Don’t Follow Your Passion

Some teachers always tell us to follow our passion; however in the real world, that is easier said than done. Choosing your website’s topic can be a tricky choice. This appears as a quasi-straightforward decision, to select your number one passion as the they key to success. If you intend on monetizing your website there are many topics that are virtually off limits for various reasons that I will explain below.

I can give four examples of topics that may be hard to monetize:

Vaping

Cryptocurrency

Global Conflict News

Health & Fitness

These four topics are considered passions to many people. Those who have quit smoking using vaping, may have a passion to spread the gospel of ecigs with their website. High tech savvy investors and gamblers may have gotten quick gains off of crypto and want to share their stories. Perhaps you studied journalism at college and your professor’s teachings ended up giving you a passion to understand geopolitical conflicts. Perhaps you are a health freak and love testing supplements/diet combos. It may seem like these are all great topics to easily monetize online, but these are just a few examples off the top of my head that can be a daunting task to monetize.

If you were to start a blog/site about vaping you will have big restrictions. Many site owners like to purchase ad space on FaceBook to promote their website, however vaping is a topic banned by FaceBook Ads and many other ad networks. This means, a fresh site with zero visitors can’t be easily lifted off the ground like many other niches can be. The other challenge is, if you wanted to sell ecigs or eliquid it would be very difficult because Amazon and eBay both banned all vaping items. Since you can’t sell on those marketplaces you would need to have your own ecommerce website set up (Magento, etc.). Then you would start with zero organic traffic and couldn’t promote the site with Google AdWords or FaceBook Ads. You would primarily have to use lower tier PopUp ad networks and vaping forums, which is a pretty restrictive marketing plan limitation. Also most banner ad networks don’t want to advertise on vaping sites either due to most ad network policies, so monetizing visitors will be challenging. Plus the US govt. still technically doesn’t have a 100% precise and clear legislated path forward for vaping yet, so all around it is a difficult industry to work with.

Writing about crypto has similar issues to vaping. If you start a new crypto related blog you will also not be allowed to use FaceBook Ads to market your site. Google Adwords also has very strict guidelines regarding crypto ads, and only approves very few select ads. Another issue with crypto is that there is a risk to how you word your articles, if you incorrectly promote certain digital currencies, you risk being classified as an unregistered securities promoter. If you use a referral link to crypto exchanges or get direct compensation as a crypto marketer to promote a project, you could theoretically/possibly be liable as a paid promoter who financially benefited from an unlicensed securities promotion. Since there is very little guidance from the US govt. and a currently great confusion regarding regulation, starting a crypto website could be risky. I can’t give legal advice, but if I were to launch a crypto website, I would definitely consult an attorney first. The legal fees are costly and create another roadblock/deterrent from that niche.

The third example I will explain is global news and conflict websites. Most website owners like the option to have a monetized YouTube account dedicated and linked to their website. Many news sites have both written articles and also some stories covered by their YouTube videos. The downside is that YouTube will frequently demonetize many news videos. This is because the real world is a scary and depressing place. If you cover global news, at some point you will have make videos about conflicts in the middle east. However when you upload news videos about the War on Terror, there is a high chance that Google will deem those videos non advertise friendly, since they aren’t brand safe. This is another challenging aspect of choosing your topic of choice.

The last example I will discuss is the health niche. If you have a website about health, it is very important to have it properly disclaimer-ed. If you are not a professional medical doctor, you won’t be licensed to give medical advice. Giving medical advice is a serious literal life and death issue. Reviewing supplements, vitamins and discussing cures can be dicey, it raises the chance of potential law suits if you are held liable for giving medical advice.

Every website owner makes their own choices and evaluates their own risk, but above I just quickly outlined a small handful of examples of risky niches. There are many more life passions that are difficult to monetize online properly. The typical ‘follow your passion & life dream’ style quotes are always great to hear as a kid, but once your an adult with bills to pay, this mindset quickly gets tamed.

Josh G

Studied online ad networks for 10 years and conducted dozens of case studies. Formerly an e-mail marketing specialist for an ecommerce business, where I proudly helped keep 50,000+ customers up to date for 5 years.