This post is part a series on specific media for monetizing yourself. Today I’m going to talk about another category of potential media: sharing your expertise for free.
That Doesn’t Sound Like Monetizing Myself
This is the least intuitive category, so let’s take a moment to examine it. As I discussed in Distillery Tours and Alternate Monetization, “free” doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not making money. That post used the example of Maker’s Mark Bourbon, who will let you tour their facilities for free, and make a lot more money selling you souvenirs than they ever could have made on the tour itself.
Free is the newest craze, and it works really well in some cases. The best example is our favorite search engine: Google doesn’t charge you for the use of its amazing search technology. They make their money “through the side door”, as Jeff Jarvis would say.
You, too, can open a side door.
Share your expertise…
Make a website
A website is actually just another form of Information Product: a way to provide information to those who need it. It can be less daunting than writing a book, and may be a better fit for the information you want to provide, since it lets readers easily browse information in whatever order is useful to them. It’s also easier to edit and update than a book, which is great if your area of expertise is expected to change itself in your lifetime.
Start a blog
Blogs are another way to share what you know. Since the days when they began, as a way for teenage girls to keep each other constantly updated on their social lives, blogs have evolved into a great source of information for whatever you may be interested in — from fantasy football to making money. And whatever you’re an expert in, you could write one, too.
Blogs are great because you can keep them constantly up-to-date, and can write about whatever comes to mind. But websites are really nice because your readers can find the information they’re looking for (without digging through years of chronological posts). A compromise that’s coming into vogue is the site-blog: a blog that has all its posts in chronological order, so you may read back issues to your heart’s content, but also has the posts sorted into categories like a website, so that you can find specific, targeted information.
Make a podcast
Does your area of expertise lend itself better to audio or visual media than to text? Make a podcast or a video podcast. It’s not as hard as you think, and it can probably be done with free software.
Check out my first YouTube video.
You can do better than that. So why don’t you? You get to talk about your favorite stuff once a week, and you can call your mom and tell her you’re in a video.
… and monetize
If you make good stuff — a website with good information, a podcast that’s entertaining, or a blog that keeps people up-to-date in your industry — people will enjoy receiving it. And then all you have to do is monetize. Do this by
- Selling ads
- creating premium content, available for a fee
- selling your services as a consultant
- selling related products through an affiliate program
- creating an information product you can sell to people who want more
- selling t-shirts and coffee mugs related to your work
Low Risk… So Why Not?
All of the above can be done for free, or for very low cost. So why not try it out?
Resources For Further Reading
Site Build It! (A great resource for making a website – but the only resource on this list that isn’t free.)
WordPress (This is where I started my blog)
How to Podcast: 4 Basic Steps
How To Make Money From Your Blog