In the world of blogging, there are two types of people. There are those who tell you that they despise you to the core if you place a popup on your website, and there are those who put their name and email into the popup and join your email list. There are those who leave comments degrading your existence if you place an advertisement in your content, and there are those who click on those advertisements and make hundreds of dollars in revenue for you at the end of the month.
Some bloggers and internet marketers go after those clicks and those sign ups and some go after those who they feel are the loudest, most participatory members of their community. Which is the right answer?
Your Business versus Your Community
It’s proven that you can make money by shoving a product in someone’s face online, but if that product or newsletter is worthless then you’ll end up with a high unsubscribe rate and a plethora of people hitting the spam button when you send them something.
When I get so much as just one spam complaint on my newsletters, I hate it and I think about what I can do to improve it, but others don’t care. If they can use their impersonal, unwelcome newsletter to generate so much as one additional sale then they’re happy.
As community builders, our initial reaction is to reject popups, in-content ads and any other form of revenue generation that we consider to be spammy even though we know that these forms of passive income are powerful. Don’t think I’m justifying them. I hate them as much as anyone. I want a pleasant, uninterupted experience as much as the next guy.
So what’s the answer? How can we profit from our industrious online careers without interrupting our users experience? The short answer…you often can’t.
A Multi-Million Dollar Example
I love watching music videos on YouTube. Though if you read the comments, people seem to hate YouTube for the way they present their material. YouTube places advertisements at the top of the side bar, they show an advertisement randomly before some of the videos and they place wrap around ads around the video box.
Sure they get rude comments, but they’re making millions of dollars in profits as a result and they’re continuing to see growth at their site. Those rude comments aren’t going to compel the operators of YouTube to start hating money enough to remove them. Those millions of dollars speak a whole lot louder then a few random disgruntled viewers.
The same is true of television commercials.
And of radio commercials.
They are a necessary evil. They are the financing behind the content that we all enjoy.
So the lesson here isn’t that we should overload our sites with advertising. But rather, just as the Greek maxim would suggest we should enjoy all things in moderation. Balance is the key.
It is altogether appropriate to place advertisements on your site if that is a part of the business model that you’re using to finance your online ventures if you can provide good enough content to continue building your community and connecting with people.
Again, balance is the key and the quality and usefulness of your content is your trump card.