Monetisation. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
I feel seriously icky at the thought of making money out of something as fun as writing a blog.
Moreover, I have structural problems with the concept.
I feel the concept of monetisation suggests money should be prioritised at all costs.
Where is this coming from?
As I read reports from fincon (a big financial media conference that lots of my blogger friends went to) last month I am conflicted. I want to go and meet some really cool bloggers, the people I interact with on a regular basis. Not to mention the flamingos looked great fun. Drinks with people that inspire me – that sounds awesome.
But the actual fincon program just doesn’t appeal to me. There were very few talks that I think I’d really want to see. Not to mention that none of the keynote speakers appealed either. It feels far too profit oriented and pushing people towards monetisation. And those are concepts that make me uncomfortable.
So where does that leave me? I have bitten the bullet and bought a ticket, with the aim of meeting as many fellow bloggers as possible. And enjoy a holiday in the US.
I don’t want to sell you things
Anyway, back to my blog. I have no free download and no freebies for you. As in reality lots of those freebies and downloads have little value. Frankly, I am assuming my readers are able to see through simple marketing ploys like that as attempts to capture email addresses and grow email lists.
My personal approach is much less money focussed. For me, the ethics of monetisation and selling can get murky very quickly – how are you sure you are selling something people truly need? Moreover, sales funnels and landing pages feel really suspicious to me – if someone needs convincing to buy your product, maybe it’s not for them?
Moreover, I believe no means no. And the getting past no or overcoming objections narrative in sales is really, really problematic to me as well.
I’d rather you read and connected
I consider this blog a hobby, an interest and a fun way to spend my free time. I’m here for the people and the writing as an expression of ideas. Not to gain financially.
I don’t intend to recommend products as I truly don’t consume many products. On the other hand, there are however likely to be travel stories and theatre reviews I like to share with you – as there are the pursuits where I spend money.
What I do appreciate is when people read the blog and leave comments. Tell me you agree, tell me you don’t agree – all opinions are welcome, even those who *gasp* don’t believe the patriarchy exists.
This blog is not a business
I’m British. We aren’t as make a buck as Americans. We are culturally conditioned very differently and money just isn’t such a big driving force in our society.
Moreover, I come from a very non-entrepreneurial family and background, where everyone works for an employer – it’s just the norm.
Emails more and more regularly appear in my blog inbox offering various combinations of guest posts / buying link / affiliate deals. Obviously, I never respond to them but their frequency is increasing. Yet I am never tempted to take them up on their offers, as this blog is not a business.
I have enough money
Another key reason that I don’t feel the to try and monetise is that I am already very comfortable financially. I’m not quite financial independent yet, but I am far along the journey and expect to be there in a few years.
I’m not an advocate of growing wealth for wealth’s sake. When I have enough money, which is quite a Lean FIRE number for me, I will stop trading my time for money. There are no aspirations to become mega-wealthy here – it just doesn’t appeal to me. I don’t need a lot of money to be happy.
Keeping the mask of anonymity
And yes – I’d like to retain the mask of anonymity. To continue to write behind a pseudonym so my real life identity cannot be easily linked to my blog identity.
It’s not as I’ve got anything to hide – far from it. It’s just that in reality, as someone who still trades time for money it keeps things much cleaner. And our society is not yet comfortable discussing money openly.
Variety is Good
I’m also wanting to build community and give readers the opportunity to see a different opinion. Henceforth I am widening the voices on the blog, and starting two new series to showcase other awesome people. Some of whom are very much aligned with my values and beliefs and other much less so.
Let’s meet financial feminists #financialfeminists
As you may have guessed, I am very committed to equality. I aspire to make the world a more fair and equal place and help other women break down the barriers they face. This new series will allow other people, both men and women, who identify as a feminist to tell their stories and their journeys to feminism. And share what feminism means to them in the context of their life.
Let’s meet UK Personal Finance Bloggers #ukpersonalfinance
Another community I’m keen to showcase is the UK personal finance world. I’m conscious as a FIRE blogger aiming for financial independence that I have a very specific niche, that does not appeal to all. Hence I want to hear from other finance bloggers and see their approach to life and managing money.
The Anti Monetisation Manifesto
For all the reasons above and many more, I hereby state that Ms ZiYou is not and will not become a monetised blog. There will be no:
- annoying adverts
- sponsored posts
- affiliate links
- freebie offers
- pop-up banners
You do You
Please Note: This is not intended as a criticism of other’s choices. I aim not to judge others and the libertarian in me believes you are free to do as you wish. Moreover, I am very aware of both my privileged position money wise and understand other people choose to live their lives a different way. And that is great – You do You.
Over to you
- What are your thoughts?
- How do you feel about monetised vs non-monetised blogs?
- Is your blog a business?