What do you think about monetizing? | Fun Questions

January 18, 2014 Fun Questions 27

Join me every Saturday as I ask a Fun Question that’s been on my mind. I’ll give you my take, but I really hope you’ll jump in with your answers too, since I’m really curious to know what my fellow readers and bloggers think! So today’s question is…

What do you think about monetizing?

This is something I’ve been thinking about ever since I got an inquiry this fall about advertising on my blog. At the time, I felt like I just wasn’t ready to do it. I have nothing against it and I think advertising is something I’d really like to do eventually. I mean, I love blogging and if I could make some money while doing it – to pay for the periodic giveaways, for example – that would be awesome. Hell, if this could be my full time job I’d be thrilled, though I’m not holding my breath for that particular scenario.

I think one of the main reasons I decided not to do advertising yet was that I want to make sure that it’s done right. Ads don’t bother me, but I do occasionally stumble across a blog where ads are the MAIN thing I notice. To me, that’s doing it wrong. Yes, ads should get attention – otherwise, what’s the point, right? But at the same time, I want my posts to still be the most important thing on the page. This wasn’t something I started to make money. I started my blog to talk books with other people who love them as much as I do, and I don’t want anything to take away from that purpose. Plus, I don’t want people who don’t like advertising to be turned off by it and stop joining in on the conversations on my blog for me to make $10 a month.

I do wonder, though, how people have made the decision to monetize their blog. Besides the above reason, I decided not to before because I just didn’t feel that my stats were high enough or consistent enough to make me a good place for an advertiser. Not to mention, it would be a lot of work to setup and since my stats are still on the smallish size, I don’t feel I could charge enough for it to be worth all that extra work. I’d rather be spending that time on my blog. Maybe someday, when I’m finally writing posts a month in advance and more consistently I’ll feel like it’s a good move. I think I also would prefer to do it when I have a better understanding of WordPress (I’m pretty much a fill in the blanks user right now). And I have NO graphic skills, so all my ads would have to come predesigned (though I guess that’s probably how it works most often anyway). The one thing I have done is add affiliate links for Amazon. So far it hasn’t made me anything significant, but it’s an easy way to add the potential for income without really having to do anything different. I’ve thought about adding an Amazon widget, but again, I’m afraid of making my blog look like a site for advertising rather than a site for books.

I’m really curious to know everyone’s thoughts about monetizing. What do you think of blogs that monetize? Personally, when done tastefully, it doesn’t bother me. I might get a wee-bit jealous that they are able to do it and I don’t think I am, but that’s it. Also, for those of you who do monetize – how do you do it? When did you start? Is it worth the time investment? Those of you who don’t do it – why don’t you? Is it because you think it’s a bad idea or, like me, do you feel you aren’t quite ready?

What do you think about monetizing?

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Kimberly Sams

27 Responses to “What do you think about monetizing? | Fun Questions”

  1. kimbacaffeinate

    Like you if it’s done tastefully meaning I am not searching for your content amongst all the ads then I say go for it. I host a lot of events and giveaways on my blog as well as self host so I have had ads and use affiliate links all of which help offset the costs of my passionate hobby. While I made enough last year to pay for hosting and some of my giveaways the truth is if I were a business my books would still be in the red…LOL
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Dangerous Refuge by Elizabeth LowellMy Profile

    • Berls

      I think your blog is the perfect example of how ads can be done tastefully, Kimba. I just decided to see about adding Adsense – because I don’t think I’m quite ready to do independent ads and that sounds simple enough. They’re reviewing my application, so we’ll see. But if you’d still be in the red, I imagine that I will never make much from blogging. Which is ok, because that’s not why I got into it in the first place.

    • Berls

      That’s a really good point Nathan! That would be the opposite of what I’d want to happen and since the money wouldn’t cover much, I think it wouldn’t be worth compromising my reviews. I’m seriously considering adding some monetizing, but that’s something I’ll be sure to keep in mind.

