Should I monetize my blog?
Over the past few weeks, I have been contemplating about having to monetize my blog. The number one reason I was in dilemma over monetization was losing the edge. Edge in terms of,
- Should I just write for money?
- Will my readers appreciate an ad floating somewhere on the page?
- Will the ads be relevant?
While blogging has been hard work for me since it goes with my day job and at many a times I would skip writing. That has happened due to multiple reasons like – some pressing engagements at work taking precedence or just tired to bring up some interesting post. Bottomline, I was looking for some inspiration, which would want me to write more (that being #1 goal for 2013). And I do take lots of inspiration from people around, who write either daily or regularly and bring up interesting topics for conversation. With that done, I also thought to monetize content on my blog (yeah, pay up some bills and if there’s more money go for some gadgets too!!) as one of source of inspiration.
But, being the person I am, not wanting to write solely for money and monetize my content, I threw the question out in open and went to few of my Facebook friends looking for advice and here are some interesting thoughts that came by.
Sorav Jain, one of the greatest social media influencers in India, told this -
Go for it!
He rather put it succinctly, but the message was clear, if I wanted to monetize, I just had to do it!!
Randy Thio, the guy at forefront on various Twitter Chat and someone whose opinion matters a lot said -
Aesthetically, it cluttered things up. I didn’t have control over what was being displayed. The other reason was that I no longer wanted to subject my blog readers to all that.
If the ad specifically deals with and adds value to the blog post at hand, then it makes sense
And I did agree with him on the point that we hardly have control over what can be displayed on those ads and should my readers really see a pointless ad.
Peter Claridge, THE guy from Unmetric had a very unusual take -
Instead of putting ads, couldn’t you embed the links within your content so that it’s less overt. Several sites do this, they write the content and then see if there is a way to monetize the article by hyperlinking the existing text (so that it doesn’t look like an afterthought)
Interesting, the thought of paid links never crossed my mind as a way to monetize content. And am still exploring this option.
And then, a very dear friend Uday Nair chipped in purely with a reader’s perspective, you got to read this -
A complete novice here when it comes to blogging, my opinion is purely based on my experience as a consumer of blog post information. As a consumer, if the content is useful and informative, I will come. Also, having hyperlinks in the blog post, can be helpful for me (as a reader) to search for a particular item that I may find useful (as suggested by the blogger). Remember, as a consumer of information, I respect your subject-knowledge expertise and hence your recommendations!
So there goes 2 points for hyperlinks!!
Jewel Fryer also lent some interest advice, though what caught my attention was this -
Provide a service for a price. BUT….. don’t sell out!! Only promote what you really believe in and back that up with the value of your thoughts and efforts.
Indeed Jewel, this is what I wanted to hear. I may never sell out, since writing is passion for me!!
And then, one of my dearest Facebook friend Aida Boucheron advised -
Don’t make a decision like this by theory only. Every blog is different, every readership is different. It might work exceptionally well for you.
Don’t sell out or start creating content with the specific goal of selling a product or ad. At the end of the day your readers are very important
She was very right that each blog is different and so is the audience. I will just have to try out different ways to monetize content. True!!
And finally my dad also chipped in with some valuable thoughts -
Your priority should be the sharing of knowledge not earning…nothing wrong if you can make few bucks out of it…
Yes, that is invaluable comment.
Thanks to all for your suggestions and I truly appreciate all of them.
I heard you all and have set up the Amazon Affiliate program where I just put a 125×125 ad about books on the sidebar. It was a conscious decision not to have a big bar above, but have the ad less intrusive but still visible. I might still watch for few more weeks on the kind of traffic generated and # of hits and play around with it. And I will still be careful to not have the primary goal to monetize content, it will always be an afterthought.
Meanwhile, if you have any suggestions on my decision to monetize the content, please share them below in the comments.