Today I’m in bit of existential dilemma, and title says it all.
Since last year, when I started my travel and photography site and later this copywriting one, I’ve always known I was going to include blogs on both. I enjoy all kinds of writing, whether it’s the more literary style for travel or the factual for copywriting and marketing.
But the one thing I’ve struggled with is the question of generating an income from my endeavors.
Somehow, I think that if I starting including ads on my site, it’s going to cheapen it. Easy money for clicking, as it were. My aims for the blogs has been to share my views of the world through my journeys and provide quality marketing content for travel companies. It hasn’t been to make money from either.
I also get really annoyed by seeing a webpage that’s covered wall-to-wall with ads. In those cases, it’s difficult to tell the editorial from the sales copy apart, and all I want to do is exit those sites as quickly as possible.
However, when I have visited other people’s blogs, seven times out of ten there banner ads specially tailored to my interests based on previous searches. For instance, I recently looked up vacations to Argentina for some travel research. Lo and behold, the next time I was on a blog, guess what popped up? Ads for trips to Argentina. Thanks, Google, for being so thoughtful!
Then there’s whole affiliate marketing thing, which I’m still trying to understand. Let me see if I follow…
So I list a company in the hopes that visitors to my sites will click on their links or ads, and then I can make some money if those people generate a sale? That could be worth it, if I don’t have to pay too much upfront, which some businesses do. I’ll have to check into that and make sure I’m not getting cheated in the process.
Don’t ask me about pay-per-click (PPC) ads. I’m far from considering that option. Or memberships, product sales and all those other strategies that make the really big bucks.
Here’s why I struggle with monetizing my sites, and it’s kind of sad confession.
I hardly ever click on those ads myself. When I do, it’s because my finger has errantly slipped on the mouse and went to it. Yeah, I really wasn’t meaning to find out more about government-sponsored re-fi’s for my financially underwater properties, or lose weight with awful-looking food.
So I have a built-in skepticism about this issue. I know that when I’m the visitor, I’m not the one helping out the blog owner to make money. What makes me think the favor will be returned?
But it can work. So I’m willing to give it a try, starting next month, on my other blog and not this one just yet. I’ll report back here on a later date to let you know how this little experiment goes.
How do you feel about blog or website monetization? I’d love to know your thoughts – post them below!
My postings on this blog will return in two weeks. I’ll be in Los Angeles for the Thanksgiving holiday all next week. So follow me over at Californian in Exile for (hopefully) daily postings from our corner of a snow-free, traffic-choked paradise.