Money and blogging, the opportunity and the dilemma
You may have noticed in my last post; Reason-4-Smile got its first sponsored review. That means a paid review, and that is the real first opportunity of monetization (besides earning from Adsense that I can’t even cashed it yet).
It was a surprise to me. Denise Adams contacted me in the middle of April. She prompted that she enjoyed my article and how I write. She commented on my About page, and she is interested in a paid review for her website. I hope you do not take it as if I’m boasting. The money is not much worth boasting for, but the lesson is much more worthy. It is what I wanted to share with you, the opportunity and the dilemma that comes with this offer.
The start of a business
To start a business, you need to have a businessman mindset instead of employee mindset. Employee mindset is activity mindset, doing what they are being asked for, working 9 to 5 as specified in the contract. On the other hand, businessmen mindset is about profit and responsibility. He values thing on the result that he brings. He gives more than what is expected. Business requires investor, even if he is the only investor.
Blogging is an investment
What is the difference between an investor and a trader? John Maxwell shared in his book, Winning with People, the difference between an investor and trader. Traders receive and then give. Investors are different; they give first, and receive later.
Do you give out your best?
Is investing giving? Maybe not exactly, but giving is the first step you need to take. Investing is risky, as you may need to give. If you take blogging as an investment, you need to remember to give out our best article again and again.
Skelliewag, shared before about trump card post idea. Write as if the article you write is your trump card. Write as if it’s the last article you’re going to write. Do not hold the best of you in writing!
Scarcity and abundance
Again, I see this as a practical example of the value that I have shared on giving, The Secret of Giving. It’s about the scarcity versus abundance mindset. When you think that your inspiration is scarce, you won’t give out your best, you will reserve some not to share it now. Reserve so that you will have to share it on the later time. That might be the principle you need to have in any business or occupation you have. Are you giving all out of yourself or do you reserve your best?
Will it return?
Just like any other investment, there is one two important point that determines the return.
The first one is the place where you invest. We all have limitation, and we simply cannot afford to invest into every opportunity we have. We cannot invest into every place or people we find, we meet or we relate with. We all need a process of discernment, where and whom to invest to, when we need to say YES, and when we need to say NO.
Another component that is necessary in investment is time. We all need persistence and patience to reap the benefit of investment. This opportunity comes only after 6 months of blogging, and this is only a start. More importantly, the personal character growth that I experienced really make my investment in blogging worth the money, energy and time. Here is one article that summarizes that: 7 benefits of blogging to my personal growth.
The opportunity and the profit will come
Similarly, are you expecting more money? You will need to invest more. Invest more on yourself so that you can invest more to others. T. Harv Eker in his Millionaire Mind Intensive Seminar taught me one concept that opens my eyes about generating money…
The amount of money and profit you make are reflected from the problem you solve and the value you bring to people.
~T. Harv Eker
That opportunity comes with dilemma. “Should I accept the offer?”, “Will it hurt my readership?”, “Am I comfortable promoting the product?”, “Is it appropriate to put the review in this blog?” Those are some of the questions that troubled me before accepting the opportunity.
The opportunity to learn
“I wanted to learn from the experience!” There is whole bunch of lesson that I expected to experience from this opportunity. In fact, I think I will have much to share about them and I’m going to post an article on them.
Success does not only come from giving, success also comes from receiving. This might be a lesson of success that I need to take. It’s risky and some of my readers may not like it. I do get notifications that some have unsubscribed. I am not too sure if it’s related with the review, but I learned a lot from the experience that I am thankful not to miss the chance of reviewing Denise’s product.
A “gray” product
The product Denise is offering in her website is something that I consider as “gray” area product. I am not a huge fan of self improvement with subliminal audio message. In fact, actually I do not have much information about it. I have to put some thought whether to promote them or not. I do not want to waste the opportunity, yet I do not want to act against my belief and conscience. I posted a question in Blog Mastermind Forum, and Blaine Moore shared with me a question, “Will I still make the review even if I’m not paid?” And that gets me thinking…
The dots are connected
I was very fortunate. After some conversation, Denise verified that her request is not a review on her products. That will be very hard for me to do. The review she wanted me to review is her website. In another words, I am going to review her marketing via her website.
I am very excited to know that. Somehow, the dots are connected. As I blog, I read a lot about many marketing stuffs, such as Dosh-Dosh and SlyMarketing. More than that, losing out on the “Tell me your story” contest held by Derrick Kwa, gets me curious about the book prize, Meatball Sundae by Seth Godin. That makes me buying the book, and I really enjoy the book. This information inspired me with a number of ideas that is applicable to Denise’s marketing through her website.
Helping to promote “gray” product?
Still it goes to another dilemma, “Should I help her to promote her product?” That question comes down to a principle that I bought into eventually. A principle that says, “Everyone deserves a chance.”
What do I mean by that? In a way, people may talk a lot about negative comments on the product, but she deserves a chance to prove her product. That’s free enterprise world, isn’t it? That is also how I review her website and marketing. I take look into the challenge she is in, and from there I work out on some ideas or efforts that I think she need to take to enlarge her influence in the market.
Challenge does not mean impossible.
I found out the challenge she is in, the trust tax on the industry. Great portion of community have doubt on the product effectiveness. Even more, she is dealing with a product whose effectiveness lies beyond consciousness. People need to trust her and her product very much before they are willing to start using them. How my review continues is in the various ways she can get help and look into to gain trust edge against her competitors. It’s a challenge, and it’s not impossible. Serving is one key to reach the unreachable, and that’s what I pointed to her.
Everyone deserves a chance.
Back to my principle again, I’m paid to do the review, so I would like to give my best advice based on my knowledge and understanding to her. The implementation is of course will not be as easy as the analysis. But, hopefully it does open her eyes on the various possibilities to improve her business.
I admire her intent of helping people to improve themselves through her product. To be much more successful, she needs to make the people believe that her product is worth the money and able to bring about the change, particularly in self-improvement. The business may not perfect right now, but she as every one of us deserves a chance to help others and be successful.
Will it hurt my readership?
The last dilemma: “will it be appropriate to put the review in my blog?” Back to Blaine’s question, “will I still review even if I’m not paid?” The answer now I have is YES. It may not very obvious, but there is an important point that I want to bring to my readers through the review, “You deserve a chance!” People may have bad opinion on you, they critique you, but you know what, “You deserve a chance to be successful!” Take the review as a case study for you, from a point that people doubt you to a point that people can reward you.
And that is not against the vision I carry through my blog at all, that is “Helping you to be successful“, because “You deserve to be successful!”
For your success,