Monetizing Belikeme

What blogger wouldn’t love to magically get paid for blogging? For $100 per post, I would post every workday. At 20 posts per month, that’s an annual gross of $24,000. I could halfway live on that. Hardly anybody makes even that kind of money blogging, though. If I toiled at monetization, I might occasionally find sponsors for posts on given subjects. Or I could embrace ads, although that seems scammy and is hateful. In this optimistic fantasy scenario, I might gross a thousand dollars a year, although a thousand pennies seems more likely. I would make much less than $15 per hour, enjoying only the few moments that actually involved writing. Sloth and abhorrence keep me from looking further into it, although I suppose I should do so if I want to entertain more than fantasy.

An alternative to magical pay-per-post is indirect revenue. What could I offer here that would attract someone to pay me for something else? I’m planning an algae-farming website that I hope to monetize, directly and as a consulting portal, so maybe belikeme could drive traffic there. Authors Charlie Stross and John Scalzi seem to use their blogs as indirect advertising. But the algae website should stand on its own, and as I write about mostly non-algae topics here, I envision trivial revenue at best from that approach. I might put together an algae-farming MOOC, but again, that’s an unrelated project, so any revenue provided by driving traffic there with belikeme would also likely be trivial. I could exploit the punnery in the title, and create videos in which I didactically demonstrate an eclectic mix of entertaining practicalities, exhorting viewers to be like me, but again, the probability of making a living getting paid to make videos seems low.

Riffing on that last bit, however, suggests some possibilities. Instead of just blogging, create e-art (ebooks, music, videos, images) that could be streamed for a fee or sold. Perhaps I could even create sellable physical objects. I need to overcome my sloth on this and do some research into how people who do make money with “blogging plus” actually manage that. Crowdfunding. App stores. Clearinghouses. A lot of these sites and approaches seem to charge too much and assume motivations and compliance on the parts of their desired clientele only distantly adjacent to my own expectations. Any work plan involving that ecosystem will assume such utilization is a stepping stone, supporting me until I devise my own money-bringing processes.

First, though, I would need to increase my blog traffic. While I have my own ideas for this project, I need to consult the oracle to gather more, and then actually implement some of them. I would start with the least time-consuming ones first. If my experience is any guide, any effort that succeeds will require increasing repetitions of that effort until the sigmoidal curve of reward v. effort flattens out. At this point in belikeme’s history, any success increasing traffic will seem exponential. Even trivial success will engender a sense of fulfillment, likely leading to complacency, vain hope and then disappointment, followed by more incremental effort.

Ultimately, I will need assurance that all this monetizing actually advances my goals. Granted, if I could gross $60K from part-time home-office blog-related toil I would ride that train, damn the humanity. With the likelihood of that scenario nil, until I stumble across an approach that works I’ll simply abandon any monetization effort that provides neither humanitarian payoff nor personal enjoyment. And, knowing myself, I will still hope for magic.

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