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No, you can't monetize your WordPress.com blog!

  1. I've noticed the last while, so many posts asking questions related to this topic and obviously no one is reading the TOS, the FAQ or even the current sticky posts, so... I decided that the title of the post should make it clear rather than just the content.

    Could this be a sticky then, so that the title leaves nothing to question?

    I'm posting this because I've also noticed how, when the volunteers tell people to check the FAQ first, they are viewed as being rude. I don't see it that way. After all... if someone asks a question that's already been answered many, many times... it's proof they don't read the FAQ or seek their answer before posting. It stands to reason then, that unless a volunteer points that out to them, they will, next time they want an answer, just post in here again before checking for their answer in the archives or in the FAQ.

    Having the answer in the title of a sticky seems like the last ditch effort to lessen this annoyance on the volunteers... whom I know by experience to be decent people.

    Thanks.

  2. You CAN use your blog to make money. You just IN GENERAL can't use the blog for e-commerce. Artists, writers, and craftspeople are encouraged to use their blog to sell their items, though.

    What you can't do is: accept paid advertising. Accept payment for writing a post. Accept payment for posting a press release. Use your blog to sell MLM stuff. Use your blog to sell anything illegal (obviously).

    If this rules out any way you can think of to make money off your blog, perhaps you are not well suited to making a career out of blogging.

    I've used my WP.com blog as an online portfolio of blogging which has led to: being paid to write for several A-list blogs on an ongoing basis, being paid three figures an hour as a social media and blogging consultant, being paid to speak at conferences, and being paid to teach others to blog. Staff has no problem with any of this, because my blog is not ABOUT selling. My blog just LEADS to selling these services.

  3. You know what? We should ask staff to change this thread's title to "WAYS TO MAKE MONEY ON WORDPRESS.COM!!!" That would totally get readership.

    I should also add that many professionals use blogs here to raise their professional profiles. Every realtor in the city of Vancouver has a blog, and most of them are at WP.com. As long as it's not "Buy this shack! Buy this other shack!" but rather "there's a new development going up over here and this is what it will look like and these are my thoughts on the market" it's all good.

  4. There should be another thread entitled. "YOU ARE IN THE WRONG FORUM!!!" because apparently the "Wordpress.com or WordPress.org ? The difference" sticky thread isn't doing the job.

  5. No one reads the stickies. And no one reads the top of the forum that directs them to the FAQ and then search BEFORE they ask questions.

  6. Maybe if the put it in big red letters with a flashing background?

  7. nah, even if they made the sticky a prerequisite before posting a thread, like how when you use a new software you have to click on the 'i agree' in the terms and conditions before installing, people would still click 'i read' without actually bothering to read... everything is fast these days, so the fastest way to get an answer in a forum is ask, not search. ;)

  8. @sulz, well, I think they (Automatic) know and that is why there's more volunteers here working than the staff. But it works out equally well only if we (I mean you all) stop asking people to read stickies when you know they haven't already.

    I'd personally rather answer the question myself or provide them the searched link.

  9. But the problem with that (answering questions without pointing them to the stickies) is that we have been consistently getting folks here who are wp.org users, so our answers don't even apply.

  10. I don't see any issues with asking people their URLs when it is not visible, that is something we should always do because it gives you an opportunity to also check whether that person is really seeking help or not.

    What I have indicated earlier is avoid asking people to search and/or read stickies. Asking someone their URL is a very valid question and it shouldn't require anyone to read stickies and search the forum.

    Now why people from the org side come over to the com side without noticing a difference, well, that's something support should handle if they could feel the pain.

  11. I think of this forum like a phone support, when someone calls, it looks really bad to say "Have you searched our website for an answer before you called?" or "Why don't you go and search our website". The guy has called already and you have picked up the phone, so might as well provide him what he needs and then hang up.

  12. Maybe .org people come over here because we are nicer and they are just ashamed to admit it :-D
    Im kind of wondering if .org forum is having the same problem with .com people. If not, then maybe support can solve this issue by simply changing the link destinations. Like if I click on forums link from the dashboard then it directs me here. Maybe if .org people click on the forums link from their dashboard then they could be directed to the .org forum. Wouldn't it be weird if they didn't think of this already? But if they didn't then Im just putting this out there.

