Saturday 29 July 2023

Talking About Advertising On The Blog & How I Earn My Living

So I've decided that after 11 years I'm going to add a few Google Adsense adverts on the blog for a while. I'm not sure about the whole thing myself so I will see how it goes and how readers feel. 

Currently I earn my small income in four different ways - 

I make and sell items on Etsy - This started small and steadily increased to become the main way I earn my money. It's great as I can build stuff around being the main childcare for our children and doing the running around after them (of that there is lots) as I can just do hours here and there. The hours add up though and I spend a lot of time making things. 

I write for magazines - I have a few regular magazines I write for, Woodcarving magazine and Woodworking crafts being my staples, plus occasionally in others (like Country Smallholding, Furniture and Cabinet making, Woodturning Magazine). I enjoy this work, it builds my "authority" in the woodworking world (hopefully), but the money isn't great by the time I've built a project and written about it some projects are less than minimum wage, some are better, but depends on the project. It does allow me to be creative and try new things though which I adore. I also love writing and have started filming each project in the hope it adds to my YouTube channel.  

I do talks - I talk mainly for garden clubs, but also WI's, U3A and any other clubs that will have me. I enjoy this work, the pay is okay but it does take a huge chunk of a day. I currently feel like one a week "in the season" (autumn, winter & spring) is enough though. I find myself pretty tired the day after. 

Regular carpentry work - I still do a bit of paying carpentry work. It's good to keep my hand in, and I have a friend in the village with a number of properties that always need something doing to them. If I have spare days then we will often book up time this way. Although as Etsy has increased this has got less and less. 

I'm not the bread winner, and I never set out to be rich, I certainly wouldn't be a carpenter making trays and baskets if I was, but I like my working time to earn me a sensible hourly wage. I want to work hard and set a good example for my children. It's good for them to see me earning a living as a self employed person, relying on sales and diversification, but also good to see their mother earn a regular wage as a teacher and how being on a salary can also mean a lot of extra work. 

If I wanted to earn a better wage I could go back to being a regular carpenter, there's plenty of work out there and the wages are good at the moment. That would mean wrap around care for the children and less support for my wife and it's not something we want to do at the moment. 

The blog has been a big thing in my life for the last 11 years. I'm fairly sure that some of these opportunities above have only come about because of the blog and the associated social media, the woodworking magazines came about after a picture of my carved workbench got sent to the editor from twitter, the talks because of my Facebook page and a local festival, Etsy sales are really driven by social media sites.  

In those 11 years the blog has cost me more than I've earnt directly from it though. I've done a few sponsored posts, and received a few freebies, but other than that nothing really comes in. 

It was in the last week or so that my YouTube channel finally got monetised (it was a long slog to get there) and I know I'm not going to earn much from it. But I see it as part of the "ecosystem" of social media that shows I'm a real person, making items and doing talks. The earnings have been more than I expected. So far about 60p a day. Not a huge amount, but I'll save the money and invest it back into my channel and equipment or music royalty fees (currently £15 a month).

This was about 4 days into turning on the monetisation on YouTube

So while I was messing around with Ads for that, I looked at what my blog was doing. The blog has over 1600 posts on a lot of subjects so has a good number of page views a month. So I've turned on the annoying Ads to see what will happen and whether it will help us pay off some bills, maybe pay for our web hosting and some chicken feed bills. 

Ideally I'd love to find someone that would want to advertise with a product I've used and recommend (Festool if you're listening... Lol), but for now I'll let Google do it's thing. 

If you find it offensive and it puts you off reading my blog then please let me know. I don't want people to stop reading and would prefer to take the hit in money than that. I've built some good friendships through this blog and don't like the idea of cheapening it. 

But as bills rise I keep thinking I need to earn a bit more and only have so many hours in the day! 

If anyone would prefer to sponsor the blog then I'd happily do that instead. I'm still not sure the earning from Adsense are going to be worth it. 

Please let me know your thoughts on the subject. 


  1. Aw gosh Kev, you do so much, I don't think I know anyone who works as hard for their family as you do, you deserve a knighthood!

    1. Haha, far from a knight I can tell you! Well unless we're going by modern standards...

  2. Have you considered a Patreon?
    Doing it well probably requires a bit more investment in terms of time than you have or might be willing to find though (making Patreon-only content and considering incentives at 3 levels etc). Plenty of folks seem to get by with their patreon content being early releases of content and what amounts to 'seconds' of the 'product'/content, like bloopers, BTS content, access to literal seconds of an actual product, daily vlogs, live stuff, etc. I do think that people would enjoy AMAs with you, and that might be a good platform for that.

    No one will mind the ads on here :)

    1. I was having a talk with my wife about Patreon the other day. I think that format would suit me, I like making content but know I've become more niche over the years in what I enjoy. I'll have another look into it. Not sure if I'd get many subscribers though. Like I said in the post, I'm not looking to be rich though, just enough to pay some bills and hopefully make things a bit easier.

  3. Kev, to second Riverside Hermit, I do not think any of your regular readers will mind. I will be interested to hear how things go. And congratulation on monetization!

    1. Thanks, Yeah the monetization thing felt good. I'd always said I'd give it a year of turning out at least one video a week, seemed to have got me over the line, although I now need to increase that to the next stage maybe.

  4. Hi Kev, I've followed both your blogs and find them both very interesting. I'm a Carpenter and joiner and have been thinking recently about starting to sell things on etsy to help bring some extra money in. If you have any advice about etsy you could give would be good
    I don't think any of your regular readers would mind if you had adverts on any of your pages. I certanly wouldn't

    1. I keep thinking I should do a video or blog post on Etsy and one on doing garden club talks, both things which work quite well for me, but take a little bit of understanding.


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