#087: How to Monetize Your Platform [Podcast]

When I started building my platform, it never occurred to me to make money from it. When someone suggested I start accepting advertising, I resisted because I thought (erroneously) it would compromise my integrity.

Then I realized that all professional creatives charge for their work. In fact, this is what separates the professionals from the amateurs.

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Let me share three ways you can maintain your integrity and monetize your art without selling your soul.

  1. Promote Affiliates. The key is to find products you actually use and you believe will be beneficial to your readers. I have three rules when it comes to affiliate products:
    • I have to use it and love it.
    • The company must have outstanding customer service.
    • I disclose it.
  2. Sell Advertising
  3. Create Products

The key to monetizing your art without selling your soul is to offer ads, products, and services that are congruent with your brand and will add value to your readers. Make sure you look at the resources below. I included tons of tools and links in this episode.

Listener Questions

  1. Lisa asked, “What do you think of the idea of selling ‘backlinks’ on your Blog as an additional way to monetize it? If you’ve got a good Google PageRank I assume a backlink is of value to other Bloggers (for SEO purposes) and hence may be prepared to pay for it.
  2. Nina asked, “For attracting visitors, do you use the visitors or the page views per month? I have about 9,000 visitors and 20,000 page views, so if I doubled that, I could potentially sign up for BeaconAds. What do you think?”
  3. Emily asked, “I’m curious if you think it’s appropriate to monetize a non-profit ministry’s blog. We mostly run off donations, and while we do have a handful of affiliate links, we’ve never sold ad space.”
  4. Josh asked, “Do You think its okay to put affiliate ads on the sidebar on a fairly new blog with very little traffic?”
  5. Scott asked, “What service do you use for automating the sale and distribution of eBooks from your website? I am just finishing my first and not sure how to set up my sales so I’m not personally processing payments and emailing books.”
  6. Lori, asked, “Do you have a team of people pulling this all together for you so can concentrate on the content?”

Tip of the Week

If you have a platform and are looking for help with some aspect of what you do, go to your tribe first rather than just running a want-ad or hiring a service that doesn’t know you. I have done this several times.

Start by creating a detailed job description (like this one). This will help you identify what you need and help other people see if they can meet that need.

Then post messages on your blog and social media channels with a link to the job description. Make sure the job description itself ends with a response mechanism, like a form to fill out or a link to your email. Invite people to apply.

Once you start getting some applicants, go through your normal screening process.
The big advantage of going to your tribe is that you are much more likely to find someone who understand what you do and shares your values.

Special Announcements

  1. People often write in to ask, “Can I pick your brain on something?” I finally decided to address this head-on. If you are interested in picking my brain on something, let me encourage you to go to MichaelHyatt.com/pickmybrain
  2. If you have a question, comment, thought or concern, please leave me a voicemail:

    This is a terrific way to cross-promote your blog or website, because, if I use your question on the show, I will link to it.

Episode Resources

In this episode I mentioned several resources, including:

Show Transcript

You can download a complete, word-for-word transcript of this episode here, courtesy of Ginger Schell, a professional transcriptionist, who handles all my transcription needs.

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Question: What would monetizing your site make possible for you?

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