WFMW: Make a Decision about Monetizing Your Blog

This week’s Works-for-me-Wednesday is actually themed “Mom, I’m Bored,” so I feel obligated to send you over to my Free/Low-Cost Summer Movies for Kids post. But I’ve been devoting my WFMW posts to blogging tips that work for me…

Tip #3 is….Make a decision about monetizing your blog.

One of the topics I’m emailed or asked about most is how to make money blogging. Yes, it’s possible, but before we even go there, you need to think about whether you want to monetize at all. I think most of us jump in and grab whatever comes along without really planning or thinking ahead. So let’s just take a moment and do that. Some things for you to consider:

  • Are you writing a personal blog? If you’re mostly sharing family photos and journaling, as an online scrapbook, you may not want to monetize. You need to think about the type of things you normally post about and how that might change, or if you’re willing to change that. Other blog niches may take to monetizing more easily: food, travel, reviews, etc.
  • Monetizing your blog changes your “voice.” Even when you try not to let it, it does. Once you start thinking about making money, you start thinking about making MORE money, and it can sway you. To avoid this, set a goal for yourself, maybe $50 per month if you’re not currently earning anything, and work towards that. I set a goal of earning $500/month by the end of 2009, so I set my goal a little higher this year.
  • Understand how FTC Disclosure works. You’ve probably seen it on the blogs you read, those little statements about relationships and who’s providing what. If you’re going to accept products, gift cards, money, etc. for your blog, you need to disclose. SheBlogs gives some quick tips on how to cover yourself.
  • Now think about your content for a moment–What do you want your blog to look like? Not just ads or buttons in your sidebar, but within your posts? When you read blogs, do you feel like you’re hearing the blogger or just a salesperson? Do you see the same sales-y posts on all the blogs you read? Look for examples of seamless monetizing, where the influence and voice of the blogger lend themselves naturally to the item/service being presented. You may prefer to incorporate monetizing this way on your blog, though it can be challenging.

Once you think through a few of these ideas, you’ll have a better sense of whether or not to monetize your blog. Then, it’s just a matter of getting started. I’ll start you off next Wednesday with an easy one, but in the meantime, let me know:

What questions do you have about monetizing your blog?


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