A Tale Of Nordic Walking, Blogging and Empty Ad Spaces [#FridayLessons]

Image – Shuttersock: Val Thoermer

One of the chapters of Like The Flowing River describes how Paulo Coelho and his wife discovered Nordic Walking. They loved the activity because though it was rigorous and burnt a lot of calories, it did not make them tired at all. One day, Coelho went online and found out that they were doing it wrong! The next time they did it, they decided to do it “by the rules.” It was terrible, it was boring and it was tiring! So they went back to doing it “the wrong way.”

I attended a very interesting session on blog monetization the other day. As someone who once swore to never monetize her blog, it was a pretty drastic step for me to choose otherwise – huge shift, really! My main takeaway from this session was that every blog needs to have a niche. Or better yet, a micro-niche.
Mine doesn’t. Hell, it’s not even streamlined! Nor does it have a definite pattern. I do have another blog though – which focuses solely on books – mostly indie books. Let’s talk some numbers for a bit, shall we?
True, that I don’t make any money through my blogs (the ads started appearing only recently if you’ve noticed; less than a month ago – this blog was started in 2008). What do I know; I haven’t even applied anywhere except AdSense. But if we were to talk sheer pageviews and numbers: my niche-crafted blog gets hardly any visitors, whereas I am pretty satisfied with my broad, all-encompassing blog, i.e., this one.
Another thing that was mentioned that day (at the session) was how anyone without the intention of monetizing their blog would soon lose interest in blogging. I did have another blog, created solely for the purposes of “making money” (hey, don’t judge me). It was fun for about three months. I even got some tiny voucher type thingies. I stopped updating this one, cos I have only one brain. They say women are great at multitasking, but I’m secretly a man I couldn’t focus on both at the same time.
Then I got bored of it, simply because whatever that blog was about – it wasn’t me. This blog is me – telling stories and yakking, that is who I am. That blog was unicorns and puffy pink sleeves – made me feel like Deedee from Dexter’s Lab. I stopped updating it and eventually deleted it.
I am still interested in this one though! Very much so. I am also interested in my book blog, despite its low pageviews, because I love books. That’s it, I love books, period. I don’t know if I am doing something right here and something wrong there, because I feel I am doing the same things for both, so I don’t understand the disparity of numbers. But my point is this – monetizing isn’t the only aim; money isn’t the only thing that keeps us hooked. Some of us genuinely love writing.
I’ve forgotten what this post was about. Oh, right, rules. There are those who say Follow These Blogging Rules, Be Successful, Hire People To Wipe Your Bum! They may be making money and that’s great (for them)! I, on the other hand, was a happier blogger when I wasn’t looking at numbers or monetization. I didn’t feel like there’s this whole “performance pressure” sort of thing on me; as a result my mind was entirely focused on what I was writing, as opposed to whom I was writing it for. Probably, there’s no predictable, quantifiable “right” way to go about blogging. 

The lessons learnt thus were these: 1) Don’t let anyone tell you a niche-less blog is a good for nothing blog 2) Don’t let anyone tell you that you will lose interest in your blog unless you monetize it 3) Don’t listen to the “guru” with the rules.

Blogging is my Nordic Walking.

14 thoughts on “A Tale Of Nordic Walking, Blogging and Empty Ad Spaces [#FridayLessons]

  1. CookieCrumbs Inc. July 31, 2015 / 6:22 AM

    Still sniggering at *hire people to wipe your bum* 😛

    On a serious note, don't be apologetic about monetizing (refer:…”created another blog… solely for the purpose of making money (don't judge me)” Anyone who judges people for wanting to earn a bit of extra dough doing something that they love can go take a hike.

    ^this from a blogger who doesn't plan on ever monetizing her blog BUT will never judge someone who chooses to in any manner.


  2. Sreesha Divakaran July 31, 2015 / 7:03 AM

    Yeah, it's like this. I am going to try and be articulate about this as to why I sounded apologetic, but I may not convey it correctly. I'll try.

    It's like, at one point of time, my writing was so, sort of, “sacred” for me that I was anti-monetization. Sooo anti-commercialization that even participating in contests felt like I was turning into a sellout. But then I started participating in them and eventually thought, “Why not monetize.” But this blog was still so “place of worship” types that I didn't wanna do that to this one (yeah, I know, it's weird). But starting a blog just to monetize it was sooo sooo boring! I was never bored of this one, I love writing for this one, so eventually I gave in.

    [/So while my blog doesn't have a niche (I have nearly everything here!), I still think a niche isn't necessarily, necessary 😀 And that's why I opposed the views of the “guru” guy who spoke at the session I attended./]


  3. Soumya July 31, 2015 / 9:57 AM

    I write what ever I want to. I shamelessly even write sponsored posts. I have no adsense on my blog as I tend to use some beautiful words like scr*w, f*ck etc and hence blogger did not approve it. I do many money out of some posts but that is very rare. I write because I love writing and have to put forth my two cents on everything.