  13. We have a whole monster thread on .COM vs .ORG and there are some pretty good suggestions in there. Nothing has been done yet.

    And I used to ask for a url and give them instructions on putting their url in their user names but by directing them to the sticky for the instructions, not only do they learn see how to do that, they see the other things in that sticky.

    As for asking people to search the forums, well that's exactly what is at the very top of the forums! It should be the first thing that people see when they come here. And for the most part, I don't mind giving direct links, but how many adsense questions should we have to answer?

    I'm from the school of give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish, and he eats for a lifetime. (Or however that thing goes.) This forum, for the most part, is staffed by volunteers and not paid staff. So I don't think the comparison to telephone support is a valid one.

  14. panaghiotisadam
    Member

    @fracas: Thanks for this post!

    @arifsali & vivianpage: Funny, the comparison with phone support is exactly what I thought about last time I saw the complain against the "rude" suggestion to search the FAQs and the forum - but in the opposite direction. The forum is NOT like a phone service where each "customer" is entitled to an answer, among other things because in a phone service one doesn't have access to a library of PREVIOUS phone calls on the same problem. It would be more like it if threads were erased after being answered. They don't, precisely so that answers remain readily available without volunteers having to give them again and again. So I totally agree with Vivian's idea that some people must be taught how to fish... (To continue with the analogies, it isn't even fishing, actually: it's learning to open the freezer where the fish you want are stored!)

  15. Actaually i don't understand... usually in some sites they pay you per post or u post and if they find it's good then advertisers comes in... how 'bout it here...

  16. Uh, can you please read the sticky posts at the top of the forum OR how about this very thread?

  17. @arifsali the thing about phone support is, those people are PAID. Their contribution does not depend on their goodwill towards humankind or the users of software; it depends on the fact that they will be fired of they don't contribute.

    Volunteers are a completely different labour economy. To expect volunteers to perform identical services to paid staff is to misunderstand the roles of both, and to do both a disservice.

    We could certainly leave this forum to Automattic staff. I think you have a clear picture of what would happen then; there just aren't enough of them to keep up! As it is, experienced volunteers have worked out many Best Practices that save everyone some time: referring people to existing threads like the stickies is one.

    Remember the old expression: give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for the rest of his life.

    Teaching people to do a search and provide their URL first, from their very first contact in the forum, ensures that they'll get not just their first but ALL their answers more quickly, because they'll know what to do.

    You, as a volunteer, are free to ignore these longstanding Best Practices. You will inevitably then find yourself dealing with many, many threads that go on for pages only to turn out to be something that a URL would have cleared up in the first place.

  18. Oh, re: fish: GMTA.

    But I was the FIRST one to introduce it into the forum! I really was!

  19. @vivianpaige, @panaghiotisadam, allow me to try to explain "my" analogy. When someone calls the phone support, the attendant doesn't ask the caller to go search the support website without providing a satisfactory answer, instead the attendant searches the website for them and provides them the answer because h/she is there to do just that. In terms of analogy, for example, you can certainly teach a person how to fish but if I follow your analogy then it would be like teaching that person how to drive the car to first get to the place where h/she can fish. As far as I know, teaching people how to drive should be Automatic's job, the volunteers are here to teach people how to fish.

    What I'm suggesting is that company should look into devising a strategy where no one could accidentally reach this support and ask a very basic and general question. This certainly wastes lot of time and is redundant (hence this topic pops up every now and then and is frustrating to everyone). The plan should be to minimize such occurrences. I am not against asking people to search and learn for themselves but I just think it is beyond your level because as a volunteer support, you do not have control over what and how people are asking their questions here. In fact, you would expect unrelated people to not even be here, forget asking them to provide their URL addresses.

    Once you reduce such redundancy and clutter from the top level, you can then certainly teach people to fish.

    BTW, I have noticed that the link for this forum is only available once you login to wordpress.com. Now how the .org crowd is reaching here without realizing is beyond me. Also, it is well established that the search on this forum is not really ... sexy. 9 out of 10, you have to scroll down and read a lot to get to your answer because the first few hits are very old. For a search to be very successful, your successful hit ratio should be very high. Based on this, I think this forum is more like an open phone support, which is fine.

