Recently, there has been a whole lot of controversy regarding the subject of blog monetization. While some bloggers agree that monetizing your blog is a good thing, since you deserve some form of compensation for your labour, others vehemently oppose the idea emphasizing that blogs are for relationship building and trying to make money off your relationships is unethical!
Still among those who accept the idea of blog monetization, many readily frown at the idea of selling ads spaces on your blog as a way of monetizing your blog. To these ones, displaying adverts on your blog is simply a put-off and should be discouraged!
Now, I’m not here to argue whether blog monetization is right or wrong. However, having observed the confusion that many bloggers face because of these divergent views, I want to use this post to make a statement on these various beliefs and leave you to make your decision on what is best for you!
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Blog Monetization – What Really Should You Do?
At this point let me say what really pushed me into writing this post was a comment in a discussions in one of the groups in LinkedIn.com. During this discussion, which centered on the recent changes by Facebook, a member of the group mentioned how much he now disdain Facebook because, to him, Facebook has lost its focus and is now more concerned with making more money for the site owners rather than being a truly social networking site!
What, Facebook has lost its focus?
Now, I understand that many people have this view. Of course, most of the new changes on the site are nothing but subtle ways of increasing the number of businesses and individuals that advertise on the site. But does this make Facebook to have lost its focus?
Of course, you may not stand the sight of the ads on these social networking sites but you must remember that you are not the one who calls the shots. For one, you use the site for FREE, not caring about how the various resources you’re enjoying for free, are being financed.
Besides, how much do you know of the mission and vision of these sites that you now think that sites like Facebook have derailed because they are selling ads on their sites?
Indeed, when I read that comment the controversy surrounding blog monetization, which I’ve read on different blogs over time, came to mind. I realized then that why many are against the idea of monetizing a blog through advertisements, stem from the same root.
The fact is, a blog is nothing different from a social media site. Indeed, many have come to accept it as a socializing tool – both for connecting with your readers and also building relationships with them.
But beyond that, a blog could be a business and a marketing tool. In fact, to get the maximum results from your blog you must accept it to be so.
So, How Do Social Media Sites Make Money?
I think this is a question that we need to ask if we must learn anything from these social media sites and making money online. As you read this I’m sure you have profiles on different social networking sites. And of course, if you are on Facebook, which I believe you are, you have been using the site for free all these years.
But have you cared to know how they keep providing those tools and resources for free? Do you realize that Facebook, Google.com (G+), Pinterest, Linkedin etc are registered business concerns?
What this means is that while they offer you the opportunity to connect with your social circles on their sites for free they also aim to cut a profit as businesses!
But depending on the social media platform, the business model and monetization strategies may differ. But the truth is, no matter how different the strategies may be, it still stand that they must make money for their venture capitalists!
Here are some ways social media sites are making money that could be interesting to a blogger:
1. Advertising – This is a common one to all the social media sites.
2. Selling subscription – Depending on the target market a few social media sites sell subscriptions to keep the network going.
3. Building and selling applications – This is another fast growing way social media sites are now monetizing their traffic.
4. Replacing affiliate links – This was actually the monetization model of Pinterest. They opened the site to all of us, encouraging us to share our user-generated content with our online friends, but unknown to us, something else was going on right under our nose!
5. Feature upgrades – This is a big one for LinkedIn. While you are free to have your profile for life, if you however desire to use some of the advance features of the site, you then need to upgrade your membership.
Any of these monetization methods can actually be used on a blog. take a cue from these social media sites or you’ll soon be packing your bags and luggage and hitting the door!
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Go To the Ants and Learn!
Ok, that’s what the Holy Book says. And why not, if social media sites like Facebook and the rest are making money through the sale of adverting space, why not a blogger? And so, I’m saying, it’s time when bloggers should go to the social media sites and learn how to monetize their blogs.
I’ve always said it that bloggers are among the most hard working people on the internet today. That labor shouldn’t be in vain – a worker is worthy of his reward!
Or, don’t you think so?
Over to you: Do you think bloggers should sell advertising space on their blogs just like the social networking sites? Share your thoughts with us in your comments below.