Reboot Your Blog (How to Turn Profits Instead of Stomachs)

A lot of us begin blogging with the notion in our noggins that we’ll make money via our blogs ‘some day’. Meanwhile, we pour our energy and talents into crafting quality content and building traffic, gradually growing a supportive and engaged community.

One day, we look up from our diligent endeavors long enough to realize we totally missed the Monetization Clue Train by waiting around for ‘some day’ to arrive. ‘Some day’ is not a day of the week, and if we’re serious about monetizing our blogs, we need to take action sooner, rather than later.

But just how do we shift into money-making mode now without coming across like a money-grubbing, ditch-licking weasel to our loyal readers?

Simple. We do it by continuing to put those readers first in everything we do.

Here’s how:

Feel their pain. Your readers have problems and challenges, and if you provide products and services that address those issues, they’ll thank you for it. Comb through their comments and conversations for clues about where they’re feeling short on knowledge and long on frustration. Run surveys or ask questions via your blog, newsletter, Facebook or Twitter to find out what sorts of things they’d like you to offer. Not only does this put you on the right course, but it gives readers a heads up that you’re going to be selling things with their interests in mind.

Get real. Once you know what readers want, get clear about your own business vision and be honest about your strengths, weaknesses, and passions. Would you enjoy working one-on-one as a coach or consultant, or do you prefer more ‘hands-off’ monetization options like ebooks, videos, and self-study courses? Perhaps you don’t have the time or desire to create your own products and prefer to stick with affiliate marketing or selling ad space for useful products. Create a plan and strategy that works for you, as well as for your readers.

Go slow. Don’t shock readers by offering so many products and services at once that your site looks like a hotel on the Vegas strip.  Add one offering at a time–perhaps by sharing a personal experience in a product review post with an affiliate link and then adding a banner ad for the product on your sidebar. Also, start sharing information in your blog posts about products you’re creating or hope to offer soon to keep your readers in the loop and build anticipation.

Respect them. We all have our own opinions on what’s good marketing and what’s obnoxious and annoying. In the end, only you can decide what it means to respect your readers and market with integrity. As a rule of thumb, aim to provide super-useful products based on quality and not commission and share the benefits of those products with readers without beating them over the head.

Show them the love. Continue providing top-notch free content and engaging with your community just as you did before you started offering products, and always treat buyers and non-buyers with equal respect. Also, give readers the opportunity to earn money by being affiliates for your products, and thank everyone for whatever role they play in your success, whether they tweet about your products or comment on your posts.

When you care about your readers, it shows, and they’ll see it as a benefit when you offer quality products and services through your site. Just stay tuned in to their wants and needs as you expand your monetization efforts, and your readers will stay tuned in to you.

Your turn: How would you suggest turning profits instead of stomachs?

Image Credit.

74 Responses to Reboot Your Blog (How to Turn Profits Instead of Stomachs)

  1. Arvind Devalia September 3, 2010 at 8:01 am #

    Jean, a thought provoking article from you as usual.

    Great title too. Made me realise that my stomach is calling me for some attention – time for some munching soon.

    As you say, it’s a fine line between trying to sell all the time and running your blog as a hobby (charity?)

    Having now built my following and credibility, I am focussing on writing ebooks for my target audience and also creating a membership site – the Make It Happen Club. The key as always would be to offer my followers what they want and not what I perceive they need. Watch this space:-)

    PS Another idea that you and I should explore – a dating site aimed at bloggers:-)
    Arvind Devalia recently posted..Become Human- Take a Bus Journey

    • Jean Sarauer September 3, 2010 at 9:53 am #

      Hi Arvind. I know your heart is in the right place and you’ll create valuable products and services and market with integrity. No doubt about it! I’ll put that blogger dating site on my 2011 product creation to-do list :)

  2. Katie September 3, 2010 at 8:09 am #

    You’re a blogger with soul, Jean, and your “business with heart” approach can, and should, also be applied to how we treat everyone in we encounter in life. It’s universal and brilliant advice. Thanks for keeping it real.
    Katie recently posted..How to Launch Your Own Mutiny &amp Toss That Unhealthy Self Overboard

    • Jean Sarauer September 3, 2010 at 9:56 am #

      Thanks, Katie. Speaking of brilliant, your ‘Mutiny’ post is amazing. I read it in my reader but didn’t get over to comment yet. I love your writing!

