Have you ever found yourself annoyed by the ads in the sidebar?
I write a blog about living and coping with chronic illness. I believe in encouragement, education, and the promotion of those things which will increase the quality of life in spite of adverse health conditions. I am not a dark and bent figure behind the keyboard, greedily rubbing my gnarled hands together wondering how I can bilk you out of your next dollar. If you will allow me, I would like to give a brief explanation in order to share with you my thinking regarding advertising on ALWR, and the reasons behind why I do what I do.
Once in a while, I will receive a negative comment a reader will leave on their way out. There have been a couple of occasions where the complaint had to do with the perception that I have, “Too many advertisements” on my blog. Now, it is important for me to look at each criticism objectively. If I dismissed every critique, I would miss legitimate points that could help me make this site the best it can be. In that vein, and because there may be some of you who (with all of my love and IMMENSE gratitude!) come back here every week, may also be wondering what my motives are for advertising on this blog (as well as the inclusion of an occasional sponsored post).
In all fairness, I understand the frustration that can be felt visiting a site that feels more like a carnival Barker screaming at you from the sidelines demanding you buy their wares, as opposed to a place to find the help you are looking for to solve a problem. I too can be annoyed by the blog that takes forever to load due to all the flashing pop-ups that jump out at you as you try to read an article that has caught your interest. Or worse, the dreaded hidden ‘sound ad’ that you have to hunt down on the page in order kill, and shut down the infernal noise it is making!
Somewhere between no ads at all, and the ‘neon lit/ ad-bloated / carnival ride of a blog’, is a balance. You see, what many people fail to realize is blogging is not a hobby for most writers. It is how they make a living. This is how many of us make money to feed our families, and contribute to our monthly budgets like everyone else. Consider:Somewhere between no ads at all, and the neon lit ad-bloated carnival ride of a blog is a balance Click To Tweet
How I Earn A Living With Chronic Illness
Bloggers DO NOT receive a steady paycheck. It is feast or famine, and for the first 1-3 years they pretty much make peanuts to nothing at all. They build a ‘career’ from the ground up. Much like a brick and mortar business, they operate at a loss for the first couple of years regardless of all the hard work that gets put into it.
Blogging is not a ‘full-time’ job, it’s a full-time job and then some. Really, it becomes more of a lifestyle than a job. It is something we are always thinking about/researching for/working on/learning to improve ect. I probably ‘work’ 60+ hours a week building and maintaining ALWR.
I will NEVER advertise, or write a post positively advocating something I do not believe will be of benefit to both myself and you. I’m often the guinea pig long before I offer anything up as a recommendation. There was a product I agreed to review a while back that after trying, I just could not get behind. I wrote a review giving facts as to what it was, what many people found it did for them, and pretty much had to just repeat the company’s specs for the product because I just did not personally like the product. Then I had to search for and link to a fellow blogger who had written about a ‘positive’ experience they had with the product. I did this in order to show that the product was useful to some people (just unfortunately not me). I was obligated to write a post for this company, but at the same time, I had to walk a thin line to maintain my integrity, and not give a less than genuine review…NEVER AGAIN. This experience taught me to be far more DISCERNING as to what companies I agree to work with, and what I am willing to present to you here on this site. Trust between you and I is paramount, and no amount of $ is worth jeopardizing that.
All that being said, this is how I think in relation to the ads I put on ALWR:
I DO NOT put ads that flash, blink, or make sound on the blog. Many of us with chronic illness struggle with ‘sensory overload’, and do not appreciate having to deal with jarred nerves as we read articles that are supposed to be helpful!
I ONLY advertise for and become an affiliate of companies whose products I personally use and believe in (HoneyColony), or whose stuff I just plain dig (Victorian Trading Co.).
I only accept sponsored post contracts with companies whose products are of REAL value and/or benefit to you my readers as well as to myself. I have turned down far more job opportunities than I have taken in the past year because I did not believe in the product and/or it was not something I would felt 100% good about putting before your eyes.
I strive to balance out my need to make a living, with what is appropriate via regular content vs. sponsored content. In other words, I like a 80-20 ratio. Normal posts- 80%, and posts that offer you a beneficial product or service – 20%.
Please leave me any questions you may have that I have not covered in the comments below. I love what I do. I not only receive help with my own chronic illness through writing this blog, I have the privilege of sharing beneficial information with you as well. And hopefully, help keep Lily (the corgi ‘support loaf’) in the manner she’s become accustomed to!