January 23, 2011
The Cult of Monetization

money large.jpg

I wish I had a nickel for every time someone has asked me if I make money from my blog -- and a dollar for every time one of these people has used the "M" word, asking me if I've found a way to "monetize" the effort.

Well, before I answer their frequently asked question, let me begin with the basics.

The word "monetize" completely repels me. If there is one word in the English language I could live without it would be that word.

What? "Leverage," "incentivize," and "maximize" aren't enough? Now we need "monetize?"

I've got nothing against money. I like money. I like having it. I like spending it. I've (help!) got two kids to put through college soon. It's just that not everything we do needs to be monetized.

I feel really good about hugging my kids without monetizing the effort. I also feel really good about walking my dog without monetizing the effort. Same goes for laughing, breathing, singing, listening to music, watching a sunset, writing poetry, volunteering, talking to friends, and reading books.

I don't get paid a penny for any of these things.

But somehow, blogging has to monetized? No, it doesn't.


The weird thing is, whenever I'm asked by well-meaning friends if my blogging has helped me grow my business, my response is usually tinged with a subtle form of defensiveness, bravado, and hocus pocus about "building a brand."

I confess. My response has not always been authentic because I have bought into the assumptions, doubts, and "business acumen" of my inquisitors.

The fact of the matter is this: I blog because I love it. I love to write. I love to communicate. I love to connect. I love to inspire. I love to stir the soup, share ideas, experiment, provide a service, learn, discover, and be part of a community that is passionate about growth.

NOTE: The previous paragraph is not marketing copy. Neither is it my new mission statement, or attempt to get more Twitter followers.

We live in an age that is far too focused on money. People have confused it with a lot of other things: like happiness, for example... and meaning.... and fulfillment... and the innate thirst to make a contribution to others.

I'm not suggesting that money is evil or my clients should start paying me in yak milk. No.

What I'm saying is this: Not every action needs to be monetized. Some things should be done for the sheer joy of it.

And you, bloggers, out there -- stand up for yourselves! Stop playing the game of "building a business case" every time someone asks you if all the time you spend blogging is worth it.

Of course, it's worth it! But the measure of it's worth cannot always be measured in dollars and cents.



Our Values

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at January 23, 2011 10:02 AM


Here here! Without intentionally being judgmental (yes he is!) I think this is a word and concept that America brings to the world. Even in near-neighbour Canada, it's still seen as crass or shallow to immediately look to the financial value of objects, data, occupations, art, entertainment, efforts to fart and chipmunks, etc.

As for processing, digitizing, leveraging, monetizing and tasking ourselves into verbing nouns...in general I'm opposed.

But if you need a buck or two for your excellent blog, I'll bank you, creditize you and money you any day man...

Posted by: gary-canuck [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 19, 2010 03:05 PM

LOVE this Mitch (and you too of course). I love blogging too and I don't get paid a lick for it and right now I'm tasked with blogging every day for 365 days. NOT EVERYTHING HAS TO BE MONETIZED TO BE WORTHY OF OUR TIME AND ATTENTION. In fact, isn't money really just a symbol for how we have spent our time? So then couldn't it follow that our blogs are also a symbol of our time? I know mine is being spent spiritually back and forth between friends and family. We're communicating and connecting in ways that we have never before.

Posted by: Lynn Kindler [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 19, 2010 08:25 PM

Sometimes things occur in bunches...what Mitch does here is point out that financial success is often a consequence. Using financial success as an absolute goal and tactical measure is often self-defeating. This is one of the biggest killers of real game changing ideas in corporations--every model wants to show how you will hit hurdle ROI and payback as fast as possible.

Doing some researc a few days ago for a presentation I came across Dan Pink's TED discussion on motivation...another M word...which I think dovetails perfectly to Mitch's point. Particularly when trying to get new solutions in large organizations.


My personal favorite "z" word was imprinted on a golf club I once owned-- it proudly stated the club was "velocitized" Too bad the owner wasn't.

Posted by: Jon Bidwell [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 20, 2010 01:07 PM

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