Wednesday, April 28, 2010

"What kills a skunk is the publicity it gives itself." Abraham Lincoln

Recently, I was contacted by a company who wanted to know if they could sponsor this website.

It is not the first time I have been offered cash for my soul.

Ouch. I know.

And it will not be the last time that I decline it.

When I first started blogging three and a half years ago, I did it for me. I saw it as a fun outlet for writing. It became a way to keep in touch with long distance friends and family. It is, at times, my own personal soapbox, a place to laugh at myself, cry with myself, showcase my family, and keep a record of the everyday stuff that I'm afraid I'll forget. I had no idea there existed perfect strangers in the world willing to read what I write here.

And it is not now, nor will it ever be, for sale.

Cluttering up these pretty pages with ads for diapers, jewelry, tampons, and books seems a bit like selling out to me. I wouldn't send my kids off to school with bumper stickers on their cheeks or backpacks, so why do it here? Isn't there enough branding and consumerism in the world without me contributing to it?

I am left now to wonder about those of you who do choose to accept advertising dollars for space on your websites and blogs.

Specifically, I am wondering this:
  1. How much do you make?
  2. Do you feel it leaves your site cluttered and busy?
  3. Does it make you obsess more over your stats, knowing that revenue is dependent on that?
  4. Do you think less of those like me who opt out?
I cast no judgmental rocks from my glass house, but I am curious. I mean, if some of you tell me you are getting a couple thousand a month, I might jump on that train so fast that there'll be no time to stop and get my luggage.

But I can't imagine they pay well enough to support the lifestyle I would like to become accustomed to.

Am I wrong?



Anna said...

I generally ignore the ads that appear on the blogs I read. I've never purchased stuff from those ads.

So, if it makes you money why not try it out on a "let's see if this works" type of agreement.

No matter your choice, I love reading your blog and will come back again and again.

Alissa said...

I have been contemplating ads. The blogher ones pay quite well. I still haven't decided.

brooke said...

I'll be reading all your comments on this. I've had several friends trying to talk me into advertising on my blog because they claim it just gives them a little extra spending money every month for something they were doing anyway.

I haven't done it yet because like you, I kind of feel like I'm selling out on something very personal and something that I started without the intent of ever making money off of. Plus I like knowing that I can say whatever I want on my blog (like my rants about home birthing) and not feel like I have to answer anyone.

But like you, if the pay was right, I'd do it in a heartbeat--what does that say about me?

Michelle said...

I am, as you know, vehemently opposed to putting ads on my own blog. But if anyone else does it? I could care less. For my subject matter it really WOULD be selling out. I talk about such personal things on my blog.

But since I'm being all noble, may I be shallow and say that I'd love to get as many comments as you do?

xoxo, m

Elizabeth said...

I am so interested in this topic. I never really look at the ads on blogs but always wonder if they make the blogger any serious cash . I think that it is perfectly ok to put ads on your blog if you have lots of traffic. But do you get to pick your type of advertising? One blog I read should have ads - the gal makes gorgeous crafts and has heaps of readers so extra cash for crafts would make sense from Crafty type advertising. Another blog I read is extremely popular but it is more of a family blog and the ads for "finding sexy singles down under" seem a bit strange. I have 10 readers so I am currently in talks with Satchi & Satchi re: repositioning my brand in the marketplace :-)

Travelin'Oma said...

I've had a few of those emails, too and always wonder how much we're talking. But I think it's like putting billboards on your front lawn. Maybe it would make some money but I'd want to move.

(This is ironic, because I DO have a billboard on my front lawn and I never want to move.)

Meeks said...

So far we are all non-ad bloggers...I wonder if someone who makes a bit of cash from the blog will come out of the wood works. ;)

We won't bite! We're curious!

Lauren in GA said...

I agree with Meeks, I am very curious and I hope a blogger with ads will answer your questions. I love that you put this post out there because I am dying to know.

Mique (as in Mickey) said...

Here's my 2 cents:
Yep it totally does crowd my blog. Majorly.
I did feel like a sell out. I put it off for a long time. But when my sis said, "Why aren't you doing ads?" We had a long talk about it....and I caved.
BUT I don't regret the decision. Mainly because the blog I take ads for isn't my "personal" blog (which btw I haven't written on for almost a YEAR!! yikes.). I miss the good ol' days when my blogging was more's gone in a totally different direction than I ever expected. Which has both pros and cons.
I don't feel like I sold my soul. And I don't check my stats religiously- the only time I check is if interested ad people ask me for specific stats.
I don't make big money. Really. At all.
But I do make some and I do lots of product reviews. It's kinda fun.
I think you made the right decision for you. And I think it'd change the feel of your blog. To each their own.
Love, M

Liz said...

