ads: blog whores or business savvy mamas?

Just out of curiosity, what you y’all think about ads & affiliates on blogs? I have mixed feelings. I totally get the people who think they’re trashy on a personal blog and that it undermines the integrity of the personal expression. On the other hand, I very, very! much support any mompreneurs and WAHMs cashing in on their creativity. In a way, it really pisses me off that there’s this idea that if you’re making money you are less honorable as an artist- how are creative people supposed to earn a living if not by marketing their talents? 

I’ve been hinting that I’d like to make money off my blogging obsession, but I’m not sure what route that will take if I try it. (Part of me thinks I’m risking getting spread too thin with all the projects brewing, but that’s a whole different can of Spaghetti-o’s.)

Should businesses be totally separated from personal blogs? Or is it cool to integrate paid reviews or ads or text link ads as well as new art for sale or Cafe Press stylie goods? If it’s done in a transparent and ethical way, like http://www.emomsathome.com does gracefully, does it annoy readers? (No, Wendy does not pay me to constantly make these references to her cool site…she’s just fueling my creative fires a lot lately.) Is it creating a gray area to use the same blog for personal expression and mommyblogging as I would for pimping creative products? Is there a line where it’s OK to say, Hey, new poster print up at my design site but it’s not OK to review a new design software tool here and reveal that it’s a paid review? I love how Wendy tells readers it’s paid but she won’t review stuff she doesn’t have a genuine positive experience with, and turns down a most ads/reviews.

I’m torn with regards to what direction to take my business and my blog love. I might just need to have a blog on my design site for the design stuff and keep this one distinctly separate. That certainly makes me feel safer- I worry that a potential client would get turned off by my potty mouth, drug references, and lesbian crushes, for instance.

I’ll get further into my ideas another time, but I was curious how you peeps feel about ads & stuff. Be honest.

*ETA I have had to go back and edit Every. Single. Post. on this blog to add a category. I cannot get used to the WP interface having them on the side rather than right by the publish button like Blogger’s. And OoH! Blogger still pisses me off. Both old blogs crash my browser still. So glad I moved. So very glad.*

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7 responses to “ads: blog whores or business savvy mamas?

  1. I’m not a huge fan, because many times, it dilutes the content.

    On sites that are more like aggregators, they don’t bother me, but personal sites, I find it a little whorish. Plus, unless you’re huge, I don’t think you can make a ton of money.

    To me, it’s like having a friend who sells Partylite or Tupperware and who constantly references it or asks you to buy some. Eventually, you’ll get sick of it.

  2. Good analogy, ‘Dora. I think I pretty much agree, and I’m definitely leaning toward just creating a new blog on my business site where I can attempt to make some extra money- plus the blog drives traffic to other pages on the site. And you’re right- unless you really generate traffic it’s hard to cash in.

  3. Thanks for your kids words, Daisy and I’m so glad to fuel your creative fires!

    I totally agree with you that I think women should be able to make money off of their writing passion. That being said, even though my blog IS a business blog, I actually make more money per visitor on my tiny Shoestring Smarts blog, simply because it is solely dedicated to products and services.

    But for smaller bloggers, I really, REALLY think they should take advantage of an ad network like BlogHer, which I think isn’t too intrusive, yet opens doors for writers and gets them started making money online. Then if they want to grow it into a business, they can find ways to do that too!

    Thanks again!

  4. You’re welcome, Wendy:) My little brain cogs are spinning…

    I totally forgot about BlogHer’s ad network. Last I checked they weren’t accepting new members but I’ll look into it again.

  5. I’m with thordora on this … intrusive on personal, small blogs unless that blogs has a strong bent or predominant topic. e.g. targeted software ads on the blog of a designer.

    And I’m with Wendy on the viability of the products and service type blog. As you know, I’m cooking up a new bloggy project … and it will be more of a community type thing than an individual/personal blog. Similar to Parent Hacks or Goody Blog in focus … so very suitable for full-on but unobtrusive advertising. In fact, I am imagining and designing it with advertising-down-the-road in mind.

  6. Meant to add … I would think of a unique niche/community that you are passionate about and could serve well content-wise and then inject that with advertising. Will keep you posted on my venture … hope to slowly roll it out in the coming months … though the advertising part will come later once solid content/readership is established.

  7. Keep me posted, Sue! I’m excited to see what you’ve got cookin’. My friend and I are vaguely planning a joint-effort parenting blog with a crunchy focus:)

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