Legitimate Reader Interest Is Your Most Valuable Capital When Running a Blog - Don't Squander It
Let's say that you are running a blog, and over the last number of months, you have built up a fairly respectable readership. You've gone from just a couple of hundred unique visitors a day to over 1500 readers per day and the number is quickly growing.
You have spent a lot of time and effort on developing quality unique content for your blog, and it is paying off. Your RSS numbers are growing by leaps and bounds, and you have received a number of links from authority sites in your niche that are propelling your site higher in the search engines.
Life is good, and you have now decided to start monetizing your blog in a big way. You are going to go beyond the traditional Adsense and affiliate advertisements and start selling paid blog posts. For a fee, you will review a web site and give your readers your thoughts on this particular web site.
You find that you have a lot of takers, and before you know it, every second post is a paid review. "Life is good", you think, "all of this extra money in addition to my Adsense and affiliate advertising revenues."
But before you go overboard in terms of monetizing your site, you have to think of the long-term. You need to be wary of the fact that too many paid reviews might damage your most valuable asset, which is the diverse and ever-growing readership that you have built up.
It is important to think about growing your asset as well as monetizing it. If you are going to offer paid reviews, then offer them sporadically as you continue to build your readership up - nothing turns off a group of readers faster than an avalanche of paid reviews hitting their RSS reader every day. Trust me, eventually they will switch off. If you lose your traffic and your momentum, you will make much less money in the long-run.
Look at sites such as John Chow.com. He has gone overboard in terms of monetizing the site, and now offers very little of interest to the average reader. Does a reader really want to read fifteen paid reviews every month? I don't think so.
Sacrificing the long-term growth of your blog for short-term money doesn't make sense, and you really need to take care of your audience or else they will abandon you. If you have a popular half-hour television show, what do you think would happen if you cut the show down to five minutes and instead had 25 minutes of commercials? They would eventually tune out.
I know that it's tempting to cash in as much as possible right now, but this is a marathon, not a sprint. Continue to offer your readers exceptional content, and go easy on the paid reviews.
Filed under: Making Money Online | General Knowledge