Tag Archives: Tony Jones

Pro Blogger I am Not

I was asked about the advertising I have on some of our sites the other day.  I sent most of this via e-mail but after I was asked about this again, I thought I would post it here.

I have never thought advertising was that big of a money maker.  If you have time, look at the rates that many of the blogs on Federated Media are making and it isn’t that much.  Compared to big media sites, blogs don’t generate that much traffic.  Despite all of the sites claiming to make big money from Google Adwords, without the traffic and a narrow band of content, I can’t see you making that much money from it.

The Cooper Cabin Weblog

The site generates about 150 hits a day, mostly from Google involving information on architecture and design.  The site is kind of interesting as hits never seem to go up or down on a seasonal basis or around holidays.

Advertising: Google Adsense serves up one ad block per page.  As you can see, it’s not a big revenue generator.  $52.37 since I added ads to the site over a year ago.

Google Ad Sense Revenue for The Cooper Cabin

Most of the ads from what I can tell come from when I am talking about architecture and design and the ad gives some purchasing options for that or a competing product.

Jordon Cooper Outfitters

It’s a new site and traffic is all over the place but averaging about 300 views a day with most traffic coming from Google.  It’s too new of a site to distinguish traffic patterns yet and it can vary greatly from day to day.

Advertising: Google Adsense serves up one small badge of advertising per page.  I also use Google Adsense to serve up ads in the feed (as explained by this comment).

The site has made a couple of dollars so far in 2010.  I don’t expect it to made $100.00 in advertising until early 2011 and the traffic has time to grow.  Google Adsense is the not the best long term advertising option for the site.


It’s generated about 700 hits per day and about 1000 people subscribe to the RSS feed.  While not nearly as popular as it once was (the quality of the site seems to have gone down), the revenue from the site comes from it’s Amazon.com affiliate account.

I was making just pennies on the Amazon.com account until November 2009 when between it and December 2009, I made almost $1000 in affiliate fees all because of the series of Christmas gift guides I created for the site.  When I started them, I didn’t expect any bump in traffic at all and the main audience of the gift guides was a friend I work with who was dying trying to figure out what to get her dad and father in law for Christmas.  By early December, the site was serving up 15,000 hits a day from basically 10 different blog posts.  Not only did it generate a lot of traffic to Amazon, I also got thank you notes from several other sites for the traffic and the orders.

The site doesn’t employ much in terms of SEO practices so I contribute the traffic spike to dumb luck and there are a lot of people who are in similar demographic positions as Wendy and I who liked my suggestions.

The Cooking Blog

This is Wendy’s site and I mention it because it has made about $500 a year on Google Adsense Revenue.  I attribute that to it’s narrow focus, large Twitter following, and ads that are really closely linked to what people are searching for.

So now you know.

A quick search around some of advertising sites plus reading blogs like Dooce give you an idea of what kind of traffic you need to make a living doing this (Dooce has over 4 million).  Yeah, her and her husband are able to work at home and just run the site but 4 million hits a month is more than some blogs will see in a lifetime.  Even Tony Jones is on record for saying he made $5/day blogging on Beliefnet.  Online advertising isn’t going to make any of rich, maybe I should look at whoring myself out for publishers again.

Why I am still a friend of Emergent (even if we don’t talk that much anymore)

emergent village logo I posted about Andrew Jones’ decision on the weekend and I can respect what he is doing as he has been a person of his convictions and one has to do what one has to do.

He makes a pretty good case for leaving.

Also over is any official relationship I have left with one of those emerging church groups called Emergent Village. EV is a hard group to leave because its a flat structured organization and there is no one to inform that you are de-friending yourself, or getting de-friended, from this "generative friendship". Also hard because there are so many wonderful people still involved.

The EV website stated last year, "Those who started emergent were at the National ReEvaluation Forum in 1998; those who will take it into the next chapter will be at Christianity21." I wasn’t at Christianity21 but I have been watching as new theological emphases and sectarian attitudes towards church emerge (well described by Wikipedia’s North American Emergent Movement) and it is just not something that I can lend my name to or my time. In the early days, I joined the leadership of the Young Leaders group (that eventually became Emergent Village) because it was more about uniting churches around mission and equipping people to reach the next ‘postmodern’ generation. I hope they can shift it back again to its origins.

I remember cringing when I saw the Emergent Village stating "Those who started emergent were at the National ReEvaluation Forum in 1998; those who will take it into the next chapter will be at Christianity21." They were right in the fact that Emergent Inc was started back then but the emerging church was taking seed all over the world.  As far as the statement about Christianity21… well Tony and Doug had a conference had a conference to promote and I take that statement as nothing more than that.  Emergent Village’s desire to be a promotional commercial vehicle of a flavor of the emerging church in the United States was a flaw from the start but in the end I think it was a reflection of the entrepreneurial commercial context that seems to define the American church industry.  While emergent talked of this being a global conversation, they never realized how incredibly American they are.  In that way by Andrew saying that he won’t be using the language of Emergent Village and the emerging church may be a good one because while language is really important, the discussion of the emerging church has been more about language than it is has about incarnating the gospel for a long time.

You know what, I am okay with it.  I think that is the reason many of us gathered in Three Hills in the 90s, later some of us started Resonate and why the conversation in the U.K. and Europe is so incredibly different.  We all have our national contexts and it does shape our ideas of church and the Gospel.  While I am friends with many south of the border and I deeply appreciate them, I am also okay with them doing their thing and I’ll pipe in from the sidelines from time to time.

I guess what I struggle with is the idea of removing oneself from a conversation because in the end, you have given up on the conversation as a whole.  Maybe Andrew is correct but I think his ability and unique place as a global missionary is a voice that is needed in Emergent Village, even if the North American church doesn’t realize it.

Of course that for me not talking to the emerging church very much anymore, I think it is comes from the amount of pure crap that has been sent to me to review.  I just got a copy of Dwight Friesen’s new book, Thy Kingdom Connected and it may the only book of 2009 that I want to review and think more about.  A friend of mine used to say, “I’ll preach better when Max Lucado preaches better”.  I find myself feeling the same thing.  When the conversation (and books) becomes more compelling, I’ll start paying close attention again.

Update: January 10th – I am totally okay with accepting the fact that Emergent has always seemed too American because I am too Canadian.  If I can say that I find Emergent too American, it’s also fair to criticize me back so fair is fair.

Right now I am actually more happy with Emergent than I have been in years.  I think having Doug and Tony work (and I really hope they make money as well) as consultants and event organizers through JoPa is good while leaving Emergent to be an organic grassroots expression across the country.  I do agree with Mike Morrell’s comment that the next thing to figure out is the relationship between publishing and Emergent.