As you build your blog, you must keep this in mind. Add value, solve problems but also monetize. Make money. Don’t be afraid to. If you’ve been following along from the beginning then you know I’m not shy about it and I’m not afraid to tell you.
There is a monetization plan in place and several strategies in motion with various tactics in order for that monetization plan to come to fruition. You need to be in the same place or better.
Don’t write and write and build an audience for a single day without some way of monetizing traffic.
There’s two reasons for this logic.
Always Have a Plan to Make Money
Reason number one for having a monetization plan. You have a chance of generating money from day one and get motivated to work harder for the next commission. Reason number two, if you start a blog and you’re not monetizing in some way or at least have laid down the framework for it then you’ll give your audience a shock when you decide to monetize later down the road.
It may be just fine and maybe you built a very understanding, caring and loving audience and no matter what, they’ll be okay with whatever you do. Kudos to you if this is the case. But the shock will be there and as minor as it is, it will be a shock. Expect to lose a percentage of your audience, and a little bit of trust.
It is worth noting and in all fairness I should also tell you this: In the same token, you may see an increase in loyalty, business or traffic when you announce a monetization plan that wasn’t in place before. This generally means that you’ve built a legitimate Tribe. You are awesome and I should be learning from you and not the other way around. (read Godin, Vaynerchuk and other modern luminaries for more on this).
This can be rewarding but it can also be risky. I would leave this approach to the professionals or I would make sure you retain a professional to help you introduce a monetization strategy to your blog or website where there wasn’t one before.
Let me say it in plain words. If you build an audience without a plan to make money and later on you decide to make money based on that audience… the results could be catastrophic.
With that small disclosure out of the way, I would advise that you monetize from day one in 98% of the cases. Even if you just lay the foundation! If you don’t, then your project becomes just a hobby and not a business. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it just wouldn’t be a business.
Consequences of Having a Monetization Plan
It tends to be the case that these two things happen when a monetization plan is put in place.
First you’ll pay more attention to the quality of your work because you need to produce high quality content for that monetization plan to work (I don’t care what you think you’re doing, quality content is a must). Quality Content = King = Mindshare. And you know how I feel about mindshare.
The next thing that results from having a monetization plan, AND executing it is this. Your audience will have that precedence from day one, there is no confusion, no misunderstanding.
From day one, you have given your audience a choice and it goes a little bit like this. This is my company/website/blog and this is the content I put out, it’s excellent content and I hope you don’t mind that sponsors and advertisers help bring that content to you at no cost.
With this, then you don’t have to feel guilty when you get a great offer for an adspot on your site, or when someone offers to pay you for a sponsored post. And your audience expects it and in fact wants it.
These examples are ways that you can establish the framework or foundation to monetize even if you’re not quite ready!
- Having an email list to build a relationship with your reader so you can offer a solution when they need it. Provide value daily or several times each week.
- Having a banner space on your site to show display advertisements, even if the first ads are affiliate relationships. — DO NOT use Adsense or other contextual ads at first!
- Creating a product to promote and sell on your blog or store. Create a marketing campaign around the launch of the product. (ahem, ahem.)