Monetization is what frees content creators to have the time to develop and publish.
At the same time, it kind of feels like a dirty word. It can become the driving force behind the content which seems universally bad, and it is potentially a large single-point of failure in your business model.
An aspiring social media entrepreneur who worked his way to 20k Instagram followers recently told me that he wants to find some way of monetizing. I replied that this should have come first. Who knows who these followers are, much less whether they would be in the demographic for some particular product or service?
Social media monetization strikes me as a nonstarter if the goal is that the content you create will generate at least enough revenue to allow you to create more.
What then? Blogging and services.
I have been writing this blog for years and there are hundreds of posts which get regular organic traffic, and I have a few other domains with some traffic which I could probably grow. I think my biggest opportunity will be this year with my 12 Startups in 12 Months project. I will focus on monetization as a major factor in each of these projects, and maybe even work on monetizing this blog at some point.
I will share my lessons so that anyone who is interested can reap the benefits of these experiments.
One thing that feels really important to me is diversifying your monetization channels. Monetizing with just one ad network or product gives you a huge single-point of failure. I will focus on developing diverse revenue streams for each project, and elaborate on how that works out for me.