In an interview with Daniel Scocco of DailyBlogTips, he asked me how long a blogger should wait to monetize their blog.
I do not think bloggers should monetize their blogs. I think that people who want to get into the business of blogging must make a business plan on how they will use blogging for their business or as their business, thus creating a plan for monetizing their blogs.
But general bloggers? Why should your hobby make money? If you want to work your way towards professional blogging, then blog for a year or two to get a feel for blogging and make your business plan. Then move towards being a professional blogger.
Blogging, in general, is a hobby. Blogging for business is a business. There is a big difference between them and I’m a fan of a hobby for enjoyment. Not every hobby has to make money.
I still believe that. If you wish to blog, blog for free until you become a professional. Don’t expect your hobby to make you money as it sucks all the fun out of the hobby when you convert it to a business. If you blog for your business, it is a business. Treat it professionally.
As a business, it’s important to identify all the sources of income you are generating, and check in on how you are doing with your efforts to use your site to generate income. Income may come from a variety of sources with a website. Too often we get focused on one aspect of our business and forget the bigger picture of income generation.
In “Blog Exercises: How Much Does Your Blog Cost?” I asked you to itemize all the costs associated with your site. Today, we’re looking at what pays for all of those.
If your site generates income, list all the sources. Do you have a donation button? Do you sell something? Do you charge for services, consulting, or advice?
- Do you have ads on your site? Does the entirety of the income go to you or is it split with others (such as web host or designer)? Is it a straight rate or percentage or variable compensation rates?
- Do you blog for money, such as pay-to-blog, reviews, endorsements, sponsored posts, and other variations on the theme?
- Do you work with affiliate programs? Companies that pay you to advertise for them?
- What about direct advertising, direct contact with advertisers to put paid ads on your site rather than being run through affiliate programs?
- What about indirect income, income generated by gaining clients based on your expertise. Not all sites need ads. Your site is one giant advertisement, a virtual billboard, of your skills and reasons why someone should hire you. What part of that income can you tie directly to your site like you would a phone book ad or ad in a magazine or newspaper?
Darren Rowse of Problogger often talks about how he turned his blogging expertise into income as a consultant on how to help individuals and companies blog better and increase his revenue sources: