Do you really want to Monetize your Blog?

Some people have strong personal feelings with respect to making money from their blogs.  If you think commercializing your blog is evil, immoral, unethical, uncool, lame, greedy, obnoxious, or anything along those lines, then don’t commercialize it.

If you have mixed feelings about monetizing your blog, then sort out those feelings first.  If you think monetizing your site is wonderful, fine.  If you think it’s evil, fine.  But make up your mind before you seriously consider starting down this path.  If you want to succeed, you must be congruent.

Generating income from your blog is challenging enough — you don’t want to be dealing with self-sabotage at the same time.  It should feel genuinely good to earn income from your blog — you should be driven by a healthy ambition to succeed.  If your blog provides genuine value, you fully deserve to earn income from it.

If you do decide to generate income from your blog, then don’t be shy about it.  If you’re going to put up ads, then really put up ads.  Don’t just stick a puny little ad square in a remote corner somewhere.

If you’re going to request donations, then really request donations.  Don’t put up a barely visible “Donate” link and pray for the best.  If you’re going to sell products, then really sell them.  Create or acquire the best quality products you can, and give your visitors compelling reasons to buy.  If you’re going to do this, then fully commit to it.  Don’t take a half-assed approach.  Either be full-assed or no-assed. You can reasonably expect that when you begin commercializing a free site, some people will complain, depending on how you do it.

Can most people make money from their blog?

No, they can’t.  99% of people who try to generate serious income from their blogs will fail.  One really has to be smart in order to truly make a decent money from his blog but unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your outlook), smart people are a minority on this planet.  So while most people can’t make a living this way, I would say that most smart people can.  How do you know whether or not you qualify as smart?  Here’s a good rule of thumb:  If you have to ask the question, you aren’t.

This kind of 99-1 ratio isn’t unique to blogging though.  You’ll see it in any field with relatively low barriers to entry.  What percentage of wannabe actors, musicians, or athletes ever make enough money from their passions to support themselves?  It doesn’t take much effort to start a blog these days — almost anyone can do it.  Talent counts for something, and the talent that matters in blogging is intelligence.  But that just gets you in the door.  You need to specifically apply your intelligence to one particular talent.  And the best words I can think of to describe that particular talent are:  web savvy.

If you are very web savvy, or if you can learn to become very web savvy, then you have an excellent shot of making enough money from your blog to cover all your living expenses… and then some.  But if becoming truly web savvy is more than your gray matter can handle, then I’ll offer this advice:  Don’t quit your day job.

Web savvy

What do I mean by web savvy?  You don’t need to be a programmer, but you need a decent functional understanding of a variety of web technologies.  What technologies are “key” will depend on the nature of your blog and your means of monetization.  But generally speaking I’d list these elements as significant:

  • blog publishing software
  • HTML/CSS
  • blog comments (and comment spam)
  • RSS/syndication
  • feed aggregators
  • pings
  • trackbacks
  • full vs. partial feeds
  • search engines
  • search engine optimization (SEO)
  • page rank
  • social bookmarking
  • tagging
  • contextual advertising
  • affiliate programs
  • traffic statistics
  • email

Traffic, traffic, traffic

Assuming you feel qualified to take on the challenge of generating income from blogging (and I haven’t scared you away yet), the three most important things you need to monetize your blog are traffic, traffic, and traffic.

Why is traffic so important?  Because for most methods of online income generation, your income is a function of traffic.  If you double your traffic, you’ll probably double your income (assuming your visitor demographics remain fairly consistent).  You can screw almost everything else up, but if you can generate serious traffic, it’s really hard to fail.  With sufficient traffic the realistic worst case is that you’ll eventually be able to monetize your web site via trial and error (as long as you keep those visitors coming).

When I first launched this blog, I knew that traffic building was going to be my biggest challenge.  All of my plans hinged on my ability to build traffic.  If I couldn’t build traffic, it was going to be very difficult to succeed.

Traffic is the primary fuel of online income generation.  More visitors means more ad clicks, more product sales, more affiliate sales, more donations, more consulting leads, and more of whatever else that generates income for you.  And it also means you’re helping more and more people.

Never feel skeptical monetizing your blog. If you feel so, then don’t do that at all.

45 Replies to “Do you really want to Monetize your Blog?”

  1. Hi,

    Off course, everyone wants to monetize but monetizing and earning from it depends on our traffic. And also driving traffic and earning from blogs are really very challenging one and if we succeed then we will earn a lot from our blogs.

    In starting it would be very difficult to establish our blogs and earn from it but, once we sustain and become a brand then we will earn lots.

  2. Lots of people are making money by building reputation and solving problems. Lawyers protect names from being tarnished, while psychiatrists help heal the troubled mind. Every day problems are being solved by different people. Some are giving solutions free. Others are selling them for a price. When a problem and solution meet, a relationship of trust is built between the two parties. If what you are offering as a blogger helps your visitor, he would always come back because trust has been established. It doesn’t stop there, he informs his friends and they get their problems solved also.

    Basically, earning significantly from one’s blog doesn’t start in the first one year, it’s takes a great deal of time and hardwork to build a brand and bigger task to sustain the trust,..

  3. AS possible yes, I want to monetize my blogs, but so far I am struggling. Thanks to this post now I know I am not the only one who experiencing the same thing….. Thanks again! 🙂

  4. You can make money online when you’ve strong determination to do it.
    And patience, hard work also inner peace. Which I discussed on my blog. Just provide great content and you will make lots of money.

