15 December 2010

Thoughts On Blogging For Business

I got an offer in my in-box to become an affiliate for a company and so the thought process began. I appreciate that is was pretty much a form letter, and that unless the company is casting a really wide net for a reason, my blog doesn't see enough traffic to be even slightly useful, but it did get me thinking about the whole idea of blogging for business.

In this particular case the site was pretty cool, the product was really nice and the price point was reasonable for what I consider as "my" audience. The commission seemed pretty favorable and I was tempted but I declined for a few reasons:
  • First and foremost, I am not interested in building this blog as a money making proposition until I have the time treat it as a proper job. That will probably be when Lil'Bitz heads to school...in five years.
  • I don't think I have the kind of traffic that really makes it worth it to this company, or me, in that my blog will not generate much in the way of sales so it is kind of a dead end for both of us.
  • I am really prepared to be very particular about how I do go about monetizing this place since I have been introduced to the brilliant concept of "trust capital" by Anna at abdpbt.com Personal Finance. I am not sure a new upstart is the way to go on this one
  • The prices being affordable to those I consider to be my peers/readers is great, but it means that even at the "high" commission rate, it is not going to be a "sure thing" for making a profit. I realize I don't get to be picky as a blogger just starting out, but then again, maybe I do.
  • The whole process by which one becomes an affiliate, then gains even more commission value by getting others to become affiliates who in turn get more affiliates kind of reeks of pyramid scheme. Not in the dark, underhanded kind of way, but in the whole Mary-Kay- Pampered-Chef-PartyLite kind of way. If I want to deal with that kind of structure then I should just get off my duff and become a Longaberger consultant or something.
Anyway, it was all interesting to ponder and discuss, but it also made me realize that I have a lot of learning to do before I can even think about making this into a viable business venture. It is not like the good old days where you started a company by having a product/service then you offer that product/service and people give you money in exchange. Blogging for business is way more ethereal. Technically it is as simple as you offering advertising space or personal endorsement in exchange for compensation, but we all know it is not that simple at all in practice. I am thinking this means I need to do a ton of research and maybe even start a long-term plan for turning this into a money maker. I am still unsure if I even want to, but clearly this is not the kind of thing you can decide to do and them BAM! it is up, running and turning a profit in a matter of months. Perhaps getting a better idea of just what I would have to do will help me decide if I want to do it at all.


Ginger said...

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I don't think I'll ever have a blog that is a huge money maker, but someday I'd like to at least pay my hosting costs maybe? But I see people who just jump into it and you can tell they haven't thought it through and I just cringe at what ends up happening to their blogs. So you're right, it takes thought and planning.
Of course, I'm an overthinker, so it makes sense that I'd say that.

Alexis said...

As a fellow over-thinker I get ya. You seem to be right where I am in that I don't want to be doing this full-time, as I think you kind of do have to do if you want to make real money, but I want this to be a ".com" in the new year and covering that incidental just to support my "hobby" would be great. I agree that I have been put off by people who clearly jumped into the whole business aspect and then wind up with blogs full of crazy links and out of control reviews and so on. (Probably also why my blogroll gets a pruning now and then...there is a lesson to learn there...) So much to consider before I can even consider it.