Should you monetize your blog right from the beginning? Or should you wait to build up your audience first? Here’s my official answer…
A question that many beginning bloggers will ask themselves is: When should I monetize? Will I cheapen myself to try to make any money now? Should I wait until I’m larger and have a big audience?
The answer to this question seems to differ among bloggers. Some say you should just concentrate on content, wait until you build a respectable audience, then go for the pay day. The others say go for it immediately.
I’m definitely in the second camp.When to monetize your blog? Right away. Day one.Click To Tweet
And I’m going to make my case for why I strongly believe this…
You Will Avoid Building The Wrong Audience
If you intend to monetize this blog of your’s, you’re going to need to build an audience which is oriented around something which is marketable and sellable.
Kinda makes sense, right? 🙂
We call this product/market fit. You need to have a match between the market you are serving and the product or service that they want. In order to ensure you get this match, you need to be aiming straight for it right from the beginning.
Otherwise, you could end up building up an audience who will just never be receptive to buying anything from you.
Worse, if you ended up building up an audience which isn’t oriented around buying anything and you go a long time without selling, you may actually have readers get offended when you try to sell to them. They could call you a “sell out” or other such things. Now, my response would be to tell them to go pound sand. 😉 But, that aside, those things only happen when you’ve attracted people who will never buy anything from you.
The answer here is to orient your blogging efforts strategically around a marketable offer. And that’s something you need to pay attention to from day one so it won’t backfire later.
Monetization Will Fuel Your Traffic Growth
The days of starting up a new blog, posting some stuff and having people knock down your doors are over. It is tough work to build up your traffic from zero.
However, there is a massive shortcut to it: paid traffic.
If you use Google Ads, Facebook Ads, or any other good source of paid traffic, then you will be able to reach the people you want to reach and bring to them to your site. You will need to see how the numbers work out for you, but if you pony up, you’ll get some traffic.
But, obviously this costs money. And it is nothing but an expense if you aren’t making some money on the other end.
If you build up a basic monetization funnel, then you can at least build up a self-liquidating offer. In other words, at the minimum, you would move to make just enough money to pay for the traffic. But, the whole time, you are building your list, building your assets and getting things off the ground.In short, blog monetization is absolutely a prerequisite to effectively building up your traffic predictably these days.Click To Tweet
Monetization and traffic go hand in hand!
You’ll Be Less Likely To Give Up And Fail
If monetization is a goal that you have, then it gets much easier once you have some wins under your belt. That notorious first dollar is the hardest one to make.
If you felt that you had to blog your face off for quite some time before you ever make your first dollar, then it would be easy to get discouraged and give up. All your effort will feel like a huge waste of time.
It is much more fun when you’re making sales. 🙂
You’ll Maintain A Good Exchange With Your Audience (And Avoid Upsets)
OK, to understand this one, we have to get a bit into human psychology…
People inherently have a sense of fair exchange. It is a balancing act. However, when that exchange becomes unbalanced, odd things can happen.
Have you ever noticed how kids are more liable to take care of and value something that they paid for themselves rather than something which was given to them? You take a teen who was gifted a car and perhaps they are given a lot of things by their parents. That teen is more likely to wreck the car, get into trouble and other things. He/she is also more likely to resent the parents. It seems counter-intuitive, perhaps, but the problem is that that teen’s natural sense of fair exchange has been violated. Deep down, they KNOW they didn’t earn that stuff. And in order to minimum that feeling of guilt, they may start to resent the parents, say bad things about them, or cause trouble.
This isn’t just something that happens with kids. It is a human tendency. People will deal with the guilt of an unfair exchange by attacking the other party… and it will happen if the equation of exchange is unbalanced in either direction. This is something I wrote more about when it comes to product pricing strategy:
Now, what does this have to do with our early monetization efforts of our blog?
Your best audience and community members are going to be your customers. You provide them a bunch of value, but they’ve also returned the favor by flowing some energy back your way (in the form of money, usually). That two-way flow of energy is important not only for business, but for building up the real community that you want.Your blog best audience and community members are going to be your customers.Click To Tweet
If you do nothing but free, free, free for a long time, then you’ve unbalanced the exchange. The moment you try to sell something, you’re more likely to get a blow-up. People who seek freebies all day are also the loudest complainers.
On the flip side, if you are working your butt off to create awesome content for your community but you receive no exchange for it, you can actually begin to resent your own audience. It can harm your spirits… leading to you throwing up your hands in frustration.
The “secret” here is no secret at all…
Monetize! Make money.
It is good for you, of course. But, it is also good for your audience. You can then serve them at a higher level, but you are also helping maintain that exchange for all that you do.
So, How Do You Proceed To Monetize From The Beginning?
OK, so if you know you need to monetize from the beginning, how the heck do you actually do that?
I get that it seems to make more sense to move right into starting up your blog and writing blog posts. It seems like the natural thing to do. So, when I come in here and say that you need to monetize right from the start, it may feel confusing on what to do with that advice.
Do you just start blogging and throw ads all over the place? Do you start putting affiliate links all over the place?
No, we want to be more strategic than that. 🙂
Blogging isn’t going to make you money. Building a real business will. You want to build a business which happens to have a blog… not a blog where monetization feels like a forced afterthought.
You need a plan.
I have developed such a plan. This is exactly how I would proceed to build up my business from scratch all over again… the right way. You can grab a free copy below…