StrategyAudit has been going now for quite a long time, almost 1,500 posts to date, averaging between 2 & 3 a week. Every month there are around 1,000 unique visitors, who consume on average 2.3 posts each visit.
By some standards these are pretty modest numbers, but at least I am reasonably consistent and persistent.
I am asked from time to time how much money I make from the effort, and most are surprised at the answer:
Nada. Zilch. Nothing.
There are so many blogs out there that have no purpose other than to squeeze a bob, I am reluctant to add another. Besides, my purpose is to capture, organise and record my mostly random musings on various matters of interest, and to make my living providing insight and advice to my clients, not flog stuff to random visitors led to the posts by PPC ads.
It makes me a better confidant and consultant to my clients, as well as sharing a bit of the love around.
I have however, thought about it, and been very tempted from time to time. I thought about it again over the past weekend, and decided against it, again, but in the process, assembled a list of ways I thought I could ‘monetise’ the effort, should I decide to do so, at some point.
This requires that you either put an ad on your page for the affiliate product, or put in a link that sends a visitor to the sales page directly, such as to the Amazon site. There are many variations on the theme, and there are many products available to sell as an affiliate. Most responsible bloggers restrict their affiliate efforts to products that their specific niche may be interested in. Were I to do it, the sorts of products might be business books and courses, website hosting, and various tools such as autoresponders, and CRM software that automate parts of the digital marketing ecosystem.
Affiliate marketing is the most common and biggest money spinner for most bloggers. The two biggest affiliate sites are Clickbank and Amazon Associates, but there are many others. Before you venture into it, consider the sorts of things that you might sell that are consistent with your niche, and that your audience might welcome being able to get from you. Generally it also comes with some level of implied endorsement, so caution is warranted.
Google makes it very easy for you. All you have to do is sign up, they will stick ads on your site, and give you a fee for every click from your site. For a small blogger like me, the amount is pretty small, and Google controls which ads get placed on your site. When you work hard to service a niche, risking them being alienated by ads for the flimsy promise of a few dollars does not make much sense to me.
Sponsored posts and reviews.
Some bloggers get paid to write a post, or review of a sponsors product, presumably favourable, which is the point. There are many books and writers that I am happy to endorse, but I have never taken a buck to do so, as that would compromise my right to absolute independence. Similarly, paid guest posts are a great way to build a ‘list’ trading on the readership of others. This certainly does work, and I have guest posted a few times on sites relevant to ‘my patch’ but never been paid. (it is also true that nobody has offered to pay me, but don’t tell anyone)
The double sided nature of the web means that assembling links and content that others might like to use is a service that can be sold. It is easy enough to use a WordPress plugin to enable such a service, but then to my mind if you are to make any useful money from it, marketing the service has to become the focus of the blog. Not interested.
Create a product and flog it.
This is an extremely useful strategy, but contrary to all the hype from those seeking to profit from your efforts by teaching you how, is it very difficult. The 1400 plus StrategyAudit posts give me a significant well to dig into, and clearly I have done a lot of writing work to get there, but it is still not easy, as my several efforts to collate my musings into still unpublished books will attest.
There are many options, give away e-books as lead magnets, e-books for sale on Amazon and others, hard cover books and guides, courses, membership ‘clubs’, the list goes on, all designed to generate so called ‘passive income’ a really attractive prospect. All however take effort to create, curate, and market the content on an ongoing basis. One day perhaps.
Be an expert.
This is the one thing I do set out to do. By writing and publishing those sometimes random thoughts, I hope to demonstrate rather than just talk about the expertise and experience I have gathered over 40 years of commercial life, and just life itself. The ‘urgers’ around tell me I am just trading time for money, without the option of scaling, and that is true, but it is also comfortable. Perhaps that is the problem, I am genuinely setting out to help others, not just myself into their pockets.
Let me know what you think, am I mad??