Shaking My Money Maker

Do you know what I've been researching lately?  Blog monetization.  I have been thinking about it for a while but researching actively only recently. 

To get a few things out of the way: I think blogs that have advertisements on them are fine.  To feature products received as samples free of charge is also fine.  To run sponsored posts is a-ok to me.  As long as disclosures and policies are clear and a reader knows with what lens to view a post, I have no problems.  This is how I feel as a reader.  (if you don't disclose, well then, you are on my POO list!)

The idea that I can make a few pennies off of my hobby is very appealing.  Right?  I get to do what I already enjoy, write about something I have a level of legit passion about and then somebody cuts me a check?  After all, I spend a lot of moolah on buying makeup and being able to recoup some of those costs sound amazing!

I realize that as a reader, I read other media (whether other beauty blogs, or any other sites) with a certain lens.  For beauty blogs for instance, as soon as I know a post is sponsored I take everything with a grain of salt.  The blogger is being compensated to feature a product so any positive information, I think of it basically as I do all ads. 

Take "freebies."  I know everyone that discloses receiving press samples also state that she has no bias.  I'm sure to some extent, and within her control, she is.  But for new, smaller or less-established blogs, it can be kind of exhilarating receiving products.  Is it possible that such feelings can somehow influence the content on a post?  I think it is possible.  Where financial gain and relationship building is involved, influence is possible.

These days, I view a lot of content with a bit of side-eye and a bit of cynicism.  And to be completely fair, I think it's only right you do the same when you read my blog.  99.9% of my posts are with product I've purchased myself.  I don't feature stuff I wouldn't buy myself (be it brands or specific products) but when you see my disclosures in a post, make sure you are wearing your lens.

Back to Shaking that Money Maker, I was thinking about different ways I can make money.  I can run ads, use affiliate links and do sponsored posts.  Knowing I have a generally weak backbone for temptation (hellooooo, have you seen my blog?) I was thinking more and more about how the motivation for making the dough would influence my blog in unintended ways.

Would I feature brands I have zero natural interest in?  Sometimes I get pitches from brands I either don't know or don't have interest in to provide product.  I always say no thanks to those.  But if they offered money would I want to feature "BACN, a brand made completely from pork fat?"  Maybe I would do a whole color story on pork-grease based lip glosses and rave about the fragrant nature of BACN perfume?  (Yum, a little barnyard.  A little smokey.)

Would I change my natural interest to brands and stores that participate in affiliate programs so that every click you make to a retailer from my blog will generate a few pennies?  Maybe I would want you to click to the MACCOSMETICSFORCHEAP website!  Why, I can dedicate whole posts that look like a beautiful collage for you to click.  Cha-CHING!

Would I want to feature posts on Lysol because, why because makeup looks and feels better when your bathroom is extra clean!  I'm sure I can find some tenuous link between beauty and Lysol.  Or why not hair extensions on the blog?  (Maybe because my hair is mostly in a messy bun all week long)  I can get to love hair extensions... over time.

For me, I see that it's a slippery slope ...uh, greased with lip gloss from BACN.  I actually don't think I can remain consistent to my (low) blog standards if money were to be involved.  Keep yer hair on.  I don't mean for your blog or other people's blog.  I just mean for me and my blog.  I think over time I can convince myself how doing all those weirdo things above is something I think is great for the blog.  So no more google searching on "retire on blog making money" for me.

*Shaking my money maker*  *looks sad that zero pennies fall out from cans*  *daydreams about high-flying, money-making career as a BACN model*

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