Building An Author Platform Pt. 10: When to Monetize Your Blog

BlueprintsI’ve started efforts to monetize my blog/site over the last week. I won’t be adding too many advertisements but there will be a few appearing soon on the site. This is always a big decision for a blogger since it means changing the experience of your readers.

However, as an author, this site is not strictly meant to be a hobby – though there are many excellent blogs that are. This site is intended to present professional writing to readers. But also in consideration that this is a site largely about writing, I’ve tried to pursue affiliations that best fit the site. As such there are number of reasons an author should consider monetizing their blog as part of their platform plan. Here are some of my reasons:

1. Upgrading this site – yes, as I’ve mentioned in earlier posts in this series you should start a site with minimal monetary commitment with the intention of growing into something bigger. This takes income and one of the best ways to grow your website is to make it pay its own way. There are any number of ways to go from self-hosting to custom themes and other important features. My site needs to grow which takes a larger budget and affiliate marketing is a low time commitment for a busy writer.

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

2. To help pay for release expenses – you can start your platform with low expense but actually releasing a book and doing it well takes some money though not necessarily a large bundle. Here are the types of services to consider using with a book release: ordering promotional material such as bookmarks, etc, additional artwork and gift card giveaways – all of which can be done with minimal cost. You can also go heavier if you have more cash available by giving away one or more e-readers as well as employing paid services such as: a launch party, PR services, blog tours and more. I don’t know how much I’ll be able to do but I know I want to do more than my budget allows at the moment.

3. To improve the efficiency of my efforts – simply put I’d like to spend more time writing around all the events and promotions. This means some of my social media and emailing should be automated as I grow. But these services require money as well. This doesn’t mean I don’t want to interact with readers via social media and email, rather that getting information out about my work should take up less time.

Having An IdeaSo those are three reasons why I’m monetizing my blog. I don’t intend to inundate anyone with an overwhelming amount of ads. However, I do need to gain the ability to use my time more wisely and effectively launch The Bow of Destiny. Frankly, I’ve probably waited too long to do this but releasing a book means getting serious about writing and this means enlarging a platform which started so modestly. For other new authors, consider when – and if – you may need to take this same course of action as you build your author platform.

Once I start using these affiliations, I’ll post a notice and a new page that provides my required FTC notice as well as with whom I’m affiliated. I certainly believe that none of these ads will be disruptive to anyone’s experience with the site and hope that every visitor may find something useful at some point. Who knows, I may not need to continue my affiliations as my fiction inventory grows but it certainly helps in the near-term.

The Bow of DestinyPlease share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Sign up for my Archer’s Aim Digest mailing list to receive the forthcoming edition of my newsletter with announcements about upcoming releases and events (and there’s some big news this month). Want to be listed in The Bow of Destiny credits? Join the Insider Team to share upcoming links. Either way, you’ll be the first to have news about my books, especially some free offers this summer related to the upcoming release of The Bow of Destiny, the first novel of The Bow of Hart Saga. You’ll also receive a free coupon to download my e-book short story, The Black Bag, as well as July’s free e-book: Recommended Reading for Authors!

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