  3. Rosemary Hannan September 3, 2010 at 9:13 am #

    Great advice as always Jean…it’s very early days in my blog, but I’m not so sure that I’ll ever have a specific product to sell as I am simply relating funny and (hopefully) insightful real life anecdotes. I am going to have to work hard on the marketing aspect. Thinking cap time, methinks! :)
    Rosemary Hannan recently posted..Oh Crumbs!

    • Jean Sarauer September 3, 2010 at 9:59 am #

      Product ideas may pop into your into your mind a bit down the line, Rosemary. In the meantime, don’t be shy about signing on to Amazon or some other affiliate program. You could definitely offer affiliate links to books that fit with your style/tone/subject matter. It wouldn’t be a big money-maker, by any means, but it would get your readers used to seeing affiliate links/ads on your site.

  4. Keith Davis September 3, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    Hi Jean
    You always seem to hit the nail on the head – I will make money with my blog… one day.
    As I tread your first couple of paragraphs I thought that you had been reading my mind.

    Some great advice here, offered in your usual matter of fact, easy to read style.
    Keith Davis recently posted..Two way traffic

    • Jean Sarauer September 3, 2010 at 12:26 pm #

      Hi Keith. I think we all do that ‘some day’ thing about money making endeavors, as well as many other things in blogging (and life). If we would simply take teeny-tiny steps regularly in the direction we want to go, life would be so much simpler. I think I’m finally understanding and applying that myself, but we’ll see :)

  5. Jered September 3, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    Jean,

    I love how your main idea for turning profits is to develop great relationships with people by providing them tremendous value and caring about them.

    I think the cooler you are to people, the more value you add to their lives, the cooler they will be to you.

    Thank you for my daily dose of humble pie, Jean. You rock.
    Jered recently posted..Leading With Initiative

    • Jean Sarauer September 3, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

      Jered, I like the way you put that about how the cooler we are to people, the cooler they are to us. Ideally, our readers will know we’re basically just one of them – a person who is trying to do their best for those they care about and is sharing things that make life a whole lot easier.

  6. Linda September 3, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    This is a perfect and very timely post for me, Jean. I’d been wondering about the ‘Affiliate’ route but was very wary about, as you so aptly put it, ‘turning stomachs’. I like the idea of treading softly, perhaps starting with a book on Amazon.
    I look forward to being brave enough to make a start!
    I must tell myself that’One day’ never comes…

    • Jean Sarauer September 3, 2010 at 12:31 pm #

      Treading softly is good, Linda, not only for readers but also to get a fix on your own comfort level. Amazon would be a great fit for your site and your audience. Start making note of products and services you appreciate or want to try, as some of those things might be a good fit too.

  7. {Grow With} Stacy September 3, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    Great post! For a while I was afraid of seeming to eager to make money off my blog so I took all affiliate links off my side bar. Maybe I should put a couple back on!

    I do love blogging but at the same time I would like to start bringing in some money! :)
    {Grow With} Stacy recently posted..5 Steps to Building a Great Blog

    • Jean Sarauer September 3, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

      Stacy, I think a couple of affiliate links that you move around and rotate to keep fresh are a good idea. It’s an unobtrusive way of letting readers know you’ll be selling things on your blog, plus you may make a few dollars!

  8. Tess The Bold Life September 3, 2010 at 12:19 pm #

    I see way to many bloggers begin selling too many products, too fast and inundating readers with requests to buy.

    I think it’s about building trust. How long it takes to build trust is a good question. Do you care about me because you want me to buy something from you or do you care about ME?
    Tess The Bold Life recently posted..Feeling Jealous Shine Your Light On It…

    • Jean Sarauer September 3, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

      I like to think of marketing/monetization as part of the overall conversation. Hopefully, we conduct that conversation with respect in a comfortable environment. I love going to my favorite coffee shop and having the barista point out some new blend of tea or a new display of handmade jewelry. It adds to the experience by giving me something new to explore if I wish, without feeling an obligation to buy. I’d love to duplicate that feeling here.

