Why am I not making money from blogging?

Whenever people hear that I do not have a full-time job, they assume that I'm making so much money from blogging that I don't need a job. Fact or fiction?

We all know that some bloggers make decent income from blogging - but not all bloggers do. In fact, most of them don't. I'm one of those who fall into the second category. I'm not ashamed about it. After all, I don't consider myself to be a full-time blogger. I held a full-time just up to Feb 2010 when I quit my job to work full-time on my book.

There are millions of websites and blogs that write about how much money people can make from blogging and Internet marketing. I, on the other hand, shall write about why I'm not making money from blogging.

For illustration, I searched the traffic ranking of 2 blogs maintained by female bloggers that have sponsors and advertisers. I am not comparing which blogger is better or the best. Each blog is different and attracts different readers.

You might remember Sheylara from the Favourite (Sports) Blogger contest. Both of us were the top 2 and she won it by 2 votes in the end.

She is a full-time blogger, has made some TV appearances and spends a great amount of her time playing electronic games. She's got a sweaky clean image - she the type who does not want to have sex with her boyfriend. (Well, it's personal choice). She won SG Blog Awards Best Lifestyle Blog 2009. She's not in the Awards this year.

Sheylara's blog frontpage

Click to see date of screenshot

If you read the Media Coverage page on my blog, you would see that a year ago this blogger Holly Jean flattered herself by accusing "someone" of stealing her blog ideas. When I confronted her at her blog, she refused to say who the "someone" was but she expressed happiness when her readers insulted my photos. That coming from someone who was a teacher and yet participated in FHM Girls-next-door contest, did not win and said FHM was looking for Sluts-next-door! According to the article, she quit her job over that incident. She's now a full-time blogger. She's also a finalist for SG Blog Awards Best Lifestyle Blog 2009 and 2010.

Blogger Holly-Jean gone bonkers

[My blog post last year about the incident]

Click to see us on front page of newspaper for our "cat fight"

Click to read article about our "cat fight"

Click to read article about her resignation

Holly-Jean's blog frontpage

Click to see date of screenshot

Here's mine:
Click to see date of screenshot

1. Traffic = money?

Sheylara's ranking: 4,540.
Holly-Jean's ranking: 2,317.
Mine is ranked highest: 1,539.

- On alexa.com
The site with the highest combination of visitors and pageviews is ranked #1 in that country. The rank by country is calculated using a combination of average daily visitors to the blog and pageviews on the blog from users from that country over the past 3 months.

Traffic to my blog doesn't translate into any money for me if nobody clicks the advertisements. It's like having your bread shop at a place with high traffic - if nobody comes in to buy anything you won't make any money. Traffic does not always equate to more money!

(Google ads kicked me out of the scheme so the only ads that I display now are Nuffnang's.)

2. Identity and image

I'm ranked higher than them in Singapore but I don't have any sponsors and advertisers! One brand manager who was given my email address by someone he knew took a look at my blog and said "your blog does not share the identity that we hope our brand will have." If the Trojan Magnum requires an ambassador in Singapore maybe they'll select me :D

Another reason is I don't write much about BUYing things. If you advertise, obviously you want people to BUY something, right? I encourage frugality instead of buying luxury goods and the latest beauty products. Even if someone paid me to say everyone should buy luxury items, I won't do it. I will only promote things that I believe in. I have turned down advertisers who want to display advertisements for things that I won't buy. If I promote something, I want to mean what I say. I'm not going to change what I write about just to attract advertisers.

It makes sense to sell things that are related to your blog and that you would buy yourself. For example, my friend who blogs about bodybuilding and fitness sells health supplements. He sells Magnums too but a different type. His Magnums are health supplements, not condoms. (It would funny if he attempted to sell condoms at his blog though it may not be such a bad idea since higher testosterone levels from training mean higher sex drive!) He consumes those supplements himself and won 2nd place in a bodybuilding competition last month.

3. Principles
All of us live by certain principles and support certain causes. I don't purchase or promote products that are tested on animals. Sheylara did advertorials for cosmetic brands Garnier and L'Oreal that test on animals. Money can't make me do something that's against my principles.

Read article and see list of brands that test on animals

4. Blogging since X date

My blog is "young" - only 1.5 years old. It's a baby compared to theirs! Sheylara's blog is 4.5 years old; Holly Jean's is 4 years old. Advertisers and sponsors would rather advertise at a blog that has track record and where the bloggers are full-time bloggers. Decision-makers in Singapore often place higher weightage on track record rather than potential, and equate length of service to ability.

5. Pictures

Having pictures on the blog breaks up the monotony. Popular blogs (and websites) usually have many pictures. Also, advertisers who pay for advertorials would expect that the pictures posted of their products would look nice. I know my pictures are not good compared to most other blogs out there. Sure, I could learn how to use Photoshop but I'm a writer and I need to focus on what I love doing: writing. But if anyone wants to help me touch up my pictures of course I'll be happy :)) (Sorry, I can't afford to pay you).

I would advise anyone against quitting their job or studies to be full-time bloggers. The amount of money that I made before graduation has more digits than what I made from 1.5 years of blogging. I'm not saying nobody can make money from blogging but as with any job, earning money from blogging isn't easy.

