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How Early Should You Monetize Your New Blog?

A common question that I get is ‘how early should I begin to monetize my blog‘.

I understand the concern behind the question – some bloggers certainly like to build their audience before they introduce monetization and you do need readers before whatever monetization model you choose will work – but have always believed that if you intend to monetize your blog one day you should probably do it in some way from early on.

I’ve never heard a shop owner ask – ‘how early should I monetize? – shops open from day #1 with products to sell.

Likewise – Newspapers generally run ads from Day #1, Businesses open with sales staff from Day #1, Gyms generally offer membership packages from Day #1… why shouldn’t a blog that intends to monetize start with that in mind.

It’s never too early in my opinion.

Monetizing from the start has a few benefits:

  • Firstly it’ll generate a little income – it won’t be much early on but a little is better than nothing and you’ll be surprised how even just earning a little can motivate and energise you!
  • Secondly – you’ll learn a lot by just trying. The first time I tried to monetize I used AdSense and Amazon’s affiliate program. In the first week of doing so I learned a lot – knowledge that I’ve utilised ever since.
  • lastly, and perhaps most importantly – monetizing from the start means your readers expectations are that your blog is one that will be monetized and you don’t have to break it to an established community that you’re suddenly going to start monetizing in some way.

A better question might be ‘HOW should I monetize early on?’

Some blogging monetization techniques will work better from Day #1 than others.

For Example

If your goal is to sell advertising directly to advertisers/sponsors – you’ll need to build your traffic before an advertiser is likely to want to advertise with you. In that case you might want to consider running ads from an Advertising Network like AdSense or Chitika (aff).

Or if your eventual goal is to sell your own products (an eBook or course perhaps) it may not be feasible for you to have a product developed from Day #1. In that case it might be worth promoting someone else’s eBook or course as an affiliate while you develop yours.

When Did You Start to Monetize?

I’d love to hear your experience – did you monetize from the start or introduce it later? Or are you still waiting for something to happen before you do it?

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Mona says:

    Monetization is important to everyone on the net.Anybody who’s got a footprint on the net wants to go commercial one day or the other .Even if you’re asking for donations your monetization requires effort ,and finite patience.
    My take is- better sooner than later.I couldn’t agree with Darren more;business owners always look for opportunity to start earning from day# 1.And why not?
    More importantly i feel all your audience knows you’re doing.Ads won’t come in the way of your traffic if content is magnetic.That ,surely,is a grind.Initially.
    Happy blogging
    Take care:)

  2. Mona says:

    Monetization is important to everyone on the net.Anybody who’s got a footprint on the net wants to go commercial one day or the other .Even if you’re asking for donations your monetization requires effort ,and finite patience.
    My take is- better sooner than later.I couldn’t agree with Darren more;business owners always look for opportunity to start earning from day# 1.And why not?
    More importantly i feel all your audience knows you’re doing.Ads won’t come in the way of your traffic if content is magnetic.That ,surely,is a grind.Initially.
    Happy blogging
    Take care:)

  3. When I began my very first blog I saw it as a place to share ideas, more like the journal-type blogs of old. As I began to learn more about blogging, I began to add Adsense and eventually my own products.

    My viewpoint now is that readers enjoy what you share, they’ll be glad for you to point them to related products that extend their knowledge and skills.

  4. Rahul says:

    I think monetization choice depends on the niche and views a blog gets. am planning to monetize my blog after few months.

  5. Hi Darren. I monetized from day one. Right after I had uploaded several posts, I added AdSense. I then started writing reviews for the affiliate products.

  6. James Watson says:

    I put adsense on my site on the first day and it has consistently brought me in $10 a day and that is the most I can get any day. I have optimized the page but I guess I need to work on more content.

    • JaLes says:

      How many posts did you have before your adsense was approved. Is there are certain amount of words per post to be approved.

  7. Jason Rogers says:

    I monetize right away to fill in the holes. Plus as your doing seo your seeing traffic right away so might as well lead people to the actual related product right?

  8. Anirudh says:

    After I started my Blog, I started monetizing only after 6 months. Though, I had no earnings for the first 6 months, I saw great results after 6 months. Awesome Post Darren. Cheers :)

  9. Clarabela says:

    I started right away with something easy, like Amazon’s affiliate program. I tried adsense, but I didn’t like the look of the ads and I only earned pennies.

    I am still not making much money on my blog, but I want that to change this year.

  10. I started monetization from day one BUT only because I already had my own products to promote. I wouldn’t start right off with affiliate offers or display ads (they wouldn’t produce much income anyway in the beginning when traffic levels are very small).

