I have been an admirer of Crystal Stemberger for…well, since I started blogging, really. I have always admired the simplicity and spirit of her site Budgeting in the Fun Stuff; as to her knowledge about how to make money blogging I can say only one thing: WOW. Crystal is a legend: she is one of the most savvy internet entrepreneurs I have come across.
In fact, I have a confession to make: have a look at the ‘policy’ section of my blog. Looks professional, doesn’t it? All because of Crystal (well, she doesn’t know this yet but it is probably time for me to say a very big ‘thank you’) and the advice she offered freely on one of her blogs.
This is why when I got the message that her e-book ‘How I Make Money Blogging’ is out I went here and bought it. And then, without further delay and during my holiday, I read it in one sitting. Do I regret the $27 I paid for it? Not at all! My guess is that if only one of the ideas, and practical options, that Crystal shares works it is all worth it. But I am getting ahead of myself again, so let me tell you a bit more about this book.
If you are expecting pages and pages of explanation and justification you will be disappointed – the book is a little over 30 pages. It nevertheless ‘hits the nail on the head’. It starts slowly with the basics – honestly, my first reaction was ‘Come on, Crystal, get to the point!’. But then, remembered that the book is for beginners; and navigating through hosting, blogging platforms and the structure of the blog is pretty essential and not as obvious when one is setting out.
Going beyond the basics, Crystal moves on to explain SEO (search engine optimisation), rankings and types of advertising (understand ‘ways to monetise your blog’); and she does it with simplicity and precision that I could only admire.
But let’s get back to the ‘making money blogging’ matter. I have long believed that blogging for me is a ‘work of love’; as to making money, I would be happy if The Money Principle covers its costs (it will never cover my time). However, with maturity come enquiries for advertising; and these are very, very confusing. Or shall I say, they were. After reading Crystal’s little book I know the types of advertising that I can do (even have chosen the area where I could specialise), have templates for different tasks (including a spreadsheet to follow my advertising) and feel confident about negotiating lowball offers.
What is priceless, is that now I have pretty good idea about how much one can charge for the different types of advertising (depending on different rankings). And I am not likely to under-sell myself unwittingly – now if I undercharge it is a strategic decision and not beginner’s ignorance (and exploitation).
I reckon only knowing the ‘going rate’ and being ready to stick with it will recover the $27 I paid for the book manifold. As to ‘shit happening’ we all know this is a certainty; but a reminder from Crystal is mighty powerful – it is valid irrespective of whether you blog full or part time (though, obviously, more important if you are going full time at it).
Would I recommend this book? Of course; if you really aim to build a blog that is as good as any real estate and becomes a good income stream go straight here and get it – it will certainly pay off.