    I do participate in contests/happy hours/sponsored posts – but the topic needs to be something that I relate to. For example, there are a lot of kiddie contests doing the rounds and even though the prices are tempting I do not write as I have no kids and have no clue about them. Monetizing no matter what is a horrible thing. Somewhere lines need to be drawn.

    Writing should always be for the sake of writing. And nothing else. And thankfully I have stuck to this no matter what.


  4. Sreesha Divakaran July 31, 2015 / 10:17 AM

    I've only recently started accepting sponsored posts, and that too only if I can think of something meaningful to write, or at least weave a story around it.
    Hey, I don't think language is a problem with the Google guys, cos some of my posts are sprinkled with four-lettered words too, especially if I am angry (which I used to be, a lot; I've calmed down since!) Their main problem is with bots that increase your pageviews.

    Exactly! That's why even I write – I have to give my opinions!! Or write a story. Even I can't write for all the contests. People get surprised when I say I don't write for Indi Happy Hours – I just don't have anything to say about some topics – I can't help it!

    This is why that guy's session bugged me so much; he was all like, “If you're writing your personal experiences, or short stories or poetry, or if you don't plan on monetizing, then trust me you will get bored.” Yeah, right! 2008-till date, doing it my way and going strong! Woohoo!


  5. Ls July 31, 2015 / 10:54 AM

    Sreesha, which is your book blog? I also started my book blog recently because I love books. But as you said, low pageviews. But since I love it, i dont care. I feel, there is nothing incorrect in monetizing one's blog. Are you not putting your heart, time and effort into it? Its good that you love to do it too. Rules are rules, just to be broken.


  6. Sreesha Divakaran July 31, 2015 / 11:15 AM

    Yeah, if you love it, then pageviews actually don't matter. You will still write, simply out of your love for writing! For some reason, the guy who held the session did not get that simple point. The authority and assertiveness with which he said monetization is the only incentive for writing seriously pissed me off.

    Actually, I am not – because it's just secondary. Primary being my love for writing. The ads are just something I am experimenting with; but that said, I did not like that guy coming and telling the audience that a blog without a niche is good for nothing.

    My book blog is “http://rainandabook.blogspot.com” You can't copy paste from here, so I've added a link in the post itself 🙂


  7. the little princess July 31, 2015 / 5:55 PM

    hahahha…yea lady, i can totally identify with what u say! mine is also not a niche blog….and I still swear by the no ads rule…i am totally happy scribbling what I do in my happy space…monetising is not for me.


  8. Sreesha Divakaran July 31, 2015 / 7:15 PM

    Well, I've removed the no ads rule. But I do oppose that guy's views (who took the session) where he said 1) your blog is good for nothing if it doesn't have a niche 2) you will lose interest in blogging if you don't monetize it. I don't know how people can just force views like that on others, isn't it!


  9. Whatsup Guy August 9, 2015 / 5:19 AM

    This is hilarious. If money was the only concern, my actual job would be something I would want to focus on then. I blog because I can. If I get some money out of it what's wrong in it. But certainly that can't be the focus.


  10. Sreesha Divakaran August 9, 2015 / 7:37 AM

    Exactly! When he said that you'd get bored of it if you don't monetize it, some of us (including me) went “huh?” But he said it with the arrogant conviction that made us wanna not bother about his other opinions!


  11. Anjali Sengar August 14, 2015 / 3:52 AM

    Very nice and thoughtful post Shreesha.. I started blogging to share my passion for makeup, fashion and beauty. Never thought in my dreams that I will be writing so regularly. The appreciation from friends & readers is motivating me to blog.. Pretty new in this blogging world neither earning from ad sense nor paid post but enjoying my this own place 🙂


  12. Roohi Bhatnagar August 14, 2015 / 1:02 PM

    Great post. I appreciate this a lot more because my blog is just like yours. We can call it personal blog and yes, sometimes I too wriyte for sponsors and contest. I had my jilted days from those so called 'monetized blog' as mine is rejected by even Adsense umpteen number of times. But still, I write on my blog for the sake of writing and for those who don't write but still love my writings and come forward to tell me how it makes them happy! I write for happiness 🙂


  13. Sreesha Divakaran August 18, 2015 / 5:17 AM

    You go, girl! And enjoy it; don't let these blogging gurus tell you otherwise!


  14. Sreesha Divakaran August 18, 2015 / 5:22 AM

    That's the only good reason and motivation that we all need. Money is secondary. By the way, Roohi, if you were there for the BigRock event, you probably heard that guy's statement.


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