The Blogger Code Of Monetization

A short code of conduct for monetizing a blog and making money while respecting your reader at the same time. This is a voluntary code, of course, but helps keep things going smooth.

  • Pat says:

    Dude – awesome post. I definitely need to print this out because I do worry, at times, about selling out and going down the wrong path, but you’re right…as long as I know I’m providing value I have nothing to worry (and nothing to be ashamed) about. I do have a problem of trying to please everyone though, and I know that that’s an unrealistic goal. #7 for sure.

    Cheers, and thank you for this.

    • David Risley says:

      Thanks, man. And you, of all people, could crush it if you launch something on your blog, dude. When that day comes, I have all confidence it’ll be valuable and people will dig it.

  • Rob Rammuny says:

    Great post David. I agree, I think it’s nothing wrong with trying to monetize a site if you’re going to offer true value to your customer.

    People who expect everything to be free are the people who are either going to fail or have a rough journey making it to running a successful online business.

    Also, when you begin to monetize your blog, you begin to see who your real readers are versus the ones who are just tagging along for the ride.

    Your real readers will support you of your choice. Maybe they won’t buy the product, but they’ll at least support it and possibly promote it.

  • Ha ha. I feel like your article went in a full circle. You started by saying that you shouldn’t worry about being a sell out but your quasi-definition basically implied that making any money is the common concept behind being a sellout whereas I would argue that a more appropriate definition would be making money in a way that is less than ethical. In the end (during your ten points) you summed up how to extract profits by providing legitimate value. Essentially, you just provided ten steps to making profit without selling out (without being unethical).


  • David I try to put myself in the readers shoes and say..”Is this something that will help me grow” I look and see if value will be added to the purchase of an program. I never offer something to an reader that I don’t use personally, so i can have that confidence that it do add value.

    “TrafficColeman “Signing Off”

  • Deb Ng says:

    Thank you. I remember when I first started blogging, years ago, it was considered selling out to monetize your blog in any way. Then it became fashionable for a while, and now it’s considered selling out again. The thing is, we’re doing the work, we’re sharing what we’ve researched and put in to practice, so we SHOULD be earning and profiting and not feel guilty or embarrassed about it.

  • Andy Fogarty says:

    I can’t say I’ve ever had the problem of feeling like a sell out. I made it clear from start (almost) that I was running a business and therefore, you know, tend to ask for money on occasion. I do however think sometimes “Dude, can I really charge that much? I know it’s worth it, but will they?” Then I remember that I’ve worked damn hard at building “my” perfect audience and I’m golden.

    I’ve worked with folks who built reasonable sized lists and didn’t sell anything, and when they did offer something, people got angry. That’s when I ask – do you want to continue pampering a group that will NEVER pay your bills or do you want to create stuff for a list that’s a fraction of the size but who LOVE to buy from you?

    Great post, man.

  • Good post David.. I don’t agree with the whole “your a sell out if you set out to monetize your blog” mentality either. Your blog is your own, your time is just as valuable as the time of the person reading it, and you deserve to be compensated for that time in whatever way feels OK to you.

    So… great code, no revisions. πŸ˜‰


  • I have worked with people who have deep seated beliefs that are in the way of them making money in their business.
    For example, ‘Jim’ may think “I have to please everyone” – then when someone objects to a price, as some will, Jim has a knee-jerk reaction, retreats and licks his wounds, then reduces the price, or starts adding in more ‘stuff’ which means more work for him, to offer ‘over-the-top’ value. The thing is, you can’t please everyone, and it’s futile to try. Some subscribers will think you’re wonderful and some will project their own ‘stuff’ onto you and call you names. It’s all part of the ride.
    As you say, David, value what you do, and offer good value in the products you create and sell. Also don’t try to be perfect: get a product out there, if you haven’t already; get feedback; improve the product; improve the offer; increase the price if you feel the urge to do so; etc.

  • Anonymous says:

    Like the way you rounded it up to ten. Just like the 10 commandments πŸ™‚

    Yeah, David, As Rob said.. it is a way to separate the tyre-kickers from the true audience that values you. In the end , it is about pleasing those that recognize the value and carefully steer those that don’t away.

  • John Hoff says:

    I like the blogger code. Perhaps at times it might be wise to also add in a little transparency. So in other words, if you advertise something which you think might cause a few questions, make sure to answer them right up front.

    I think one of the main problems early bloggers who want to make money with their blog have is #7. By trying not to piss some people off, they never get anywhere. No matter what you do in life, you can’t please everyone.

  • momekh says:

    That makes sense. Terrific sense in fact.
    Blogging *should* be a personal thing, and that means putting yourself on the line. You can’t HIDE behind a pseudo name as most affiliate marketers do.
    But then again, SELLING is always a hard thing for most people.

