To monetize, or not to monetize……that is the million Dollar (apparently literally) question!
As previously mentioned, once upon a lifetime ago, I used to write short articles….. just to vent. Blogs were not a thing. Back then, it was called “pounding the keys on the keyboard with passion and enthusiasm.” Honestly, it was just therapeutic, and not meant for public consumption. Seeing those dislodged keyboard keys flying around the room like missiles, was oddly satisfying!
I kind of felt that it was a tad presumptuous of me to assume that people cared about what I had to say. I was always that person who preferred people to know as little about me as possible. It was hard enough to warm to me if you didn’t come into the relationship with any pre-existing opinions of me. The thought of exposing my snarky thoughts, blunt opinions and intolerant views to total strangers, or even worse, people who sort of knew me, and were still on the fence about me, was terrifying!! You need to understand….I am a love her or hate her kind of a gal. I have no issues with that, as I am a kind of love them or hate them kind of a gal myself. However, being that I am this ball of pure joy and warmth, there are but a select few who love and understand me. Again, no problem with that, but by exposing myself prematurely, there might have been someone (on the fence) that I would have totally connected with, if I had reeled them in with no pre-existing opinions, AND THEN exposed my true self. By then they would have understood me and condoned me for all my (not) warmth and joy. They wouldn’t have slipped through the cracks! Got it?? Well, if not, let’s move on anyway.
“You could write under a pseudonym’’, they said…..worth considering, I thought.
So due to public demand (well, one or two requests), I took the first step in my journey to becoming a well renowned author (well, a chance of having an article or two in the local baby magazine). I sent my articles to said local baby magazine. The Editor telephoned me to say that she really liked my style of writing, but asked if I could write about my experiences in a more positive light. I explained that I was writing my truth, and that the whole purpose of wanting to have these published, was to help future parents know what they might experience, rather than only the sparkles and rainbows they had repeatedly read about. She clearly did not want to hear a word I said, as she then told me to submit more positive work, and they would definitely consider publishing it.
Needless to say…..the pages were blank…..
So that was then. Nowadays, there is so much more authenticity to the information regarding pregnancy, child birth and child rearing.
So that was when I first dabbled with what would later be known as ”blogging”. A few years later, when blogging first became a thing, the same friends told me to start a blog. So I did. However, I was still that person who felt it was presumptuous of me, even with a pseudonym. So it kind of dissipated.
During COVID, I was faced with the reality of my income being drastically reduced. My two young men were at home the day the news broke, and they proceeded to tell me how I need to stop being so “old school”, and start looking at making money online. During the course of the conversation, blogging came up. My older son….aka one third, aka “deep’’ atbka (also to be known as) ‘’pepper’’ (see a future blog) …..informed me that I needed to YouTube to learn everything I could about how to monetize a blog. We started said Youtubing (a bit of COVID bonding time), but then the conversation veered towards us, as a family, attempting to get involved in e-commerce. And so it began…..the YouTube marathon……on types of e-commerce, on the marketing of the site, on the necessity of having a niche product….did spreadsheets, calculations, projections, research….and then went back to YouTube some more.
We were going to be multimillionaires by the end of 2020!! Who bloody knew???? There I had been, for the last 15 years, working multiple jobs…and all I needed to do was sit at home on a computer, and the bucks were going to come pouring in!! Every YouTuber on the topic (apparently gazillionaires , most of them just out of nappies), showed us their cars, their houses, even their bank accounts….all from this undiscovered beast they called e-commerce!
Thank you COVID, you woke me up…..I WAS OFFICIALLY “WOKE”!!!
YouTube said first step is to find a ‘’niche’’ product. So hours and hours….and hours….days and weeks…..even months of YouTube and more YouTube to find a ‘’niche’’ product. Found one, more research, realized not so ‘’niche’’, needed to find another. We spent so many hours finding so many ‘’niche’’ (not) products, that we just got niched out! Simultaneously, we were researching the very important requirement of marketing on Facebook…..totally wasted my money by sending pepper to study Accounting! Money would have been better spent sending him to study for 4 years on the ins and outs of digital marketing!
After what seemed like thousands of hours of research, we realized that e-commerce in fact involved shipping…..humungous delays and unhappy customers, or air freighting….unaffordable to us, never mind the end user. Furthermore……erratic and disastrous exchange rates……unhappy traders. Mission e-commerce put on the back burner! What a total waste of all that time and vast knowledge we acquired. Dammit!! We had missed the bloody boat (excuse the pun)!!
Well, maybe, I needed to rethink the blogging? Becoming a multimillionaire by the end of 2020 was the goal. How I got there was just incidental.
So back to the drawing board I needed to go (aka YouTube). Now, I might have bragged about being ‘’woke’’, but I was not THAT ‘’woke’’. The best people to do the research, would have been my lazy good for nothing children, as their lazy good for nothing mother felt out of her depth, what with all this new age technology! However, relying on said good for lazys was a huge risk.
So their lazy good for nothing mother decided to start blogging to get the wheels turning, and would do the research into monetizing as and when time allowed. To start though, I had to have a bit of a YouTube moment, to learn what blogging platforms are best. There were choices….I hate choices…Wordpress…Blogspot….Pinterest…..uuuurgh. Decided on WordPress, because…well no idea really.
So, some time allowed, and back to YouTube I went. What a lot of information was being fed to me. I needed followers (something I had been taught at a very early age to watch out for and avoid) and I needed oodles of likes (highly unlikely, given my history). I needed to be shared a lot (sounded x rated), I needed to have conversions (from what was I converting and to what???) and algorithms……algorithms were of the utmost importance….. affiliate marketing was required when monetizing….. needed to do marketing to create awareness of “my brand” (what brand????)
The straw that broke the camel’s back, was when I started hearing about the “niche” word again. One has to find a niche to blog about apparently, in order to corner a certain market. Your blogs cannot be general…..there is no multi millions in general blogs. Oh frogs!!! Nope, this was not going to happen…. back to hearing that I have to write on a topic that would appeal to the public. Again, no longer my truth. Had no desire to do it then, and no desire now either!
So what I ultimately decided to do, was to blog for the sake of blogging! Back to being therapeutic. Back to spreading the word of truth about life. Back to not becoming a gazillionaire, or even a millionaire by the end of 2020!!