It’s your audience that makes your blog great. Good blogs become communities where people who share your passion come together to enjoy the content you’ve put together, learn something new, and share ideas.
Throw making money into the mix, and things can change. The site doesn’t look the same. Ads get in the way. It just feels different. This great experience you created has turned into something else, your blog doesn’t belong to you and your community any more.
But does it have to be like that? Are there ways you can keep your creative integrity and be commercial? Can you make money from your blog without pissing off your audience?
Find a balance
If you create brilliant content, you audience will put up with a level of advertising in order to get to it. That’s not to say they’ll like it, but they’ll understand that’s the way of the world. But you need to strike a balance. Make sure your editorial always stays center stage.
Keep it relevant
You know your community inside out, that’s what makes you a good blogger. So you know the products and services that will be relevant to them. If you’re going to advertise on your site, strike up relationships with advertisers of products your audience might actually want. Nothing says ‘I don’t care about you’ more than smothering your site in completely off the wall ads.
Keep it useful
Pointing your audience towards products they will appreciate is unlikely to annoy them too much. Products that will help them with the challenges you know they have, products you would use yourself. Your audience trusts you and your judgment, so extend that trust over the adverts you allow on the site. If it’s not useful, it shouldn’t be on your site.
You don’t post poor content, so don’t accept poor quality ads. The best ads are entertaining, and the very best can add to the experience on your site. The ads you choose to allow on your blog are a refection of you, so don’t let the quality control slip.
Explore new tools
If all this talk about advertising is still making you feel uncomfortable, or you’re looking for other ways of making money from your site, spend some time researching some of the new tools that are available to video bloggers. Take a look at our white paper -8 ways to make money from your blog. And explore tools like Coull’s Vidlikr which cut out the ads, linking your audience directly with the merchants and products they are interested in. Because your audience only has to click if they want to, it’s a more respectful way of making money from your site.
Which methods have you tried? What works best for you? We’d love to know.