I’m not sure that many small business bloggers don’t want to generate some revenue from their blogs. Unless your small business blog is purposed to enhance branding and build followers of your core business, you might want to monetize your blogs, in one way or another.
Sure, you are highly probably love to share your knowledge to your readers for free, but, again, if your small business blog IS your business and your money making venture, you NEED to make money from it.
Now, when you are thinking about making money from your small business blog, there will be some sort of guilty feeling – a mixed feeling, probably; you know you want to make money from your blog, but you don’t want to ‘offend’ your readers or ‘intrude’ your reader’s privacy by displaying ads without their permission.
And it’s a dilemma, really. To make money from your small business blog, you need to display ads. And the rule of thumb in blog ad placement requires you to position your ads above the fold – in prominent places, and avoid hiding your ads deep or down below your content.
However, in the other hand, placing your ads on top spots of your business blog would break your blog’s design and layout. Furthermore, doing so means pushing your content lower in your web page. And some blog readers simply don’t fancy this.
It’s difficult to find a balance, indeed. The key here is to discover what works and what’s to compromise – all in all, the idea is to bring the most value for your readers and the most revenue for you without sacrificing much from both sides.
So, when to do what, and how?
A case study: Noobpreneur.com
Noobpreneur.com is far from perfect, but I have some experience and tip to share you – not to persuade you to take a certain path, but to help you make a better decision making in making money online via your business blog.
Noobpreneur.com starts like many others – an ad-free, personal business blog that is a medium to share my thoughts so that other can also benefit from them.
The blog grows steadily and I thought that I ought to make something out of it, initially to support the web hosting costs and other related expenses.
I then do trial-and-error while trying to implementing the best practices from the experts and gurus, and finally decided that I want to do three things with Noobpreneur.com – to share my experience and knowledge for free, to make money from the content and to establish a personal brand.
Displaying Google AdSense ads, despite some suggestions to abandon Adsense altogether and try to do affiliate marketing and product creation instead, is my primary money making method – no longer so today, but still, the Google ads generate nice revenue to support the blog’s development and, of course, myself.
My first obstacle in make money online endeavour with Noobpreneur.com is when I started to offer paid post service. A couple of readers commented that they are disappointed and told me that I have lost some readers due to my decision. Ouch.
To cut long story short, my conclusion is this: You CAN display ads to support your small business blog IF you deliver useful, quality content, no matter whether it’s “commercialised” or not.
Consider losing some of your blog readers as a normal business decision making end results – sure I would want to keep all Noobpreneur.com readers happy, but the thing is, you can’t simply please each and every reader.
The key here is NEVER to write anything that you NEVER heard of or try before, even worse, LIE to your readers about the topics you write – i.e. Writing “Yeah! I make millions online using this and this techniques,” while the truth is you are promoting an affiliate program you just join and yet to make you money, not even a penny.
How to make money without the guilty feelings
Some recommend to tell ‘the whole truth‘ regarding any money making activities from blogs: Tell readers that the article is sponsored review, contain affiliate links, and such. My view on this: Why making a living by providing value is such a guilty feeling-ridden activity?
However, I do strongly agree that displaying ads, promoting affiliate programs, and any other revenue-generating activities should be done in proper manners: Not misleading, annoying and excessive.
If you feel you should inform your small business blog readers that you are making money out of their visits, either directly or indirectly, you can do so by writing a Disclosure Policy, explaining what kind of small business blog is your blog; Is it reviewing based on honest opinion? Is it endorsing a certain brand name(s)? Is it an ‘affiliate marketing’ blog or a true business blog that is ad-supported?
Just try to explain everything well in a concise manner with good intentions.
Blog readers, in this case, small business blog readers are positive and understanding people. They are a group of people looking for business ideas and highly probably business owners themselves – they do understand that entrepreneurs ought to make a living by offering what they know and can do best.
Just try to think about yourself as a business mentor offering free quality advices and suggestions while recommending you some products and services to help you actuate the advices and suggestions.
Make money online from Noobpreneur.com
Image by kipcurry