I spent the better part of October and beginning of November exploring blog monetization, and I came away from it feeling insincere and disingenuous. Afterwards, I felt as though I was asking the world to support an image of myself that was inaccurate and above all: falsely portrayed.
I’m a very compassionate, empathetic person who values relationships above all else – especially from my family and friends. Never would I recommend products I don’t know and love, and I absolutely refuse to ask someone to pay for encouragement and motivation.
But time is money... right?
Some people would argue that you should be compensated for the time you put into something – even if that something is uplifting and causing people to change their lives for the better. If motherhood has taught me anything, it’s that compensation isn’t always in the form of dollar bills.
Let's talk Beach Body Coaching
I was recently approached by several coaches from Team Beach Body via Instagram. They noticed not only that I focus on fitness motivation, but also that I have a passion for getting back in shape (my pregnancy with my daughter lovingly bestowed 30+ extra pounds on me).
I don’t want to say that they exploited me, because that’s not how I see it; I really believe some women can be great at this job – coaching for people who purchase a Beach Body subscription – and own it like a boss. It just didn’t sit well with me. The night after I set up my profile and got into the training, I couldn’t sleep. I felt like I had betrayed everything I stood for.
I also found the atmosphere for Team Beach Body to be fairly clique-y, and I didn’t feel like I could justify asking people to purchase a product I hadn’t even used before just so I could be their coach. One coach went so far as to block me on Instagram, solely because I didn’t sign up as a coach through her so she could get the referral.
The coaches I was going to be directly working with weren’t like this at all, but I just couldn’t fathom working for a company comprised of peers so cutthroat and caustic. Furthermore, these women are supposed be the definition of support and success for their coach-ees.
See why I felt this way?
Okay, so pick a product you love, Rachel
My husband and I don’t often splurge on the sorts of things you make a lot of money referring people to. I don’t pay for online hosting for my blog, and I’m not a guru when it comes to blogging, either. I refuse to charge for fitness coaching. No one wants to pay for self-curated recipes. I write fairly well, but I don’t have the time to be a full-time freelance writer.
The list goes on and on, but there aren’t any big ticket items I can leverage. I’ve reached out to all the vegan meal kit delivery services to ask if I can try a meal for free (or just shipping) and no one gets back to me.
But. it’s. okay.
I’m not blogging for the money, and I’m not even blogging for myself. I write posts as a mom; I’m a real person with a real life and a real family. My goal from the beginning has been to write to inspire, not to write for material gain.
But ads are nondescript...
I think the biggest breadwinner when exploring blog monetization is placing ads on your site.
Maybe I’m different, but I’ve always despised visual advertisements. You have no control over what ads run on your page, where they go, and how many there are (at least in my experience). Visual ads run based on your content most often, and some of them can be quite contradictory to what your written work is voicing.
I saw a new blogger recently who wrote a post about “dating your spouse” that was the unfortunate victim of poor ad placing. She was a Christian mom who was writing about how to keep your marriage strong after having kids. This is something we all know is a struggle (but don’t care to admit it).
Three different times in her article was the same ad: Date Russian Women. Thanks, Google AdSense, am I right? I just can’t imagine leaving Google to determine what content belongs where inside of my personally curated, well-thought out articles.
But you're making blog monetization sound evil...
Maybe not for you it isn’t, but for me it’s a rabbit-hole that ends with me becoming someone I’m not. It ends with wasted hours I could have spent coloring with my daughter… seconds I could have used to enjoy her giggles before she gets cranky… minutes more I could have rocked with her before her nap. And that’s exactly what I was missing last month as I sat racking my brains for a way to make my time investing in blog monetization “worth it”.
What does blogging mean to you?
As soon as I stepped back and saw the impact I was making in my family’s life, I saw the real purpose behind blogging for me. I’ve had so many comments from my family members that I’ve been an inspiration for them to try intermittent fasting or to start eating healthier, lose weight, cut out animal products… etc.
That’s why I do this.
That’s why I take my time to write.
This is what blogging means to me.
What does it mean to you?
I think we’ve lost sight of blogging as a whole, you guys. We focus on blog monetization in the form of ad revenue, click bait, leveraging social media, sponsor ships, affiliate marketing… blah blah blah. At the end of the day, do what makes a difference – write what changes hearts. If you happen to earn money for your efforts, GREAT!
Let's chat, you guys
I know I’ll probably get some hate for this article, but I’d love to chat with you all. Drop your reason for blogging in the comments. Let’s be honest and open with each other. What does blogging mean to you? How do you feel about blog monetization?
Until next time,