The Gifted Blog

February 19, 2010

"The Best Years"

You may remember that I moved The Gifted Blog to this site, in part, to be able to run ads. I invest a significant amount of time to write this blog, and I was curious to see if I could turn a truly enjoyable pastime into an income stream.

When a reader clicks on an ad link, I'm credited with a percentage of money from the advertiser. For the kinds of ads that run here, a click is worth anywhere from 25 cents to a buck.

Here are the numbers:
December: $21.09
January: $10.49
February (to date): $11.11

As you can see, I'm not exactly bringing home the bacon! I won't even be cut a check until it all adds up to $100. Although the consensus about making money with a blog is that it takes a long time (if it happens at all), it can be discouraging to think I'm making 60 cents a day with a venture I am giving my best to.

I am encouraged by a passage from The Collaborative Habit by Twyla Tharp, the internationally recognized choreographer. Tharp's first dance company was formed when she was fresh out of school. They stayed together 5 years without pay, sometimes performing without an audience. She writes:
It helps to be young and struggling and short on money--in memoir after memoir, people seem to describe this period in their career as "the best years" of their life. I suspect, in most cases, that's true. But not because of the walk-up apartment and the budget meals. You are constructing your own opportunities. It's all about purpose and the clarity of ambition. (pg. 25)
I am encouraged to know that, even if I'm not rolling in dough, I am doing something I love and getting to share it with you. I need to remember that there is something sweet and good about this stage of doing it for pure enjoyment.

It is fascinating to read about Tharp's transition from dancing for herself to dancing for an audience. As her circumstances changed, the time came for her to make a living. She writes she learned how to "honor [her] art without selling out" (pg. 28), making dances that would draw an audience and thus support her financially.

I wonder, when the time comes, can I do this? Will I want to? I don't know if you can resonate. I'd love to hear any thoughts you have.


  1. Thanks for posting this, Charissa! I had been wondering whether Google Ads worked. You know, I think that you're right on track with your goals for your blog (guest post, learn from other bloggers, etc.). I think that if it's something you're passionate about, you can definitely do it (meaning: make a living from it)! If always takes bloggers a while to gain a significant readership, find their voice, etc. etc. but you're doing great! :)

  2. Whew. That is so encouraging, Jessica...thank you so much for the affirmation. You are right that I am on track for the official goals I set for myself. I need to remember that and not get too ahead of myself!

  3. I like this, Charissa. Your reflections on creativity, craft, etc. on this blog are some of my favorite posts!

  4. that's cool charissa. I love this post (i echo betsy!), and this quote, and I'm so proud of you for doing this blog and following what you love, are good at and what God's gifted you for... xx

  5. Hi Betsy - I so appreciate the feedback. These "other" category posts keep bubbling up, and it's great to know they are appreciated! I've wondered sometimes if they are enough in line with the rest of the blog, but I feel motivated to keep exploring these deeper topics as they arise.

    Thanks, Lex! Isn't the quote inspiring? I mean, they performed at times without an audience. If that's not doing your art just for the love of it, I don't know what is. I hope to understand better the connection between God and creativity...hopefully some coherent posts will come as I learn.

  6. Oh, it's tough to think..."Will you perform without an audience?"
    Anyhow, Your blog is attractive. Your love to your hobby attracts people!
    For me, $10-$20 from blog seems surprisingly high as first several months!

  7. Thank you, Makiko! When I read your comment I realized that I could ask myself that - would I write even if I didn't have any readers?

    Hmm...maybe not. : ) But I guess I would still enjoy wrapping gifts. Thanks for the encouragement about my first months of making money!

  8. Such an interesting post. I've always wondered how these things work and what people really make. I'm not sure how many hits you get a day but another option is to sell ad space.

    Granted, I make no money off blogging so your $40 is a lot more then I've made. :) Keep at it. I find now that I've hit the one year mark of blogging things are a lot more active.

  9. Hi Ms. beautifuliving! I appreciate the advice to keep at it. I'm sure with the amount of time you've been blogging, you've seen your interest wax and wane. It's good to hear someone rooting for the longevity of my endeavor!

    I'm curious now - over the year plus you've been blogging, how intentional have you been about attracting an audience?

  10. Sorry to hear that the revenue from ads has been slow-going. I will try to remember to click on an ad link once in a while to help out!

  11. Haha! I have not made much from Google ads but still get tons of visitors. I do love blogging but wish it paid way more. I think it can be a good platform as a designer and that's why I do it! To put myself out there a little bit at a time.

  12. @Hilary - Good to know I'm not alone! It's amazing how much a blog can be a labor of love. What's your site? I wasn't able to view your profile but would love to check out your work!

  13. This is an encouraging post, even after two years. It is great to reflect on what is really important. I was just talking with a grad school friend: our spouses are both struggling artists and we ourselves earn so little here as students... thanks for this!

    1. Yes! You go, grad students with artist spouses! (Do G and I count as that, too?) Of course we hope that the money will come, but gotta appreciate the "clarity of vision" Tharp talks about.


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