Should you monetize your blog?

by Yin on June 23, 2014

in Blogging

If you visit most of the blogs nowadays, they’re all plastered with Adsense ads. As many people are using Adsense, others are exploring options such as affiliate, donate button, Amazon and other forms of blog monetization.


You know, no matter how self righteous we would like to be, we still need to pay the bills. Time is money. Of course, it’s important to blog with passion for if there is no passion or interest to write, blogging becomes just another chore instead of joy.

It would come a time when we have blogged for some considerable amount of time, we would need to explore about monetizing the blog.

My blogging story (please bear with me on this)

During the initial years when I first started my website on Geocities, I don’t even know the meaning of monetization. That time my site received about few hundred unique views per page each day till I burst my so called bandwidth. That time Yahoo was making tonnes of money off my site through the advertising placed there- which the ads looked a lot like Adsense ads of today. Then I shifted my site to Blogspot when a reader – send me email to inform me that my site was not accessible due to bandwidth problem.

Later I shifted from Blogspot, to paid hosting because I’ve wanted to be able to customise my blogs.

And I still did not monetize my blog- it’s all the excuses about self righteousness but in fact, it’s probably just resistance to figure the whole Adsense things out. But when I was seriously broke, I decided to monetize with Adsense.

It’s nothing immoral about monetizing blogs

Regular internet surfers are used to seeing Adsense or any form of ads on a blog. When we watch free TV, we also expect to see ads – even though an overdo of it may be annoying. But we’ve accepted the fact because we know that the ads keep the TV station alive and only if the salaries of those working there are being paid that the station would be able to continue to entertain us.

If we don’t want to see the ads, then we would need to pay for cable TV- which is usually expensive. If we find that the free TV could provide equally good shows as the cable TV, well, most of the average wage earners like us would tolerate the ads and discontinue the cable TV, rite? Heck, we may even be tempted to buy some of the advertiser’s products if we feel that it suits our needs.

And so magazines, newspapers would need to survive on advertising as well. It’s an acceptable part of life.

When it comes to choosing the form of advertising, I still prefer Adsense over other forms of monetizing methods because it’s hassle free. No doubt, if your blog is relatively new, it would take time for the earnings to build up before you can achieve the minimum USD100 to enable you to collect money via Western Union. But be patient, with consistent effort, your blog would get there- and a hobby that pays is very fulfilling.

The thing about Google Adsense is that the ads states that it is an ad.  So you don’t have to feel bad about deceiving people.

When you have to chosen to be a writer or blogger, you would spend a lot of time churning out content. The task is even more challenging for a freelance or a full time writer may be required to write on topics that is not a personal favourite.

There will come a time when writers or bloggers suffer from burnout or writers block- you can be staring at your notebook for an hour or so without any inspiration for any content. When this lasts for more than a day or a week, it gets really demoralizing and stress gets added on to stress, causing even more stress since our bread and butter depends on it.

If we are working in a normal job 9-to-5 regular job, there are known protocols and step-by-step guide to follow. This is the challenge facing most people who have chosen to walk the creative field- that there isn’t a clear black-and-white, or yes-no way to approach the problem.

Below is an excerpt of an interview with Tash Aw by S.H Lim. Tash Aw, a Malaysian, is an award winning full time writer based in London. Like all of us, he also experienced the writer’s block and ‘down time’. He offered insight on how he handled this problem:

[click to continue…]

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