Wednesday, May 13, 2009

To Ad or Not To Ad - Advertising in Blogland

Joni, Megan and Linda discuss advertising on blogs - are they good or bad? Do they diminish the voice of the blogger? We also chat about other forms of promotion - products, events and book reviews.

If you're a blogger, do you accept ads and what is your criteria? And if you chose not to, why not?

18 comments:

LIBERTY POST EDITOR said...

Interesting topic Ladies. I have google display/flash ads on mine. I don't feel obligated to have them in any specific spot nor do I feel the 'crunch' of 'having' to do this or that to please them. Once an advertiser dictates my freedom of expression, then 'i'm outta here'. It would be a slow death for Liberty Post and then I'd have to start a new blog. Having said that, I'm not against blogs with ads nor do they bother me when I visit blogs with them. Pleasing headers, fantastic written content/editorial and great photos in the posts are what keeps me coming back for more.

The Upstart said...

I totally agree about blogs looking a bit messy with all the advertising. There is one blog, in particular, that seems to give 80% of the page real estate to ads. The blogger got her sister and husband in on blogging and their sites look the same way.

There's a way to do it right and there's a way to look ridiculous. Needless to say, I think you three have blogs that are very pleasing to the eye.

Maria Killam said...

Excellent talk ladies! Always very informative and interesting to listen to your roundtable!

rikshaw design said...

great topic! i can't stand when blogs are posting random ads with flash- very messy looking..from the perspective of being a vendor and have paid for my logo square on a couple blogs and it did nothing for my business!i didn't mind because i love getting my brand out there and ssociate it with blogs i love..but there was no conversion to sales..just my 2 cents!

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

This was great! I've been thinking about ads over the last few months and you ladies gave me many things to think about.

One suggestion I have is to give away the ad space before you charge. I wasn't sure I would be into the look of ads on my site so I made up a few slots and I've been giving them away to get used to to the idea and get a feel for what I can live with.

I also found out that many people love their blinking flash ads and I might end up with competing blinks. My first giveaway I ended up with two winners who had blinking ads that blinked at two different rates. I ended up creating a program that took stills and faded them at the same rate. Now I can tell giveaway winners I only accept stills, but if they'd like animated ads I can run the two together. These are just a couple of things I learned by giving away the ad space before I charged. So much to learn!

I'll be linking to this!

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

I've questioned it too. I have had many solicitations...mostly for one or two line ads...one did want to guest write. Another (which I seriously considered) wanted to pay for the year up front for a small ad at the bottom of the blog. I haven't moved on any really. I do the little adsense ads...get my 20 bucks a month (or every few months) that's all.

Good food for thought, Gals!

VictoriaArt said...

Food for thought, thank you. When I started out blogging (about three month ago), it did not cross my mind to advertise, I had no clue... but after blogging for a while and seeing other blogs I decided against ads. Simply I feel my blog is very intimate and I do not want to destroy that. I care very much about the face of my blog. Anyway, nobody approached me, but then again, who knows me or reads my stuff in the fist place?
I love blogs with that truly personal feel and maybe that goes a bit away with all the ads. It becomes an enterprise...
Usually I look at content and writing, so it does not disturb me to much, but there are some blogs, where I have a hard time figuring out what's the blog content and what's not, that is bad and I tune out.

Big hug to all of you, Megan, Linda and Joni!

XX
Victoria

PS: How about a radio show about blogging in the face of few readers and how motivation drives us, is there enough to go around for all of us? I so often see similar posts and it is so hard to find subjects, which haven not made head lines elsewhere. How private should we be? I know you somehow covered the subject in all your talks, but for me it is still a big theme.

I feel my blog makes more sense when I act more locally, since we all have access to most books and magazines on the market and it is more interesting to see what's special about each blogger. I personally do not care much for celebrity pics and such, this is for the rainbow press to fill me in...

other subjects: proportions, scale and patterns, working with awkward room situations...???

Enough, just a thought! Love to hang out with you all!
V.

Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) said...

