Making Money from your SQL Server Blog

My SQL Server blog reading list is around one hundred blogs.  Many people are writing great content and generating lots of page views.  I see some of them running Google AdSense and trying to make a little money off their traffic.  If you want to earn some some extra money from what you’ve written there are a couple of options.  And one new option that I’m announcing here.


Internet advertising is sold based on a few different pricing schemes. 

  • Flat Fee.  You offer either all your impressions (page views) or some percentage of your impressions in exchange for a flat monthly fee. 
  • CPM or cost per thousand impressions.  If the quoted price is $2 CPM you’ll get $2 for every 1,000 times the ad is displayed.  While you might think the “M” means millions, the “M” in CPM is the roman numeral for 1,000.
  • CPC or cost per click.  This is also called PPC or pay per click.  In this method you get paid based on how many clicks there are on the ad. 
  • CPA or cost per action.  In this method you get paid based on an action that occurs on the advertisers site after they click on the ad.  This is typically some type of sign up form.  This is how most affiliate programs work.

Darren Rowse at ProBlogger has been writing about blogging and making money off blogs for years.  He has a good introduction to making money on your blog in his “Making Money” section.  If you’re interested in learning more he has a post up titled How to Make More Money From Your Blog in the New Year that links to many of his best posts on the subject.

Google AdSense

GoogleThis is the most common method for people earning money from their blogging.  It’s easy to setup and administer.  You tell AdSense what size ads you’d like to run and it gives you a little piece of JavaScript to put on your site.  AdSense quickly learns the topics you write about and displays ads that are appropriate for your site.  I typically see ads for hosting, SQL Server tools and developer tools running in AdSense slots.  AdSense pays on a CPC model.  If you translate that back to CPM pricing you’ll see rates from $0.50 to $1.00 CPM.

Amazon Associates CentralWhile you might not make much money writing books it’s now possible to make even less helping Amazon sell them.  You can sign up for an Amazon affiliate program.  Each time you send Amazon a link and someone buys the book you get a cut of that sale.  This is the CPA model from above. 

Amazon can help you build some pretty nice “stores”.  Here’s the SQL Server bookstore I built for  If you’re just putting in a page with books like I’ve done on SQLTeam you should keep your expectations low.  If you’re writing book reviews of suggesting books on your blog it really does make sense to setup an Amazon affiliate link.  People are much more likely to buy a book based on a review from a trusted source.  I always try to buy through a referral link if there is one.

Amazon pays about 4% of the price as a referral fee.  You also get credit for anything else they buy while on the site.  I recently had someone buy an iPod nano with their SQL Server book making me an extra $5.60 richer!  Estimating how much you can make is difficult though.  How much attention you draw to the links and book reviews can dramatically affect the earnings.

Private Ad Sales

This is the hardest but potentially most lucrative option.  You sell advertising directly to companies that want to sell things to your readers.  Typically this would be SQL Server tool vendors, hosting companies or anyone else that wants to make money off database administrators.  This is also the most difficult to do.  You’ll need the contacts at the companies and enough page views to make it worth their while.  You’ll also need software to track the page views and clicks, geo-target your ads and smooth out the impressions.  Your earnings are based on whatever you can negotiate with the companies.

SQL Server Ad Network LogoFor the last couple of years I’ve run any extra ads that I sold on the SQLTeam Weblogs.  You can see an example of that on Mladen’s blog.  The ad in the upper right corner is one that I’m running for him.  (Note: Many of the ads I’m running are geo-targeted to only appear in English speaking countries.  You may see a different set of ads outside the US, Canada and the UK.  You can also see he has a couple of Google ads on his blog.)  When I run ads on his blog I split the advertising revenue with him.  They make a little and I make a little.

I recently started to expand this and sell advertising specifically to run on SQL Server-related blogs.  I’m also starting to run ads on non-SQLTeam blogs.  The only way I can sell more advertising is to have more blogs to run it on.  And that’s where you come in.

I’ve created a SQL Server advertising network.  I handle all the ad sales and provide the technology to serve the ads.  I handle collections and payments back to you.  You get paid at the end of each month regardless of when (or if) the advertiser actually pays.  All you need to do is add a small piece of JavaScript to your site to display the ads.

If you’re writing about SQL Server and interested in earning a little money for your site I’d like to talk to you.  You can use the Contact Us page on to reach me.  Running advertising on your blog isn’t for everyone.  If you’re concerned about what advertisers might think about certain posts then you might not be a good fit.  For the most part this isn’t an issue.  You’ll also need to have a PayPal account to receive payments.  You probably won’t get rich doing this.  But you can earn extra cash on the side for doing what you would do anyway.  I do know that people have earned enough to buy themselves a nice laptop doing this.

My initial target is blogs with more than 10,000 page views per month.  I expect to pay two to three times what Google pays.  If you have less than 10,000 page views per month but are still interested I’d still like to hear from you.  I may not be able to sign up smaller blogs right away but we’ll get the process started.  If you’re unsure about your traffic Google Analytics is a free tool that provides great reporting on traffic, popular posts and how people find your blog.  If you have any questions or are just curious drop me a line and I’ll try to answer your questions.

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