How do you make money from your blog?

I just finished reading your post about how one is unlikely to earn significant money from a blog (http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2009/04/21/8-reasons-why-you-wont-make-money-from-your-blog/).  I generally agree with what you say, but I’ve also noticed that you’ve mentioned in other posts that you now make a substantial amount (maybe most?) of your income from your blog.

I understand that you’ve built the blog, its readership base, and your professional reputation up over the years to get to the point you’re at now, and I know you have other businesses as well, but my questions is: how do you actually make money from your blog?  What is the mechanism through which you earn?

I’d like to set up a blog or two, mostly for my own creative outlet, but it wouldn’t hurt if I was able to eventually earn a small side income from it.  How does one go about doing it?  Just enabling Google Ads or going out and courting ad companies to get them to plaster their sponsorship all over your page?

I don’t like the idea of ads on my blog (or at least “over-commercializing” it) and would rather not put too many on there, but I don’t understand the underlying business dynamics of how one makes money with a blog otherwise.  You don’t appear to have any ads on your blog, and in the above article you’ve even mentioned how you dislike them, as well; so how does one go about generating (even the tiniest) income from a blog, website, or writing/media platform if not with ads?  I don’t think I understand the underlying business model here or the revenue-generating alternatives that exist in the internet world.

What it’s like when two people with Asperger’s talk to each other

Right now, I teach as an adjunct instructor and work as a tutor on campus at a local community college. I have a master’s degree in English. The feedback I receive from students and my supervisors indicate that I am doing an exceptional job. I love my work. I find helping students to write and communicate more effectively to be deeply satisfying. I love explaining things and answering questions.

Here is the problem: my husband and I are moving because he got into graduate school, and the school he was accepted to is the only one anywhere near our new apartment. That college is not hiring right now. I have Asperger’s, do not drive, and am an INFJ. I have multiple chronic illnesses (MCAD, PTSD, POTS, CFS, Fibromyalgia, suspected EDS) that cause food allergies that can change overnight, severe pain, exhaustion, and other symptoms. These illnesses can be managed, but they will likely never go away. My husband is also an INFJ, and neither of us

I have multiple chronic illnesses (MCAD, PTSD, POTS, CFS, Fibromyalgia, suspected EDS) that cause food allergies that can change overnight, severe pain, exhaustion, and other symptoms. These illnesses can be managed, but they will likely never go away. My husband is also an INFJ, and neither of us wants to have kids. His siblings already have kids, and my siblings will have kids, so we don’t even have any meaningful pressure from either of our families to contend with.

I am trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. Prior to getting severely sick a few years ago, I was a workaholic. I love school, and I love working. I had three jobs in grad school and graduated with a 4.0 and a publication in a major journal. I graduated undergrad early by taking overloads, and I worked and was heavily involved on campus and still graduated summa cum laude. My professors encouraged me to be a researcher and talked a lot about my potential.

Despite my Asperger’s, I do care a lot about people, and I like how the formality and purpose of school lets me keep my interactions with people semi-scripted, warm, professional, and useful. I am able to connect and to be useful to others. Since I got sick, working part time is challenging. I might be able to work full time if the job wasn’t intellectually or physically draining, which is why I have considered an office job.

However, I fear I would be wasting my potential, my degree, and the time my professors invested in helping me. In addition, the pay for a secretary is mediocre. That’s not all bad, and my husband doesn’t care how much money I make (obviously, as he is also an INFJ, and we care about our values more than anything).

We are very good at being happy and meeting our needs with very little money. I am 26, and we have been married for five years. Our income has been below the poverty line all five years, and I would still say we have the best relationship of anyone we know, and we haven’t ever had urgent needs we were unable to meet.

I have considered becoming a speech pathologist, but that would mean getting a second bachelor’s degree and a master’s, which would take about three or four years, a lot of work, and cost a great deal of money. Working part time as a speech pathologist, I could make more per hour, but I fear that that potentially higher part-time income is negated by the student loans and time lost to getting additional degrees.

I have worked as an editor in student positions in the past, and I have loved that work, but again, there aren’t editing jobs where we are moving. Even if there were, it seems unlikely that I would be hired because I only worked as an editor as a student. I worked at a library when I got sick, and again, I loved the work, but the position I held was high energy and full time, and I couldn’t physically do it once I got sick. The part-time jobs at libraries often pay even less than secretarial positions.

I have been working since I was fifteen, and I have gotten to try a lot of jobs and get a sense of what I am good at. The longest I have ever lived in one place in my entire life was four years, and my husband’s five-year program will ground us and give us a chance to put down roots. I don’t want to waste that opportunity.

Ultimately, I want a job that allows me to answer questions and help people. Because of my Asperger’s and illnesses, that job needs to be low stress, and it can’t be physically demanding. I would rather find full-time work so that I could afford insurance, but I’m not sure I’m physically capable of it anymore.