  5. your are right man. Peoples are making money with blogging and many are struggling i am one of them 🙂 Posts like this always push me to do something which help me to monetize my blog. but struggling struggling struggling ……

  6. If you are trully given out premium information to your readers I see nothing wrong with monetizing your blog. Moreover blogging today is BUSINESS. If you don’t run your blog like a business then be ready to fold up soonest. Because you will sooner or later go weary and quit.

  7. You are saying Ryt only one Percent of smart blogger can make money. and the aource of monet is to attract more n more traffic.

  8. Hey Kabenlah,

    I don’t think it is wrong any how to monetize your blog, till its purpose is not only monetizing. Every body wants to earn money, and what is the problem if your passion gives you money. I am a tech loving guy and little bit web savvy according to you 😀 And would like to make money from my blog. But, it is true that certain conditions should be followed for it. And yes, more traffic means more money. Affiliate sales and CPC both are good ways for making money using blogging. Nice article 🙂

  9. Hi Emmanuel,

    Thanks for an interesting read! I think the key to successful monetization is a combination of great content and lots of traffic. Brilliant content helps you build trust with your readers and traffic, well, it’s a necessity to get those readers in the first place!

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Laura

  10. Some times people don’t make money from their site because of their monetization model. While Adsense may work for me it may not work for you, so you have to try different models till you find one that best suits your site.

  11. Hi Emmanuel,
    Cool post again as usual dude! I have to agree with you there
    most new bloggers will struggle to make money from their blog!
    Looking at mine I have not monetized it as yet as I want to
    build up my reader base and get a following that way when I am
    getting a good reader base I will start to monetize it but
    only very gradually.
    I come across loads of blogs thats full of adverts and they ruin
    the look and feel of the blog!
    Cool post as usual dude! All the best and keep blogging dude!
    – Phillip

  12. Hi Emmanuel

    Getting traffic to your blog is definitely the way to go if you want to make money from blogging.

    There’s no guarantees though. That’s why I use my blog more for list building, branding, and getting to know other bloggers.

  13. Hi Emmanuel,

    I do agree with you, while most people can make a little money from their blogs only very view can make enough income to support them self, people think it’s easy to make money blogging, but they forget that it’s a job like any other offline job, it needs time, effort and passion.

  14. Hi Cudjoe,

    I agree with Qasim, money is not a get rich quick scheme but needs time and it’s as well like an offline job. This is one of the reasons why most blogger give up in their first few months of blogging. (i almost gave up though) 🙂

    Actually, there’s nothing like money on a blog with out traffic, the first thing we must consider is traffic then monetization. Talk to ya later buddy.
    Have a wonderful day 😉

  15. Hi Emmanuel,

    You are very successful to scare and make anybody quit before blogging if you display that long list of technical skills required, hahaaaa…

    Nobody will start blogging equipped with all those skills set and knowledge, but yes, without knowing them properly it will be harder to run any online business. If anybody is not that smart yet, it is better to outsource the technical stuff!

  16. Hi Emmaunel,

    As a matter of fact, every blogger both newbie, pre-problogger and blogger started blogging for the sake of making money but when ambition are not fulfil on time we tend to pretend for what we are not, however being focus alone is enough to boost our blogging moral and definitely our dream which is making money online will definitely come to fulfilment.

  17. Hey Emmanuel,

    I don’t fully agree with you, but I do acknowledge the importance of skills. I think the reason why most people don’t make money through blogging is because they assume making money is easy. They assume that it doesn’t take much work or time. They expect to get instant results, and when they don’t, most of them give up. But, some do persevere. Some strive on and eventually makes money through blogging (I wouldn’t classify them as smarter than the others, but they would be more knowledgeable. It depends upon how we define smartness :D).

    Traffic generation is indeed important, but don’t you think traffic conversion is more important? We need to convince our visitors to buy the product we recommend (or buy our product), click the ads on our blogs (okay, that depends upon the visitors’ interest in the subject matter of the ad, not so much into traffic conversion) and so on. Traffic generation is the east step, traffic conversion is whole another matter 😉

    Anyways, thank you for sharing your insights on the topic, Emmanuel 🙂 Appreciate it!

  18. I think we should be wise on monetizing a blog. Skeptical mind will bring negative things around. Thus our productivity will drop.

    It is true that it can be a source of passive income but it may give different result for every bloggers. The best thing to do is make a plan, do our best and be optimistic.

    Great post Emmanuel!

  19. Hi Emmanuel,

    Love the point about being clear and direct.

    Please post large and attention grabbing ads!

    You cannot be shy and make money through blogging.

    Thanks!

  20. Hi Cudjoe!

    Its not wrong to have advertisements on a blog. Everything depends on the reason why the blog was created to begin with.

    -There are certain people who only want to educate others.

    -There are some who are trying to do business through their blog in real time rather than monetizing their blog.

    etc..

    Adverts are perfectly fine, but in moderation!

    Piyush

  21. Very nice post, you really hit the nail on the head with two points, namely to advertise wholeheartedly if you decide to monetise your blog and traffic is the most important thing for building a blog’s success. Currently I am focusing on building traffic for my blog and then I will focus on monetisation

  22. Hey Emmanuel,
    Nice post and Thanks for sharing this post with us. Yes, Making money through blogging is not an easy task and requires lots of hardwork. Traffic is most important factor for it.

  23. Yeah, I use to think it was easy too. its been an interesting journey so far. I wont say i am making enough but am enjoying the experience.

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