How to Make Money from Decentralized Blogging
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The emergence of new platforms inevitably creates opportunities for completely new players to make a name for themselves. The decentralization of digital media will be no different.
A lot has been written, including by myself, about the idealistic benefits of decentralized media, such as resistance to censorship. So too have the benefits to consumers been covered in detail, such as lower costs and direct relationships with publishers. In this article I’d like to look at this emerging technology from another perspective – the opportunity to make money as part of this new wave of decentralized bloggers.
To start off with we’ll take a quick look at what decentralized blogging actually looks like, using the example of DECENT’s upcoming blogging app which I will be using myself for the Cryptorials blog. I’ll then go on to share some of my top tips, born out of the combined knowledge from my 11 + years as an independent publisher and the extensive research I’ve done on decentralized technology.
How to Create a Decentralized Blog Using DECENT
The main differences between a decentralized blog and a regular blog all happen behind the scenes. Because of this, there doesn’t actually need to be much of a difference in the process for regular publishers between creating a regular blog and creating one using a new decentralized platform.
The blogging platform being created by DECENT on top of their P2P protocol is described as being similar to the popular ‘Medium’ site. The main differences in superficial user experience are that it will be an app rather than a website, and that it will have integrated tipping and paywalls for premium content, thanks to the use of cryptocurrency.
Just like other platforms, users will register an account to create a profile. They will choose their username, select preferences for things like email notifications, and upload an avatar image. You will be able to follow bloggers to keep up to date with their latest posts and perhaps connect your social media accounts. Unlike medium, you will also get a wallet attached to your profile where you can manage your balance of DCT tokens.
Creating and publishing a post looks very similar to more established services, based on the screenshots which have been shared:
The only difference is that publishers will also be able to publish premium content if they choose, which simply involves offering a free excerpt and then setting your price for accessing the full article. When a publisher does this, 100% of the money paid by the consumer go directly to the publisher!
Readers will be kept up to date with the latest posts from bloggers they follow, and will also be able to view suggested articles, search the archives, or view trending topics:
For anyone interested in investing in decentralized blogging, DECENT have an ICO which is till running at the time of publishing. Visit http://decent.ch for more info.
5 Top Tips to Make Money from Decentralized Blogging
Simply by being among the first to dive into a new platform you get a massive advantage over others who come later. Establishing yourself as a big player is easier in a small pond, and still allows you to grow along with the platform. But there are plenty more things you can do to maximize your chances of success as well:
1. Publishing Free & Premium Content: One of the most powerful aspects of decentralized platforms like DECENT for anybody looking to make money from blogging is direct payments for premium content. Unlike running an independent site yourself, making use of a shared platform means that you can access an established audience, making it much easier to gain readers. But unlike currently available platforms, you still have the freedom to sell content directly to the consumer with no middleman – meaning that you can charge your fans and followers less for your content, but still get more per sale for yourself. This makes creating high quality premium content a much more realistic possibility for small independent publishers. But my top tip is this: don’t just go for premium content. Build an audience with free content, and only charge occasionally for your best work. This is a great way for new bloggers to get their voice heard and build an audience while still earning good money.
2. Re-purpose content: Re-purposing simply means publishing the same content in multiple places. On the regular internet this can be a tricky thing to do, as search engines like Google punish sites which re-publish content from elsewhere. But on independent peer-to-peer networks this is less of an issue. If you already have a blog, then decentralized networks offer a great opportunity to make more money from the same content you already publish. But even if you don’t, publishing across multiple decentralized networks is likely to be a great way to build a substantial audience without the pitfalls of associated with re-publishing content in multiple places on the web. One interesting option is to set up a regular blog for your free articles, but sell premium content through a decentralized network.
3. Become a curator: Curating content is a really good way for new publishers to showcase their unique style and perspective and build an audience. Publishing a unique post every day as a new blogger with a full-time job can be a very difficult thing to maintain, but can be very useful in building a readership. By mixing in curated lists and links to interesting stuff you’ve found elsewhere you can maintain that regular publishing to build your audience until the money starts flowing in and you can dedicated more time to following your passion.
4. Be someone’s hero: This is the secret to modern media which many people don’t realize. The main reason people follow blogs and digital media outlets is because they somehow represent what that person believes in. People don’t just want reliable and interesting information, and they don’t just want entertainment (though those things are undoubtedly important), they want to feel part of something and they want to feel that their views, their identity, and their passions are being represented and promoted by that blog. If you want to be successful, you have to view yourself as a representative of your followers on a broader scale: you have to be somebody’s hero.
5. Diversify: Most successful new media projects these days operate across multiple media types. Its fine to just write a blog and publish text posts (like me!), but looking at the biggest successes of recent years it seems clear that you stand a much better chance of being successful if you can make the odd video and participate in the occasional podcast as well.