Carly, a regular reader of this blog, asked: “Why don’t you add ads to your blog? You create such great content; why don’t you monetize?” This got me thinking. I’ve been blogging for 10+ years, and here are some observations on how I’ve faired.
1. The number of visitors to my blog continues to increase month by month and year by year. Occasionally I have included ads in my blog, and in total I have made about… $13. Why is that? My blog focuses on content that I personally like. This is not mainstream content, it isn’t about gossip, sex, politics, current affairs, or even any one single topic. I’m presuming readers like to read the posts, but find ads distracting. Therefore, monetizing the blog through ads doesn’t add any value, neither for me as a blogger and author, nor for you as a reader, probably.
2. I have invested months in studying and implementing SEO, and I follow most of the rules in the SEO rule book – if that is possible (it is easy to overlook some important setting). The effort is considerable, yet Search Engine Optimization is a very intriguing topic that you will need to consider if you own a blog. In reality, 90% of the referrals to my blog arrive from my “Two_Journeys” Twitter channel, 7% from the “Clemens P. Suter” Facebook Page, and the other 3% from other channels – including search engines! By the way, my follower numbers on Twitter increase day by day, yet the number of followers on Facebook remains the same year over year.
3. Blogs compete for attention, and as more and more people are blogging, the tougher it gets to stick out from the crowd. I try to focus on content and less on the methodology and possibilities to monetize. My main purpose is to make potential readers aware of my books, and for that the blog is useful; a single site to attract people to, and bring them here.
4. Talking about selling books. I write adventure / SciFi stories (again see here) and self-publish. Here’s a very Intriguing Observation: >95% of my books are purchased as eBooks on iTunes. All other eBook formats such as Kindle, Kobo, and for other eBook readers, as well as paperbacks make up the other 5%. I suspect this skewed distribution across these channels has to do with the genre; I have no other explanation – perhaps you have an idea. Interestingly, every second person that I meet tells me that they prefer reading paperbacks: well dude, dudess; it’s not reflected in my sales😜. I am curious to hear your feedback or experience with this.
5. I’ve said it before: nowadays anyone with a laptop can be an author. Writing has been democratized, which is absolutely marvelous. At the same time, digging into to the ever changing landscape of online marketing is very rewarding too. Enthusiasm for the written word – perseverance – the motivation to try out new things – these are the ingredients that will help you be an author for a long time.
Hmm, perhaps I should add some ads to this blog? What do you think?
Two men reading one of my eBooks on their smartphone. Hot stuff!