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THE DEVCOIN AND DEVTOME PROJECTS ARE BOTH VERY IMPORTANT TO THE COMMUNITY. PLEASE CONTRIBUTE TO ITS FURTHER SUCCESS FOR ANOTHER 5 OR MORE YEARS!

Monetization and the Art of Blogging

Blogging, or the technique of writing on the Internet about one’s life (taken from the joining of “weB” and “LOG”) has been around for quite a while now, and it’s a wonderful method of expressing yourself and letting the world know what you’re thinking and doing.

But there’s a large faction that sees blogging as much, much more…a way to fame and riches through what they call “monetizing” - yes, another one of those nouns-turned-verbs.

The Dream

Ever since I converted my old static website over to WordPress in order to have a more dynamic, interactive experience for my visitors I have considered the implications of monetizing my new site/blog. It would be nice to cover the bills incurred - hosting fees, software updates and the like are certainly not cheap.

Perhaps I should even reveal to you one of my closest-held dreams - just to show you the sincerity with which I’m looking at all this monetizing stuff. I would like, within the next two to three years, to derive the majority of my income from the Net - specifically, with my blogs. There are several reasons for this, prime among them being that I can reach a far, far wider audience in need of my services than I could ever hope to reach by advertising in the physical world of newspapers and magazines.

Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to go to work in my jammies, either.

I look at this from the viewpoint of reciprocal arrangements - I would provide services, knowledge, articles, entertainment and brick-and-mortar-type items such as books, music and videos in return for the advertiser’s (and the dear readers’) financial support. I’m not empire-building nor am I crazy about money - I simply want to pay the bills, like so many other people the world over.

The Reality

But there’s a seemingly-large contingent of bloggers whose sole aim appears to be becoming rich through the act of blogging itself. Now, I have no problem with someone wanting to become rich - to each their own. But to hear the praises being sung for some of the “industry’s leading blog moguls” (as one blog called them) you would think they were blogging about their cures for cancer. They’re not.

They’re blogging about how they’re making money blogging.

Why doesn’t this seem…proper to me? One could I suppose argue that, in writing of their experiences and techniques of monetization (!) they are helping others to do the same thing. All well and good. They’re providing a service, then, right?

Wrong.

What they’re providing is emptiness. Or, to be more realistic and even more charitable, false hope.

Now, don’t get me wrong. There ARE a few professional bloggers that DO provide quality content. Sites like StevePavlina.com come immediately to mind as being worthwhile, sincere and useful blogs. To blogs and bloggers like that, I wish all the success possible. But the vast majority of the “blog-gods” that are worshiped by the masses are not, I think, worthy of such adulation.

First is the venal tone of their writings -

“I’m posting my 3rd quarter Adsense earnings - 
they’re off a little from 2nd quarter, so I’m only 
bringing in $47,536.87 this month…”

Why is this wrong? Because despite their (weak) assertions that “YOU might not do quite as well as I did“, their readers are enamored of those figures as soon as they see them and instantly believe that THEY will reach that lofty peak of income, also. They think that if they buy into the whole convoluted process that the blog-god outlines that they’ll be on Easy St. in no time.

And what about the figures themselves? How do we know they’re real? Oh, sure, they offer pictures of their royalty statements, affiliate links, etc., but those can be Photoshopped. Give me the account numbers and PIN’s of your bank accounts - THEN I’ll become one of your followers.

Then again, perhaps I still wouldn’t.

It's The Little Things

The second point I’ve seen consistently displayed by these “moguls” - they can’t spell.

I’m not talking typos here, folks - I’m talking the same words popping up 10 or 12 times in an article, and each time being misspelled. I’m a bit loathe to worship any blog-god that claims to be on the top of their monetization game, yet cannot spell “Corvette” or “assistant”.

But most of all it's the insanity of the entire vicious circle. One blog-god claims he’s earned “X” amount of income from program “Y”. Instantly all the disciples run off to “Y”’s website to join up, not realizing that all they’re doing is funding the blog-god’s retirement account by joining into his down-line. When the disciples discover they made $1.23 last month from the program, they’re hurt and confused. Meanwhile, blog-god has moved on to fresh blood and even fresher programs. There are in fact entire websites set up just to lure in these “opportunity” junkies, and they gladly pay $7 or $10 to learn how to make thousands overnight. These forums seem to be like vicious packs of piranha – when they run out of prey they begin to feed upon themselves.

The way these guys (and it seems to be almost exclusively guys at the highest levels of Mogulville) recite the mantra about “content is king” is laughable. All they produce content-wise is their latest get-rich-quick scheme. Their minions give them the page-views they need to make some decent money, leaving hundreds of comments like “Great Job, Joey!!! I’m gonna’ get in on this new PPC just like YOU did!!! Yer GREAT!!!”

The Ethics of the Game

The ethics of their schemes leave much to be desired. “Scraping” content from a site, “spinning” it with one of the numerous article spinning programs available and then foisting it off as original content onto an unsuspecting public. Copying a successful original site and claiming to be making millions in the running of that clone, when in fact they are merely selling the dream. Always do these tricksters put a new spin on an old story, offering it up as the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Good thing I have an empty stomach right now…

I’ve even had their disciples take me to task for mentioning my viewpoints. They reply along the lines of “It doesn’t matter that Emil can’t spell worth a damn or that his grammar is terrible or that his blog is basically one big ad - HE BRINGS IN THE PAGEVIEWS!!!”

As they always say on the Net, there’s room for all types. I just hope that I never become such a money-hungry, non-content producing blog-god, since we already seem to have an over-abundance of them.


Computers | Internet | Writing


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