Monetizing Your Blog
com is restrictive and sort of fuzzy org is wide open
Monetizing your blog simply means making money from your blog. While many of you writing blogs, write for personal reasons, it would be an incentive if you could earn a few dollars a year to treat yourself to a dinner or kitchen gadget you’ve always wanted from all the hard work you’ve done to create and maintain your blog’s content. Making money on the web generally involves running; banner ads, ad services and or links to sites where you might make a small commission for referrals and any sales coming from you. WordPress.com is very restrictive in what you can do to monetize your blog. WordPress.org is your baby to do with as you want.
The .com Terms Of Service (TOS) are not totally clear in what you can do to monetize your blog, even though some people think so. It is more an interpretation and enforcement of the TOS that limits your ability to make a few dollars from your blog. Here’s a link to a support page which elaborates on what is not permissible. However, as with any policy it’s the enforcement that matters. So here’s one explanation of what is usually acceptable and what is not: “… if you have a real blog with real content and real readers, we don’t mind the occasional affiliate link to a reputable store (Amazon being the textbook example). The things that we absolutely don’t permit are: banner ads; MLM/network marketing/get rich schemes; fake blogs; and spam of any kind (i.e. unwanted bulk comments/blogs/posts/emails). “real blog” is the key. Staff are willing to cut you some slack you have a real blog. If you’re not sure, contact support and ask – they won’t bite.” Follow this to link to the actual web page. The bottom line on all this is, if WordPress.com (really Automattic) doesn’t like what you’re doing, they’ll shut you down, “Automattic may terminate your access to all or any part of the Website at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice, effective immediately.” The previous sentence is also a good reason why you should back up your site often, or keep other copies of its content off-line.
In browsing some .com sites, you’ll probably find a little activity that might be considered monetizing the site. Most activity is limited and related to the blog contents. Overall, people generally seem to comply with the spirit of the policy. So you might still get an annual dinner out of this.
On the other hand, if you think you have a blog that can make you tons of money, invest your time, energy, and cash in running your own web site and blog using WordPress.org. No restrictions, other than the normal legal restrictions that keep us from running through red lights, and the laws of physics.