How to Monetise a Blog Part 1

targetsNow that the habit of regularly posting content up to the blog is in place, it’s time to move on to the next step.  With the short term goal of earning $1000 from this site (hopefully by April), I’ve spent some time in the last week planning and getting clear on the rules of what I am (and more importantly am NOT) willing to do to get there.

The guidelines/ground rules I want in place for turning CrystalsQuest into my source of income are:

1. The blog needs to deliver good value and quality content.  Nothing black hat or shady.  I won’t be turning it into one of those automatic blogs that just searches the web and reprints articles from elsewhere. I’ll be writing it myself, except for the occasional guest article.  The ‘other’ category will still be where I share stuff I find online that I love and want to pass on, (as well as the spot for those occasional posts that just don’t fit elsewhere) but where I post stuff from elsewhere I promise I will always link back to the source.

2. Honesty and transparency.  If I try something and learn from it, I’ll share it here.  Maybe not before or during, but at the very least after.  Equally, if I have a point of view, I’ll be stating it so you know where I stand.  No hedging around issues that might offend, a spade will be called a spade, and I’ll respect you enough to say so.  You’ll have equal rights to give your own perspective in the comments, which I will not edit except to remove spam, obscenities or blatantly promotional links. (In other words, stuff that takes away from the conversation instead of adding to it.)

3. As I learn what you want and need, I want my conversations with you to be as immediate as possible.  So, instead of asking you to sign up to an email list, I’m asking you to subscribe to my twitter-stream. (If you want to know what twitter is, it’s a ‘micro blog’ where each post can only go up to 140 characters.  You can see my latest mini-posts there in the right hand sidebar.)  That way, the conversation is two way, to the point, and I get as much from you as you (hopefully) do from me.  If I stop being relevant for you, it’s only a single button to unsubscribe or ‘unfollow’.  (For people who still want to receive emails of what’s new, there’s still an email or RSS subscribe option.)

4. While google adsense allows some control over what appears on the site, I’ve chosen instead to place ads from clickbank.  Even though this means at least a 3 month delay before payment (see the story on my Clickbank Mini-Quest for why), and that I only get paid when you choose to purchase something that meets your need, instead of every time someone clicks, I believe the range of products available, strict refund policy and ability to exclude keywords from the ads displayed here to be the best option to make sure you’re likely to find things you want, and most of all never get any nasty surprises visiting me here.

5. Above all else, while my goal is to use this blog to replace my income, eventually, it has to remain something I’m proud of, and proud to be associated with.

With this in mind, the actions I’ve taken are:

  • Put my twitter button right at the top of the sidebar,
  • removed the rss feed links, to avoid confusion.  (anyone who uses rss will know how to find it anyway)
  • Install clickbank ads to the sidebar (based on the relevant keywords and category – this may need further tweaking so don’t hesitate to let me know if you spot something not kosher)
  • Start my ‘clickbank mini-quest‘ to get the first of 3 (useless) cheques I need to collect so I can start getting paid. (In a nutshell I’m offering a $97 copy of the $5k per day subliminal video FREE to the first 3 people buying a clickbank product $17 or more from the ads at the side of the page.  I’ll update this once the 3 copies are gone, but as of now the offer’s still good.)
  • Started the planning phase for my January area of focus, which will be a ’30 day trial’ of taking bold actions and working on boosting confidence levels.  I’ll post more on that in a day or two.

Oh yes, and this is instead of the whole New Years Resolution thing.  I resolved a few years ago not to make any more New Years Resolutions. Of course, I broke that by making the resolution in the first place, but still…

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