Issue #419

Sent to members on February 27, 2023

The Blogger Code of Monetization

OK, let’s be real with each other, you and I…

You and I both know there are dishonest marketers out there. There are people who are selling crappy products, “gurus” who have no business coming off that way, and marketers who spend more time trying to extract money from you than delivering real value.

You and I both know that some sites have gotten so overbearing with banner ads that it has gone overboard. I guess your browser crashing or having a bunch of pop-ups and autoplay videos doesn’t bother them, really. Anything in the quest to increase their revenue.

You and I both know of people who promote products only for the affiliate commission.

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You and I both know… some people are just posers. And they’re not in this for the best reasons. They’re in it for themselves only.

What’s more, I’m guessing you don’t want to be one of those people. Have vowed not to be. Perhaps you’ve even gone a little too far with it by never selling anything to your audience for fear of “selling out”, or coming off as pushy. You want so hard NOT to be one of those crappy marketers that you run full-speed in the opposite direction.

Well, you can’t do that. Not if you want to build a real business and make money with your site. Sales and marketing are part of what makes this world work.

The good news is that you absolutely CAN sell on your blog and sell to your audience without crossing the line. People do it every day. You and I both likely know people like that, too. People who deliver immense value, so when they offer something for sale you don’t mind at all. Even if you don’t buy it, you don’t mind them trying to sell it to you.

To that end, I propose the Blogger Code of Monetization.

This code is voluntary. Nobody can really enforce it on you. It is something that you abide by if you agree with it, but I propose it as a simple set of guidelines that keep things running smoothly as you monetize your blog.

Let’s do this…

  1. You have the right to do whatever you want with your own blog and you do not need to justify that to the world. You own it, you do the work on it, you pay the bills. It is your’s to do with what you want.
  2. Always strive to place more value into the lives of your readers than you extract. Help them solve real-world problems and help deliver the transformation in their lives that you are in the business of delivering.
  3. If you work very hard to provide a lot of value, you should be rewarded for it. The world is based on exchange and, when that is violated, negativity and complaints will result. With this in mind, you are usually doing yourself AND THEM a favor to charge a suitable price for something of real value.
  4. Never promote a product as an affiliate that you don’t fully believe in. Never promote just for the money.
  5. If you question the value of something, or some money-maker is giving you an uneasy feeling, don’t promote it.
  6. Never disparage or minimize yourself and your value. Not. Ever.
  7. Do not require that everybody like you. Realize that a small, but dependable percentage of people are routinely negative and will complain no matter what you do. You are better off to get them out of your space than to attend to their complaints. On the flip side, don’t be dismissive of all complaints! Some are valid, but you need to learn to tell the difference between a legit issue and a person just taking out their own unhappiness on you.
  8. If you would personally be annoyed by the number of ads on your blog, don’t run so many ads. Also, realize that you probably need a better business model.
  9. Respect your reader’s attention and their time. Not necessarily by keeping it short, but by making their time with you well spent.
  10. Always be helpful.
  11. Acknowledge your reader communications. This is a two-way street and nothing says “I don’t care” than not treating your reader with the respect of acknowledgment. If they take the time to email you, you should take the time to read and respond.
  12. Always be honest and authentic. That doesn’t mean you tell them every little thing about you, but it does mean that what you do say is not a lie.
  13. Look out for your readers and help keep them out of trouble. That means helping them avoid pitfalls, even if them avoiding that pitfall might cost you a sale or commission.
  14. Create products and services aimed to serve your readers well, and choose to promote products you are comfortable staking your reputation behind.
  15. Ensure that everything you sell to your readers is so good that you feel it would be a disservice NOT to sell it to them.
  16. Never use false deadline, manipulative marketing, false claims, false testimonials. When you have something truly awesome for them to buy, sell hard but honestly.

Do you agree with this code of monetization? Do you think it is something bloggers and online marketers should follow?

Tech Talk

Fro this week’s “tech talk”, I’m going to talk about myself. Hehe. I’m in the midst of a big project of basically renovating the Blog Marketing Academy site.


No, I’m not changing all of my membership site choices anymore. I love using WP FusionFluentCRM and WooCommerce. I can’t see any reason why I’d ever change again.

But, I think I’m about to change my theme. And perhaps get rid of the forums.

See, right now I am using BuddyBoss. And, to be clear, it is an awesome platform and theme. I have nothing bad to say about it. But, there are a couple of considerations here…

  1. I am only using a small portion of what BuddyBoss is capable of. I have no interest in a full social network. All I wanted is forums.
  2. The BuddyBoss platform and theme can be a little resource intensive. In order to really customize it, you’re usually using the Elementor page builder. And that, too, introduces bulk to the site.

One of the many factors of SEO these days is the core web vitals. Your site speed scores matter a lot, too. Using a bulky page builder can introduce bloat and slow down your site. BuddyBoss has the same effect. You can get around that with some site optimization, but there’s one other consideration here…

WordPress is clearly on the bandwagon of their Gutenburg blocks builder. It used to be just how you wrote your content, but now you can utilize blocks to do full site editing. Blocks is native WordPress now. Page builders are not.

I admit, I can be slow to change. When Gutenburg first hit, I was right there installing the Classic Editor plugin to turn it off and keep to my old ways. I finally relented and now use the blocks editor to do content and I prefer it. I should have done it sooner.

But, what about moving the entire site to the blocks editor?

Again, I have been ignoring it. Page builders like Thrive Architect and Elementor are just more powerful, so why would anybody bother with trying to design the whole site with Gutenburg?

Speed is the main thing. A blocks-based site is clearly faster. The code is very efficient. Site speed cores and core web vitals are almost ALWAYS better on a blocks-based site than one built with something like Elementor.

Blocks is the future. It is natively how WordPress is designed to work. And my entire business is focused on WordPress. For me not to be proficient with how it is supposed to work natively makes no sense.

So, I spent several hours researching and looking into this transition to see if it is something I would want to tackle. I looked at AstraKadenceOceanWP and several others. All powerful theme platforms based on the blocks editor.

I must say… I’m impressed.

Not to say it is more powerful than Elementor. It’s not. But, it is equivalent. For the most part, you can design almost anything using Gutenburg with the right combination of theme and blocks plugins.

So, I’ve decided. I purchased Kadence Theme and Kadence Blocks. And I will be transitioning the Blog Marketing Academy to blocks, built with Kadence.

There will be a bit of a learning curve, but I think it will be worth it.

Are you using a blocks-based theme yet?

A few other interesting items of news from the WordPress space….

Speaking of Kadence Blocks, I must have gotten onboard right at the right time. They literally just released Kadence Blocks 3.0, introducing much improved code, a new user interface and some other things. I am now using it in staging and it is great, but I don’t have experience with the previous versions so don’t have much to compare it to.

MemberMouse has been acquired by MemberPress. The original founder of MemberMouse wanted to get out, so he finally found a way. Frankly, it’ll be interesting to see if this has a positive impact on MemberMouse. It is a powerful, enterprise-grade platform. But, it is also stuck in time and is running behind the times in a lot of ways. I am no longer a fan of MemberMouse. We’ll see if, over time, they make some improvements.

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