8/16/11

Show Me the Money

This post is one that I have been pseudo writing in my head for a while. Truthfully, its been on my mind ever since this little addition to the site ------------------------------------------------>

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.


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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.


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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?
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9 comments:

  1. I noticed you got advertising through BlogHer and my first thought was "Good for her! She is getting a little bit of reward for all the obvious time, thought, and insight she provides daily." That's my perception of blog ads - that they are simply a way for bloggers to generate some revenue for their content.
    As bloggers, we aren't writing books, but our work IS being published. Just as we wouldn't expect a book author to put his or her books on the shelves for no pay, we shouldn't a blogger with insightful words to not accept pay as well. On the same lines, we don't call book authors sell outs for publishing their work, so the argument that a blogger is a sell out or loses integrity for ads is not a valid argument in my book as well.

    Anyways -- glad to be apart of the BlogHer network with you!

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  2. Love reading through your thought process- I think you made a great decision!

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  3. Hey I'm new here! and just started a new blog (I had taken a break from the blog-a-sphere for a few years) and I think advertising on blogs is just something that happens. I wouldn't think anything different of someone /w or /w out it! :D HOWEVER, the only negative for me is it is technically I way OUT :) and you never want your new potential readers to have an easy escape route ;) muwhahahaha *evil scientist* but I guess you make money per clicks so let them leave, make some money and relax :D just enjoy yourself and your accomplishments! Love it!!!!!

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  4. hey, thnxfor putting this post together. this is really great. this is something that I have been thinking of for a while. you will need to update us in a few months and tell us how its working out for u.

    so how does it really work? how do you get paid? is it per click per ad?

    aneta
    www.runningbucket.com

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  5. I'm down for ads on blogs! I say if you're going to write it anyway, and people like what you're saying, your options are to not make money or to make money. Why wouldn't you want to make money!? Good for you :)

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  6. I think as long as the ads aren't all over the blog, it's fine. I have been to a few blogs and couldn't stand to look at the page because there were waaaay too many ads and pop-ups. It was annoying. Good for you!!I enjoy reading your blog!

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  7. I have struggled with this issue myself.

    Not that long ago I joined BlogHer but I've had my doubts since then.

    They sort of begun when I got an email telling me that although my ad was above the fold it needed to be even higher. I moved it but in so doing compromised the graphic look of the blog that I had spent so long creating with my blog designer.

    Then there is the issue that there are restrictions on reviews and giveaways.

    Oh and not to mention that as Canadians we don't even get to see the ads that are featured on our blogs. All we ever get to see are the PSAs. Why? Because our clicks and impressions don't generate revenue. That's fine and I understand (although I'm not happy about it) but it fundamentally bothers me that I can not see the ads that I'm in essence hosting on my site.

    Sure, I can click on the different categories of ads that I do and do not want but unless I can see what the final product looks like how can I truly exercise control over the ad content?

    Given how little money I make from ad revenue I honestly wonder if it's worth continuing with BlogHer. Hence why I've pulled down the ads but not broken the contract yet.

    I'm still mulling it over.

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  8. I think Ad Newtworks are great. if anything, I feel like it legitimizes a blog. Obviously AdSense is kind of obnoxious, but if I see FoodBuzz or BlogHer on someone's blog and I am a first time reader--I usually figure that this is a blog worth checking out.

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    Replies
    1. Interesting and. It important information is really beneficial for us. Thanks

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