As recently as last week, I was asked how do Black people make money blogging? Black blogging must of course have in some spaces a profit motivation, or in the least, a means to sustain it Self, right? It is a variation on a fairly common theme regarding content providing and monetization of the brand that is forged consequently. In my five years maintaining Asylum, I have utilized three major forms of monetization, and I have notice these are the main three techniques used by most other Black bloggers.
People tend to donate to causes, organizations, and services. People typically assist other people vis-a-vis groups and institutions; begging and online panhandling is often frowned upon. People will allow themselves to be guilt tripped into donating money in situations where they feel what they are donating to is facing an overwhelming obstacle or injustice. People also want to be asked to donate without having to think about where or how the money will be spent; that should be spelled out and, when possible, shown to them.
Most folks that donate to Asylum are donating to the service provided via OWL’s Underground. The second group or type of donors are primarily people I refer to as OWL’s Angels or Asylum Staff. This particular collective provide the services and donations that give the lifeblood to Asylum; without their work, contributions, and insights, Asylum would not be five years strong. These are not my best donors because of the amount of money contributed, but because of their loyalty to Asylum and my Self. These are for the most part extensions of nurtured relationships forged due to Asylum, not because the Asylum website has a “donate” button.
Unlike social media(websites such as Twitter, Facebook, and G+), the blog format can be fitted and treated like a one-to-many communication in a time where people are mostly conditioned towards a many-to-many paradigm of media communication. One-to-many communications such as newspapers, cable television shows, and broadcast television(is there really a difference between cable and broadcast in this present media landscape?) shows typically rely on advertising for financial support and profit.
I am not a supporter of cookies, or website tracking scripts, for commercial purposes, but that option exists. What is advertised being reflective of the interests of the consuming audience being advertised to, is the overall takeaway here.
My biggest suggestion due to my success with it as a means of monetizing the brand is simply to provide a product.
Writers should provide collections of their writings in a way that can be packaged for trade. If there is a service being written about like design or coding, that should be packaged for trade. Providing a product often demands a certain level of credibility and authority that will have to be earned from the reading audience.
A product can often double as advertising for the site, promote word of mouth marketing, as well as serving to instill credibility in the brand. Products should always aim for the highest quality to investment budget obtainable.
These are just my thoughts on the three largest means of making money for Black Bloggers and online content providers. If you have some ideas and thoughts, or just simply want to chat on the topic, please feel free to contact OWL at firstname.lastname@example.org.