Today’s post is going to be one of those more lifestyle rambly posts so if that isn’t your sort og thing you may not like this one. I talk about blogging a lot as I work in Outreach and PR so the topic of monetisation comes up a lot and I thought it would be fun to discuss this.
Disclaimer: This post only reflects my own personal views so if you do like to monetise please don’t take offence this post isn’t meant to be offensive it’s simply my thoughts.
What is monetisation?
For those of you who may not be familiar with monetisation, this is where bloggers make money from their blog. Now that influencers and bloggers are so popular it can be difficult to find a blog that doesn’t monetise. Many brands are willing to pay bloggers to promote or share their product, their website or their link and so a lot of bloggers like to capitalise on this. Personally, I don’t make any money from my blog, I feel that if I was to monetise the my blog would end up changing, that I’d feel under pressure to churn out content and sell myself and my blog to advertisers which I just don’t want to do. Having said that plenty of bloggers maintain their integrity and their image whilst monetising so it is personal preference.
The first way that bloggers can monetise is to use sidebar advertisers. With sites that are not self hosted this can be tricky especially as WordPress doesn’t allow you to have external advertisers on your site. Some bloggers also promote other bloggers by including a short footnote at the end of their posts. I don’t have a problem with advertising provide it is done properly, nothing annoys me more is when the content is difficult to read due to ads and pop ups everywhere however, I do feel that advertising is one of the most honest ways to monetise.
Affiliate Networking has quickly become possible especially with sites like Rakuten Linkshare and plugins such as Skimlinks. Affiliate links are links to a product or website however, the blogger makes a small percentage of money whenever somebody clicks the link and purchases a product. For me, I find that affiliate links can be an little iffy a lot of people don’t disclose them when I feel you should, also the money that can be made is very small so those who do use affiliate links have to use them regularly to make money. Affiliate Linking can also negatively impact upon your SEO – if you spam affiliate links before original content you can end up being deindexed which essentially means being removed from Google’s Search Engine Results Pages.
Personally I don’t consider product reviews a form of monetisation for the most part. If I get sent a product in exchange for a review I always make sure that this is disclosed and the brand is aware that I will be giving a full, honest review. I tend to work on the basis that if I receive a product for free (providing it’s relevant) I will review it free of charge. Some bloggers, only review products if they also receive compensation which can make product reviews a form of monetisation. Personally, I feel that this can be a little unfair expecting to be paid when you are already receiving a free product or service.
One of the most common forms of monetisation out there, a lot of bloggers accept sponsored posts. Although bloggers don’t seem to have a standardised definition, I consider a sponsored post to be content that has been placed on a blog (whether written by a blogger or a brand) and has been paid for. Sponsored posts often occur when a brand pays a blogger to post this content. I personally, don’t like the idea of sponsored posts, whilst I don’t mind reading them I feel that many bloggers can be tempted by the money and will post irrelevant unrelated content, I also refuse to post any content on my blog that is not mine and I don’t want to accept money for producing content on my blog for the reasons I mentioned earlier. Sponsored posts are usually disclosed by bloggers either in a written disclaimer or by using the hashtag #AD.
Paid Events and Press Trips
Another way of monetisation can be through events or press trips. Some bloggers may receive cash compensation for attending an event, press trips usually are restricted to journalists however, certain genres of blogs (such as travel blogs) offer bloggers free trips in exchange for publicity, again these trips can either cover all of the bloggers fees for accommodation, flights etc or could even provide a blogger with a free trip and compensation on top. Paid Events and Press Trips are probably the least common forms of monetisation simply because a lot of bloggers are receiving a free service so don’t charge, also it can be costly for brands to send bloggers on press trips.
Should you monetise?
Overall, I feel that monetisation is a personal preference. More bloggers than not now monetise and whilst I don’t feel that it is for me it is very commonplace in the bloggersphere now. If you are considering it, evaluate your worth look at your SEO rankings, think about your readership and social following and think about the right opportunities for you. Monetisation is difficult and you can be taxed on your income don’t create a blog just for the sake of money and don’t be that blogger that sells their soul for a quick cash injection it’s just not worth it.