The 7 Deadly Sins of Blog Monetization
While talking about website monetization today, we'll forgive you if you call us out for lust. In a twist of irony, our 7 deadly sins are a homage to WordStream's killer series about the sins of PPC. It's a must read. And we're sharing the link to avoid accusations of blog envy.
My therapist insists psychotherapy belongs in her office, not on my blog. So this post will steer clear of anything heavy Freudian as it relates to me. We'll zero in on website monetization practises and keep our introspection focused there.
Quick question: This morning, when you walked into the office cafeteria, did you steal the last cup of coffee and leave the pot empty? Perhaps you ate a disproportionate share of the croissants?
From personal experience, I'd say four is not an appropriate number for one person. If so, please skip topic one. Nobody needs to start their day with breakfasttime guilt.
But let's do a thought experiment.
How do the 7 deadly sins relate to our website monetization strategies and decisions?
What sort of pitfalls can we avoid?#1 Gluttony
Gluttony is about consumption - way too much of it. Consumption isn't always about net positive gain. Four croissants every morning is higher consumption. For many, this will lead to gains of pounds.
Most of us don't have aspirations towards a career in fashion modelling. But we still would like to look great at the water cooler, and bend over without tearing our pants.
We've talked about different types of website monetization ideas before. Gluttony in this context is using a kitchen sink strategy for monetization. Sometimes less is more. Of course, sometimes more is actually more too.
This key is: Adding new types of monetization to your website is only a good idea if it works. Don't just stuff your website with every different option known to webkind. If so, we may end up being monetization gluttons.
We don't want to fatten up our websites. We want to add stuff that will improve it. But we have to be strategic and test. The key here is tracking results. If you can’t track the results of your monetization efforts it’s not worth doing to begin with. Sometimes a single croissant and a nice cup of coffee offers the most value. No overconsumption. No gluttony.#2 Greed
Greed is the second of the seven deadly sins but it’s first when we think of blog monetization. Greed is a different beast. The cynical amongst us might suggest it's impossible to focus on monetization without it. We're not of that school of thought. It’s too short sighted. Money is just a tool of trade.
In our context, we call this the taker bias or accumulation without giving something back in return.
Let's be clear. If you are running your blog as a business, make no apologies for attempting to maximize your revenue. That is one of your core objectives and success metrics.
That being said, websites that focus solely on revenue have made greed analogous to website monetization in general and advertising in particular and that’s bad. In the real world, greed jeopardizes relationships. My croissant-deprived coworkers are not my biggest fans right now. They identified me based on the superfluous crumbs around my desk.
Relentless focus on ad revenue departs from “giving” or the creation of valuable content and a great user experience. If you forget about delivering value, your revenue uptick will be short lived.
Don’t suspend your goal of increasing and maximizing revenue. In fact, we want you to be even more successful at it. Just understand that a part of that process is continuing to offer value to your users. Getting greedy has short term benefits, and long term liabilities.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I’m Head of Marketing Operations at AdNgin. Before coming to AdNgin, I was a marketing professional focused on SAAS business models. When I’m not working, which is rare, I sail and hang out with my son, Jonathan, and wife, Meital.