I don’t know if I should feel guilty about wasting my potential or not, and I don’t know if I should make a serious effort to earn more money or not. I have been reading you blog for several years now, and I’ve read your fiction and non-fiction. I know you have Aspergers so you understand me. And I trust you and your opinions. What do you think?

How do I turn a side-hustle into a sustainable career

I am an INTJ and was recently laid off after working 7 years in an industry into which I fell. I have no interest in pursuing a traditional career in the corporate world again unless I am running my own business; the only reason I lasted so long at that company was because the CEO was extremely supportive of my alternate lifestyle and I treated it like a job as opposed to a career while I pursued my real passion: teaching yoga.

Between severance, unemployment, and significant savings, I have about a year before I really have to worry about making money. I am focusing my energy on teaching part time and traveling to various yoga teacher trainings to improve my skillset.

It’s been 2 months since I was laid off, and I want to spend this time figuring out a way to make teaching yoga a sustainable career for myself and others. How do you think this time will be best spent? Building an online coaching presence? Finding local clients? Or should I let this continue to be a side hustle and finagle together some other way to make a living?

Can I have an internship working with you?

Thank you for your suggestions about getting a job where I live in Eugene and taking a personality test.

I receive an INFP or INFJ. Both of which I agree with. I actually started my current job not too long ago. It’s exactly what you said would be a good fit for me. It’s a pink collar job in an office environment (attorney’s office) where they encourage growth within the company to go on to become paralegals, legal assistance and so on. My boss (and hiring manager) was pleased to hear I wasn’t bothered by social stigmas being a male in this position. It almost caught her off guard I think.

I’m grateful for the opportunity with my job but I have a fire in me to do more. I think about it every day, every hour on the hour. Trying to figure out ways to progress towards that. When I’m focused working on a project (literary arts or a music piece I’ve made) I miss meals. I get immersed in it and create. But rather than work really hard and beat my head against the wall on the next project, I decided to work smart and put my efforts towards mapping out a path towards the end game. I began reading a lot. Learning as much as I could from people that have made it to where I want to go.

When you say you get a lot of requests to be your intern, I can’t help but wonder what they are looking for. I wasn’t really seeking the normal career advice. Not because that information isn’t valuable but because I want to get where you are and you did not follow normal career advice. Is some secret passed down from an ancient tribe of monks you must never unveil as to how exactly you got where you are?

In all seriousness, I understand why you think I need to be an intern in person and not from across the country. I understand no two paths are the same. I also understand that your accomplishments did not happen over night. But Quistic is already teaching people how to build a career through technology, so I didn’t think my request for you to show me how to be like you was so outlandish.

Ultimately what I seek is how to do what you are doing. How to get to where you are and do some of the things you have done. Does that make sense?

Is a 3 month job-centered bootcamp as bad as grad school?

What do think of quitting my boring office job to pay $12,500 for a 3-month bootcamp in Data Science? They claim people can make $90-120k after the bootcamp. I already make $120k (in a boring job) so I think they are right, but I am not qualified currently in Data Science.

I know you hate grad school, I got my masters in economics while working, but it was expensive, slow paced and I couldn’t spend that much time on it b/c I was I working at the same time.

I am taking Linear Algebra at a community college right now and I really like it. I just wish I could spend more time doing real-world projects, and then actually doing data science, but I feel unqualified for any junior data science jobs.

I can program a little and know statistics, which are the requirements to get into the bootcamp.

Are job-focused bootcamps as bad as grad school? Also, I’m in my late twenties, and I’d like to have kids in like 5 years.

I picked a bad major. Now what?

I have a major question I haven’t the slightest clue to answer. I am a 22-year-old poor Puerto Rican who went to school for photography. (The worst choice I ever made.) Now I am in debt for said school which only amounts to my poorness.

How do I go back to school with no money? No SAT or ACT scores? I just want to work as a teacher. I just want to live my life.

Your parenting philosophies are flawed

I know I can speak frankly with you since you’re not actually going to be reading this.  I found you through an internet search that went something like “what distance is too great lessons Suzuki drive”…for my six Suzuki Strings players with their myriad practices, private lessons, and group classes.

Sometimes, and especially as a musician knowing how insidiously vicarious living can hold sway in these decisions, I worry that I’m wasting time that could be better spent elsewhere or that my motives for pushing on are poor.  I was, therefore, cringing inwardly reading your post about same.

But, your unschooling philosophy also has flaws, as does your idea of channeling children away from extracurriculars that don’t fit their personality. That assumes a great deal of perspicacity on the part of the parent and seems against “delight directed learning” that unschoolers seem always to be promoting.

I also don’t believe children in general will have focus or discipline to keep at even areas of delight without training from an adult. Do children or adults even know themselves? It takes years and better personality tests.

