Monetizing my blog has tempted me for a long time. But I’ve decided I’ll be much better off not doing it. And a lot happier. Here’s why.
What they say is true: there is no free lunch. And monetizing my blog would not be free either. There would be work. There would be time spent. There would certainly be frustration and exasperation, at least at times. And most important of all, there could be a detrimental and dramatic change in my approach and attitude towards blogging.
And all for what? Maybe for no money to speak of. Possibly for a little money trickle. With a lot of luck, potentially for a significant side income. But even if that last possibility did happen, it would be money I wouldn’t know how to spend coming from a self-imposed job that I don’t want to have to do.
Why do I blog anyway? First and foremost, to have a publication outlet for what I write – because it’s the writing that motivates me and brings me satisfaction. Secondly, to share my personal finance experiences and ideas – because I honestly believe they can be helpful to some people. Thirdly, to know that at least some people are reading what I write – because I don’t want to just be talking to myself. That is all of it. And it’s enough for me.
In my scheme of retirement living, what I call “blog operations” falls somewhere between doing a rewarding personal project and slogging through an assigned chore. Which side of that mindset spectrum is dominant at any given time depends on how obligated I feel about doing blog ops.
The blog ops obligation comes from partly self-imposed and partly reality-based expectations regarding how a well-run blog operates. A well-run blog should mean new posts being published regularly, predictably… and at least weekly. A well-run blog should mean reader comments being given timely replies. A well-run blog should mean featured posts and other blog highlight features being refreshed often. And, if one wants to build or maintain viewership, a well-run blog should mean comments being posted frequently on other blogs to maintain visibility for and drive traffic to one’s own blog. This is all above and beyond the actual writing of the articles. And so blog ops can sometimes all feel to me too much like a job obligation.
So sometimes it’s a bit of a motivational struggle for me to satisfy my own expectations of what I’ve committed myself to do in order to be a “good responsible” blogger. (Sorry!) I can only imagine how much more of a struggle I would have on my hands if I added “successful monetizing” to my blog expectations.
I don’t write so I can have a blog. I have a blog – and grind through the necessary blog ops – so I can publish what I write and have it read. And money doesn’t enter into it at all.
Maybe I would think differently if I had specific uses in mind for more money. But, at least up to this point, I don’t. Any side income that I would generate from monetizing my blog would – literally – simply sit in a savings account. So I have no financial motivation to take on the work required to monetize my blog.
And… if I did start monetizing my blog, wouldn’t that very likely start influencing what I wrote about? Might I not be tempted to start cranking out monetizing-driven product and service reviews? Or simply write about topics I thought would score well with the search engines instead of writing about topics that I truly wanted to explore (like this one)?
Spare me. Or, rather, let me spare myself.
I’ll be much happier if I leave my blog as it is: a work of love and writing satisfaction.
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