Leaving Work Behind

Why I Am NOT Trying To Make Money From This Blog

Written by Tom Ewer on June 19, 2011. 35 Comments

Important note: after eight months and 96 posts without earning a single penny from this blog, I made the decision to monetize. I have successfully managed to do so without affecting the integrity of my content whatsoever. If you would like to know more, please read this.

This post was inspired in part by episode 13 of Pat Flynn’s excellent Smart Passive Income Podcast. If you haven’t subscribed to Pat’s podcast yet, I strongly recommend that you do.

Why I Am NOT Trying To Make Money From My Blog

I love WooThemes

I Love WooThemes

This blog runs on WordPress with a WooThemes framework, and as far as I am concerned, it was $70 well spent. I am really happy with the functionality and turnkey features of the theme, as well as the ability to easily customize it with a bit of manual CSS. I dabbled with Thesis, PageLines and the Genesis Framework, but would recommend WooThemes above them all.

Very Clever…Affiliate Links Galore

None of the links above are affiliate-based. If you click on one and buy a product, I will not receive a penny. In fact, absolutely none of the products I currently promote on my blog are affiliate links. If you look around, you’ll notice that there is no advertising either.

The truth is, I don’t want to make money from this blog, and have no intention of doing so for the foreseeable future. This would seem to run contrary to the whole purpose of my online efforts, which is to create a sustainable and scalable online income. But, perhaps confusingly, I believe this will ultimately result in me making more money than if I was trying to monetize this blog now.

Really? Why?

I think blogging online is far more of an art than a science. There are no hard and fast rules that you can apply to a blogging model, then ride off into the sunset with wads of cash in your pockets. My belief that not monetizing my blog will ultimately benefit me financially is based upon just one key concept: trust.


At the time of writing this article, my blog isn’t even published. There is simply a splash screen asking you to fill in your email address so that you will be informed of the launch. By the time you read this article, it may have only been live for hours, days, or weeks (unless you’re delving into the archives, in which case, you still have a lesson to learn here, so keep reading!).

Why I Am NOT Trying To Make Money From My Blog

I recommend Bluehost for web hosting

I don’t like to think of myself as an arrogant person. As such, I don’t expect that you currently value my opinion. I would really like you to, but I am not going to try to force you into it. I hope that you enjoy my content, and come back for more. I then hope that over time, you will trust my judgement and value my recommendations. But we are not there yet. I as far as I am concerned, I have got a lot to prove.

There are an awful lot of blogs out there saying an awful lot of things. What sets me apart from the rest? I have no agenda. You can read my content, comfortable in the knowledge that my sole intention is to offer you quality advice and guidance. Nothing more, nothing less.

I’ll Earn Money When I Deserve To

I do not intend for this blog to be a permanent financial sink hole, but I am keenly aware of the value of a loyal and broad reader base. In order to grow my readership, my Unique Non-Selling Proposition is to offer free quality content, with absolutely no strings attached. Once I have developed a relationship of trust with my readers, I will be in a position to recommend products on an affiliate basis that I have tried, tested and love.

So You Want Nothing From Me?

Well there are just two things I want from you right now – that is for you to read and enjoy my content, and sign up to my mailing list below, so that you can keep up to date with my latest posts and receive exclusive information not available on my blog.

To all of you budding bloggers out there, forget about money for the time being. Concentrate on building a valuable brand with a loyal reader base, and the money will follow. Good things come to those who wait.

This Isn't Just Another "Make Money Online" Blog.

I'm sure you've had enough of hollow promises and get-rich-quick schemes.

I don't buy into that stuff; it's never worked for me. Instead, I create profitable online businesses through nothing other than hard work and persistence.

Here on Leaving Work Behind I share it all: both my successes and my failures.

Enter your email address below and hit "Sign Me Up!" to join us.

35 Responses to “Why I Am NOT Trying To Make Money From This Blog”

  1. Trung Nguyen
    July 11, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Hey Tom, your article really inspired me, I think If we trying to make money from our blog, we will not earn more money. Because focus on make money we will lost many things that can give more money for our. Thanks for the post and hope to see your success sooner.

    • Tom Ewer
      July 11, 2011 at 5:54 pm

      Hey Trung, glad to hear I’ve had a positive effect 🙂

      Best of luck on your blog!

    • Marc
      December 21, 2011 at 9:14 pm

      Hi Tom,

      Trung is quite right. I started a blog a few months ago after about a year of thinking about it. I started doing it because I had a passion for music, food and wine. I was doing it for the pleasure of doing and also because I thought it could be useful for myself and for others.

