We all want to make money, right? I mean, we don’t need to make money on everything we do, but we do have to make at least some money, because if we never made any money, life would be difficult. Don’t you think? But, let’s say that we are making an adequate income to have a life that is not a struggle. For the sake of argument, let’s say that we make an annual income of $30,000 to live on at our “regular job.” For example, we’ll say that you work for Big Bill’s Burger House and your salary is $30,000 per year. With this amount, you are able to live in a decent house (nothing fancy), buy the food you need, pay your bills, etc. You don’t have a lot of money left over for entertainment and such, but you also are not struggling to pay the rent either.
So, you start a blog. You have been blogging for a year, and have developed a decent audience of readers. So far, you have not tried to make any income from your blog, but it is something that has been on your mind. The time has come when you want to make a move that will produce some income. This extra income will cover the costs of operating the blog (minimal anyway), and put a few extra dollars into your weekly budget for a few luxury items.
As you sit there pondering your next move, two ideas come to you. One idea will earn you some extra money from the blog. The other idea will “bring in” no extra money, but it will save you money.
Idea #1. You are going to put some advertisements on your site. Somehow, you are blessed with the knowledge that if you place these ads on your site, it will bring in an income of $100 per month. Don’t ask me how you know that, you just know! Ha ha…
Idea #2. Your landlord has a lot of extra apartments for rent, and he has offered you that if you will place an ad for him on your website, he will deduct $100 from your monthly rental cost. He will not give you any cash for the ad, but you will save $100 per month.
Which one will you do? Make money, or save money? A lot of people that I talk to tell me that of course they will go for the extra $100 income per month. It’s nice to save money, but having that extra portrait of Ben Franklin in the palm of your hand every month is just a nicer way to go.
So, which will you do? Well, of course, the truth is that both options are equally as good as each other. You really are “making” an extra $100 either way. In one, you make cash, in the other, you get a discount which you can turn into cash. Now, some would even argue that the discount on rent is better than the cash, because they would say that you don’t have to pay any income tax on the discount. However, the truth is that you are legally bound to pay income tax on that $100 discount, because it really is income. Now, whether you decide to pay tax or not is your decision to make, but the truth is that either of these opportunities is equal, financially.
Now, really, the reason that I am writing this is to get you thinking that there is more than one way to make an income. If you already have cash coming in, getting discounts on something that you are going to buy no matter what is just as good as getting cash. Now, let’s say that you get an offer that if you put up an ad for an Acapulco vacation, they will give you $1,000 off from the $1800 price, that is not a money maker – unless you were going to take the Acapulco vacation anyway. Like, if you had no intention of going to Acapulco, but you take the deal, you are actually losing $800, because you would not have spend that money, if not for the deal. But, on something like rent that you are paying every month no matter what, a discount is as good as giving you cash.
So, when you think about how you want payment for services that you provide, consider that there is more than one way of doing it. Let’s say that you were going to have your carpet cleaned, and you were going to spend $100 for it. If you negotiate a trade of services where you get a carpet cleaning in exchange for an ad on your site, it is just as good! Because maybe that carpet cleaning guy could not afford to pay you $100. But, it might cost him only $30 in actual cash to do the cleaning job for you. You get $100 worth of services that you would have paid for. He gets a $100 ad, but it only costs him $30 and a little labor. It’s a win-win.