First off, we have no plans to monetize this blog. We simply enjoy sharing our ideas and interacting with our readers. Carrying on this virtual double life has been a fun way to break up the daily grind and has motivated us even more to reach our goals. Not to mention, I don’t think we’d make much from our 9,200 all-time page views. 😉
However, later this year I’m going to have a lot more free time on my hands to let the creative juices flow and experiment with new things. And you know that’ll probably include looking for ways to build new income streams. Since we plan to take full advantage of living in the UK to travel extensively and see as much of that part of the world as we can, I’ve been thinking of a way to combine both interests.
A couple weeks ago, I began mentally designing a companion blog to document our travels throughout Europe over the next three years. I’m super excited and can’t wait to start working on it! It’ll have a very different vibe and layout from this site with lots of vibrant pictures and maybe even some tips learned throughout our travels. We’ll still post here, but the new blog will be focused on the sights and sceneries of our European adventure.
This brings me to the topic of this post. I’m debating on whether or not to monetize the new website. Although we don’t really need the money, it would be nice to potentially offset some, even just a tiny bit, of the massive income drop we’ll experience when I leave my job in August. And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t intrigued by the challenge of creating something out of nothing. We wouldn’t anticipate bringing in anything significant, though we’d want to at least cover the hosting and other associated costs. Who knows, if we build a decent following, we could even get a portion of our travel paid for.
The reason I’m conflicted is because I don’t want to lose authenticity. We genuinely want to post stories and photos of our travels for family and friends to follow while we’re overseas. Any money we’d generate on the side would be an added bonus.
One thing I love about Ditching the Daily Grind is that it has given us a place to share our thoughts, learn from others, and sometimes just vent. We write about things that happen in our daily lives, some good, some bad. In many ways, this blog is the only place where we can be completely honest about our goals and dreams. While at work, I often feel like a shell of my real self pretending to fit in with everyone else. Here, I can just be me.
Since we started this blog last summer, I began reading dozens of other blogs and I’m always aware, if only subconsciously, of which ones are monetized and which are not. Now I don’t want to take anything away from any site that is monetized. I completely understand why someone would do it. Maintaining a blog is a lot of work and can be extremely time consuming. Plus, who doesn’t want to get paid?
I’ve gone back and forth on this topic over and over and I’m leaning towards monetizing. That being said, I want to be careful about the way we go about doing it so that we stay true to ourselves. I’d want to limit the use of ads and carefully use affiliate links, as appropriate. I don’t know much about either of these so that’ll be a big learning process as well.
For those who have already gone the monetizing route, what was your experience like? If we run a travel blog, can we deduct travel costs as a business expense since our content will be created directly from these travels? For those who have chosen not to monetize, what are your thoughts?