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How to Make Money from Your Small Business Blog without Guilty Feeling

make money online blogging

Make money from small business blog

I’m not sure that many small business bloggers don’t want to generate some revenue from their blogs. Unless your small business blog is purposed to enhance branding and build followers of your core business, you might want to monetize your blogs, in one way or another.

Sure, you are highly probably love to share your knowledge to your readers for free, but, again, if your small business blog IS your business and your money making venture, you NEED to make money from it.

Now, when you are thinking about making money from your small business blog, there will be some sort of guilty feeling – a mixed feeling, probably; you know you want to make money from your blog, but you don’t want to ‘offend’ your readers or ‘intrude’ your reader’s privacy by displaying ads without their permission.

And it’s a dilemma, really. To make money from your small business blog, you need to display ads. And the rule of thumb in blog ad placement requires you to position your ads above the fold – in prominent places, and avoid hiding your ads deep or down below your content.

However, in the other hand, placing your ads on top spots of your business blog would break your blog’s design and layout. Furthermore, doing so means pushing your content lower in your web page. And some blog readers simply don’t fancy this.

It’s difficult to find a balance, indeed. The key here is to discover what works and what’s to compromise – all in all, the idea is to bring the most value for your readers and the most revenue for you without sacrificing much from both sides.

So, when to do what, and how?

A case study: is far from perfect, but I have some experience and tip to share you – not to persuade you to take a certain path, but to help you make a better decision making in making money online via your business blog. starts like many others – an ad-free, personal business blog that is a medium to share my thoughts so that other can also benefit from them.

The blog grows steadily and I thought that I ought to make something out of it, initially to support the web hosting costs and other related expenses.

I then do trial-and-error while trying to implementing the best practices from the experts and gurus, and finally decided that I want to do three things with – to share my experience and knowledge for free, to make money from the content and to establish a personal brand.

Displaying Google AdSense ads, despite some suggestions to abandon Adsense altogether and try to do affiliate marketing and product creation instead, is my primary money making method – no longer so today, but still, the Google ads generate nice revenue to support the blog’s development and, of course, myself.

My first obstacle in make money online endeavour with is when I started to offer paid post service. A couple of readers commented that they are disappointed and told me that I have lost some readers due to my decision. Ouch.

To cut long story short, my conclusion is this: You CAN display ads to support your small business blog IF you deliver useful, quality content, no matter whether it’s “commercialised” or not.

Consider losing some of your blog readers as a normal business decision making end results – sure I would want to keep all readers happy, but the thing is, you can’t simply please each and every reader.

The key here is NEVER to write anything that you NEVER heard of or try before, even worse, LIE to your readers about the topics you write – i.e. Writing “Yeah! I make millions online using this and this techniques,” while the truth is you are promoting an affiliate program you just join and yet to make you money, not even a penny.

How to make money without the guilty feelings

Some recommend to tell ‘the whole truth‘ regarding any money making activities from blogs: Tell readers that the article is sponsored review, contain affiliate links, and such. My view on this: Why making a living by providing value is such a guilty feeling-ridden activity?

However, I do strongly agree that displaying ads, promoting affiliate programs, and any other revenue-generating activities should be done in proper manners: Not misleading, annoying and excessive.

If you feel you should inform your small business blog readers that you are making money out of their visits, either directly or indirectly, you can do so by writing a Disclosure Policy, explaining what kind of small business blog is your blog; Is it reviewing based on honest opinion? Is it endorsing a certain brand name(s)? Is it an ‘affiliate marketing’ blog or a true business blog that is ad-supported?

Just try to explain everything well in a concise manner with good intentions.

Blog readers, in this case, small business blog readers are positive and understanding people. They are a group of people looking for business ideas and highly probably business owners themselves – they do understand that entrepreneurs ought to make a living by offering what they know and can do best.

Just try to think about yourself as a business mentor offering free quality advices and suggestions while recommending you some products and services to help you actuate the advices and suggestions.

Fair enough?

Ivan Widjaya
Make money online from
Image by kipcurry

About author

Ivan Widjaya
Ivan Widjaya 2594 posts

Ivan Widjaya is the Owner/Editor of, as well as several other blogs. He is a business blogger, web publisher and content marketer for SMEs.

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  • Hi Mr. Ven,

    Indeed, the recent change – despite claimed as 1 of 500 Google will roll this year, it’s significant as it will affect how online business owners should play their game. I also working on stepping up my game, responding to the changes as closely as I could. You should notice the changes I do with, if you visit us often.


  • Hi Ivan Widjaya,

    Excessive promotion and ads are always bad for users. Even with the recent Google’s algorithm changes, web sites with too many ads are affected. It is good to think the visitors need and work for it, that always helps to grow the blog into a successful business. Thanks.

  • Nigel,

    That’s probably the best a blogger can do – practice what you preach (or honestly recommend what you use.) Our blog readers are smart; they can spot even a hint of white lies in our writing (unless our blog is full or press releases that are less or even non-opinionated.)

    Cheers :)

  • Hmm, this issue of “guilt” associated with making money is really a perception matter – I find that many of my friends who dare not step into the business/entrepreneur arena has this problem of not willing to make money. Well Ivan, I think you’ve brought up a couple of points that are valid, such as not being excessive and not being misleading. This is definitely a point that I hold on to. Why? It has happened to me often enough in the past that now when I see anyone doing the same, I’d leave them and NEVER go back. I like an element of transparence and honesty. Suggesting to use the disclaimer is great too, by the way.

    I think an area that we can educate our readers and potential entrepreneurs is the element of making money: for example, I share with my readers and friends about building their own blogs by using a web hosting provider that I’ve been using for the past three years. I share with them how to purchase the hosting service, how to install the blog etc, and I place within my content affiliate links of the webhosting service, and encourage them to purchase through my link to 1) help support me and 2) it is NO EXTRA cost anyway – I focus strongly on value and service delivery, and then I leave it to them to decide.