I Am Not Selling Anything.
There are a vast number of fantastic blogs online. Some deal with a particular niche, such as minimalism, some are run by entire teams, and some are just made up of one person writing about what they feel they want to write about.
I fall in the latter group.
However, I do take an issue with a lot of these blogs offering advice on a whole range of subjects, and especially on how to live our lives, when their main objective is to sell you something.
This might be their latest eBook, a video course, a subscription to their paid content, or they might simply be selling you to advertisers like Google.
I think one has to be extremely careful when you have someone who says one thing but then is incentivized to do another. Are these resources truly trying to help us create meaningful change, or at they simply trying to make a living? There’s nothing wrong with making a living by selling books or putting advertising on your site, but it does change your priorities.
Let me give you a trivial example. If you have Google adverts on your website, it means you need to abide by the terms of service. As we all very well know, there is no such thing as a free lunch, everything has a price. The price of placing Google adverts on your site is that it restricts the type of content you can place on there, and you’ll probably want to keep your writing quite clean to make sure you attract high-quality adverts.
You may then also start tailoring your content to increase the likelihood of premium ads appearing, the ones that pay the most per click.
So, the question we need to ask ourselves is why? Why is someone writing this article? Why do they own a website? Why are they claiming to be able to help you with valuable content?
Most of the time, you’ll find that the reason is not necessarily because they care (although that might be the case), but because they have other motives, normally revolving around money.
While it’s fine to earn money, I think that when we are reading about such an important topic like our own lives, we need to be very careful who we trust. Most, if not all, of the philosophers in the past two thousand plus years, have not done it for the money, but because they had a passion for helping people and were genuinely curious about life. Those are the people I want to learn from, not someone trying to sell me their latest 60 page eBook.
What’s really funny, is that sometimes the motivation behind people’s actions takes over completely, and it becomes extremely obvious that they only care about one thing.
Personally, I go as far as not even adding affiliate links to my reading list, which I could easily do. I don’t have to link to Amazon, because I know that if one of my readers wants a book, they’ll be more than capable enough to purchase it without my help. I
I have a means of earning money, I don’t need to peddle my essays online.
However, there is a good counter-argument for all this.
If you’ve got something that you think is highly valuable, like insights about life and self-development that you’ve built over time by experience, discussions, and reading, then there is nothing from with charging for it. This is because it has value, and anyone will pay for something that adds value to their lives.
In fact, if you don’t charge for it, you are essentially saying that it’s worthless, and doesn’t have any value.
Personally, I prefer to see the other side of the coin and think that if you don't charge for content it's because it is priceless.