If you have come to LinkyBlog to learn about making an income through blogging, this question probably will seem odd. Very odd. Of course your blog should make money for you, right? Not necessarily.
Not every blog should be geared towards revenue. Before you start pasting pay-per-click advertising all over your blog, think about the reason your blog exists. What is your vision and goal for your blog? Does making money get you closer to your goal?
In my 10 years of blogging, I have found that there are a variety of reasons people blog. Here are just a few:
- It is fun.
- It helps me market my products and services.
- It chronicles my family adventures.
- I want to make the world a better place – to help.
- It is how I relax.
- I want people to know who I am.
- I want to establish relationships.
- I want to make a living.
I blog for some of these same reasons – most people blog for a mixture of reasons, not just one. If you decide to use your blog to make money, however, your pursuit of income might jeopardize some of your other goals.
There are some cases where you should not put advertisements on a blog. I have seen many a downward spiral for blogs faced with these kinds of obstacles:
- Reader Rebellion: When bloggers have a loyal following, and a good relationship with their audience, the sudden inclusion of ads (in any form) might upset readers who are not used to the blog being used to solicit their money. You have to consider whether losing some of your readers is worth the potential income from advertisements.
- Becoming Money-Hungry: When you have a successful blog (I’m not talking A-list, but a blog with a loyal following and interesting, quality content), there will be the temptation to use every opportunity to promote products/services that make money, or to use every available inch on your blog to advertise. I have even heard of bloggers that go so wrapped up in only posting income-generating content that they deleted all of their posts that they felt would not bring in any income. You can bet those blogs died a quick and painful death.
- Unintentional Cross-Promotion: Bloggers who have blogs that exist solely for the purpose of promoting their own products/services need to be wary of advertising for competitors. Obviously nobody would set out to send business elsewhere, but there are times when Google (or whatever service you are using) will place an ad on your website for a product you sell – but from a different company. You do have some control over advertising, but not enough to ensure cross-promotion never happens.
- Gaudy and Garish Graphics: Oftentimes, it just is not worth it to invite in a slew of advertisements. All those buttons, banners, widgets, and graphic advertisements clutter up blogs and really do not bring in a whole lot of income. At least not enough to justify giving up your valuable home page real estate.
- Ruined Reputations: Aside from the impact of the above four obstacles to a healthy blog, there is another huge mistake that bloggers sometimes make – one that ruins reputations and is seldom recovered from. . . dishonesty. It will be tempting to sign up for every affiliate program you can find and to start writing article after article promoting the products that pay you the most. If you truly like the products and they have value to your readers, go for it. If you are simply out to make cash and suggest your readers buy stuff that you have not used, or did not have a good experience with, you can kiss your reputation goodbye. People will find you out. Bloggers have even unknowingly promoted scams – all for the sake of a few affiliate-income dollars. Be honest. A good reputation is the most important tool for successful blogging.
I realize the list above might make any and all advertising on your blog seem like a bad idea. There are countless bloggers out there (myself included) that have managed to avoid the above obstacles and have succeeded in generating online income. It is possible to be a full-time blogger to pay your bills. Just make sure you consider the reason you are blogging, and strive to avoid the temptation to focus only on income.
If you put out thoughtful well-written content that meets the needs of your readers and provides value to them, the possibilities for income will come from lots of other sources than just flashing “buy-me” advertisements. Just stick with it and carefully guard your reputation.
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