This isn’t a how to guide, nor an argument for whether or not you should have ads on YOUR blog. This is my story. A tale of how one girl woke up one morning and found that her blog made her car payment most months. That she still loved writing it. And it turned out she hadn’t really sold her soul to the devil, but to the accountant.

It all started last year after I left my job. I wrote most days, sharing my ups and downs and theories and plans. I was doing a couple of blog makeovers a fortnight and things were ticking over ok, other than the whole savings account being sucked dry type situation. Knowing that sponsored posts were few and far between I hatched a new plan.

No strategy. No research other than a post about how much people would pay. No, freaking, idea. It turns out that most people don’t even open ad spaces until their blogs reach in excess of 20,000 page views a month. Most don’t charge as little as I do. And most use ad management type systems to manage it for them. I handle the emails, uploads everything my self. But it works. Mine is a small-scale operation with lots of hands on contact. I like that. It’s actually most of my favourite parts.

When I first started selling ads, I had to change my sidebar around a bit to make room. I had to flog it a bit in posts and on my social media channels. I found that more often or not I was ad swapping with friends or giving away spots in exchange for something. Then as it started to grow, less and less of that happened. I had more enquiries and less vacant spots. I opened up larger ads and then a super size one. I started booking my own more often than not.

All the while I had my Nuffnang ads running. I have three available spots {a leader board, mid rectangle and skyscraper – their names, not mine} and sometimes they would be all full. Sometimes not. The best part about it is that when they didn’t have ads running collapse nicely on themselves and take up no space at all. Each single ad used to earn me about $10 – $15 a week then. Now they are metered which does much better. Working together with my ad spots, this leads to an ok income.

In combination with sponsored posts, of course. The ads alone at this level are hardly anything to write home about. That will come, I think. I talk to blogger’s who are more successful than me and ask them about their revenue and where it’s derived from. They all answer. Some coyly, some matter of fact, all business. I ask because I’m curious. Which is, in a lot of ways how this post started. I wanted to share my story, so it’s out there for those who, like me, are curious.

What I’ve learnt is that it does matter a little how many page views you get. The price matters and so does the size. I learnt that saying no is ok. But so is saying yes. I learnt how to code the HTML and centre it. I learnt how to make the new pages pop out from my own so that visitors then have two tabs open. I learnt that the money really isn’t that good at this stage. But for me, it’s worth it.

So there you go.

Shameless plug coming right up… For more information about the ad sizes on this blog {its fabulous, isn’t it} or to book for August go here or email me at melissa@sugercoatit.com.