Some people have given me suggestions on how to make money on the Internet and I thank you for those suggestions :) However, I am focussing on writing books at the moment. Unless I have a slave to do the work for me, I shall execute one thing at a time.

Related posts:
[SBA2010 - Commentary on Finalists' Reader Demographics]
[SBA2010 Top 10 Most Insightful Blogs - Review]
[My SBA2010 interview]
[My SBA2009 interview]


David said...


Your path to success is in good hands.

You have explained your business plan, and you know your resources.

We await your book and enjoy your topics here!


Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow.

-- Helen Keller

Anonymous said...

You can sell clothes that you wear and model for them? maybe you can make some money from it?

Maya said...

Hi Yu-Kym,

just wanna let you know that I really enjoyed reading your blog. Usually I don't leave any comment on any blog that I've read but I really want to show my sincere support here for someone like you who got a positive attitude and charisma. You do inspire me to do something that I would like to do in life which I don't dare to sacrifice before.

To be frank, I was quite curious about your blog when I first read the article @ wan bao. Of course I clicked on the "Sex" topic immediately. And I'm glad it was not those same old horny porn stories!!! hahaha :) It was something different and extraordinary. And you know what, I love reading your other topics too.

I like the way you share your life experiences and I think I've learned a lot from it. Well, just read and knew about HJ and I wanna laugh out loud man! I can only tell you that she got no guts!!! hahaha LOL!!!

If she got guts, she will not do childish things like writing all that on her blog without saying who's the thief. Go straight to the point and confront you @ your blog! Show it if she got the proof. Come on lah, is she a policewoman??? hahaha damn! Sorry, am I being rude?

And the pot calling the kettle black when you can check it out @ her Top 10 Things Women in Relationships Shouldn't Do! Her pics of Granny Undies... so familiar right??? Remember your Granny pants: the new chastity belt (last September 2009).

And one more thing I'm so frustrated with those idiots that looked at the physical and comparing you with others don't deserved you to share your life with. And if they don't like you, why are they wasting their time reading your blog and looking at your pics? Stupid right? Keep the mouth shut just like me even I found the pics @ her blog, I don't curse and swear! WTH & WTF...

Anyway, just wanna let you know I am still enjoying your blog and it gets more everyday and will continue my support when you have your own Book! And last I don't wanna promise the moon and the stars or your "Rock of Gibraltar", but you are on my bookmarks. hahaha

Take care!


Anonymous said...


Yours is the first and only blog I've ever read. I'm not a writer nor a blogger. You were introduced to me by someone. I do not know much about the mechanisms nor the business end of blogs. I've been a salaried employee all my life, relatively successful at the senior level. I'm here just to add another fan and interest to your blog. Obviously if I think I'm wasting my time, I wont be here.

I'm lucky enough to have made good decisions all my life, some sounder, some could have been better but still correct ones. I have few regrets, mostly minor, one or two moderate ones. Finance is one important area that u must get right in life. It is one of (if not the most) critical!

My take on your strategy of advertising and making money from blogs is that it needs a little review and tweaking. By all means stick to your principles to decline advertising where products infringe on certain principles of yours. But if there are offers from "suitable" products that you may not necessarily buy but do not infringe on animal testing, child labour or other issues, etc I think you should consider them and not dismiss them outright.

If u need to go full time to write, do it. If u need to put all your eggs in one basket, sometimes u need to do it and give it your all. No regrets. But a little tweaking like the above do not detract from your aspirations. It may actually help.

curious cat

Clear Blue Skies said...

Making money from writing books is even MORE difficult than any other career. In Singapore, at least.

First you have to find a publisher who is prepared to publish what you write. This is ONE BIG HURDLE.

The royalties you get from your books ain't gonna be worth your while here on this Little Red Dot.

People who make money from blogs KNOW the TECHNIQUE. Forget about the blogs that you have quoted above. They have NO idea on how to MONETIZE their blogs in spite of their traffic.

Fabby said...

HAha! Maybe I SHOULD be selling condoms. Lol!

Well, be proud that you're blogging for passion and not for any other reasons Yu-Kym. :D

And well, things happen. If someone is highly opinionated and thinks you're doing something bad to them, it's best to not give them the attention they crave. :D

Yu-Kym said...

Thanks David and curious cat for your words of encouragement!

Anon, I don't think my clothes are worth selling. I have too few. Some men wanted to buy my unwashed panties/g-strings though!

Hi Maya, I'm happy and touched to hear that I inspired you :) You go girl!

CBS, yes, it is not easy but I feel it's worth my time. I used those blogs as illustration only because of the reasons I stated above.

Fabby, let me know when you open you online condom shop! :D

Anonymous said...

It's not only encouragement, it's also to tell u that u need to change tack in certain principle(s).

Hope u heed the advice to reconsider. You can still have an advertisement in your blog but not necessarily promote the product or services. You have made it clear already in your previous blogs that you do certain things within certain principles but u need to also bring in income to live day to day and finance your book launch. No one can deny you that unless they are willing to step in to help?

I would be flabbergasted if Michelle Chia is the front face for Maxi-Cash because she pawns her jewellery! lol

curious cat

Yu-Kym said...

I don't care what people say or think. But I care what I think of myself. No, I don't Need to change my principles.

Anonymous said...

hahaha everything an extreme stand! extremely obstinate woman! lol Ok then!

curious cat