Monetizing This Blog: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
I started writing this blog for myself. Over the years it’s become my journal. A way to write down my thoughts and share them with anyone wiling to read my words. I feel unbelievably blessed to live in an age where I can type words into a computer and have other people instantly read and provide feedback on them. I truly appreciate all of you who leave comments on this blog or send me emails. THANK YOU!
Some readers are so close they now rent my beach home and others exchange long emails with me about the value, headaches and dangers of owning beach property.
In the beginning I refused any advertising. I decided to keep my blog clean and ad-free. A few years ago I allowed text ads in the sidebar and shortly thereafter I joined BlogHer and began displaying ads with graphics. I felt like ads in the sidebar were fine since you can ignore them when you read individual posts. They also don’t display in readers, which is how I read 99% of blogs.
Shortly after losing my job. I decided to join an advertising network that promotes coupons. I added a tab at the top of my blog called ‘Printable Coupons.’ If you click on the link and print coupons I earn a very small commission. Typically less than 50 cents per printing session. Again I figured this was okay, because you can ignore the tab if you don’t need coupons. I also figured it might help out those who do use them.
Sometimes the advertising network includes other promotions for which I can earn a commission. I’ve included posts for these only once or twice. BlogHer also added commission based links. I included my first post sponsored by BlogHer a few days ago.
I didn’t like the idea of these posts at first, but I thought readers might find them helpful. The network includes hundreds of promotions and so far I’ve only written about two or three. I only include deals that I take advantage of myself and of course I want them to be really good bargains.
Okay, so far I convinced myself that all of this advertising was alright, but then came the question of sponsored posts. I am not a big fan of sponsored posts, because this blog is my journal, my story and to be frank it’s all about me. While I think I would be happy to accept guest posts from others at some point in time, I don’t know how I feel about getting paid to take them. As soon as you put money on the table you often wind up with mediocre articles that no one really wants to waste their time on.
In the past year I’ve accepted three guest posts. One was very well written the others were not. I hate to waste my readers time and I hate the idea that someone might mistake the words for my own.
So here’s where you can help me out. What do you think? Does advertising on this blog bother you? What are your thoughts on sponsored posts? Is there some way that I can flag them so you can ignore them if you don’t have the interest. I hate for someone to get all the way through a post before realizing a) it wasn’t written by me and b) it’s a pretty boring read.
If you have any ideas on the topic please leave a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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