  9. Tess The Bold Life September 3, 2010 at 12:20 pm #

    One more thought…do you think we could become such great writers and bloggers that our readers and commenters would beg us to create something because THEY want more?
    Tess The Bold Life recently posted..Feeling Jealous Shine Your Light On It…

    • Jean Sarauer September 3, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

      Definitely, Tess. I think that’s how it’s worked with Leo Babauta. And trust also creates an environment where readers eventually ask for recommendations on products and services too.

  10. Devesh September 3, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

    Jean,

    Awesome Post, as always.
    You always come up with something different.

    I really like the point on respecting your readers.

    Thanks for sharing this great POst Jean.
    Devesh recently posted..Networking as a Blogger

    • Jean Sarauer September 3, 2010 at 12:49 pm #

      Hey Dev. Respecting readers is key to enjoying every step of this journey!

  11. Kim NYC September 3, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    Hi Jean,

    Thank you so much for this super helpful post. There is a major wedding blog that inspired me to start mine, and I noticed that its founder uses all the strategies that you mentioned above. As a reader, it definitely makes me feel like she’s got my best interest in mind. When you notice someone’s integrity you can’t help but be drawn to them. :)

    I have a question. Perhaps you’ve addressed this in the past, but I was wondering when would be a good time to start monetizing, adding affiliate links, or talking about an idea for a product. And by “when” I mean how many average unique visitors should you have in a week? (Or however you want to interpret “when”.)

    Also, is there such a thing as starting to monetize too early? I started my blog about 3 months ago. I’ve gotten some good feedback, which has encouraged me to look with great hope into the future of my blog. (Daydreams of blogging and making a pretty decent part-time salary?? Guilty!) But I’ve also heard that it’s dangerous to be too money-focused. I read once that if your main focus is to make money with your blog it’s like learning ventriloquism in order to get a boyfriend/ girlfriend!

    Thanks so much,

    Kimberly
    Kim NYC recently posted..78- Facebook Contest Results!

    • Jean Sarauer September 3, 2010 at 5:44 pm #

      Hi Kim. If you know you want to make money on your site, I think it’s a good idea to plant the monetization seed early, but it’s a good idea to have at least 10 solid posts up so readers can see the value in your site. Then, just add products or links slowly, when things strike you as being appropriate for your readers. You won’t make more than a few random dollars here and there in the early days, but it will show readers you offer quality products and services along with your fabulous free content, and it will help you develop a healthy attitude towards running a business with your blog as the platform.

      In terms of numbers, every niche and audience is different. Some bloggers in the craft niche make good money by selling courses and they may have less than 250 subscribers. Then, there are personal development bloggers who say that even with over 1000 subscribers they only sell a handful of ebooks. Like everything else in blogging, I think it’s a matter of testing things out.

      Good luck with your goals!
      Jean Sarauer recently posted..Reboot Your Blog How to Turn Profits Instead of Stomachs

      • Kim NYC September 3, 2010 at 7:55 pm #

        Thanks so much for the insight, Jean. For now I think I’ll try Amazon book affiliation option and see how readers respond, like you suggested.

        Thank you so much for all that you do for us newbie and seasoned bloggers! :)
        Kim NYC recently posted..78- Facebook Contest Results!

  12. Steve September 3, 2010 at 2:50 pm #

    Jean, What a wonderful title and great post. I am still mostly in the “someday” portion of monetizing my blog. Though I have made some small inroads into monitization.

    I believe what you said about “going slow” was a very important point. You don’t want your readers to suddenly think you “sold out” and it is all about making money. (which it should not be) It is fine to integrate some attempts at to make money, after all a lot of time effort and your own money are invested in a blog, there is no reason to not try to get some back. But it really needs to be done gently and should not become the POINT of the blog, IMO
    Steve recently posted..12 Videos that Make You Want to Explore the World

    • Jean Sarauer September 3, 2010 at 5:52 pm #

      Hi Steve. Here’s something I just realized I should have added to the article: I like to look at things like bounce rate and time spent on site in Google Analytics. If readers are spending a good deal of time on the site, viewing several pages per visit, etc., then it tells me they’re enjoying the site and I’m on the right track.

