Maybe you noticed, maybe you didn't or maybe you are a newer reader (welcome!) and don't know any different but to bring everyone up to speed I joined the Blogher Advertising Network over a month ago and am now amongst a growing group of outstanding women who contribute to some great content on the web.
Not a bad affiliation huh?
It wasn't a decision that I came to lightly. The idea of turning my little blog into a potential money making venture has always been on my mind. I mean what blogger hasn't had the dream of quitting their day job to do something they are so passionate about for a living? Yet, something held me back from taking the next step towards the reality of even making a few extra bucks.
A few things actually.
Will I Be Seen as a Sell Out?
As my readership has grown (thank you all so much for that by the way) I have always done my very best to stay true to my original intention for this blog: To share my life; the good , the bad and the ugly, with everyone or nobody, in a creative and real way.
So would my decision to advertise change people's perception of that intention? Would my blog be viewed as a revenue opportunity for me rather then a place where I feel like I am part of a community of really amazing people who understand and support me?
Would I Have to Compromise the Mission of the Blog?
The requirement to fulfill certain content requirements has always made me shy away from certain ad networks. As an example, Foodbuzz is great for food bloggers who's content is naturally about food most of the time. That isn't me. I tried it and it just doesn't fit for me. So to have to blog about it would force me to provide content that is forced and that's not what this space is about. "I must blog about my boring breakfast" is not real to me. You don't want to see it and I don't want to share it. Its a win-win to leave it out. So no Foodbuzz for this gal.
Would the Ads Compromise the Integrity of the Blog (and me)?
I am sure there is lots of money to be made hocking diet pills, plastic surgery and raunchy xxx-rated websites. Unfortunately for my bank account my integrity isn't for sale. I am not going to use my personal space on the web to promote something that goes against what me and my blog stand for. If those things are your thing, great! But its not mine and I don't want it on here. No judgement, just a personal choice that I needed to be able to make.
Would an Advertising Contract Restrict My Creativity?
While some networks require certain content, others may limit what a blogger can write about (product reviews and sponsored giveaways are two examples) I want to be free to write in the way that I always have (under my own guidelines and no one elses) so I couldn't take on a contract that would stifle me.
Would It Be Worth It?
Again, making money has it's obvious appeals. But putting up and running ads, working within certain stipulations and consistently monitoring the content of the ads to ensure that they are in line with the blog is a lot of work if I am going to make less than a $1 at the end of the month. I do this because I love it, I did and would continue to do it for free but if I am not making any money down come the ads and we can just resume out regularly scheduled programming.
A girl can dream right?
Fortunately for me BlogHer offers me the ability to stay true to what I stand for and still open up some ad space. Making a bit of money without selling myself short? Works for me!
In truth what I would really love to do with some future earnings is finance a self-hosted blog on a nice, pretty (and costly) Wordpress theme. Long term, a trip to a blogger convention (like Las Vegas or HLS) would be simply amazing!
Blogging is by no means a get-rich-quick scheme nor do I need to every get even remotely wealthy to enjoy it and dedicate myself to it. The money is a bonus, because the true satisfaction I get from this is priceless.
If you want to read more on monetizing your blog check out Katy Widrick's great series on the subject.
So tell me, what do you think about ads on blogs?