14 In all/ Money Management

How I Earn A Living With Chronic Illness (and “no”, I’m not a witch)…

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).

How I Earn A Living With Chronic Illness (and "no", I'm not a witch)...

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Blogging is not a 'full-time' job, it's a full-time job and then some. Click To Tweet

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:

  1. 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!

  2. 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.). 

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    October 27 at 12:34 pm

    First and foremost, thank you Kristine (and Lily) for this FABULOSO blog! I am SOOOO grateful to have found you and have enjoyed and benefitted SO much from your posts.

    Gotta be honest, though; I rarely even notice the ads – I’m mostly focused on your content but now that I’m aware of them, I’ll pay attention and likely respond to them, too, because you have offered them! YAY you (really)!!

    I’m truly glad to be part of your community and look forward to continuing the journey with you!
    God bless and keep you!

    • Reply
      kristine
      October 27 at 1:34 pm

      HAHA! Thanks Jennifer! I do the same on many blogs, and don’t see the ads. Once in a while though, something will come across your line of site that is worth looking into. Thank you so much again, and God bless you too! ♥♥♥

  • Reply
    Denise Cox
    October 27 at 12:53 pm

    Well said! I have fibro, RA, adrenal insufficiency and I LOVE your blog. What wisdom to take on the criticism as an opportunity for growth. I am contemplating starting a blog and appreciate your honesty.

    • Reply
      kristine
      October 27 at 1:32 pm

      Thank you Denise! Definitely start that blog! It has GREAT rewards. Start off right though, do a little research so you start off right. I would suggest Word Press over Blogger (even though it will cost you a little $, it will be worth it), and make sure you go with WordPress.Org, and NOT WordPress.Com. The .com is free though, and you will need a 3rd Party host for the .org (I use HostGator, but there are many others) but being able to customize your blog with plugins as you choose is worth the .org. Having a self-hosted blog will allow you to advertise and do sponsored posts down the line should you choose to do so. Good Luck! 🙂

  • Reply
    Tanya @ Mom's Small Victories
    October 28 at 5:47 am

    I swear sometimes I think you are inside my head. I was just thinking of writing a post about blogging with chronic illness and I have pretty much the same ad, affiliate and sponsored post policy! I only put affiliate links for products I have used and loved. I did not realize you were a full time blogger. I bought the Genius Bloggers Toolkit which is on sale for only a couple more days. Its $5000 worth of amazing resources from bloggers who earn 6 figures for just $97. It is worth it, if you are interested let me know, it’s only on Sale till Tuesday. But like I said, I really do recommend it especially the Daily Productivity Guide to help you set and achieve your goals. Highly recommend for bloggers wh want to earn income from their blogs.
    Tanya @ Mom’s Small Victories recently posted…Optimize Your Holiday Blog Traffic and Pretty Pintastic Party {129}My Profile

    • Reply
      kristine
      October 28 at 10:13 am

      Thanks Tanya! I’ll give it a ‘look see’! 😉

  • Reply
    Eugene Uttley
    October 30 at 10:09 pm

    You’re very right – striking that balance is key.
    Looks to me like you’re doing a fine job of it.
    Good work!
    #SmallVictoriesSundaylinkup

    • Reply
      kristine
      October 31 at 12:19 pm

      Thank you Eugene! Appreciate it 🙂

  • Reply
    Valerie
    November 1 at 12:43 pm

    I am a fairly new reader of your blog. (Which I love!) I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts. I am just getting started on my blogging journey. You are right, it is a full time job and then some! I was a hobby blogger for many years and just recently made the jump to wordpress.org and my own site. Your Lily is adorable. I have a corgi mix named Tia Maria. =) I just wanted to say thank you so much for all of your wonderful posts. =) Valerie
    Valerie recently posted…Visbiome High Potency Probiotics ReviewMy Profile

    • Reply
      kristine
      November 1 at 4:09 pm

      Thank you SO MUCH Valerie!! Send a pic of your sweet pup! I would love to feature her on a future post…I feel a ‘pet therapy’ post coming soon 😉

  • Reply
    Kim
    November 1 at 7:55 pm

    Excellent post! I love your openness and honesty. The fact that you care how we, the readers, see your sight shows the commitment you have to helping each of us.
    Kim recently posted…Is Seasonal Affective Disorder Real?My Profile

    • Reply
      kristine
      November 2 at 11:33 am

      Thank you Kim! What a lovely encouragment on this morning! 😉 ♥

  • Reply
    Nikki
    November 7 at 10:54 am

    I love your blog and have never found it to be an issue that you write sponsored posts, they are so informative, I appreciate you doing all the research. Blogging is hard, so much to learn, and it consumes our time. Earning money with it is a skill, ads, affiliates and sponsored posts are all okay in my book, as long as we aren’t bombarded, they are necessary. Almost every site has a way to earn money, a blog is no different, except we don’t have a huge bank account behind us. I love your site and how you do things. Keep it up!
    Nikki recently posted…Healthy Foodie Gift GuideMy Profile

    • Reply
      kristine
      November 8 at 12:49 pm

      Thank you Nikki! Yes, a BIG bank account would be nice! LOL! I agree about the bomarding too. Have a great one! ♥

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