Question / Discussion Do I aim to monetise my health blog?

Chammy

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I know this sounds like an obvious answer but...I'm torn.

I started a new site a few months ago, spent a while getting it looking the way I want so now I'm starting to fill it with content. As a Nutrition and Public Health student that is what it will focus on, health and nutrition. Originally I planned it to be my "professional" site for when I qualified and was dead against monetising it because...well no one does that - it isn't the done thing as most people make their money through the services they provide (such as 1:1 health/nutrition advice). I don't plan on doing that as I'm going into teaching secondary school after so this is a side project...

This has now got me thinking whether I should just start a health blog and use it, not only as somewhere I can talk about a subject that really interests me but also look at earning from it with the likes of ads/affiliates. I've never had a niche before, with ChammyIRL being "Lifestyle", so this is my chance to maybe create something more successful?

Would a monetised health blog put you off the information being given?
 

Jon

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I know this sounds like an obvious answer but...I'm torn.

I started a new site a few months ago, spent a while getting it looking the way I want so now I'm starting to fill it with content. As a Nutrition and Public Health student that is what it will focus on, health and nutrition. Originally I planned it to be my "professional" site for when I qualified and was dead against monetising it because...well no one does that - it isn't the done thing as most people make their money through the services they provide (such as 1:1 health/nutrition advice). I don't plan on doing that as I'm going into teaching secondary school after so this is a side project...

This has now got me thinking whether I should just start a health blog and use it, not only as somewhere I can talk about a subject that really interests me but also look at earning from it with the likes of ads/affiliates. I've never had a niche before, with ChammyIRL being "Lifestyle", so this is my chance to maybe create something more successful?

Would a monetised health blog put you off the information being given?
So I think you need to think less 'as a blogger' with this..

Joe Bloggs is used to websites they use having ads or affiliate links on it. It doesn't mean that they don't enjoy or use that site extensively.

It doesn't mean the site is any less professional than one that doesn't have affiliate links, it just means the person running it has a bit more of a clue when it comes to making money from the content but the actual reader who has hit your site after searching 'the perfect apple based diet' just doesn't care about any of this stuff anyway!
 

David Says...

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Would a monetised health blog put you off the information being given?
Yes, if the site is clearly SEO'd to hell and back to hawk miracle snake oil.

But if the content is authoritative and subjective enough then no.

If you did a warts-and-all review of (say) a diet plan or book, then a clearly-labelled affiliate link to it wouldn't put me off. But I'd probably expect honest reviews of other books or diets, even if there's no affiliate link.

A well-written, cited and authoritative 'how to' or remedy guide which compared approaches to dealing with an ailment with affiliate links wouldn't put me off, as long as there are a sprinkling of non-affiliate links in there.

Websites are ultimately either passion projects, which don't necessarily need monetisation, or run as a service to visitors. Monetisating a site is a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

Try flipping the question: would you be happy providing information if the site wasn't monetised?
 

Chammy

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Try flipping the question: would you be happy providing information if the site wasn't monetised?
That was the plan, to begin with. A professional site about me with a blog attached for a monthly-ish post to keep the site fresh and make Google happy.

As I am doing a degree in it, it's something I'm passionate about and gaining the authoritative knowledge about on a daily basis. I have another year and half until I graduate and then another year for my PGCE so would love to have this as a fully established side project alongside teaching but if I can generate an income (mostly a passive one) then that'd be great.

Obviously, there will be a focus on SEO as I want it to be found and Google makes it harder for health/medical sites to be seen unless the author has clear qualifications/is an expert in the subject - which luckily I am getting there.
 

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is monetizing a website / service that you run seen as a bad thing now then?
 

David Says...

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would love to have this as a fully established side project alongside teaching but if I can generate an income (mostly a passive one) then that'd be great.
Go for it then.

You might want to write 5 or 6 mega 2000+ word cornerstone pieces to establish your presence and build up trust. Rehash some essays with a more popular spin on them ;-)

Like any site you'll start to build up trust with visitors and Google alike, and you can start pushing monetisation more heavily.


is monetizing a website / service that you run seen as a bad thing now then?
Of course not! It's about trust though, particularly in the health field. The average punter needs to trust that you aren't selling snake oil.

To give a non-health example: TMS is a trusted resource partly because you help steer people away from scams, even if you could make a few quid from them yourself. You would lose your trust if you starting hawking pyramid schemes though.
 

Jon

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To give a non-health example: TMS is a trusted resource partly because you help steer people away from scams, even if you could make a few quid from them yourself. You would lose your trust if you starting hawking pyramid schemes though.
join my upline yo

 
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Chammy

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Thank you, the issue I now have is that the site was set up as my name - you know, like the professionals do :p So I'm going to want something snappier but the one I wanted is taken and a bit popular so back to the drawing board...this is always the part I hate.
 

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From a lay person's perspective, I'd go for 'gentle' affiliate links i.e. used sparingly amongst some heavyweight informative content.
As a user, a pet hate is 'read my latest post to click my link', whilst being told the obvious or really basic info.
 
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Chammy

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From a lay person's perspective, I'd go for 'gentle' affiliate links i.e. used sparingly amongst some heavyweight informative content.
As a user, a pet hate is 'read my latest post to click my link', whilst being told the obvious or really basic info.
Yeah, I don't think it's going to be affiliate heavy to be honest - maybe the odd book if I've read it and want to recommend it. I don't agree with meal replacements, diet club memberships, unnecessary supplements or fad garbage so I won't be looking at pushing that.
 

Jon

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Yeah, I don't think it's going to be affiliate heavy to be honest - maybe the odd book if I've read it and want to recommend it. I don't agree with meal replacements, diet club memberships, unnecessary supplements or fad garbage so I won't be looking at pushing that.
more information please chammy
 
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PhilN

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Yes, monetisation doesn't take away from great content. Of course, you wouldn't want it to look spammy but there's nothing wrong with monetising a website.
 

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