Sometimes you just have to try something yourself to see what will happen, even if you’ve heard from people who have done it themselves.
Putting ads on this blog is one such thing. I had done some research and determined that there was a chance I could make at least a few dollars a month based on my current number of hits, so I decided to try setting up Google Ads. This was a bigger task than may seem, since I had to switch from WordPress.com to a self-hosted site, which not only adds cost but extra maintenance burdens.
So after around 5 months, how much did I make? A measly $15 bucks, give or take a few cents.
While this number is actually somewhat within the calculations I did originally (though a bit on the low side), I guess part of me secretly hoped I would make significantly more than expected.
I could just leave the ads running, since after all the few dollars would still help go towards the self-hosting costs (though only a fraction of them), and eventually if I keep putting out good content my payback should gradually rise.
But after some consideration I decided on removing the ads, at least for the time being. Besides making my blog look cleaner and giving more space for actual content, it will hopefully give readers a better image to this site, since I know whenever I see ads on a site I often think “oh, they are just trying to make a buck”. Also, I’ll no longer have to worry about checking how much money I’ve made by ads and be disappointed every time I do so.
Also, I need to be honest with myself. Though it would be nice to make even a little money off this site, I’m primarily doing this because I enjoy it and think I can give back to the community somehow. Now if I can eventually increase my readership and someday roll out some other way to make income (say, pay more for extra content or access to tests, etc.), that would be nice, but I’m not really focusing on that now.
Besides the hosting fees, the other loss of switching to self-hosted is that I think I lost being listed in the WordPress.com category search. I could try to migrate back to where I was before, but I am not sure if it is worth the time and lack of configuration options I’ll loose in doing that.
I’d be curious to know if there was any other bloggers who went through this same experience as me.