|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.