The Right Way to Monetize a Blog (With Lessons From Wait But Why)

The Right Way to Monetize a Blog (With Lessons From Wait But Why)
Please note that this is an exclusive online guide that can be accessed at any time. Make sure to include your email when ordering a ticket so we can send you the attachment! There was once a time when if you wanted to live as a creator—as an artist—you needed a wealthy patron who was willing to sponsor and encourage your work. In many ways, creators still need patrons to support their work today. But the "patron" now consists of the many people that make up a creator’s audience—their biggest fans. YouTubers, writers, cartoonists, musicians, artists—creators of all kinds—are in an amazing position to build a business around the large and loyal audiences that consume their work. From merchandise to endorsements to speaking engagements to book sales, there’s ample opportunity for these creators to monetize their creativity. So I decided to find out how Wait But Why, one of my favorite blogs and one Elon Musk loves to read, built a business on top of their content. Wait But Why is a unique website, fuelled largely by long-form content with a sarcastic-yet-thoughtful tone, that’s amassed over 371,000 subscribers and brings in millions of visits a month with its one-of-a-kind content. Tim Urban, the writer and illustrator behind most of the site's content, covers everything from the future to philosophy, from artificial intelligence to procrastination and whatever interests him at the time. Tim takes complex or abstract concepts and make them easy to understand and enjoy despite a word count that often pushes into the tens of thousands in an era where some say we have shorter attention spans than goldfish. It's this style, depth and commitment to excellence that's enabled Wait But Why to land itself on the first page of Google for competitive search terms like "procrastination"—truly an example of 10X content: high quality content without equal in terms of the organic traffic, backlinks and engagement it brings. But what's most interesting is how these entrepreneurs took an audience-first approach to building a business—a business that sets Tim loose to do what he loves with the support of his audience. To understand how they monetize Tim's unique brain and the content that pours out of it, I talked to Andrew Finn, Co-Founder of Wait But Why, and the man who handles much of the blog's business side.  For more on building your own blog-based business, check out How to Start a Blog That You Can Turn Into a Business.

at Austin, Texas, United States
Austin, Texas, United States
Austin, United States



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