I don’t know about you, but I hate banner-based advertising on blogs and websites.

The practical question is:

How do you monetize a blog WITHOUT using advertising?


1. Products

Saigon Satchel, Film Notes, Photo Journal, Street Hunt, Street Notes

First, sell products. This is what we do with HAPTIC INDUSTRIES: we sell products via our ‘WooCommerce‘ platform, which is installed on my WordPress.org website.

We also sell products on Amazon, which is on the ‘Amazon Seller’ platform.

Selling products seems to be a better way to monetize your blog than to simply put on Google Adwords. First of all, it is more profitable, and more beautiful. To create your own products based on your own aesthetic vision of beauty; this is the work of an artist and craftsman.

I think using your own blog to sell your own beautiful products; this is deep, meaningful, and genuine.

2. Experiences

Sapa, 2017

Sell experiences. This is what I have been doing since 2010; teaching photography workshops and experiences.

This has been my thought:

Nobody likes to pay for content or information on the internet. Intuitively, we feel that information or things on the internet should be ‘free’.

However, what do we want to exchange our money for? We want to buy experiences, we want to pay for education, to learn, to go on adventures, expeditions, travels, and to augment our life experiences, our minds, and to empower ourselves!

Use yourself as your own audience. I would gladly pay money to people who will teach me, who will empower me, and who will augment my philosophical-art-business-entrepreneurial mind.

Perhaps you can offer the same type of service?

3. Do you need to monetize your blog?

This is the big philosophical question:

MUST you monetize your blog?


  1. Do you want to make enough money via your blog to pay your rent, groceries, etc?
  2. Do you really want to quit your ‘day job’ in order to focus on blogging full-time?
  3. Do you even really want to make blogging your primary occupation?
  4. How many hours can you really blog in a given day?
  5. How much money do you desire to earn? Do you want to earn a ‘living’ or a ‘killing’?
  6. Do you want to ‘side income’ from blogging? If so — why?
  7. Do you want to earn money via your blog to feel more legitimate?

I think that 99.9% of blogs don’t need to be monetized, nor ‘should‘ they be monetized. Meaning–

Often money is a distraction. It really isn’t a motivating force. Money is an addition to our activities [an accompaniment], not the ultimate aim.

Money doesn’t affect my happiness; but freedom does.

Meaning– I have discovered that in my personal life, having more money [versus having less money] hasn’t actually had a meaningful impact on my life [as long as I can pay rent, feed myself, and as long as I don’t have to go into a 9-5 job].

I think the aim is to become self-employed, to not have a boss, and to NOT be employed by someone else. And the goal isn’t to become rich. Better to be self-owned and poor, than to be employed by a big company and be rich.

What is pure bliss to me:

  1. Being able to dictate when I go to bed, and when I wakeup [I haven’t used an alarm clock for almost 7 years; and only use it when I need to wakeup for flights and other appointments].
  2. Not feeling rushed: Not feeling like I need to run from appointment to appointment. The best schedule is having an open schedule, with no appointments.
  3. Going to the gym and lifting weights whenever I want to, at my own pace. Not being the slave of the clock. Building up my physical bodily strength. Also being able to cook and consume lots of meat.
  4. Being able to create art works, or to write about things I really care about or am interested in, not worrying whether it needs to or can make money. Don’t do anything for money seems like a good idea [meaning when it comes to your creative activities, the ultimate purpose of doing it isn’t to earn money — but for something else].


It seems the best way to monetize a blog without advertising is by creating and selling your own products, and selling your services.

Think about creating your own products, and what kind of workshops or experiences you can sell.

And above all, remember– just because you don’t make money from your passion doesn’t mean it is illegitimate. Money doesn’t confer legitimacy; only you do.


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