Thursday, September 3, 2009

Stop telling me to monetize

Seriously, quit it. Recently I have received a slew of e-mails, telling me how I could make money on my blog. There have been a ton of ideas being thrown about the blogosphere about how wine bloggers can make money with their blog. It was a set seminar topic, presented by Tim Lemke on the Sunday of the 2009 North American Wine Bloggers’ Conference (if you were lucky enough to stick around and did not have to fly back to the east coast that day), although outside of that seminar, I thought that monetization was a topic that most people stayed away from. It was almost as if it were a taboo subject. No one likes to talk about how much money they are not making for the hours they spend blogging.

Tom Wark had an idea about having wineries send him hats, which he would then sell to the Smithsonian for a bundle, to which Steve Heimoff replied that this would lead to Tom taking over the presidency (and then the world…). It might be a joke, but Tom is still wearing hats. However, before I put out such a press release I would be sure I had a good supply of hats to start with. We’ll see how long it lasts (and best luck to Tom!).

Another idea to monetize has come from a new player in the online wine blogging space. Palate Press: The Online Wine Magazine, an experiment in how to make money blogging, is the brain child of David Honig. The idea is simple; create a space with great content that covers all aspects of the wine industry and harnessing the power of thousands of bloggers around the world in order to have an “on-site reporter” at every event around the globe. Once an audience has been established and proved, revenue would stream from the marketing dollars of wineries and regional representatives to advertise on the website. David has compiled an exceptional list of wine bloggers to supply content. In fact, I have already submitted content (which was politely rejected) and I plan to submit more when I spend the time to create content of quality. I wish him well and look forward to the results of his experiment.

Joe Roberts recently posted how Wine Bloggers do not make any money. The problem stems from the lack of hard work being done. There just is not enough hustle coming from wine bloggers. What is it that Gary Vaynerchuk says? You have to crush it!

I do not want to crush it! That is not why I blog! I blog to have a space to express my opinion so that others that are interested in the same topics I am can discuss their feedback with me. I blog to give myself a reason to research wines and expand my understanding of the wine world. I blog because I know how interested my relatives are in feeling like they can hear my opinions and keep in touch with what I am doing. I blog so that my mother can yell at me whenever I make a spelling or grammar mistake.

I do not blog to make money. It is a choice I have made. I blog to enjoy myself.

Years ago, I used to fence competitively. I was reasonably good, but not great. I never made it to the Olympics and I never was really accepted on the national circuit as one of the people to beat, which lets you into the cool kids club. I did win national tournaments, and I felt damn good doing it. I was even on a national team that brought back a gold medal.

But I made the decision not to make it a career. I could have chosen to become a fencing coach, dedicate my life to fencing, and make a run at a world championship or Olympic medal. Instead, I decided to do something else with my life and I have not regretted that decision.

One day I might decide to attempt to make money on my writing. I might seriously raise the level of my writing to journalistic quality. For now, I enjoy being an amateur and making no money on wine blogging.
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