Thanks for asking this question! I've been curious about the answer for awhile. I'm glad that Mique answered your question.

I would advertise on my blog in a heartbeat, except it would make me feel even more guilty about my lack of updates.

Julianna said...

I have the ads up because if I can make money, why not? I don't feel like I've sold out,mainly because anyone who wants to read a post can without clicking on them, because I've positioned them at the bottom so they are not in the way of any text. I am new to blogging and can not offer any dollar amount for how much they'd bring in. However, I do have a friend who has a web site and put ads on it a few years ago. He makes a couple hundred dollars a month off his traffic. Hope this helps in your debate.

Robyn said...

I don't have ads on my family blog, but I do on my fitness one. Since I don't have a ton of traffic, and don't post all the time, I don't make really anything from the ads. But I do know bloggers who make A LOT! Your blog is probably one that could make a lot if you chose to go that route! Mostly, I like the occasional freebies I get to try out. I've made a few hundred dollars for blogging about specific companies, but I'm very selective (one was 24-hour fitness who I blog about all the time anyway). I won't ever say I love a product just to get paid. I know that I would have to be a much more dedicated blogger to make any serious money, and at this stage in my life, I just can't do it. I would never put ads on my personal blog, but I figure making money for blogging about fitness can't hurt.

Suzie said...

I visit here a lot but don't comment very much. (not sure why, I comment on almost every other blog I read)

I find myself dropping many of the blogs that have taken ads on. I think for a couple reasons.
One, I really don't like the flashing going on & the cluttered look is a bit nutty. It's really not THAT big of deal, however
Two, their blogs have become somewhat less personal, feeling like it has now become a bit of a job and not just a way to share thoughts of an ordinary person.

I happen to think you could handle it. I have read you for quite a while. Perhaps 2 years? You are real, open & quite funny.
Ok. Hilarious!
good luck any way you go!

Matt The Cabbie said...

I couldn't say no, my soul is always for sale, but then again I use to write for a living. To each their own.

mae said...

Whichever way you go, I'll still read ya.

Feeling Just Right said...

I LOVE how bluntly you put it! Hugs!

I get irritated reading a few blogs with ads on them because i know the authors of those read mine and comment in return ONLY so i will continue reading them and keeping helping to get the cash flowing. That is obvious strategy but it is too not nice most times i think.

I love your won't-sell-my-soul spirit! Go girl!

Feeling Just Right said...

p.s. just read ALL of the above comments. I kind of agree. Will still read you if you go the ad-way! Just stay you.

Allison said...

I'm not saying I won't or don't read blogs when there is advertisement on them. I think if you have interesting thoughts and can write them in a way that appeals to the masses that's great! I also think it's great that you can earn money for that talent, JK Rawling is my hero. I also want to say that I appreciate your integrity for your blog, because I have felt the same way for mine (read by far fewer readers).

Hollyween said...

I'd totally do it if it brought in extra money. And the extra money would probably motivate me to blog more than I do. I don't think I'd look at it as selling out. But I WOULD look at it as motivation to get journaling about things done and don't we all sometimes need that anyway? This is an interesting topic.

I'd read you no matter what. I honestly don't pay attention to blogs with ads because I read in google reader and if I want to comment I have to click on the blog to do so.

I wonder how much CJane or Nie Nie make. A buttload, I'm guessin'.

Tyler said...

I don't normally read your blog but my wife had it open when I sat down at the computer. Your question about "how much" was interesting. Even more interesting was the fact that a few people leaving comments admit to having ads, but didn't admit to how much they're pulling in. Probably because it's less than you would think.

With a little math (and a couple Google searches) you can arrive at some pretty reasonable numbers (although you probably already knew that).

Looks like you've got about 250 visitors/day. Even if the ads had a 1% view rate (higher than average) you'd only be getting 2-3 views per day or 60-90 per month. If you're lucky, the ads would pay out at something like $.50 per impression and you'd be pulling in $30-45 per month. More likely you're probably looking at something like $.05 per impression...or a whopping $6-9 month.

If it were me I wouldn't sell out for anything less than $10 a month.

3leftturns said...

Shut up and sell out, Christie.

Julie From Inmates said...

I have ads on my site. I don't make huge money, but I make enough to pay for my blog design and site hosting with an occasional pedicure added in. In other words, not much. Not much at all. Each to their own I guess, but I also get visitors from the ads that I might not get otherwise, so it seems like a win/win for me. I've often wondered why you didn't have ads. I was surprised that you'd have such great content and lots of comments and not have ads. I just assumed the right folks hadn't found you yet. It really makes no difference to me if someone has ads or not, but I loathe music playing on a blog when I'm trying to read. Anyway, that's my six cents worth. Which is more than I get per impression. =)