Since February 2018, I’ve been running WordAds on my personal website. Scroll to the bottom of this post right now; you’ll find two ads. Somehow ~15 months later, those two ads have finally earned me my first ad revenue paycheck.
Table of Contents
Before I get into this article, I should mention that the topic of advertising is a tough one for me. On one hand, I hate ads, and I don’t even want them on my site. However, on the other hand, ads are the only way I’ve been able to generate any sort of income from this site, and I think it’s important to diversify income streams.
So, how do I deal with this cognitive dissonance? Well, I just assume that eventually I’ll pick up enough revenue through other avenues (i.e. membership) that I won’t need to rely on them. Until then, you’re all stuck with it!
Road Map to My First Paycheck
At this point, let’s talk dollars and cents. In particular, I want to talk about how much I was paid, and just how much work it took to get there.
First, I should mention that WordAds won’t pay you until you reach some threshold ($100). I believe a lot of services like WordAds have similar rules. For instance, I think both Google’s ad program and Amazon’s affiliate program have the same threshold.
With that out of the way, let’s talk total amount. On May 31st, 2019, I was paid $121.62. To put that in perspective, I launched ads in February of 2018, so I made something like $8/month over the last 15 months. Obviously, it’s not that exciting, but it’s a great start! Also, I’m not one to complain about passive income.
Of course, I think the following table gives a more accurate depiction of how those last 15 months went. In fact, I think it’s far more telling of where things are going to go from here:
As you can see, ad viewership has grown quite a bit over the last few months. It wasn’t long ago that I was making just a couple of bucks a month, and now I’m trending towards a dollar a day.
To me, it seems like every couple of months the ad revenue jumps a bit. For example, September 2018 marked the first jump from about $1 to $5. Then, that amount doubled the following month which had more or less stabilized until February 2019 when I hit $20. Hopefully, I can keep that sort of growth going into the future.
Putting in the Work
All that said, has the work really paid off? Well, that’s something I’ve pondered a lot lately. After all, I’ve put a lot of work into this site, and I mean a lot. Just take a look at the following table of article totals and word counts for the last four years:
|Year||Total Posts||Total Words||Average Words Per Post|
When I look at how much I’ve written, it’s almost sad. After all, the latest paycheck amounts to just under $0.50 an article. The cost per word is perhaps an even sadder number: $0.00036862821.
That said, I’m actually really excited about what this all means for the site going forward. As long as the ad revenue continues to trend up, that cost per article should improve as well. After all, interest compounds in your career.
Speaking of compound interest, why not help me grow my income by becoming a paid member? Currently, it’s my only other way of making money beyond outright begging and working as a graduate teaching assistant. If it weren’t for my wife, whose a teacher by the way, I’d barely be able to afford rent, so show your support!
When it comes to capitalizing strings in Python, you have a few options. Use the tools Python provides or roll your own.
Looks like I'll be taking it easy in 2021. I hope you'll bear with me.