As a fresh faced blogger one of the daunting tasks to think about once you start to generate any kind of audience is how to market yourself and how to generate revenue. You may be reading this and thinking, ‘fuck me you’re getting ahead of yourself Farrell, I’m your first viewer and I’m just the voice in your head that takes over when you blackout.’ And although that might be true, I still think it’s valuable to plan for success.
Generating revenue for blogs isn’t particularly complicated, almost every blog will make 90% of its revenue from Adverts. In terms of what ad provider to choose that’s a different ball game and one I don’t feel I have enough knowledge on to advise even sarcastically (I might accidentally make a good recommendation, how silly would I feel then). For me the main focus of this article isn’t so much how to monetise your audience, but more how to get an audience in the first place.
In one of my previous jobs I was an automation tester and project manager at a web design agency that moved to London and decided the big money was in marketing. I went from writing scripts that tested web applications to sitting in meeting rooms with rich idiots trying to explain to them that I couldn’t make their small time property website built in 1998 by a dyslexic monkey top in Google for the keyword ‘houses’. The reason for the title of this blog post ‘Digital Marketing, the homeopathy of the internet.’ Is I have literally never spouted so much bullshit in my entire life as I did in client meetings discussing marketing and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
You may be wondering why a tester was in meetings like this in the first place, well my then boss realised I had a knack for elongating the truth and that made me a perfect fit for client facing project management. This guy was the Mozart of bullshitters. Head salesman and CEO of the company he could sell snow to an eskimo… And still somehow make a loss on it. Clients would pay us to increase their revenue and we would convince them the best way to do this was to increase traffic to their website and ensure the traffic generated was from related sources, e.g. advertising the Jeremy Kyle show on the Job Seeker Allowance website.
The problem was, nobody in our company of developers, designers and salesmen new the first fucking thing about SEO or marketing. As I previously mentioned in one of my ‘things I hate’ articles the digital marketing specialist at this particular role was a new age hippy who would start every meeting with a new client by trying to guess their star sign (she only seemed to remember the ones she got right). We had clients with absurd expectations and a sales team who would say anything to close a deal. “You want to be number one on Google for Loans by next week? Well your website should be up by Friday so I don’t see why not, I’ll get one of our specialists on it.” It was a fucking shit show and my job was to keep coming up with excuses as to why we hadn’t done what we’d been asked yet.
The simple truth is Google and Bing the two major sources of organic traffic to yours and everyone else’s website do a hell of a good job making sure people cannot game the system. If you want more traffic build up links on reputable websites and keep writing good content. Everything you’re told other than that is pretty much horseshit.
I think this blog is proof of how bollocks digital marketing is. I worked a ‘digital marketing strategist’ (basically my job title was determined by what client was in the room) for almost a year and I honestly don’t have a fucking clue how to get people to come and read this shit.
I’ll probably just spam links on Reddit until I get banned and then give up and go back to playing Counter Strike all day and torturing my wife with these insufferable rants.