How I Make Money From This Site (and You)

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How I Make Money From This Site (and You)I posted The New FTC Guidelines for Bloggers this morning.  They require that bloggers “clearly and conspicuously” disclose financial interests they receive when reviewing or endorsing a product/service.

My Advertising Disclosure explains the methods I employ to make money on this site.  Since not many people like to read blog policies, I thought I would take this opportunity to highlight this one in a post.  Hopefully you will find some valuable information here on how to monetize your site.

The Christian Entrepreneur is a for-profit business venture. This means that, while there is no charge to you to access and read this blog, I depend on advertising revenues and other programs to monetize this site.

Sometimes these efforts may be difficult for the reader to distinguish between an activity for which I receive compensation, and the information relayed to you in the normal course of this blog.

The information below briefly describes the various methods I am currently using, or that I plan to implement, to monetize my blog. It is my hope that the information below will clear up any confusion over how I make money from this blog.

Banner Advertisements

Banner advertisements come in all shapes and sizes. Think of these like the billboards you see along the highway – only with a lot more bells and whistles.

Banner AdvertisementsBanner advertisements are usually pretty easy to spot. You can find these banners on this website in any of the following locations:

  • In the header (right-hand side)
  • Above each blog post title
  • After each blog post but before comments
  • In the sidebar on the right
  • At the bottom of the page before footer

I receive compensation from banner advertisements in a number of different ways. With the exception of those people who have won the banner placement through a contest that I have held, I receive some method of compensation from all these banners.

Paid Advertising

Paid AdvertisingEach banner advertisement space is available to purchase on a subscription basis. This means that I rent the space out to an advertiser in exchange for a fee much like an advertisement in a magazine or newspaper.

I retain complete control over the appearance of these types of advertisements on my website. I try to make sure that whatever is being advertised is related to the content of this blog and helpful for my readers.

Since clicking on the banner will take you to another website, I cannot guarantee any claims made there. If you experience any issues from an advertiser that you clicked through an advertisement on my site to reach, please let me know.

Ads by Google

As a publisher, I participate in the Google’s AdSense program. You can read more about this program from Google’s official site.

Google AdSenseThese advertisements can appear in any of the banner ad locations as either text ads or images, but they will be always identify with “Ads by Google.” You may also see these ads in the rss feed of your reader.

Page Impressions

The first method through which I receive compensation is the number of page impressions that these ads make on my site. A page impression is simply having an ad appear in one of my banner advertisement areas. Advertisers pay Google to spread these ads out throughout the internet based on the content of the blog. I share in a tiny sliver of this when it appears on my site.

Pay Per Click

The second method through which I receive compensation is each time a reader clicks on one of the ads. I receive a small referral fee. Just like the advertisers that rent my advertising space, I cannot guarantee any of the claims made by these advertisers.

In fact, I have very little control over which advertisements appear, but I have filtered out large groups of advertisers. The ads are placed based on Google’s algorithms to closely match the content in my posts, but sometimes it misses dramatically.

Affiliate Programs

I participate in numerous affiliate programs that I rotate throughout the year. These affiliate programs are picked by me because they offer products or services that I believe will benefit my readers.

How an Affiliate Program WorksI receive a commission on whatever you purchase through an affiliate program using my links. These links may appear as banner ads, widgets on my sidebar that clearly identify an item for sale, in text links which take you to a site where you can purchase an item (e.g., amazon.com), or through a blog post endorsing or reviewing the product.

The vast majority of reviews that I blog about will not be for affiliate programs; however, I will add a disclaimer to every review (or perceived review) stating whether I am being compensated via commissions, free product/services, or a fee for writing the review.

Please Keep Me Honest

So that’s what you’ll find on my advertising disclosure page.  Did I miss something?  If you ever feel that I have written something that is misleading, or you just want to know how I am being compensated for a blog post I write, please leave a comment or email me.

My goal is to be as transparent as possible without being completely ridiculous.  I know though that what I may consider transparent may not be so transparent to someone reading my blog.  Please keep me honest.  Speak up if you see an issue.  Thanks!

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Brad's Big Feet Marketing helps people on a limited budget enlarge their online footprint using blogging & social media. His other blog, Marketplace Christianity, examines faith's role in how we earn and spend money.

Brad has written 95 awesome articles for us at Bradley A Harmon

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Rod December 3, 2009 at 1:35 pm

I think you're doing a great job here, Brad. Great way to build trust and transparency with your community here as well. Don't forget to add your own products to this list. You've got enough content here to put together something of great value to everyone here. Looking forward to your continued success!

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whatawebsite December 3, 2009 at 4:21 pm

Brad,

You can't say fairer than that – and I hope that some of the visitors sent here through my own site will generate a little income for you through recommendations that are ultimately equally (if not more) beneficial to those site visitors. I mean, as long as you only keep promoting worthy products and services, it's simply a win-win situation for all concerned.

