I just earned my first Google Ads cheque from this site (almost...I have to wait for it to arrive still). What?!? Earning money off this site? I am a bit excited! No I'm not quitting my day job. No I'm not hiring guest writers. And no I'm still not breaking even from when I started this site way back in 2014; not even close.
Do you know how hard it is to grow and increase a following in a niche market from nothing? Do you have any idea how many clicks and ads I have to have to actually start making a profit?
Here's how it starts;
1) purchase domain for 4 years for $200 US (back in 2014)
2) purchase pro pack web tools to create your website for $100 US
3) drive around and take a lot of photos over 4 years, which is let's say $400+ in gas, mileage, and snacks
4) think about advertising with Google Ads in 2016 (after seeing a solid base of followers) and figure out how it works (click here to read more about Google Adsense)
5) sign up for Google Ads and restrict the ones that make you the most money, because you run a family friendly website (right?)
6) strategically place a few ads throughout your site, as you yourself hate when blogs and websites are overrun with ads and popups (and never have time to update any or change strategies)
7) sit back and watch the dough roll in, or in my case TRICKLE up to $100 OVER 2 YEARS!
8) renew domain for another 4 years at $250 US (once I had enough followers to motivate me to keep going)
9) hold a contest in hopes of increasing readers and followers to increase traffic and hopefully increase visibility for ads ($70 expenses for 2 prize packs)
10) hope that the average 400 visitors to my site each week increases, even though I'm not posting new content over the past month
So summarizing the math: $1,000+ out of pocket over the 4 years I've been writing vs $100 earned total. Yep this is really just an expensive hobby that I can only hope will pay for itself one day. At least it's not the most expensive hobby out there! I also didn't include the hours of time invested in researching parks, driving there, taking photos, uploading photos and posting them at home, sharing other stories on Facebook, Twitter, and randomly posting on Instagram. If this was a full time job, I would be able to post WAY more content. But it's just a hobby and I appreciate all of you sticking by me as we take our time adding content a little bit at a time. I hope you continue to enjoy our posts and the parks we visit!
If you have a park to recommend that we haven't been to yet, send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org