Interior Designers: the financially lucrative ‘bit on the side’

Advertising advertising
Advertising advertising (Photo credit: Toban Black)

For our American readers I will leave the explanation of another meaning of ‘a bit on the side’ to your furtive imaginations. This article looks at some of the ways you can make a bit of money (on the side) from your blog – that is ways other than that of attracting your target customers to your web site.

Be Warned: This may well distract you from your core business for minimal gains!

There are 2 ways that web sites and blogs can make additional revenue. If you are in the right market writing the right stuff you could make $1,000 a month…just like all those unsolicited emails say you can! Or you could be in the wrong market and invest the same amount of time as the person who makes $1,000 a month but yourself only get $50 a month. So be careful.

The 2 ways are shown here.

  1. Put adverts on your site (google adsense – which is the reverse of Google adwords)
  2. Host blog POSTS that are effectively adverts containing back-links to other sites by:
    • You write the blog post for the advertiser; or
    • The advertiser or their agent writes the post and you just put it on your site.

Be Warned: This may impact negatively on the image of your blog or website.

Pre-requisites

To make money in either of these examples you need to have people going to your site. So if your site is currently ‘low-traffic’ then I would stop reading now and get back to your interior designing!

Google, with their adsense, program will be interested in adverts on ANY site, including yours. But *YOU* will only make money out of adsense if you firstly have lots of visitors for your great content AND SECONDLY they click on the adverts that Google put there.

If you have a good site with lots of visitors and a good ‘pagerank’ (>3) then advertising agencies will potentially be interested in your site, especially if your subject matter broadly matches that of their clients. If you also have lots of twitter/pinterest/facebook/linkedin followers then that might be a bonus for the agency/advertiser (but probably not, although it should be).

Simple adwords can go anywhere on your site – be it a web site or a blog. Paid posts could be a new page added to your website but more easily it can be accomplished with a blog which you hopefully already have.

So what do I need to do then?

Cheque from Google AdSense
Cheque from Google AdSense (Photo credit: Wikipedia). It’s on wikipedia so it must be true, right? 🙂

A. Attract Agencies

To attract advertising agencies I would firstly check a bit more closely some of the unsolicited emails you have been deleting. Some of these may well have been from advertising agencies genuinely offering to pay you to put posts (and/or back links) on your site for a fee…honest! Workout a standard response to these emails including why your site is great and how much you charge, save it and use it. We have accepted some adverts from this route and, yes, it is true and genuine and you do get paid (or you remove the post). We worked on the assumption that it was virtually zero effort and the post would soon get buried in the history of our numerous posts – you could even put a one year time frame on the advert after which you would remove it.

Secondly I would be proactive and look for sites that let you register an interest to be a host for these paid-for-blog posts. Sites such as www.socialspark.com let you do this.

Click To Read More Interior Design Articles
Click To Read More Interior Design Articles

If you have a good pagerank (>3) and, say, more than 5000 unique visitors per moth then you should get at least US$/£100 for a single post containing one backlink to an advertier’s client’s site. You may or may not get a few of these a month. Compare this to the next paragraph, AdSense, where you should get a higher frequency of lower value income…

B. Use Google Adsense

Many of you have your blogs on wordpress. If you let wordpress do all the hosting for your then you will not be able to incorporate ads on your site. This is because wordpress place adverts themselves and make money from your site themselves. You can’t see them doing this if you look at your site from your computer…but they do. Honest.

So you have to move or migrate your blog to somewhere that you control. The company who hosts your website will probably be able to let  you install wordpress on your part of their machine and then you can use it and put ads onto your site. This could involve quite a complicated migration and software installation for you or your techy people. Again there will be a cost associated to this. You will then have to set up your blog so that parts of it are able to automatically show Google’s ads and credit your account if they are clicked.

NEVER click the ads yourself nor get friends to do it. Google are very clever.

If you are on a site that is controlled by wordpress (like this one) then look at your wordpress control panel for clicks on your site. You will probably see quite a few clicks to sites that you don’t know about. How did these links get on your site? Well they were the ones that google put there. If you add up your clicks you will get some idea of the number of clicks you might get going forwards by doing AdSense yourself. If you work on a revenue-per-click of 20p to 50p (20 cents to 50 cents) then you can do the maths of a best case scenario and a likely case scenario for an interior designer.

Be Warned: AdSense can theoretically show your direct competitor’s adverts on your site through their AdWords program.

Problems

Sites like socialspark.com allow advertisers to automatically put posts onto your site. Whilst I’m sure the content will be ethical I’m not so sure it will always tie in with the image you hope to portray on your site.

Think how your readers will feel. Will they want to be shown ads on your site and might a post from an advertiser, in a way, trick the loyal reader into reading an advert they were not expecting.

Moving to a site capable of hosting AdSense adverts might be tricky and/or time consuming – depending on your current setup.

That’s about it really. Fairly simple to understand but potentially tricky to implement for uncertain rewards.

17 Comments

  1. I would love to make money from my blog but I strongly disagree with advertisers writing post for my blog,and I wouldn’t be interested in using AdSense. My blog partly identifies me and I would rather have control over what is advertised on it.

    • Legitimate concerns of course. This is not for everyone.

      Remember though that we do point out that you WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY ALREADY have wordpress putting adverts on your site without your knowledge…and they are part of the AdSense program. Try looking at your site from somewhere other than home/work.

      we are saying that you can take control of this by hosting your own blog. You can then prohibit ads or you can put them on your site wherever you want.

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