Photo courtesy noahwesley, via flickr, under a Creative Commons licence

Reading Caroline Middlebrook’s post asking whether one’s blog monetization “left money on the table” reminded me that I had once posted something here on the topic.I had, but longer ago than I had thought, almost two years ago. I was interested to see that my views on the topic had not changed fundamentally. In the post, Business Blogs – Show Me the Money, I wrote:

Essentially, my view on the monetizing issue is that a blog can serve a perfectly useful and even productive function in a business by helping raise awareness of the business, helping to build trust and providing other benefits, none of which need to be directly attributable to this or that sale of goods or services on or directly from the blog.

Which is not to say people shouldn’t make money directly from their blogs. Some do – and some of them do very well indeed. No problem with that. Just don’t want to see an equation being developed that “good business blog” = “directly monetized”.

I’ve never been opposed to the idea of having ads on this site generating income. But I am very clear that my blogging, which for a long time was mainly on this site, has played a significant role in generating income for me in the past few years. Just not directly from the blog. More about branding and reputation management.

But as a business owner I want to make sure I don’t get stuck in a paradigm that may be narrower than it needs to be. I’m open to ideas about generating income directly from the site, provided that does not detract from its purpose as a provider of information and promoter of thinking about “working from home in a networked world”.

So I read Caroline’s post with great interest. It includes some valuable information and commentary about:

  • Google Adsense ads
  • other ways of generating income from your site
  • the dollar value you put on ads on your site (some serious food for thought here)
  • the importance of building relationships – “building beyond the blog itself”.

For this Thinking Home Business blog, a step in the direction of being a bit more attentive to not “leaving money on the table” has been introducing the 125×125 pixel ads in the sidebar. My feeling is that they are not obtrusive and do not detract from the post content, but are hopefully evident enough to attract some clickthroughs, from that some happy customers for whatever products are being advertised and in turn some revenue directly from this site.

I’d love to hear from readers who have views about this topic, whether for or against generating income (a phrase I prefer to the dreaded “monetization”) from our blogs: comments of the undecided welcome also.

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