    I don’t know why but AdSense ads (text links, not display ads) instantly puts me off the blog, especially if it’s a business related blog. It doesn’t look professional to me. But maybe it’s just me! :)

  11. Matt says:

    I think it does depend on what you are selling and how you plan to monetize. Promoting yourself, your talents and your existing products and services is an indirect but lucrative way of immediately monetizing a blog and probably the main reason a lot of people start a blog.

  12. Benny mathur says:

    I started my monetization after 3 month i thought to first generate a positive traffic and then apply for the adsence , i will be needing a feedback from you plz if u can analyse my blog for any mistake

    Thanks

  13. Hello Darren,

    It is true that we should build and increase traffic to our site before we it become capable of displaying ads. GoogleAdsense in particular is quite demanding when it comes to content and they don’t accept Google ads application if a website don’t have enough content that can generate enough organic traffic. But I often see some websites that have already been monetizing their blog after three months of frequently updating their blog though.

  14. Bill says:

    This is an eye opener for me. In the past, I start monetizing my bog after some time, at least 3 months or so but what you said about entrepreneurs and newspapers makes sense. I like the timing of this post because as of now I am starting a new blog and now I decided to put some adsense in it after I write this reply. Thanks for the idea.

  15. siddharth says:

    I started right away with something easy..

  16. Mona says:

    It’s good to stat monetizing as early as possible.At least the audience knows taht you mean business-literally!

  17. Japheth says:

    i started last month my photography blog is 5 months old am yet to create backlinks but am pulling 5000 visitors which is organic.last month is was able to earn 2000 dollars frm affliate in amazon and B&H photo.my application for Adsense was turned down by google got pissed off.

  18. shamsudeen says:

    Actually, is always good to monetize form day #1, but there are certain down side to it especially if the blogger and the blog in question are new to blogging. First, the get rich quick syndrome might set in and if the money is not coming, then the blogger might get frustrated and eventually quit half way.

    Darren, you and I know, except for a blogger who has been there for sometime, the chances of setting up a blog today and start seeing result today is 5 to 95.

    Lack of focus and inability to learn the tricks and tips in blogging will set-in.Personally, I have heard many blogger with two months old blog complaining of lack of income. He complain not about writing quality content, he careless about that but just want to make money from day #1

    Well, back to your question, it all depend on the blogger and the blog. Monetizing from day one is good, while waiting for something else to happen before you test your toes in water is also not a bad idea.

  19. I’m not even 3 months in yet and am still trying to build a audience. I do have a few affiliate links, but not many. I would like to monetize soon but I just want people to find my content helpful right now.

  20. Hasan says:

    I’ll apply for Google Adsence after few days. Nice post. Thanks.

  21. Anh Le says:

    I think if a blogger wants to monetize from the very beginning stage then s/he should make a plan and treat it as a real business. Plan content, marketing, advertising and all kinds of other things. And at some point I think if you want to make money right away, you must invest a certain amount of money (or a lot of time) on building your blog business.

  22. Darren, I’ve been looking at various hosting affiliate programs and wondering which if any I should go with and then it occurred to me to check which you promote. I was surprised to find none.
    Given your ‘Mini Maven’ status (yes i do read everything you write) in the ‘advice on blogging’ world I was wondering why you don’t as it seems an obvious choice especially with so much conflicting info out there.
    If the reason is that you just have too many other things going on or you find your readers already have blogs I get that but just wondering if there’s another reason.

  23. Michael Belk says:

    Darren, I started monetizing right away. Mainly for the reasons you discuss, I do not have to break it to my readers that I plan to monetize.

    I also do not have any products however, I am mostly using Google. It is real simple, but also as you mention the income level is small.

    However, a business need to be in development and build trust with their readers first.

  24. Chris says:

    Great timing on this post. If anyone has built an offline product or service business, you know that money (income) is secondary and a result of the service and value you provide to the consumer.

    Even in the examples of a gym or newspaper business, there is an upfront investment of time and money. The same goes for a restaurant business.

    Keep in mind that revenue generated early on is not necessarily profit. (as many would refer to it as income).

    I’m building out my first “real” blog with the goal of creating a profitable cash flow asset. I understand that I may not realize an actual profit right away, but businesses and audiences take time to build.

    I appreciate all the great insights from everyone. I am learning so much!

    Respectfully,

    Chris

    P.S. I already have one affiliate product up. I’m hoping this can help cover hosting expenses and offset the costs of late nights and wine to get this baby launched.

