In the interests of GTD (Getting Things Done - a term I have been know to bandy about, but have little true grasp of), I managed to check a couple of things off the work list this last weekend. One of them was "sign up for Google AdSense".
It seems like a pretty straightforward notion: place some tasteful ads on your site and hopefully make a little extra something that will help the site pay for itself. It's not that the site is what you might call "widely successful" just yet, hammered by visitors in such numbers that I'm getting panicky phone calls from my web hosting provider begging me to stop being so darned popular. But it doesn't hurt to think ahead.
The thing is, I feel like kinda like this guy:
It’s not a business model. Any time you can talk about “monetization,” you’re probably not talking about a real business because “monetizing” a business is redundant. “Monetizing” is slapping a moneymaker on top of something that doesn’t naturally produce income. The way that 99.99% of people dive into AdSense, they’re simply putting something out there and waiting for the dollars to roll in. There is no real planning, no accounting forecasts, no intention down the road to improve workflow or expand offerings or enlarge the sales funnel, no exploiting the best abilities of yourself and partners to create benefit for others.
I’m just saying that the average person is probably going to have better luck building a real business. Meaning:
- One that you can stand behind publicly.
- One that’s based on helping others in exchange for pay.
- One that benefits from being a real, authentic person.
- One that matches your best abilities to the needs of others.
I have the sneaking suspicion that I'll do better trying to create interesting, original content that attracts an audience, and then use those numbers to go after sponsors directly.1
- Then again, there's a balance to be maintained here. Might as well see how things go and hope for the best, rather than preemptively deny myself a reasonable chance at an income based on my doubts about something I've never tried.↩