    @raincoaster, I agree. The volunteer support here is what makes the platform very attractive. And I never said to not ask people to get their URLs, I think we all should ask given the circumstances.

  20. I started in the wordpress.org forums so my answer is based on that.

    There is a temptation when you see yet another question on the same topic to reply in a certain way.
    But the person asking has no idea that you have answered others
    The person asking may have searched but used the wrong words
    The person asking may be worried about their blog
    They could be a college professor, they could be someone who has never blogged before

    So you see them as an irritant - but they don't mean to be.
    They see you as having the answers - you almost certainly do.

    --

    Click the link to Support at the bottom and enter a non-wordpress.com url
    The form will not submit and it says
    'We only provide support for WordPress.com blogs here. Please go to the WordPress.org Support Forum for further help.'
    so what we get in Support is people who have http://ihavenotgota.wordpress.com
    So give very clear directions and they are ignored.

    Sometimes people who are worried / annoyed do not read. It's the way we are.

    If answering someone will drive you nuts, leave it. Someone else will be along soon.
    And don't forget that the forums are a social place too, esp the Off-topic (and hey, we get posts there even too OT for there).

    And to Vivian - the form for the posting a new topic here is not forgotten. Alex has been amazingly busy for weeks now (you will see one reason why soon) and it will be done. It is not ignored :)

  21. @rain - what the heck it GMTA?

    @arifsali - you said

    the volunteers are here to teach people how to fish

    Which, I think, is exactly what we are trying to do.

    As to how the .ORG people are getting here - there are a number of ways. First, a lot of folks automatically assume that WordPress is WordPress - so it's only natural to type into their browsers wordpress.com. Second, I know a number of the .ORG users have said that they found this forum through a Google search. My guess (although I haven't looked) is that the .COM forums rank higher than the .ORG forums.

    What I'm suggesting is that company should look into devising a strategy where no one could accidentally reach this support and ask a very basic and general question.

    I agree. But just how would you do that? In your dashboard, the Help link (which goes to the FAQ) is listed before the forum link. The top of the forums directs people to look at the FAQ, search and THEN post a question.

    What more can Autommattic do to have users actually DO things in that order?

  22. @mark - one of the things I hope the new forums will show is who is online. It would be useful for forum volunteers to know they are not operating in a vacuum.

    And I DO ignore some of the questions (and people) who annoy me ;)

  23. @arifsali-They confuse probably because the ORG blogger has a COM account after signing up for an API key for Akismet, since the only place they can get the key is by signing up for a COM account. Built-in confusion.

    And, a lot of people don't know that the support forum is USER-TO-USER, which means you're not calling phone support; those people get paid. Here you're asking someone else who uses the same program as you do and has decided to take some time out of his or her day to do so. The ORG forums are the same set-up.

    @vivian - GMTA? - Great Minds Think Alike. But whose online? If I've answered a question, that means I'm online. :)

    @mark - Ignore? When necessary, most certainly. It's also nice to see new faces volunteering too.

  24. GMTA stands for Great Minds Think Alike

    and I know how to fish but I don't know how to cook, any analogy for that?

  25. "one of the things I hope the new forums will show is who is online."
    I am not aware of any plans there.

    "Why is no-one answering me? I CAN SEE U ARE ALL HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

    :)

  26. "Why is no-one answering me? I CAN SEE U ARE ALL HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

    VERY good point!

  27. <i>If answering someone will drive you nuts, leave it. Someone else will be along soon.</i>

    I try and do this. I should do it more often, I think.

  28. Also, I really should try and remember to use em instead of i. ;)

  29. @vivian

    ...one of the things I hope the new forums will show...

    New forums? Do you know something that we don't know..? I thought THIS is the new forum. :D

  30. Well I did hear something somewhere from somebody ;) Maybe I misunderstood?

    One more thing I want to add: when I first started here at wordpress.COM, I came to the forums and found so many people who were willing to help. In particular, I found tremendous help with CSS, so much that I offered to pay. What I was told - and what prompted me to come over here and help out - was to pay it forward. And that's how I ended up being here helping when I can.

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