Some people think monetizing your blog makes it inauthentic.
In most cases, I disagree.
In fact, I think monetizing your blog can actually bring greater authenticity to your brand.
For instance, I have tried to be absolutely transparent with the goal of our blog:
To make as much money as possible so that I can escape the corporate lifestyle, pay off student debt, provide abundantly for my family, and live a full life.
For me, monetization is actually the most authentic way to represent my brand.
It would be inauthentic for me to blog for free.
If you think that this goal somehow invalidates my content, then this blog isn’t for you.
That said, I suspect some people are afraid of monetizing, and this post is meant to dispel those fears.
Here are 10 reasons why I encourage you to monetize.
1. Monetization helps you know how much value you are adding.
In the idea economy in which we live, you get paid for the amount of value you add.
For instance, the difference between selling a widget to one person for $5 and selling widgets to two people for $10 is discretely measurable in that you are clearly adding more value selling two widgets than you are selling one.
Although money isn’t an exact measurement of value, it’s still a helpful gauge that points you in the right direction.
In other words, the more money you make, the more value you are adding.
I recommend selling something to measure the value of your blog.
For example, I promote Bluehost web hosting* because it’s a product I use and like.
It’s simple to use, incredibly affordable (use our link for 50% off!), and allows you to start blogging immediately!
2. Monetization is recommended by experts.
Do you know what I love about Pat Flynn’s affiliate disclaimer page?
It’s that he says “I am doing this as a for-profit business and, frankly, so should you with your site unless you have some charitable endeavor in mind.”
Flynn encourages other bloggers (theoretically his competition) to run their sites as for-profit businesses.
Why would he encourage his competition to potentially steal business from him?
Flynn has an abundance mindset.
He doesn’t get hung up thinking more money for you means less for him.
Instead, he encourages everyone to add as much value as they can through monetization because he knows that a world filled with value is a better place.
3. Monetization will help you persevere through difficult times.
We’ve all had setbacks in life.
I created a failed app and two websites that never received any traffic.
The creators of the hit mobile game Angry Birds created 51 games that failed before their success.
Failure is inevitable.
How do you power through setbacks, disappointments, and failure?
Money is a powerful motivator and not just because it’s your livelihood.
It’s also a powerful motivator because when your blog is making money, you know you are adding value.
When we have others relying on us to add value to their lives, we don’t want to let them down.
We should want to fulfill and even exceed their expectations!
Without the possibility of making money from this blog, I simply wouldn’t have the motivation to continue writing.
Like I indicated in the goal of our blog, making money is the motivation for me to write articles day after day because profit means I’m adding value to my readers.
4. Monetization can provide for your family.
With easily scalable businesses, there’s potential to make a lot of money.
This is one of the reasons blogging is so exciting!
But even if you don’t become a multi-millionaire blogging, it can still be a significant source of income.
Mindy of thisfairytalelife.com is an example of a blogger who’s making around $1,000 per month with her site.
This isn’t enough for her and her family to live on, but I’m sure it helps pay the bills!
Who knows how high her income can grow if she keeps at it!
So why not monetize your blog and leverage a hobby to help provide for yourself and others?
5. Monetization will teach you a lot.
Most people go their whole lives without understanding how business works and how they can generate revenue.
If you want an education, try to make money yourself; rather than doing it through a job.
You’ll likely discover it’s much harder than you thought, as Matt and I have.
When you try to make money on your own, two things happen.
- You will be more thankful for your current job and the reliability of your paycheck.
- You will learn a lot.
Laura Roeder of LKRSocialMedia.com says entrepreneurship will teach you leadership.
Darrah Brustein of NetworkUnder40.com says entrepreneurship will teach you the importance of networking.
Andrew Thomas of SkyBell Technologies says entrepreneurship will teach you grit in the face of failure. (reference)
These are just a few of the many concepts you will learn firsthand if you try to make money on your own.
6. Monetization can free you from the corporate lifestyle.
I’ve written before about the dangers of relying solely on a job for your income.
But more than that, I want to help as many people as possible free themselves from the corporate lifestyle.
This doesn’t happen overnight, but monetizing your blog can get you on track to free yourself from corporatism.
These are just a handful of the successful bloggers making a full-time income with their blogs.
So start removing your dependence on the corporate lifestyle today and monetize your blog.
7. Monetization is a powerful tool for inspiring your audience.
One of the most inspiring aspects of professional bloggers’ websites are their income reports.
Because it gives the rest of us hope that I too could earn a full-time income blogging!
At least, that’s what prompted me to start this blog.
Amazingly successful bloggers like Pat Flynn and Michelle Schroeder-Gardner helped me believe that I too could earn enough income to escape our corporate jobs.
And I hope that I can inspire you to start blogging as well!
8. Monetization adds value to others adding value.
Whenever you have a revenue generating business, you’re going to have expenses no matter how lean your operation.
When you pay these expenses you are paying other people’s incomes and exchanging cash for the value provided to you by others.
In other words, when you add value, you allow others to add value as well.
A clear example of this reality in action is my Bluehost web hosting.*
Because I’m running this blog, I’m using Bluehost’s services* to host my blog and am paying them for this service.
In the process of adding value to others, Bluehost is adding value to me and I’m paying them for it.
It’s a value adding cycle.
9. Monetization helps you take blogging seriously.
The difference between a professional and an amateur is that a professional gets paid.
The word “professional” also implies a greater a level seriousness than an amateur or hobbyist.
Why do professionals tend to take their craft more seriously?
Because money is involved!
If you want to be serious about blogging, monetization will help you do that.
Otherwise, it’s just a hobby that might only hold your interest for a little while or until you face adversity. James Clear says, “being a pro is about having the discipline to commit to what is important to you instead of merely saying something is important to you.”
Do you have the discipline to commit to blogging professionally?
10. Monetization encourages you to create great content.
Creating great content is usually a side-effect of taking your craft seriously.
Once you realize that great content is what your audience wants, you will put in the time to satisfy that demand.
Likewise, monetization is helpful in showing you just how great (or lacking) your content is.
In other words, if you successfully sell a million units of something, you know that whatever you’re selling is pretty great.
Otherwise people wouldn’t be buying it!
Between 2005 and 2011 Mike Geary sold over 500,000 copies of his fitness product, “The Truth about Abs.”
It’s hard to imagine Geary could get away with selling that many copies of a horrible product.
On the other hand, if you do a great job marketing your product but make very few sales, you know that whatever you’re selling is probably lacking in quality.
If blogging for profit were easy, everyone would do it.
But in reality, few people make significant money blogging.
Problogger.com performed a poll of ~1,000 of their readers (the majority of whom had been blogging for <2 years) and found these results regarding how much they make:
Only 4% are making anywhere close to a full-time income!
This isn’t meant to discourage you.
It’s meant to reinforce the dedication professional blogging requires.
In other words, monetization is hard work.
Don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise.
That’s just one of the reasons why monetization is so important – it gives you the motivation to keep going when the going gets tough.
Why else should you monetize your blog?
I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.