Did you ever hear something new and just follow the herd without really giving the idea any critical thought? I try not to be like that, and I believe that normally I could not be classified that way. But, the truth is that many of us are indeed “sheeple” -people who are like sheep, and just follow the rest of the herd.
Do you read David Risley? If you don’t, and you are interested in blogging, earning money online and general business, then I think you are missing out. I only started following David a few months ago, and in that time, I have come to respect David and his writing. He comes up with a lot of interesting things, and you should follow him, in my opinion.
Recently, David started writing a series of articles that I have found eye-opening, liberating, informative, and generally just a very good read. David’s first article in the series was entitled “How “Blog Monetization” Is Just Completely Wrong.”
What is monetization?
Many readers may be wondering what “monetization” is. After all, it is a relatively new word, it’s not even in the dictionary, at least not in my dictionaries. Basically, the idea of Monetization is having a website or a blog and then adding ways for it to make money. In other words, let’s say that you have been blogging, and do not make any money from it. Then one day, you say to yourself:
You know, I’ve been spending a lot of time on my blog, I really should make a little money from it.
Then, you set out to decide how you can make money from the site. Usually, the first thing that comes to mind is Google AdSense and other variants of online advertising that you can add to your site and make a little money from. There are lots of other types of ways to generate income from a website, but we are not talking about the “how” today, really. But, anyway, that is what monetization is. Figuring out and implementing ways to earn money from your website.
In David’s article, he basically said that most people consider monetization as sort of an afterthought, and something they will implement “down the road” on their site. He is right. In fact, many “gurus” advise that this is the proper way to go. Get your site up and running, then once you have built up traffic and readership, then add some ways to make money. David brought up a couple of examples that show just how wrong this is. Think about how you would do it if you were going to open up a convenience store. Would you give everything away for the first couple of years, then later when you have plenty of traffic go ahead and buy a cash register and try to make some money out of the store? No, of course not, that would be downright stupid. No, what you would do is that you would stock up the store with the proper mix of merchandise, you would put a cash register up near the front door, and you would charge people for what they get from you. You would, surely, expect that sales would be slow at first until you built up a clientele. Word would have to spread about your new store, and more and more traffic would come in the door. But, you would still charge people for the merchandise they take even before you “made it” in the convenience store business.
So, why would you monetize your website any differently than you monetized your convenience store?
In David’s next article, “The Blogger Cycle of Stupid” David continues along the same lines. Firstly, David talks about what most people do when they start a blog. They start playing with trying out lots of different themes. They try lots of plugins. They add this or that to the sidebar, so it looks “cool”. They get infatuated with playing with the looks of the site. Believe me, all of this will earn you nothing. Get up your blog, make it look nice and move on. Don’t worry about the looks after that except very occasionally. Spend your time generating content. Write interesting articles… that’s a lot more important than deciding if the background should be red or blue. Frankly, very few people care much about what color the site is unless it is terrible.
Next, David says something in his post that is right on the spot. He says that one of the most stupid things that a person can do is to start up a blog without having a cash register from the start. Of course, nobody will literally have a real cash register, but what David means is that you need to have a way for people to give you money. You need to have some ads, a product to sell or whatever. I tend to despise when people ask for donations, but even that is better than nothing. It all hearkens back to that convenience store I wrote about a few paragraphs ago… even on the day you open the convenience store, you have a cash register. Well, your website should have a cash register too, from day one. What do you think will earn you more money, the cash register, or the color of the background and that perfect header image? I don’t think you’ll have to think too hard on that one.
Well, give David a read, he comes highly recommended. And, let me know what you think.