    • Berls

      I’m actually planning to check out Amazon widgets this week. I want to find something that might help a bit without being overwhelming. If I could make just enough to cover my hosting fees, that would be perfect.

  2. Michelle

    Since I am still on blogger for now I tried Google Adsense they are so STUPID. I got denied twice because they don’t know what my blog is about…WHAT?!?!?! they can’t determine by the content….REALLY lol

    I want to do ads but for books and books only. I am trying to find a way to add it in on Limabean Designs. I love creating things for people and I don’t want to make a ton (would be nice lol) just enough to cover giveaways (I would do more if I had the money) and the cost of the WP service. Need to work out all the details and I have seen people do it on their own so I know it can be done. Might have to change my name to Limabean Design and Advertising (Name needs a little work) ;)

    I just rambled not even sure I answered the post lol.
    Michelle recently posted…My To-Be Read List 1/18/14My Profile

    • Berls

      Turns out you can have Adsense even if you aren’t on Google and I JUST applied. We’ll see. If they turned you down, I don’t expect much better luck. Although I’m sure it’s a computer deciding whether or not to accept the application, so who knows.

      And I think you should just call it Limabean Design :) Can’t wait for you to work out all the details :)

  3. Bookworm Brandee

    I don’t have a problem with blogs monetizing, Berls. But like you said, it should be tastefully done. I don’t want ads to be what I notice first on a blog – that’s not why I am visiting the blog. I haven’t given a lot of thought to doing this. I have thought of becoming an affiliate through Amazon and B&N – I mean, I provide those links for all the books I review. But I haven’t done that either. :) It’ll probably take me awhile to decide one way or the other…I tend to be a procrastinator and ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, you know? LOL
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…**Sidekick Showcase #28 ~ Anger Management**My Profile

    • Berls

      LOL I’m right there with you on the procrastination. And the affiliate links don’t make much. I set mine back up in July and just got my first $20 this month. That was gone FAST on books, but hey, it’s better than nothing.

    • Berls

      Well I just decided to apply for an Adsense account through Google. We’ll see how that goes. And I do the affiliate links. That’s it so far – so we’ll see. No matter what, I don’t think I’ll ever be making much money…

  4. Braine Talk Supe

    I would do it for the reasons you mentioned – supplement giveaways etc. But I don’t want my blog to look like the vegas strip with a bunch of stuff. I would do it but I would be picky, make sure that the content is something I support or is related to what my blog is about.
    Braine Talk Supe recently posted…Bought Borrowed & Bagged #84My Profile

    • Berls

      That’s a good thought too… I don’t want ads that don’t fit my content. I just applied for an Adsense account, but I wonder if they allow that kind of selectivity? Hmm, something to think about!

  5. Angie

    I’ll be honest… I don’t really like advertising but I understand why people do it. If you have a successful blog then why not? I think my blog would have to be more serious for me to have advertising (not that anyone has asked me). I don’t do blog tours or giveaways on my blog either. I just don’t want to buy my followers with that. I don’t know.. maybe I am going about it all wrong. Interesting that one of the comments above was being turned down by adsense. The way google advertises that to Blogger blogs you would think everyone is approved.

    If you do it I would also be interested in hearing about your experiences. I certainly don’t like when affiliate links are all up in a post. Sometimes I’ll skip people’s new releases this week posts because I know they are just affiliate links. Blogger does try to avoid this and will sometimes mark these blogs as spam.
    Angie recently posted…Sunday PostMy Profile

    • Berls

      You know I hadn’t even thought about that with the new release posts, but you’re right, I bet they are affiliate links. I don’t know if that bothers me, though, since I still appreciate them reminding me of books I might want to get.

      I think you’re raise an interesting question (which just might have to show up in one of my future posts) – at what point are you buying followers? I do giveaways because I love a book or want to help promote an author or as part of a challenge (as a reward), but I’ve seen instances where the giveaways really do seem to turn into elements to gain followers.

