Yesterday, Josh Ginter responded to my article Doing Monetization Well with a very thoughtful post of his own. To no great surprise on my part, he questioned the viability of sponsorships at my low threshold of just 2,000 visitors per month. I expected someone would, and I can not fault Josh for doing so: I picked such low numbers on purpose because I wanted to have tangible, achievable goals I felt some confidence in my ability to attain. Even if I only get ten or fifteen dollars a months, that will cover hosting and take this from a cost center to a profitable venture, while simultaneously setting me on the path to further monetization down the road as my readership continues to expand. In my eyes, that’s a win.
Amidst his wholly justified reservations regarding my own strategy going forward, Josh tucked a great, widely-applicable nugget of advice anyone starting a blog ought to keep in mind:
“Blogs are cash vacuums. Investing money in design, branding, advertising and hosting does not guarantee any return for your investment. Anyone can generate page views by throwing money around, but creating long-term readership is essential to properly monetizing a blog. Finding a niche, dissecting that niche and adopting a proper style of writing is the key to turning a blog into a small business.”
Like writing, maintaining a blog requires a great deal of effort; like good writing, running a good blog proves exponentially more difficult. Those who endeavor to attain the latter for the wrong reasons will inevitably fail, although they may see moderate success when working towards the former. Every once in a while, though, a writer comes along willing and able to devote incredible amounts of time and effort into both excellent prose and building a splendid blog. Those are the individuals who go on to greatness, the ones who make a living from this work. This is the one goal I did not put on that list, the one that I could not have attached a number to even if I had; this is the goal I am constantly working towards, one small step at a time.