All the best

Will

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AlphaSmith December 3, 2009 at 6:15 pm

Great, thorough post, Brad. So, how much of it can I copy for my sites without you getting all crazy on me? :)

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Brad Harmon December 3, 2009 at 6:59 pm

Thanks Rod. I'm looking into publishing a hardcopy book next year, but I should probably write a couple ebooks to give away. I appreciate the vote of confidence.

I've been meaning to add your site to my blogroll. In fact, I will do that tonight. You have a great site and I love what you are doing over there.

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Brad Harmon December 3, 2009 at 7:01 pm

Much appreciated. I've written 56 posts without a promotional post – sometimes I am not a very good taker of my old advice. That's not a very good ratio. ;)

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Brad Harmon December 3, 2009 at 7:03 pm

I can't give permission for the images, but the text is all mine so have at it. Credit it if you want. It'd be nice, but not necessary.

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Alison Moore Smith December 3, 2009 at 7:22 pm

Brad, you're a saint. :) I was really just kidding, but with your kind permission I'll probably lift heavily from your post and OF COURSE send you back some link love credit. Got a keyword you like?

Alison (aka AlphaSmith)

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Brad Harmon December 3, 2009 at 7:36 pm

I think saints need to dead. ;) My blog walking series is probably the best fit for your blog, so maybe linking back to it?

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Dana @ Online Knowledge December 3, 2009 at 10:35 pm

Great disclosure about how this blog make money. It is give me an idea to write clearly my method too so the readers will know and prepare.

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Brad Harmon December 3, 2009 at 10:57 pm

I'm glad I pulled this out of my policies pages and made a post about it. I don't think many people saw it over there. I know I rarely check out those pages, and I actually like reading other peoples policies. It must be the accountant in me.

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Hesham December 4, 2009 at 2:18 am

Great post Brad, so this post actually reply to my latest post on my personal blog! Thanks a lot!

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Alison Moore Smith December 4, 2009 at 3:55 am

It's amazing how easy it is to write a page — when someone else did most of the writing. My disclosure is up now, too.

http://www.pix2brix.com/advertising-disclosure/

Thanks again, Brad. If you're not a saint, at least you're a peach! :)

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Brad Harmon December 4, 2009 at 8:36 am

No problem. I'm not sure all of these disclosures are necessary per the guidelines, but I already had most of this written on my policies page and I thought it would make a good post.

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Brad Harmon December 4, 2009 at 8:47 am

Nice, I like how you worded your text link portion. I am not using a plug in for that yet, but once I do I might have to borrow that bit from you. ;)

You're much braver than I am if you are going to write a negative review. I will go as far as saying I can't recommend something, but it's a too litigious of a world to risk writing a full critical review for me. Just recently a person was sued over a tweet (it might of been a series of tweets) they made about a pizza place.

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Hesham December 4, 2009 at 10:56 am

It's a good post, because people who still don't know about it will discover it after some people post like you! I juts knew about this 2 days back!

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MikeHolmes December 4, 2009 at 11:16 am

Brad,

You have a great site and are doing phenomenal work. Thanks for the transparency.

Mike

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Alison Moore Smith December 4, 2009 at 1:43 pm

I figure if I can't give an honest opinion then my credibility — not to mention free speech — is screwed.

IMO if you outline clearly and without inflammatory rhetoric, the REASONS you don't like something, you're much less likely to have any legal problem than if you just blow off about something.

For example, I GoDaddy used to be our registrar, but a couple of years ago, I transferred all 100-ish of our domains to 1&1. I liked GD's interface better (more intuitive) but I don't support their skanky advertising. I told them, and I'll tell anyone who asks about registrars. And when I do, I'm happy to link to GD with an affiliate link. :) If someone STILL wants to use them, so be it.

As another example, I'm currently negotiating a product discount. If/when I can actually get this product, I will honestly review it. Since I've already seen the product up close, I KNOW it's a great product. But I also know the company customer service is awful. Both will be included.

Thanks again for the text help. So glad to get that off my to-do list!

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Brad Harmon December 4, 2009 at 1:53 pm

Thanks Mike, I really appreciate it. You guys are so supportive that it is a pleasure to write my blog posts knowing they have a receptive audience.

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bbrian017 December 4, 2009 at 2:04 pm

So far Google has been the big winner with me. But ever since I started sharing my revenue I must admit I’m not making that much money. I started blogging about some affiliates hoping I can make due for my next yearly credit card purchase for my dedicated server. It’s running me about 1400 per year so I need to get it together and somehow replace the Goggle earnings.

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Brad Harmon December 4, 2009 at 2:11 pm

We really appreciate you sharing that revenue too. Have you seen any posts on how to use the Google AdSense channels to report the income received from Blog Engage? I haven't spent any time looking at how to use them, but would be interested if someone had already done that work.

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amanda December 28, 2009 at 9:06 pm

my goodness, hard work pays off. ;-) came through by blog engage. enjoyed your article.
My recent post Today's Flowers | Mellow Yellow Mon: Don't You Love Me Anymore?

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Brad Harmon January 7, 2010 at 8:29 pm

Thanks for stopping by Amanda. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I think you're right about hard work paying off.

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