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I can't get rich online and neither can you. Topics include why you won't get rich with your blog, ideas you wish you had thought of, and other Internet phenomena.

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Stop Trying to Monetize Your Personal Blog

Knock it off

This one really gets to me, because I was once dumb enough to try it. How often have you been browsing the intertubes and found a personal blog with more space devoted to ads than content? You know, your standard Livejournal/Blogspot/Xanga blog with three RSS readers and Google Adsense plastered all over the place? These types of blogs shouldn’t exist.

Define “Personal Blog”

To me, a personal blog is any blog where the writer records events from his life that he and his close acquaintances would find interesting and amusing. That pretty much limits his readers to around twenty people max. What really bugs me about these blogs is that they intentionally try to drive traffic to their site via SEO and utilities like Blogrush and Digg. I hate to break it to you, but nobody cares about how your day was or that Suzie dumped you for your best friend. You’re never going to reach the minimum payout for those Google ads, so you might as well remove them.

When to monetize

Let’s say that your personal blog does, for some reason, get a lot of traffic. Maybe your life is really interesting. Perhaps you were a TV star when you were younger and can actually write good articles. When should you monetize? Fifty, maybe one hundred hits per day? Personally, I’d wait for 1,000. Why 1,000? Oh, I dunno, it just seems like a good number. 1,000 has a nice impact associated with it. If you told someone that you get 952 hits per day, they’d just kinda shrug. 1,000 though, that’s a respectable number. Also, if you’re getting that many hits a day, you might want to monetize just to cover your bandwidth costs.

Don’t go crazy

I just hate seeing sites that are 75% ads. If you want to monetize, but avoid scaring your readers away, start small. Offer a couple of 125×125s in your sidebar. Put a 200×200 in your posts. Add ONE or TWO Adsense blocks (I still think they’re ugly as sin). If your newly monetized blog says “I’m doing this for the money,” you’re going to lose your readers.

The bottom line

I still don’t like the idea of monetizing personal blogs. If you want to monetize a blog, write about something interesting (and unique). You’ll attract more readers, and that’s what’s important. Remember: Your readers are everything. Without them, you won’t make a dime.

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