Thanks sooo much for discussing this topic. I have been approached a few times and have debated the idea. I'm like Joni...I agonize over every little design choice for the look of my blog. But I think I could advertise if the ads weren't too intrusive and tastefully done. Wish there was more info online about appropriate rates to charge. I think I read somewhere that $25 is an appropriate rate for around 50,000 hits per month...but I may be remembering that incorrectly.
Thanks again for a great "chat"!

Mandi said...

I'm a somewhat new reader of Megan's blog and thought I'd stop by to hear what you ladies had to say on this subject. It was very interesting for me to listen to (this is coming from a slightly ADD internet surfer) and has prompting some thinking. I just recently (the last few months) started having advertisers on my blog (I mainly blog about an entirely different industry: scrapbooking) and haven't exactly decided on how I feel about it....

Thanks for sharing! :)

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

I never started blogging to make money but to me, as a single mom, it has really been a blessing that my blog is bringing in some extra income. It's a enough now that it makes a huge difference for us.

I'm also asked to do product reviews and giveaways sponsored by companies. I would never lie and say a product is good if I didn't really feel that way and I only accept products for giveaways if it's something I think my readers would enjoy.

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

When I started blogging in January '08, I started with Wordpress.com, which doesn't allow ads of any kind, so I blogged for a long time without them. When I switched to my own domain a at the end of '08, I started accepting ads in the sidebar. You do have to set it up like a business--lots of record-keeping involved for taxes and so you remember when to remind people that their ad run is up and it's time to renew, etc.

I resisted Adsense for a long time but finally added some links to try it out. I'm making $150/month from them now on average, so I think they're worth it--and a lot easier than selling private ads! But I'll continue to do both.

I get about 200,000 page views/month on my main blog (Hooked on Houses) and was told by several bloggers of a similar size that they charge $100-$200 for a 125 x 125-sized ad, depending on high up on the page it's placed--above the fold or below. I can't bring myself to charge that much yet, though, and keep it between $65-75/month at the moment. I give discounts for people who sign up for 3 months or more at a time because it makes my life easier when they're longer term.

Hope that helps some people who are trying to figure out what to charge and how it works! I think the extra few hundred dollars a month are worth the trouble if for no other reason than it helps me justify all the time I spend on the blog. :-)

Lauren said...

I'm still undecided. If I could make good money doing it, I totally would, but I don't even have a clue what my readership level is at. I appreciate when bloggers have content-related ads though.

This was the first episode I've listened to- great job & off to hear more!! :)
-lauren from pure style

Kitty said...

I'm so interested in your content here! Thanks! As for the advertising, well....I think I may have gotten into this backwards. I didn't realize I could just use Blogger for free. I went out, bought a big beautiful Mac equipped with iWeb and bought a domain, and just started rambling. Now I use Blogger and Wordpress as well. I do place ads in my blogs, but not Adsense or whatever. I am an affiliate/publisher, so I hand pick the relevant things and place them where I want, maintaining complete editorial control as I would in a traditional print medium. I do think about credibility, though, and most importantly, I think about visual aesthetics on the page. I would love critiques of how readers feel about my topics vis a vis the ads I use. Please visit me at www.innserspaceyogas.com thanks!

Linda Merrill said...

Kitty - thanks for your input. I tried to go with affiliate advertising for a while, but never made a dime. Just my experience. But you're right, you can pick and choose who is on your site, the size of ad, etc.

Kitty said...

Thanks, Linda. You're helping so many people out with this discussion. I should say one thing that drives sales on my blog ads is that in the fall, I ask my yoga students to shop through the website so we can give the proceeds of the ad revenue to a children's center in my community. Otherwise, I'm not sure how much traffic I would have. I'm just such a control freak. I'm afraid of what Adsense would correlate to my site!

Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) said...

Hi Joni, Linda and Megan, I just wanted to let you know that I posted a bit about The Skirted Roundtable this evening...too much fun to not share. :-)
Susan

Robin said...

Came right over after seeing you on Between Naps on the Porch! I'm so excited! Love the site...thanks so much~
Robin
All Things Heart and Home

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Here I am finally catching up on past great topics.

I just posted a AD FREE blog header on my blog this morning as I am tired of responding to the requests for advertising for heated socks or dental floss.

I will remain ad free. As my blog is truly my online journal. My soul.