      If I put up ads or start doing product reviews and those numbers suddenly slip, then I’ll know that readers are being turned off or the quality of my content isn’t what it once was.

      Watching reader behavior via certain stats can keep us on the right track as we monetize.
      Jean Sarauer recently posted..Reboot Your Blog How to Turn Profits Instead of Stomachs

  13. Kate September 3, 2010 at 3:19 pm #

    Hi Jean,
    I like this, I agree there is a fine line betwen a well meant prommo or affiliate link and in your face marketing which is a huge turn off. Great tips, I’m in the process of seeting up a store with audio books – mainly because I really enjoy them and hope my readers will too. If not I’ll try something else!!
    Kate recently posted..4 Lessons From A Blackberrying Excursion

    • Jean Sarauer September 3, 2010 at 5:54 pm #

      Yeah, me and in-the-face marketing don’t get along too well, as anyone who has had to listen to my PopUp rants knows all too well :)Good luck with your audio-book offerings. It sounds like a great idea, and I think you’re going into it with a healthy attitude!
      Jean Sarauer recently posted..Reboot Your Blog How to Turn Profits Instead of Stomachs

  14. rob white September 3, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

    Hi Jean,
    This is a very important subject. A lot of people have so much fear around money they feel guilty about receiving it. Monetizing a blog or anything for that money starts with understanding your relationship with money. Make friends with money so it doesn’t avoid you. Have a great feeling about money. Love money for all the good it can do for you, your loved ones, and the planet.If you are going to conduct your affairs using spiritual common sense, then you must understand how the Law of Multiple Returns works. First, you cannot receive value unless you give value. When it comes to money matters, it is important that I see myself as the farmer, planting seed-money and expecting a large harvest. Otherwise, I am the helpless victim that is simply trying to pay the bills and get by.
    rob white recently posted..The Only Two Things You Need to Overcome Negative Influences

    • Jean Sarauer September 3, 2010 at 5:56 pm #

      Your concepts are so spot on, Rob. When we provide value, there is nothing to feel guilty about in desiring to make money from our endeavors. Most of us have such a generous, caring heart towards our readers, and the things we offer will enrich their life experience. Being a farmer’s daughter, I can so appreciate your analogy! Thanks for sharing your perspective.
      Jean Sarauer recently posted..Reboot Your Blog How to Turn Profits Instead of Stomachs

  15. Dia September 3, 2010 at 5:54 pm #

    Hi Jean,

    Very nice post! We always have to offer our readers what they want. It is always about them. Once we give our audience the best we can, then we know that we are on the right path. Thanks for sharing Jean :)
    Dia recently posted..25 ways to better your life

  16. Tom Huntington September 3, 2010 at 10:41 pm #

    Thank you so so much for your post, Jean. I know I’ve got something of value to share with the world and I’ve been slowly refining my “content” and delivery (I do daily “Podclasses” of 5-7 mins. each on “Basic Life Principles for Healthy Human Beings”). I know my next step needs to be “massive learning” and effort to reach out and attract listeners (I don’t think what I have to offer is a good candidate for the “drive traffic” strategies I read about in the Blogosphere), and then to figure out how I can “monetize” what I have to offer.

    Your simple advice in “Get Real” helped me get immediately clear on which kind of “products” I want to focus my attention on, which I had been kindof “squishy” about until I read your post earlier today. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Tom Huntington
    Tom Huntington recently posted..You CAN Do You!

    • Jean Sarauer September 5, 2010 at 3:32 pm #

      Hi Tom. I love your confidence that you have something of value to share with the world–that’s great! I’m glad you found some clarity here. One thing I’ve heard from seasoned bloggers is that even though you may not have a lot of traffic when you start offering products, the products themselves can serve to increase your traffic as they get written/tweeted about or commented on.

      • Tom Huntington September 6, 2010 at 5:56 pm #

        Thank you, Jean. My confidence has been a long time coming. Whew! It sure feels good. I now know it’s a skill — not a character trait. I’m learning confidence and if I can LEARN it anyone can.

        Again, your post and your response are helping me with my clarity of direction. I’m working on my first ebook, which I hope to have out be the end of this month (or even sooner). I may not have the skills to “launch” it optimally, but it’s exciting to me that I’m even doing it, and starting on it has inspired me to start planning my 2nd one that I expect to charge for!!!