      A freind mentioned that I should try to monetize it so I added a few Google adsense ads on each page and then I slowly started to lose focus on what I was doing and more importantly WHY i was doing it.

      I kept looking at my adsense stats and got frustrated at the 4$ a month and the few clicks I would get here and there. I guess it can become a little addictive.

      I have since refocused and i am working on having good content and building a good site that people will visit for the right reasons. Like you said it takes time and hard work and after that the results should come on their own.


      • Tom Ewer
        December 21, 2011 at 10:22 pm

        Hey Marc,

        Once you monetize you really can lose perspective. That is why I am still in no rush – even 6 months on from when I wrote this post. You clearly recognize that, and I think it will be for the best in the long run 🙂

        I blog primarily for two reasons:

        1. I love interacting with likeminded people and getting feedback on my content
        2. It has indirect benefits for my growing business

        If in the future I can make money in a way that does not clash with the purpose of this blog (which is ultimately to help people to quit their jobs), that would be a wonderful bonus.

        Thanks for stopping by! 🙂


      • Trung Nguyen
        December 22, 2011 at 12:59 am

        Hi Marc, It’s nice to know your passion, I also have the passion on music, food but I didn’t have much knowledge about them.

        I will go to your blog to learn more about. Thanks

  2. Gregory C.
    September 22, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Really admirable thing to do, and in the long-term maybe a very smart business decision as well.

    What’s your take on people like Pat Flynn, who tend to be very open and yet affiliate link to pretty much everything?

    By the way your site design is top notch, so clean!

    • Tom Ewer
      September 22, 2011 at 11:34 pm

      Thanks for your compliments Gregory!

      Really good question about Pat. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Pat does not intend to mislead anyone when he is recommending products. However, it is open for contention as to whether or not you can truly be unbiased when it comes to promoting products.

      Pat definitely has my support in everything that he does – I honestly don’t think there is a bad bone in his body.

      As to whether or not I would ever indulge in affiliate linking…I do not know. To be honest, although this article was published over three months ago, I am no closer to even considering monetizing the site.

      Thanks again!


  3. Switch
    November 29, 2011 at 2:57 am

    I’m glad there are others in the blogosphere who agree with this line of thought. It’s like the difference between Jobs and Gates; Jobs cared about making a great product, money be damned, while Gates just wanted to keep the monopoly share no matter how crappy Windows became.

    • Tom Ewer
      November 29, 2011 at 12:08 pm

      I’ll take a comparison to Jobs any day of the week 🙂

      In all seriousness, I’m with you on the point you make – doing things the “right” way doesn’t necessarily have to come at the expense of long term success and profitability.

  4. Justin
    February 6, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Hey Tom,

    I LOVE the idea of going “affiliate free” with your blog. We were considering doing the same on our site recently and decided to reach out and ask some friends and colleagues about their thoughts on going “affiliate free”. Our thought was this:

    The VAST majority of our income does NOT come from affiliate sales on the blog. While most people, I think, understand that we only promote things that we’re using, have tested, etc. If there’s ANY question in our readers/customers minds…wouldn’t it be better to scrap it for the additional trust? If we ended up with just a few more website sales, outsourcing contracts, etc…that would make up for WAY more than we’re gaining through affiliate links, right? I also thought about our responsibility to STOP recommending things when something better comes out…that’s important I think…

    I made it clear that I have nothing against affiliate links or those that use them. I was strictly wondering from a strategic standpoint whether it hurt our brand or image…even a little bit…to include them.

    I added a bit more and thought that I had some pretty valid points, but the feedback from our colleagues was OVERWHELMINGLY that we should leave the affiliate links in. I pressed them a little bit to make some good arguments. Here are those that made sense:

    1. You’ve established that you guys are “legit” and know what you’re talking about already.
    2. Some people want to buy from YOU to help you out, knowing it costs the same. Why not offer them the opportunity to do that?
    3. Your affiliate sales are bound to continue to grow as you continue with the blog. It’s a small percentage now, but that could grow considerably.
    4. If you remove the affiliate links, you’ll never know if the 5% of revenue you gave up made a 5% or better difference in your sales…but you’ll ALWAYS wonder about it!

    What are your thoughts, Tom? I have to say that my “gut” is with you, but the arguments were fair, I thought, and overwhelmingly opposite to what i was thinking.

  5. Colin
    November 24, 2012 at 10:37 am

    A blog about success and making money on line shouldnt feel embarrassed to make money on line. IMHO 🙂

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