February 1, 2008
Posted by Sam Jackson
One thing I have always wanted to do is make good use of my split audience. There are students and admissions officers / higher ed professionals--why not have them both work together for mutual benefit? What would really be great would be if the latter group pitched in to co-sponsor a scholarship, which would be awarded to someone from the first group of readers after a public contest which would solicit student opinions about the college admissions process. A promising student gets some money for college applications / college costs, sponsors get good PR, and everyone gets to learn from the exchange.
Anyone interested in contributing? Drop me a line through the contact form or sam [at] samjackson [dot] org. If we could get just a few sponsors-- individuals and/or companies or websites could donate $50-100--that would be a nice $500-1000 award right there. (Believe it or not, I had been sitting on this idea for a while and only just today came upon AdmitSpit's plans to have a sponsored scholarship -- I originally started this post only planning to talk about my blogging revenue situation, but figured I'd go one step farther!)
The real income from blogging comes indirectly. This blog has helped me to gain exposure and net great job opportunities. It's hard to quantify all that. Still, I make a little on the side from the ads that I run. I wish I did not have to run them, but sponsorship offers have been few and far between and. The last major offer that I received, in 2006, would have amounted to the total revenue I made for 2007--in about one month. But I turned it down because I saw it as a conflict of interests and wanted to maintain good integrity (so I could get those other indirect opportunities--right?).
I'm often asked how much money I make blogging, and my answer is usually "enough to support the site's expenses, with a little left over [which I save for college]." Sadly, my meager revenue comes no where close to paying for college. It wouldn't even cover books from these past two semesters. Let me put it this way: My total blogging revenue for 2007 represents approximately 1.6% of my total cost of attendance here at Yale for the year, less Yale scholarship. My most profitable month on record (this past January, 2008) occured when I hardly posted at all, so advertising revenues are clearly tricky. My blog is very niche which makes it tricky to connect with advertisers, although I think I do have a pretty awesome niche with some great readers. Short term goal: ditch AdSense and replace it with some sponsorship blocks. Oh well! We continue to hit records for subscribers and readers (and ad revenue) so by the time I graduate who knows where we'll stand?
Advertisers, sponsors, readers--thoughts and feedback from everyone is welcome, here or by e-mail.