  • Grechen says:

    thanks for this post david! i’ve been “preaching” the same thing to fashion bloggers (there is a lot of resentment towards fashion bloggers trying to make money – “selling out” is a term used all too often in our community) recently. i think the tide is turning, and there is more respect for bloggers who make money from their blogs, but there are still so many who don’t follow your “code” – they especially don’t respect their readers – and create blogs covered in ads and provide little or no content of value that give the professional bloggers a bad name…

    i absolutely love your “code of monetization” – i’ll share it with as many fashion bloggers as possible πŸ™‚

  • Ian Daniel says:

    With regards the resistance people experience, aside from the normal negative belief drivers of (traumas, toxins and thoughts) a lot of this is built or reinforced by the aggressive marketers (the syndicate, etc) and so people see the junk they spew out in daily emails and from that comes a mentality in conflict with their values of that’s not me and they consequently end up stuck. My 2 cents.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi David, I agree with everything you say. And also think that it is beside the point for those who are worried about selling out.

    What they need is a business model that matches their values, rather than telling them to adjust their values to suit prevailing business practices.

    For me – who won’t do what I regard as selling out (like putting those rude pop-ups on my site) – the resolution was, “I will be delighted to become wealthy by making friends [marketing] and providing incredible value [any offers of mine will be ‘no brainers’]”.

  • Bill Jones says:

    Thanks David,

    I agree with this post completely. I am an affiliate marketer. I would never promote a product a product unless I have purchased the product, use it and believe in it’s value.

    That is the reason I don’t promote very many products.

  • I’m with you on this one David. Business is about making money. If you aren’t making money you aren’t a business. If you want to have a blog, tell people stuff and not make any money…cool, good for you. But if your intention is to blog as a business, then you’ve gotta make some money which means you have to sell something. I’m not sure why that is such a bad thing. Go buy some groceries or some gas and tell me if the guy who owns that place really cares whether or not you think the price of apples is too high. He’ll say don’t buy the apples. Buying is a choice your customer makes not one you make for them. When was the last time David came to your house, grabbed your arm and made you give him money?

    If you think selling apples without first providing 10 free reports on the benefit of apples is a sell out…you shouldn’t be in business.

    Thanks for telling it like it is Dave!

  • Selling out is big in my son’e world as well. He is a musician and lives by the punk ethic. he deals with it by being authentic in all he does and giving more than he gets. It’s about passion and authenticity. I would love to see something about passion in your code.

    Have you read the book ‘The Go-Giver’? It’s about being successful by giving. In it are the ‘Five Laws of Stratospheric Success’:
    1. The Law of Value – Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.
    2. The Law of Compensation – Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.
    3. The Law of Influence – Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.
    4. The Law of Authenticity – The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.
    5. The Law of Receptivity – The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.

    The key is law five. You have to be willing to receive, you have to be happy about people giving you money for what you do.

    Thank you for the post, David.

  • Chris King says:

    David, Well written and sensible. I agree completely.Yes, I agree also with the giving highlighted in Graham’s comment. I always strive to give more value than expected. And I feel good about making money.
    Thanks for your insight,

  • Steve Scott says:

    Great points David,

    I have been avoiding monetizing my site until it grew a bit. I am starting to get some pretty decent numbers (nothing like yours) and thinking about beginning to monetize. But i don’t want to sell out. You make some really good points that there should be no reason to fear this.

  • #1 says it all, I own my site(s) and I can do what I want! The rest of it is certainly about usability and ethics, but really that falls under what kind of person you are….

  • #1 of The Bloggers Code Of Monetization is right on! My blog, my home…that’s may motto. Would love for you to come and visit but if you act up, take you $2 bottle of wine and seek fun elsewhere! lol (I must be tired)

    Great post David…very much enjoyed it and nope, no fear of selling out here. =)

  • Onerab says:

    Good advice

  • Onerab says:

    Good advice

  • Colon Cleanser says:

    My 10 Commandments Of Making Money Online

    1. Do whatever you want to do in your blog. But you must live in one of those countries in the world where freedom of speech is valued so that you can promote questionable products like colon cleansing or weight loss Acai berry.
    2.Help people by providing them with peach of mind – like colon cleansing or selling hope so that they feel good.
    3. Work very hard – It takes lots of time to do keyword research, build landing pages, monitor campaign, build fake blogs, etc.
    4. You have to just believe in your colon cleansing or weight loss products.
    5. Don’t feel uneasy about anything. It is all about making a buck. The secret is that you have to only believe that you’re providing the right thing. As you believe more and write more in your blog, and do the same in webinar, and conferences you will start feeling good about your questionable products. I am pretty sure that all those people who were promoting CDS (credit defualt swap), did feel that they were doing the right thing.
    6. Making money requires some skills. Not everybody can do it (but you don’t have to say that in your marketing materials). So, never feel bad.
    7. Everybody will not like you. There are financially savvy persons who will buy your super secrets and return it. But for one financially savvy person, there are 10 financially challenged persons.
    8. Ads look good. So, don’t get annoyed. Come up with more ways to make good ads.
    9. Respect your readers because lots of those readers are financially challenged and they will make your rich.
    10. Always help them with materials that you can get it for free from internet and ask them to buy your trial colon cleansing product.

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