  6. Trish

    I used to think it was a bit of a sell out but I’ve since changed my mind. As long as the adds don’t slow the site down and are discreet now I don’t mind. Blogging can get expensive with hosting fees and the odd giveaway so if people can make money, then they should go for it. I don’t have good enough stats for that though but for the bigger bloggers, they work hard to maintain that presence and I have nothing but respect for them now and I think they deserve any income they can generate.
    On a sidenote though, I never take any notice of the adds so I wonder how effective they are.
    Trish recently posted…The Sunday Post : Get your Bookish NewsMy Profile

    • Berls

      I was wondering the same thing. I see the ads sometimes, but I never click on them (at least that I remember). I know my affiliate links haven’t generated much income… but I guess all that put together might be enough to cover hosting fees. And some ads are based on exposure, not clicks, so that pays regardless. Of course, I’m not a big enough blog to do that.

  7. Lark

    Good post, Berls! I’ve thought about becoming an Amazon and B&N affiliate, but I haven’t made up my mind yet. On the one hand, it could help me pay for giveaways and self-hosting my blog (which I don’t do yet but would like to.) OTOH, I worry that readers will think my opinions are influenced by the fact that I’m an affiliate, or that they will be turned off and go somewhere else. I also like linking my covers to Goodreads rather than to a retail site. (That said, I’ve already experimented with including in my reviews links to Amazon, Kobo, & B&N, but they are clearly labeled as such.)

    As a blog reader, I don’t mind a discreet ad for a book or bookstore. It doesn’t bother me if someone is an affiliate as long as their blog states that fact clearly (though I’m not necessarily going to go through them to buy something). I dislike too many ads, ads that are in the way or grab all the attention, and ads for things unrelated to books.
    Lark recently posted…Sunday Post – 1/19/14My Profile

    • Berls

      I think it is important to note somewhere on the blog that buy links support the blog (I have mine in the FTC Disclaimer). I don’t THINK people get the impression that I’m influenced by the potential to make money from the links, but I guess that is a distinct possibility. I tend to link to Amazon and Goodreads, because as a reader, sometimes I want to add to my tbr and sometimes I want to know if I can get the book for cheap on Amazon. But it’s not really motivated by my affilate links at all, since that doesn’t make much. I’ll be lucky to get more than my hosting fees covered this year.

  8. A Voracious Reader

    I’d love to get paid for the time and effort I put into my blog. Not the actual blog itself since I’m still figuring out how things work and it’s not like my blog is extra sparkly (lol), but the time in reading, writing the review and drafting the posts. Then posting the review and link in all the places that I do.

    I don’t mind advertising on blogs especially affiliate links. I wish I could do it to mine, but that’s another thing I haven’t figured out how to do yet. I’m too busy reading and writing my reviews. One of these days I’ll get my shit together. LOL

    However, if a blog is loaded with ads 1. it makes the blog messy and visually unappealing, not to mention I think “Where is the content I came to read?” 2. it loads super slow and 3. I never go back.
    A Voracious Reader recently posted…Guest Reviewer ~ Breaking the CycleMy Profile

    • Berls

      the slow loading is a definite problem with overwhelming ads. I’m constantly trying to find ways to make my page load more quickly and I don’t have ads, so I can only imagine if I had loads of ads.

      But boy would it be nice if I could blog and make money doing it! So far, I’m probably going to cover my hosting fees for the year and that’s it.

  9. Lisa

    Well, I’ve thought about monetizing my blog since I started it two years ago, but haven’t done so for the same reasons you haven’t done it.

    I too think monetizing would be a great way to earn a small amount of money to use towards possible giveaways and to also pay for shipping of books that I exchange with other readers around the USA through Bookcrossing.

    I don’t mind advertising as long as it is done well and not too intrusive.
    Lisa recently posted…I LOVE Book Art!!My Profile

    • Berls

      I do feel that to really do ads I’d have to be much bigger. I did just decide to apply for an adsense account, so hopefully that will be a non obtrusive way to potentially add a little income to the blog.

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