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, because I wasn’t sure if I could add beautiful, non-invasive advertising design. 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 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!

12 thoughts on “Monetizing This Blog: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly”

  1. I do not mind any of your sidebar ads. I usually view in a reader format so they don’t come across anyway, but even when I come to your site they don’t bother me. I appreciate all the hard work you put into your blog and I’m glad you can get some compensation for it.

    However, I do not like sponsored posts. They’re generally very boring and not useful (I can only think of a handful of sponsored posts across ALL the blogs I read that this does not apply to). If you do start publishing sponsored posts, I would appreciate it very clearly stating at the BEGINNING of the post that it’s sponsored and not written by you (so I don’t waste my time!)

    Again, I enjoy YOUR writing and I’m glad that you receive some amount of compensation for what you do… I’m just not a fan of the sponsored post route.

    • Thanks for the comment BJM. I will make sure all sponsored posts are clearly labeled from this point forward. Thanks for taking the time to let me know your thoughts.

  2. While I respect the purist notions of not conflicting art with money. I follow many blogs that have advertising, and have a small amount of advertising on my blog. I usually follow blogs in readers anyway so I rarely see most of the advertising. I decide to follow blogs I enjoy the writing, or voice behind it, so as long as that’s not completely lost – I don’t mind sponsored posts. That being said – I think well written posts deserve some sort of payback, so why not advertise – you deserve it!

    • Thanks Ruby Leigh. I appreciate the feedback from long time readers like yourself! You are the kind of reader I don’t want to offend with sponsored posts and advertising.

  3. I do not mind any of your current advertising. I have no problem with affiliate links or even plugs for products that the blogger actually uses and endorses.

    I don’t want to read sponsored posts though. We already live in a world with enough marketing. I want to know that the blog posts that I read are what the blogger thinks and wants to write.

    • Thanks Candice. I couldn’t agree with you more. I will make sure all sponsored posts are clearly labeled so you can ignore them!

    • Thanks B&tB for the comment. I will make sure sponsored ads are clearly labeled and excluded from feeds from this point forward. I don’t like them at all either!

  4. I have sponsored posts on my blog, but I use a plugin so that the sponsored posts don’t show up in my feed –that way it doesn’t bother regular readers since it doesn’t even show up in their reader!
    I also follow blogs that occasionally have sponsored posts, and i usually just skip them. We’re all tryng to pay off debt and save money, I see nothing wrong with someone using their blog (which costs money to operate by the way) to help reach their goals.

    • Thanks for the information about excluding sponsored posts from feeds. I added a new plugin that should let me do just that!

  5. I dont mind the ads, as long they dont blink or use flash. They do not affcet the content or quality of the posts, so it doesn’t matter to me at all.

    But i do mind reading, sponsored posts when it doesnt say at the very first line that its a sponsored post.

    If the first line says its a sponsored post, I don’t mind at all.. I just skip these posts.

    Thanks for asking reader opinions.

    • Thanks Kay for providing your input! I will make certain that all sponsored posts contain a line at the top saying that the post is sponsored. I will also exclude them from my feed from this point forward.


Leave a Comment