We all want to be millionaires from blogging. Few of us achieve that level of success. Nevertheless, you wouldn’t be here unless you were at least interested in making money with your blog, if you aren’t doing so already. And, it is totally possible to make a livable income through your online business. The first hurdle in making money online is to realize that it is ok to make money online.
I repeat: It is ok to make money online.
The general public seems to have this perception that everything online should be free. That’s slowly changing. While the Internet is a great place to find free information, people really will shell out money for quality. You shouldn’t feel bad about charging for this quality.
A few weeks ago, I asked bloggers on one of my mailing lists to fill out a survey about their biggest blogging frustrations. One of the questions directly asked bloggers to choose from a list of common things bloggers want (more traffic, more money, etc).
One of the people who responded…well, her response kind of threw me for a loop. In a very snooty manner, she said that it never even crossed her mind to care about money or traffic; she does blogging for the love of it. Throughout the rest of her responses, she kind of implied that it was a bad thing I was doing, encouraging people to monetize their blogs. Apparently some banner ads or the occasional promotion of an affiliate link when you do a review is ok, but anything other than that is evil. It’s apparently a disservice to readers to be concerned with making money on your blog.
Personally, I believe that she’s part of an old school way of thinking that is dying out – and thank god. I believe the exact opposite. If you aren’t concerned with making money on your blog, that’s a disservice to readers. Yes, there are some great hobby bloggers out there, but the ability to make money with your blog means…
- …you can quit your day job and devote more time to learning about your niche, providing better information to readers on your blog.
- …you also have more time to spend answering emails and helping readers, since you no longer have to work at a non-blog job to pay the bills.
- …you can offer readers multiple levels of interaction – free for people who just want basic information, and paid for people who want to learn more.
- …you have more money to spend on blog design, increasing not just the look, but also the functionality of your blog.
- …you are able to attend events in your industry, which gives readers a more direct experience on your blog, without worrying about paying the bills.
- …you can pay for better hosting.
- …you can buy items to review on your blog.
I read an interesting article the other day about paying for information, and although I’ve since lost the link, I can tell you this: The article compared websites to cable channels. No one expects cable to be free because it was never free from the start. People only expect information products online to be free because this form of entertainment and knowledge started out being free. More and more, however, the masses are understanding that you can’t get everything for free. Readers are becoming more accustomed to paying for ebooks, reports, videos, membership areas of websites, and more. At the very least, they’re starting to realize that if you buy products from affiliate programs, you’re supporting the website that you enjoy.
So if you’re a new blogger, the point is that you need to stop feeling guilty for trying to make money online. Yes, there are scummy ways to go about doing it, but as long as you aren’t tricking your readers, you deserve to see some income from your website. You put a lot of hard work into providing useful information, so there’s no reason to feel bad when you start seeing revenue.
Allison Boyer is a writer for BWE’s blog and the owner/manager of After Graduation. She thinks it’s funny how people who don’t like monetized blogs would never imagine doing something (like writing professional blog posts) without getting paid.
Image credit: sxc.hu