For one year, I spent 100% of my time on creating quality content, etc. giving little thought to, and doing zero implementation of, monetizing my sites.
For the second year, I spent 85% of my time creating quality content, 10% on SEO, and at best 5% on monetization.
5% just doesn't cut it. I have little incentive to continue slaving away creating quality content, and attracting more and more visitors, for so little return (i.e., a few hundred bucks a year) that the 5% monetization effort was getting me.
So, for the time being, I am spending up to 95% of my time on monetizing, 5% on creating new quality content. The latter is more or less on hold until I can make this all pay.
Believe me, I can't wait until I turn these jalopies/scooters of mine into finely tuned performance sports cars so I can return to creating quality content and truly serving my visitors.
But if it's quality content they want, I expect something in return beyond just warm-and-fuzzies.
You hear the mantra alot about focus on creating quality content, etc., and the rewards will somehow just come. Ain't necessarily so. If you are in an especially tough market niche, are hamstrung by a bad legacy site design, are clueless about e-commerce and marketing going in, you could create the world's best quality content to your dying day and wind up in a pauper's grave.
Quality content and successful monetization. You can't keep doing one without the other.