Ben Langhinrichs

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Genii Weblog

Resist the urge to monetize

Wed 19 Feb 2014, 09:40 AM

by Ben Langhinrichs

I wrote a slight variation of this over on an Entrepreneur's community on Google+, but thought people might be interested here as well. It is business related rather than technical, but given the number of small businesses and entrepreneurs around, I thought I'd share it.

Resist the urge to monetize

One of the mistakes I see both small businesses and solo flyers make, one I've made myself at times, is to follow the siren call to monetize everything. Whether it is adding ads next to your blog or allowing ads on your videos, it seems so tempting to earn something, anything, from your content.

Resist the urge. Unless your core business is funded by advertising, you risk selling that core business short.

As an example, when I started making Youtube videos, I monetized them. Why not create a revenue stream since I was making helpful tutorials? Most of them were not even related to my core business, but instead were related to Gimp, free photo editing software.

The problem is, people have short attention spans and don't like to be sold to. So, instead of generating good will, I was generating ill will. The payback? A pittance. Under $5 per thousand views. Now, if my core business were Youtube and I were getting millions of views, that would go up and amount to something. But instead, I was driving people away.

I de-monetized all my videos, whether they were Gimp tutorials or demos of my products. When I suggest the tutorials now, I make a point of how they are all ad free, so people are more willing to go and feel better about it. Some follow my channel, and some check out my other videos, including fun ones related to my products. At the price of my software ($1500 is the lowest price), one good lead would pay more than 300,000 views.

So, be careful when considering the tempting cash from monetizing your blog or videos or any other content. Think of it as having one chance to sell to a customer. Do you want that one chance squandered on the tiny amount you get when they follow a link, or the real services, licenses or products you sell? You are making that choice whether you recognize it or not. Make your one chance to sell the right one.

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