        Thank you, Jean, for your inspiration and support!

        Tom
        Tom Huntington recently posted..Be Open to Learning What You’re Feeling Every Moment

        • Jean Sarauer September 6, 2010 at 8:58 pm #

          Tom, when you have your ebook ready, send me a DM on Twitter with the link, and I’ll tweet it out for you. Also, I’ve been horrible about sending out newsletters, but I do want to start using my list as more of a ‘community news’ type communication, so I’ll be sharing information about community members products there too. Glad to help out where I can!

          • Tom Huntington September 8, 2010 at 9:44 pm #

            Thank you SO MUCH Jean for your offer. I will take you up on it. It is challenging to do “everything.” I made a “decision” to send out a newsletter about my blog every week for five weeks, and “somehow” I dropped the ball after three. I’m sending out #4 tomorrow after a month in between. Learning new skills is incremental.

            Thank you again,

            Tom
            Tom Huntington recently posted..Be Open to Learning to Be a Part of the Whole &amp Do What’s Needed

  17. Meg September 4, 2010 at 9:11 am #

    That’s the place I am at now and I am comfortable with the list you’ve posted. That sounds like a more natural way to monetize than just suddenly going “Vegas strip”. Thanks, Jean–you’re spot on as usual!
    Meg recently posted..Minimalism Blogging and Cooking eBooks

    • Jean Sarauer September 5, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

      And ‘Vegas Strip’ and minimalism as a topic probably aren’t a really great fit anyway :)

  18. Jake LaCaze September 4, 2010 at 11:07 am #

    I wonder if some people are missing the big picture. Sometimes you won’t make money directly from your blog, but your blog can still lead to profits via jobs and other opportunities. I know I’ll never make a penny directly from my blog, but kudos to those who do!

    • Peter J September 4, 2010 at 10:51 pm #

      I agree, show an employee that your a professional blogger and you will get a job. It doesn’t mean that you have to make money directly out of your blog but it may lead of on to others.

    • Jean Sarauer September 5, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

      I think that’s the value in seeing a blog as a ‘platform’ for money-making opportunities, Jake. When we do that, we stay open to all sorts of options (writing, speaking, consulting, coaching, selling products, ads, job opportunities, driving traffic to another business, etc.). The possibilities are endless, really.

  19. Wayne Howard September 4, 2010 at 1:04 pm #

    I haven’t began to fully experiment with all the ways to make money with my blog even though I know of most of them. Have a few affiliate programs up but I haven’t been pushing them much.

    What am I waiting for?

    My blog’s still fairly new so I’m just focused on creating value for my readers. Then later on I can offer things to further add to that value.
    Wayne Howard recently posted..Getting on the Right Track

    • Jean Sarauer September 5, 2010 at 3:38 pm #

      Wayne, you’re right to be focusing on providing content and building traffic too. I’ve been enjoying your guest posts all over the net. Just having a few affiliate programs up is good for now. It lets folks see that you sell things yet the content you provide for them is at center stage. Keep up the great work, Wayne!

  20. Blog Angel a.k.a. Joella September 4, 2010 at 5:34 pm #

    Money-grubbing, ditch-licking weasels?

    OMG – I am still wiping the tears out of my eyes. Yes I laughed that hard?

    Girl, you sure can turn a phrase. And turned out yet another brilliant article. I’m assuming this is your post for the BWW blog carnival?

    Well done, Jean, and many thanks. :)
    Blog Angel a.k.a. Joella recently posted..Pay Per Post- How To Not Make Money On Your Blog

    • Jean Sarauer September 5, 2010 at 3:39 pm #

      Hi Joella. Yep, I slid right into the deadline for the carnival :)

  21. Mandeep September 6, 2010 at 12:49 am #

    Communicating with your readers is a huge part of blogging. It lets you take a peek inside their world. Thanks for sharing.
    Mandeep recently posted..How to Write a Stunning Blog Post- that gets 1-000s of Visitors to Your Blog!

    • Jean Sarauer September 6, 2010 at 8:59 pm #

      I think the more we remember that communication is a two-way street in blogging, the better (and more fun!) it is for us all!

