Thursday, 30 August 2012

Is monetisation a dirty word?

Above: Quality advertising Bangkok style
What do you think about adverts on blogs?

I'm in two minds whether to mention this or see if someone else does...  I've been dipping my toe in Adsense for the last year - with adverts so discreet neither you or anyone else has spotted them (in the invisible space at the bottom of the right hand column.) They don't earn mega-bucks... but they could!

Here are the easiest ways to earn money from your blog (or website):
  • Become an Amazon Affiliate - join up and get the codes to insert an array of Amazon ads - from hyperlinks for individual items to all-singing banners and the little search engine gismo on the top right of this blog. They pay a generous 5% commission if anyone buys through your links (and it'll soon be Christmas again folks!) but only after you reach a £30 threshold.
  • Join Google Adsense - again options include anything from a line of text to full bells and whistles. You get a few pennies for certain numbers of people clicking on the ads, not just buying stuff. You can screen out ads on sensitive subjects (e.g. sex, religion, folk-dancing) or things you don't want to promote (e.g. gambling, loans, the Daily Mail). But again, you have to earn £60 before you get anything.
  • If you're a member of certain other sites (eg Topcashback) they sometimes pay commission to promote their sites. Only do this if you honestly think they're ace (I do, by the way) or your credibility will be shot!

Personally, my brain edits out adverts - except those horribly distracting moving banner ones (like on this short fiction site where they jump around at the side of the story for God's sake!) - so I won't have noticed if any of you have adverts on your pages. But I've added some - still quite discreet - to test them out and may keep tweaking. I'm aiming here more at casual visitors to old posts, not regulars, but you don't get the option to only put them on old posts... not that I can find anyhoo.

Question:  've been thinking about how much I like blogging but can't justify the time spent on it (my only income is p/time £7/hr  - I make almost nothing from writing). But is it 'wrong' to do it at all? Or I could have more than one blog - one for the usual random stuff, and another, more focussed on e.g. writing which would be more monetised.

What does anyone think? *braces herself for diatribes*

20 comments:

  1. I don't think that monetisation is any kind of word, apart from a non-existent one.
    And I have ad-blocker set in my browser, so I never see ads.
    But, I hope you get rich.

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  2. It's a hard one, and every blogger has to face it at some point. I personally think ads are no problem, as long as they're not those floating ones or the "page break" type where they take you to a full page ad and you have to go from there to where you want to. Another sort of advertising is the one where they highlight words in your text with links. I'm still not sure what I think about those, but I have to confess a part of me would like to try and see how it goes.

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  3. I find all advertising intrusive I'm afraid Clare. The Amazon one ifs fairly discreet but I wouldn't click on it to search, because when I open your blogpost I'm doing so in order to read what witty comments you have come up with today, not because I'm searching for something to buy online. That's a separate activity altogether and involves me going through the Nectar portal in order to garner extra Nectar points for ME!

    Blogging is hugely time-consuming amd I would never have considered it whilst working full-time; I take my hat off to those bloggers who do manage it. You say you enjoy it, so why stop though....everyone should have a hobby. If it's getting in the way of your more serious writing (in which you hope to make your fortune) that's a different matter, and you could come to resent it.

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    1. Sound advice, Nell. Thanks.

      And it's made me stop being funny too! 8-(

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  4. Just to clarify, you're asking if it's wrong to try and make money from the blog? I'm an accountant, so perhaps one of the few people who would wonder if you meant writing for free is wrong. :)

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    1. Noooo! Writing for free isn't 'wrong', it's just I'd like to write all the time, and it's finding a way to do that... and be happy! I could probably answer this myself if I wasn't such a flibbertigibbet!

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    2. I realised yesterday that my thinking on this has been skewed by L.M. Montgomery - there's a story where Diana secretly submits one of Anne's stories to a flour company's competition (I think it was flour). The story wins and Anne gets a lot of money but she is horrified that her creation has been tainted by such mercenary usage... I think there's a subtext there that the writing is art and not something you could - or should - make a living off.

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  5. I don't think it's wrong to monetise your blog, but I'm with Nell on this one. I don't need ad-blocker, because I'm pre-programmed to ignore adverts. Like Nell, if I want to purchase something from Amazon, I go through the Nectar portal.

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    1. Hey... I want a Nectar portal too! Where can I get one?

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  6. I think you're entitled to do whatever you feel like! :) there's nothing wrong with it. For me, I just can't be bothered. But I've seen ads on other blogs and they don't bother me in the slightest. Go for it!

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    1. What I feel like is sitting in the garden with a G&T!

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    2. Hey! Maybe I need a writer's retreat! ;D

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  7. My jury's still out on the advertising thing. Re blogging, I'm a bad person to ask (okay. You didn't specifically) because I do it way too,much. But I enjoy it, get things off my chest, I hope get a tiny bit of publicity for my books. If you enjoy it, do it. It isn't illegal or fattening, and I for one enjoy your posts. Please carry on!

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    1. Well I bought one of your books on the back of it! (but I haven't read it yet - too 'busy' faffing about on the Internet!

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  8. Hmmm, I would never contemplate adverts yet as my bloggy audience is way too small! Income from adverts should only really be seen as a bonus, else the blog would run the risk of having to be written to get viewers who then go to the adverts, stifling creativity and dumbing down on what the blog started as. Times do change however, and when needs must.... but don't stop blogging just yet else I'll lose 33% of my followers!

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  9. I don't notice the small ads either. Having said that, the current one is for a site I use so next time I'm headed there I'll see if I can go via you.

    As Nick said, if you want a blog that makes actual money it would have to be targeted, and looking at the ones that claim to (they all seem to be blogs about how to write blogs, strangely enough) they are designed for mass appeal, which is where the option of starting a second one makes sense.

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  10. P.S. I don't think monetise is a dirty word, but I do think it's an ugly one. There must be a better way to express it.

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