How “Blog Monetization” Is Just Completely Wrong

Last Updated on October 19, 2011  

A guy wants to open up a store. He is tired of his regular job and wants to do something different.

He reads a lot about stores. And then jumps right into setting up a store. He puts the shelves in there. He buys one of those big glowing “OPEN” signs. He makes everything all pretty. He looks forward to those hoardes of people who will, of course, come by to check out his pretty store.

Let’s say he even gets people to come in. He has the place all decked out. And he’s happy that he’s getting a little bit of foot traffic each day.

Then, one day, he sits down. And he asks…. “HOW AM I GOING TO MONETIZE THIS STORE?”

W.T.F?!

“Monetize” Means You’re Doing It Wrong

When Steve Jobs and Wozniak started Apple, they didn’t ask themselves “How am I going to monetize Apple?” They didn’t build computers, THEN try to figure out how to “monetize”.

When Sam Walton started up Wal-Mart, he didn’t open up his first store then ask himself how he was going to monetize.

“Blog monetization” is a buzzword phrase in this space. And, as a blogger in this space, I’m basically forced to play along. It is the language of the marketplace, after all.

But, the language we use often has a huge impact on our actions. He who controls the language controls the conversation.

The truth is that the idea of “monetizing a blog” is complete and total bullshit…

Because it means that you start a blog, do all this work to build something up, then figure out how to make money with it. It means that money is an afterthought. It means you didn’t give an ounce of thought into your business plan before you started the blog.

So, in many cases, you’ve built this… thing. It isn’t making a dime, and because you didn’t build it as a business, it might not even be possible. There might not even be a demand there.

Monetization is for business light-weights. It is for the unserious. It is children’s playtime. It is for hobbyists.

Professionals run businesses. They are building a business. They don’t “monetize” because they were building a business from day one. They had a plan. They execute it.

Blog monetizers work day jobs. Business owners end up hiring them.

Blog monetizers waste a lot of time on things which don’t matter all that much (like Twitter for hours per day). They waste time on low ROI activities. They dream about making a full-time income from their blogs. But, chances are, they won’t make it. Because they’re trying to “monetize”. They’re not building a business.

So, I’m not saying any of this to rip into you. I know a lot of my readers are trying to “monetize”.

But, I’d be doing you a disservice if I pussy-footed around this “blog monetization” thing and didn’t tell you the cold hard truth. There are a ton of other blogs on this topic who will do that for you. If you’re a dreamer, go read those guys. Once you realize you’re on a dead-end, remember, I’ll be here.

I’m a blogger, yes. But, I’m a business owner. I’m running a business. I’m better than “monetization”.

I think you are, too. But, it starts with you deciding you are.


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  • Larry Stefanuik says:

    Not in total agreement, I have several blogs on a variety of subjects, some get great traffic, others not so much but growing. People who make an online living do it more often then not from more then just one site and it’s hard work. I monetize any blog I do right from the start, especially with Adsense because the great thing is it’s instant indexing on the biggest search engine. I’ve compared ranking growth on sites that I don’t do this on and it takes more effort and longer to move up. Not everyone is going to buy at a site where I have a product and some come to my blogs just to read or watch vids. If they happen to make me a little dough while there or leaving good on them, they couldn’t do that if I didn’t monetize them. Things like comments on blogs don’t concern me because there are so many out there who have comment exchange agreements etc. I look at numbers and time on target, if they are not walking in and walking out it means they like it and will probably come back and share with others. I always have people encouraging me to go make a comment at their blog to help them look popular. Rarely do it unless I actually like the post, I would rather someone leave one cause they actually liked something. Fact is most people don’t express their opinion but they do read and come back and each time they do they might make me some money as well. Some might say that there are lots of people selling how to blog like you are so you have monetized this site around that, good for you, I make money at my traffic ticket site but I also have adsense there too because I want people to go check out my competitors. When they do I earn, my competitors pay and some come back, some don’t but that doesn’t mean they bought my competitors product either. Many are just looking for free info. Without rambling, at the end of the day, online ventures are full time work and my advice, don’t put all your eggs in one basket and I mean by that…..have income also coming in from off line and that doesn’t mean having a job, not that a job is a bad thing unless your hate it. You shouldn’t be doing anything you hate. Cheers!

  • The loudmouth blowhard Gary Vaynerchuk loves to say “Monetize Your Blog”. Kinda shows you where he’s coming from!

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