  22. Paul Tech September 6, 2010 at 4:38 am #

    I am not much of a marketing genius and don’t know if I will ever be able to sell anything but your articles have been most inspiring.

    Respect readers and show them the love… you put it across in a down-to-earth manner.
    Paul Tech recently posted..Review of Canon’s 4K Multipurpose Concept Camera

    • Jean Sarauer September 6, 2010 at 9:01 pm #

      Well, that would make two of us who wouldn’t qualify as marketing geniuses, Paul :) Eventually, if you just keep being a trustworthy person, building traffic, and presenting quality products, I’m sure you’ll sell plenty of things.

  23. Alex@nichesitemarketing September 6, 2010 at 7:49 am #

    Ah Jean, so refreshing.
    WHen you write like that dear – you can sell my anything :)

    Really good point you make here about ‘someday’ not being a day of the week (my wife took 7 years to convince me of that) and I think it is something you should do ONLY if you have read this post.
    Perhaps then the blogosphere would not be so full of , what’s the word?…IDIOTS :)
    Alex@nichesitemarketing recently posted..What the Blog are you talking about

    • Jean Sarauer September 6, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

      Hi Alex. It took me at least that long to come around to the ‘someday’ thing too :)

  24. Marion Anderson September 6, 2010 at 1:01 pm #

    Hi Jean

    Thank you for a thought provoking post. There is just so much in your face marketing out there but at the same time blogging is a business and a passion. I think if you know your reader then it makes the process easier – but you still need to move and take action.

    Thank you for giving me something else to think about!
    Marion Anderson recently posted..Money Matters – How to find the path to Financial Freedom

    • Jean Sarauer September 6, 2010 at 9:07 pm #

      Hi Marion. One of my challenges is that when I’m passionate about something I get super-exuberant. People offline know that’s just me being me, but if someone online doesn’t know me, they could easily think I’m being pushy about a product. So, I’ll have to watch it!

  25. J.D. Meier September 6, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    > Some day’ is not a day of the week
    Beautiful reminder and so true.

    Although, if it were up to me, I’d add it right after Sunday, so that we had just a little more time in our week to make those things we planned for someday to happen.
    J.D. Meier recently posted..Conflict Books

    • Jean Sarauer September 6, 2010 at 9:10 pm #

      JD, I’ll put you in charge of the calendar anytime if you can slip a ‘someday’ or two in there for us!

  26. The Desktop Analyst September 6, 2010 at 5:37 pm #

    I’m a little worried to monetize as well due to my site being humor based. How do you think a site that’s built on satire could work in advertising without coming off looking bad? I’m thinking I could probably work out a sweet deal with one of the big drug manufacturers. People are going to need their pills because my advice is bound to make things worse.
    The Desktop Analyst recently posted..Be one with yourself or you might be by yourself

    • Jean Sarauer September 6, 2010 at 9:13 pm #

      Hey, good luck with those drug company ads :) I love the title of your post on the commentluv link, by the way. That’s stellar!

  27. Keisha September 6, 2010 at 7:57 pm #

    Excellent points!

    I would also add that promoting through email marketing is an effective way to make money and not turn your blog into a sales bulletin board.
    Keisha recently posted..Accountability Made the Difference

    • Jean Sarauer September 6, 2010 at 9:13 pm #

      Good point, Keisha! Thanks for commenting.

  28. Aileen September 6, 2010 at 9:19 pm #

    Rather brilliant Jean!!!
    ” ‘Some day’ is not a day of the week, and if we’re serious about monetizing our blogs, we need to take action sooner, rather than later.”

    You offer some great ideas and tips on how to begin monetizing with care and thoughtfulness.

    As a reader I see & feel the difference between a great blog that happens to sell things vs. a blog that’s primary function is to make money.
    Aileen recently posted..Dr Wayne Dyer is now on Tour!

    • Jean Sarauer September 7, 2010 at 8:42 am #

      I’m the same way, Aileen. I can tell (on the blogs and also in email messages) when the person is interested in providing value via both posts and products vs. just trying to make some bucks however they can.