In addition, there are some life skills that are necessary whether one is delighted by them or not – basic math, cleanliness, literacy, and (I would submit) religious training all come to mind.

Penelope, I’m rambling now. I’m going to close by thanking you once again for writing in an honest, open, approachable way about your opinions.

Should I be earning more money?

I’m a 27-year-old INFP woman. I live with my parents, have a boyfriend of four years, and quit a good office job last year to travel. Now I’m a part-time manual laborer (I’m a longshoreman, so I tie up container and cruise ships). I also have my own office space where I do some freelance writing and photography. I don’t market my freelance services at all—so I get very little work, and it’s all word of mouth. I can bring my dog to my office, which I love.

Other than traveling, I’ve been working on a novel for the past year. I don’t tell anyone that because I’m embarrassed by it. I almost started an MFA in creative writing last fall but didn’t because it wasn’t free and you told me it was a bad decision anyway.

I’m pretty happy doing what I’m doing (longshoring, occasional freelance, personal writing projects), but I’m not making much money, and I feel like I should. Especially because I do want to have kids within a couple of years. And my own house would be nice, too.

I’ve started applying to jobs and have gotten a few interviews that might lead to job offers. I’m also vacillating as to whether apply to my former employer (same role for a different department at a big corporation). I left on great terms with them, but I’m afraid I might apply and get interviews and then decide I don’t want to work there. Which would be really shitty, and I hate being really shitty.

As a side note: I’m worried by the current political climate, and the actual climate, and the world. This contributes to my desire to make money (money = stability).

What should I do?

 

What if I’m in-between personality types?

The Quistic personality test is excellent around 90%. However, it does have issues with borderline types such as me (ENTJ) and one of my friends. But it hits the spot with most. How do you deal with that situation?

I find it rather interesting that the founder of a personality test website personally roots outs oddities.

How can I present my idea in a way that does not alienate my superiors?

I am a 27-year-old cis-gendered female INTP with mild Asperger’s and a good job at a nonprofit. My organization is doing good work and actually effecting some positive change in this insane community of people. This isn’t really what I want to be doing long term (I am interested in Data Science and Machine Learning) but it is a good job and a good salary while I do personal and contract work in my chosen field with the hope of being able to enter that field as a career.

I have had a lot of different experiences, some have been successful and some haven’t, but what I have learned thus far follows:

  • I am highly empathetic in spite of my social dysfunction and people tend to like me even though they find me odd.
  • When I am not liked it is because people perceive me as cold, overly-rational, and arrogant. This is common among people with Asperger’s, especially women.
  • I am really, really smart.
  • I have a penchant for organizational thinking, resource management, and strategy.
  • Many organizations are completely dysfunctional because the people in charge are not good at the aforementioned things.
  • I am good at managing people as resources, but not very good at managing people as people.

I believe in my organization. I also believe that it is totally dysfunctional. In my experience, most nonprofits are.

Specifically, I am mismanaged as a resource. My direct supervisor (who is at the director level) has never had a direct report before me – and she does not know how to manage people either as people or as resources. The reason she was given an assistant is because she is doing two (completely different) full-time jobs at once – one of which is in line with her experience and career and the other which is not her area of expertise at all.

The problem is that she is unable to effectively delegate – so we have a situation where she is totally overwhelmed and I am completely bored. I have asked her repeatedly to allow me to take some things off her plate, but she is unwilling to trust my ability to do anything on my own, which basically amounts to her having a ton more work by virtue of having an assistant rather than having less. It’s maddening.

So there are two major problems: 1.) I am totally unsatisfied in my job and 2.) this mismanagement of resources is a waste of my salary – which this organization sorely needs.

One of my boss’s jobs is development, which is the second position that sort of fell into her lap and isn’t what she is good at or wants to do. I believe that it would not take much improvement on the part of a new, more experienced development director to pay for the difference between my current salary and his/her hypothetical new salary – the going rate for a fairly experienced development director at this kind of organization is only about $30,000 higher than what I’m making now. I want to suggest to the executive director that I leave my position and they use my salary to hire someone new at the same level as my current supervisor to ensure that both jobs get done well and fully.

I would like to stay at this organization if they can find a place for me where my talents are beneficial and I am permitted to take on interesting projects and learn new things, but regardless of where I end up, the organization doesn’t need me to be in my current position, and because of my boss’s difficulty with being a manager, I’m actually hurting the organization by being here more than I am helping it.

So my question is this: How the hell do I propose this plan (fire me, reduce the scope of my current boss’s job to something she can manage without an assistant, and hire a person to do development who actually knows what the hell they are doing) in a way that the board and executive director will take seriously?  I am aware that this suggestion is brazen and likely to really piss off my current boss, but I also think it is a good solution to a very real problem that needs to be addressed.