I have been writing for my blogs for over 15 years now. A lot has changed with the internet in that time, and over the years I have investigated many ways to let my websites pay for themselves.
When Adsense was first announced I jumped on it only to find that it paid almost nothing to publishers like myself. Just pennies at a time would take years to generate enough given the traffic on my sites for Google to cut me a cheque. In all the time I had been running ads I think I had only ever received a payment once.
The dismal returns eventually made me realize that the ads were more detrimental to my readers than they were worth.
However, recently I have been on a mission to cut my budget for servers and part of that effort is to get my websites to pay their own way or else risk getting shut down. I started by experimenting with adding Adsense back to one of my blogs and found, to my surprise, that it earns enough to pay for its hosting costs.
I have extended ads onto this website, so that I pay less out of my own pocket to keep it running. Hopefully keeping these sites financially sustainable will be mutually beneficial to both me and the readers.