Blogs have changed the Internet. Originally envisioned as a platforms where experts and primary news outlets would share news and opinions, the Internet has instead been dominated by bloggers sharing information gleaned from primary sources injected with their own opinion. By building their readership and using various techniques to monetize their blogs, some bloggers are able to earn a full-time income. However, blog monetization may not be for everybody. Should you monetize your blog?
Monetizing a blog can make the blogging process seem more worthwhile. While making connections, growing readership and sharing information and opinions with others can be rewarding, earning some extra income for the work certainly helps. Knowing that the work brings in some extra money to help at the end of the month can be a strong motivating factor. Further, the extra funds can be used to advertise a blog, which hopefully brings in additional readers and leads to even greater visibility.
One of the greatest fears bloggers having when they consider monetizing their blogs is that they will annoy and alienate their readers. Internet advertising, especially if it is done poorly, can be a nuisance that drive readers away. Most bloggers depend on their community to fuel their efforts and provide valuable content, and losing even a small number of good commenters can detract from the site. Further, the methods used to monetize blogs can take a significant amount of time; signing up with advertising agencies can be a hassle.
Mitigating the Disadvantages
Fortunately, there are ways to make monetization efforts more palatable for readers. Advertising does not have to be intrusive, and many of the advertising providers have conducted a considerable amount of research to ensure that their advertisements are will not drive users away. Users tend to avoid clicking on ads they might otherwise be interested in if they find them obnoxious, so it is in the advertisement providers best interest to make their ads non-intrusive. Bloggers can also leave a post informing users that the blog will begin to run advertisements and explain the rationale behind the decision. Regular visitors are more likely to accept the ads if they receive a warning. Bloggers can also leave a way for readers to tell them if their advertisements are particular obnoxious.
Other Types of Monetization
Advertisement providers are only one of several ways to monetize a blog. A donation sidebar that asks users to leave a tip if they enjoy the blogger’s effort can prove to be successful. Product reviews about items discussed on the blog can include an affiliate link that pays the blogger if a user buys the product linked to. Additionally, bloggers can publish books or other material related to their blog posts. The information learned from running a blog can often be translated into a physical book or e-book that readers may be interested in purchasing and with the right onlne marketing techniques, this can be extremely lucrative. It is also possible to find a sponsor who will pay to have their business name included somewhere on the site as a source of funding.