  25. I started monetizing when people started asking if they could advertise (to my surprise!). I went straight from nothing to selling my own ads direct and now I have an agency selling my ad space for me.

  26. Right away, I say! But not too much of course :)

  27. Elena says:

    I started blogging as a hobby and then introduced my own products. While I monetize some of my YouTube videos (I am actually trying not to as Mich anymore since I want vieets to click through to my blog rather than clicking away) I have not yet monetized my blog. I do have one affiliate link and the Amazon store but outside of that Iam conflicted, since my goal is to keep readers on my site so they buy MY products.

  28. Carlinton says:

    I really love this post!

    I have always wonder how early should I monetize my website. I use to think that I should wait until my website has about 1000 page views per day before adding Google AdSense and other similar programs. However, I have realized that when I publish very good content on my website and have ads relating to the content, my visitors tend to click on these ads.

    I believe that if you have about 15 great pages of content that are really demanding, then you can monetize your blog or website. (Keeping in mind that you will build more pages in days or weeks to come.)

    By the way, thank you Darren for this article. I must say that I have also found some of the comments to be very useful.

    All the best.

  29. Stephanie says:

    Helpfull post! I’m blogging for a few months now and I’m thinking of monetizing, but I’m still waiting for the right moment. I really don’t like Google AdSense, but maybe I should give it a try?

  30. Tammy Eakes says:

    Great post! I was actually just asking myself if now is the time to start trying to monetize my blog! My blog has been live since Nov 2012 but I’ve only started posting daily and truly getting into it since Feb…so just a couple of months. I was worried that it was too soon. Now I’m heading over to read your post on monetizing techniques! Thank you!

  31. Dan says:

    I have recently started a technology discussion blog. In the long run I am hoping to monetise (apologies for my spelling, I am English) my blog and have signed up to amazon associates.

    My plan is that I will only link a product when it is cheaper than elsewhere and I will always provide an alternative if it isn’t. I would prefer my readers (if my traffic increases!) to trust me and respect what I am doing rather than give them a single option.

    Do you think this can work in the long run or should I just provide my affiliate links?

  32. Stephanie says:

    I would recommend all bloggers/publishers to upgrade your AdSense to Google Ad Exchange to make more money! That’s what I did and been making so much money since implementing it. It’s the premium version of AdSense with access to the largest pool of advertisers around the world. I signed up via a company called Monetize More. They provide access and optimize it for you.

  33. Nette Rogers says:

    Monetizing seems to be the hard part for me. I’ve been blogging for a month now and I only bring in 50 Visiters a day. My question is which way should I go to begin?

  34. john says:

    Hey Darren,

    Interesting article on when to monetize blog. I would like to add another factor that can help us to monetize our social network and also help us to earn money from it. I have recently installed a plugin by the name feeligo (feeligo.com) on my social network. It has substantially increased user engagement on my website. Their System is non-intrusive and enjoyable for users. I have started earning revenue based on usage of the Feeligo system. The entire suite is free to use. Installation only takes a few minutes. If you get stuck during installation the support team is available 24×7. Any blogger who wants to increase the network activity should try Feeligo.

    JohnMathews

  35. john says:

    Good article, thanks Darren! Social network monetization is certainly still in the early stages, but there is one solution you did not mention that is quickly gaining traction: virtual gift monetization. You say “On social networks, people are primarily concerned with communicating with their friends, not looking to buy
    items or services,” but the whole idea behind virtual gift is that people ARE willing to buy items or services that contribute to their communications with friends.

    I have recently installed feeligo application (feeligo.com) on my blog. It has substantially increased user engagement on my website. Their System is non-intrusive and enjoyable for users. I have started earning revenue based on usage of the Feeligo system. The entire suite is free to use.Installation only takes a few minutes. If you get stuck during installation the support team is available 24×7. Any webmaster who wants to increase the network activity should try Feeligo.

  36. Linmer says:

    Great! Learn a lot from the discussions

  37. Rick says:

    I was planing on building my audience first before i start monetizing but after reading this post i change my position on waiting and will start now. Great information Darren!

  38. Naiyer says:

    I think it is really difficult to decide how can you monetize early. You have no Idea what is happening with you blog, what people are reading, how they are coming to your blog and so on.

    It may take at least six months to realize in which direction your blog is going.

    Helpful post, but I want more…:)

  39. James says:

    I just opened my site a week ago and decided to monetize from day one. I’m glad i did now. I figured I would rather have the ads up there now and not later as to not shock people.

    also its not like when you start a new job you do it for free for a while right.

  40. Chris says:

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