Issue #419

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.

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?

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