  29. Clearly Composed September 6, 2010 at 10:48 pm #

    I like the way I have chosen to do it so far which is slowly trying things on for size and making sure I am proud as a parent with an honor roll kid about what I present to people. Some will be turned off and that’s just fine. I have faith that through learning and watching I will find the formula that satisfies readers and benefits them while furthering my dream too. When it comes down to it though, it’s the side dish to the blog content and for me, that’s how it is meant to be for now. Thanks for always making me think, Jean. I love how you challenge me to stretch my mind in all sorts of directions. :)
    Clearly Composed recently posted.. Summer Fun Series- Summer Spa Day

    • Jean Sarauer September 7, 2010 at 8:44 am #

      You’ve got a healthy outlook! There will always be some who think blogs shouldn’t be monetized at all, but I disagree. We’re writers, first and foremost, and I don’t work in any other venue as a writer for free. Writers/artists/bloggers, whatever we call ourselves, we need to eat and have a roof over our heads too.

  30. Barrie Davenport September 7, 2010 at 6:42 am #

    Hi Jean!
    Here’s something that I just did with my blog that honored readers and has really surprised me with the results. I asked them directly in my most recent post to tell me what they wanted from my blog. I gave them three questions to answer and offered them an email address if they wanted to answer privately. I have gotten some amazing responses — and a road map to exactly what my readers want from me. It has been a way of really connecting personally with my readers.
    Thank you so much for reminding us of the value of that connection!

    • Jean Sarauer September 7, 2010 at 8:45 am #

      That’s a great idea, Barrie. I’ve heard from some bloggers that because of reader feedback they’ve developed successful products that they wouldn’t have even considered otherwise. I like your concept of a ‘roadmap’ from readers.

  31. Blog Angel a.k.a. Joella September 7, 2010 at 9:33 am #

    As always Jean, an excellent article.

    You hit the nail on the head with this. You must always put your readers first, no matter what you are attempting to do with your blog. And that includes a monetiztion strategy.

    Going slow and respecting your readers is key, as is going slowly and not overwhelming them with too much all at once.

    Thanks for this excellent submission to the Blog With Wings Blog Carnival, I really appreciate it and you! I always appreciate you and all you do. :)
    Blog Angel a.k.a. Joella recently posted..Blog Carnival Topic Is A Journey Back In Time

    • Jean Sarauer September 7, 2010 at 10:02 am #

      Thanks, Joella. It’s a pleasure to be working with both you and Cori in my first blog carnival experience!

  32. Jessica September 11, 2010 at 9:12 pm #

    Found you through the Blog Carnival at Big Girl Branding. I also submitted an article. I love the simple way you lay things out for your readers. Great post!

    • Jean Sarauer September 12, 2010 at 10:20 pm #

      Hi Jessica. Glad you found your way here! I haven’t read all the carnival entries yet so haven’t made it to your site yet. I’m currently away a lot helping out with some family things so am a bit (okay, a lot!) behind :)
      Jean Sarauer recently posted..Don’t Let Your Blogging Boat Sink!

  33. Brandon Connell September 13, 2010 at 4:54 pm #

    Funny what you said about it looking like Vegas. Remember what I said about review sites… They always have lots of extra large images and hyped up text on them that always give me that vegas flashy feeling.
    Brandon Connell recently posted..Income blogging requires new strategies in this day and age

  34. Jean Sarauer September 13, 2010 at 8:09 pm #

    Hey Brandon. Yes I do remember what you said about review sites. I don’t remember you liking them too much :)
    Jean Sarauer recently posted..Don’t Let Your Blogging Boat Sink!

  35. Henway September 16, 2010 at 8:08 pm #

    Great points. We need to think of how to monetize from Day 1, not someday when we reach X # of visitors, or # of readers. If you want to make money thru ads (like adsense), you usually shouldn’t bombard the site with ads, but you should have a plan on how many visitors you need and how many pages you need to generate your goal amount. If you want to sell a book or product, you should make yourself in an expert in that field so when the time comes you already have some followers.
    Henway recently posted..How to make Medifast soup

    • Jean Sarauer September 17, 2010 at 12:19 pm #

      Planning sure does make things easier. For those who plan on selling ebooks, if they’ve planned in advance they will likely be able to repurpose much of their existing content and will already be respected on the topic.

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