I’ll be back here as well to read your stuff.

  61. Great info, thanks! I’m in the process of building an audience and finding my niche, so I’m nowhere near ready for primetime. I have been blogging since 2002 in various formats and platforms, and it’s really crazy how much blogging has changed over the past 10 years!

  62. Linda @ it all started with paint says:

    Seriously amazing post! Love the transparency …

    And even before you asked, I emailed it out to a bunch of my blog friends.

    And then I came back again (Pageview #2) and pinned.

    And now I’m here again (Pageview #3) to share on FB …



  63. Great post…maybe the kick in the ass I need to put a value on my time. 🙂

  64. Linda says:

    Great information as usual, thank you! How many followers would you say one should have before they should consider havining ads?

    • Karen says:

      Linda – Well, you can ad Google Adsense almost any time. Your site does have to be approved, but most are approved. To make other ads that you put up yourself (Etsy ads for example) you should have a fair amount of readers to make it worth your time and worth the money of the advertiser. I’d say a minimum of 100,000 views a month or so, but that’s just a random guess. Start out with Google and see how it goes from there. ~ karen!

  65. Linda says:

    Thank you so much!

  66. This was super helpful!! Thanks so much for the breakdown and including all the numbers… nice to get the full picture (as someone who has just started selling advertising).

    Much appreciated 🙂

  67. leigh says:

    It’s as clear as mud. As a blogger, I am SLOWLY learning about this….I do love your blog, and will spread the word. Tweet, tweet.

  68. Debbie says:

    I’m about to share on FB, love ya!

  69. cindy says:

    well dang, i just got an education; who knew?? i’m new to blogging, as in reading them, but have thought abt. setting up a blog at some point in the future……..and now i know. thanks for all the info and i like your upfront, sassy = (smart alecky but since i don’t know you and i’m from the south where manners matter) style. i’ve always just ignored the ads but from now on, i’m just gonna click away on all my fav blogs…….someone needs to be making $$ in this crappy economy, it might as well be the people i enjoy reading…..i like people who ask for what they want w/o hem-hawing around the bush…

    • Karen says:

      Thanks for the comment Cindy! LOL. Yes. I rarely hem and haw. 🙂 Glad I could give you a little information. ~ karen!

  70. Bols says:

    Drat! I am sorry to hear you are trying to get out of television. I have to agree with Chris that a certain show is NOT quite the same without you!!!!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you. I like television and the money is great. But I LOVE photography, writing and being in complete creative control. Less money, more fulfilling life. I still do some TV work. Just not as much. 🙂 ~ karen

  71. Alison M says:

    Really? They are going to ask you take ads down because the ads are bothersome?? Why don’t they just use an ad block program….? Time for readers to get educated.

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Oh dear. I’m not sure if that’s what I’d suggest. I’m not postive, but fairly certain, that if the ads are blocked … I don’t get paid. 🙂 ~ karen

  72. sara says:

    the BEST thing i have ever read on the internets! many thanks Karen

  73. christyl says:

    you rock! Thanks for the useful info!

  74. Karen you make it easy to understand, which is what most novice bloggers want, someone to hold their hand and explain things, sometimes step by step. I find it ironic the technical things I can figure out to do, manipulate code, edit photos, even put words together to write a, somewhat interesting post. But for the life of me, I just can’t wrap my brain around the whole advertising thing. Thankfully, someone left a comment at another blog and referring your post about advertising. Her name is AnnW and today…she’s my a rock star for sending me over here. Thank you for shedding some light on the world of blog ads.

  75. jennifer benavides says:

    Thank you so much for this info….I’ve been considering trying to get into blogging myself to try and help bring in xtra money…….husband has a neck injury and I’m the only one working…….this info helped answer a lot of questions….I will be pushing your blog to all my friends! Good luck to you!

  76. caroline says:

    I wanted to know… How do you charge these etsy stores? Do they send you a check every month personally? Also, at what point do you get your LLC? I’m assuming its not a business until I make some money so I dont have a license yet.

    Thank you for the information though… it was very helpful!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Caroline – I send them all an invoice through Paypal. Then … they pay me through Paypal. As far as blogging goes, it is a business but I don’t need any sort of license. It’s a sole proprietorship. ~ karen

  77. Nicole says:

    THANK YOU for such an informative post! I read this after following the link from the Amazon affiliate post. I’ve been using Adsense and I’m just starting to get a couple Etsy ads from friends of mine. I’ve been up over 5000 per month for a while, but I never knew what the “threshold” was for approaching companies and larger advertisers. Thanks for laying it all out! Seriously.

  78. Hello Karen
    Love to read your posts. Thanks for sharing.
    I have been blogging 2 years already. Your tips are meaningful for me

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