A question I get asked a lot is when should I monetize my blog and how should I go about doing it. There are two schools of thought on this. The first says to monetize from the get go because if you wait, it could cause a reader revolt because they will perceive you as a sell out. The second school of thought says you should wait until you have a readership before monetize it.
There is no right or wrong answer. The right answer for you depends on what your goals for the blog are. If you’re goal is just to make a few extra bucks, then you can use Google Ads from the get go. If you’re looking to build a solid and lasting blogging business that will allow you to live the Dot Com Lifestyle, then my recommendation is to wait before putting on the ads. John Chow dot Com made no money for the first eight months of its life. There were zero ads on it and no affiliate promotion of any kind. Here are my reasons why you should wait before putting advertising on your blog.
Advertising and Readership Building Are Counter Productive
When you’re starting out, your goal should be to build a readership by getting readers to subscribe to your blog. Advertising takes people away from your blog. If most of your traffic comes from search engines, then this becomes really bad. Chances are, the searcher will be new and doesn’t know who you are. If he clicks on the ad and leaves, he’ll forget you within 30 seconds.
Because AdSense ads are based on clicks, everyone tries to optimize them to increase the click rate and therefore, increase the number of people leaving. And for what? So you can make 25 cents? For a new blog, this is very short-sighted thinking. You want to build a relationship with your readers by getting them to opt into your mailing list. You don’t want to send them away by clicking on a Google Ad.
Maximizing blog income is all about maximizing the lifetime revenue per reader. By building a relationship with a new reader instead of trying to get him to click on a Google Ad (and never seeing him again), you’ll grow your blog readership and will make far more money than a Google Ad can ever pay you.
If you look at all the really big sites on the Net (Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), you’ll see that they had zero advertising when they started. They put all their efforts into building the user base. It’s extremely hard to build a big user base when there are ads sending users away.
You Need a Readership Base Before You Can Make Money
You will be able to build that blog readership base a lot faster if there’s no advertising on it. Instead of spending your time optimizing the Google ads, you should be working on building a readership.
Without a readership base, there’s really no reason to monetize a blog since a readership base is the main requirement for a money-making site. No readers equals no money. This means you’ll need to fund your blog until the time comes to monetize it. Luckily, the operating costs of running a blog is so much less than a normal business that this shouldn’t be a problem for most.
My blog cost just under $1,200 a month to run, but it was started for the cost of a $10 domain name. The cost of running a new blog is so low that trying to earn money to cover the expenses shouldn’t even enter the equation.
Advertising Should Be The Last Monetization Method
When it finally comes time to make money off the blog, advertisings (like Google AdSense), should be the last method you use. Remember, ads take readers away so they should be used sparingly.
My favorite way to monetize a blog is with a mailing list and backend sales funnel. The beauty of this system is you can keep the blog ad free while making more money. The direct advertising you see on this blog accounts for less 1/3 of the total income. The rest comes from the backend system.
A backend system can help with readership building as well as monetizing. The original reason for setting up the blog mailing list was to build the readership base. But that mailing list is also the reason the blog makes over $40,000 a month.
The backend system will allow you to make money from your blog from day one. Because it has captured the readers’ email, you’ll have no fear of them leaving your blog and forgetting about you since you have a method to contact them again. If you want to monetize your blog from the get go, do it with a backend sales system. You’ll be building your readership and making money at the same time.
The Backend Sales Funnel Starts with Aweber
You should set up your backend system at the same time you set up your new blog. At first, it will be used to help build your readership by capturing the readers’ email addresses. Those emails will be worth a lot of money later.
My backend system is built on Aweber. Their list building features makes it extremely easy to set up an auto responder sales funnel, and their customer support is the best I’ve ever experienced. Aweber offers a $1 trial account for all new customers. The account is just like a normal Aweber account so it’s a great way to test drive Aweber to see what it can do for your blog. Your satisfaction is guaranteed. If you’re not happy for any reason, contact Aweber within 30 days and they’ll give you the $1 back.