Up Close

I’m in a decision making quagmire, and I’m wondering if you can toss in a few thoughts in hopes of swaying me either way in regards to, you guessed it, advertising. Anyone who has read this blog for any length of time knows how I struggle personally with this issue. I place emphasis on the word personally because, as it relates to other blogs, I’m indifferent about advertising. I take a ‘do as they like’ attitude. But, if I am being honest, I respect bloggers who could accept advertising but don’t a bit more. It’s difficult for me to put into words what is an emotional response, but the most upfront thought associated with this feeling is that because they don’t accept money, they blog first and foremost for the love of the medium.

I hope I’m not judged too harshly on that last statement, but I can accept that I might be. I know that in many ways, the thought makes little sense. I mean, for all I know, these bloggers don’t love the medium as much as they love the sound of their own voices. In fact, they could be too busy selling beagle puppies on the black market to be bothered with advertising.

Beagle puppies are cute! They bring in way more than a 125×125 banner!

Those of us who blog produce something of value, and there isn’t anything wrong with fair and adequate compensation.

Therein lies the rub. That whole fair and adequate part. Advertising networks–and I am publisher for the best in the industry–can only bring you so much. And when your traffic is as low as mine (when compared to Dooce and The Pioneer Woman, both publishers in my category), what I get isn’t so much at all.

This is why I am considering shifting my blog to ad-free when my contract expires. It’s a consideration I’ve debated for months, to the point no one really wants to talk with me about it anymore. (Lucky you!) (Also, lucky are the people who are coming to lunch with me on Friday, because that’s all I want to talk about!) (So consider yourself warned and back out while you can!)

It’s a money thing, but it’s also a gut thing. I can’t believe I am going to write this, but a small part of me has a gut feeling that if I remove advertising from my site, great things are going to happen. You have no idea how disconcerting this is for me. I am an a former attorney. I make decisions based on fact and analysis and logic, not flighty woo-woo feelings. If I allow my contract with Federated Media expire, I feel I should write them a note telling them that my unicorn told me to do it.

Speaking of Federated Media, my beef isn’t with them. I’m a small blogger, and they can only do so much. In fact, my point of contact, Pamela, has been a patient, understanding, and helpful godsend. I owe her a manicure for all the hand holding she’s been doing.

Then wouldn’t you know it, in the middle of all the thinking I’ve been doing, the blogosphere explodes with posts taking an up close look at how bloggers make money. Pamela linked to a slew of posts on money that have bounced back and forth across the internet the last couple of weeks and Anna recently posted on blogs as a marketing tool for other revenue streams. The internet is like my own private Lady Justice.

So here I sit, an ex-attorney with a case before her, looking for something or someone (preferably not a mythical animal) to tip the scales one way or the other. Let’s hear some closing arguments.

Comments
50 Responses to “Up Close”
  1. Anna @ D16 says:

    Well, if I could chime in here, since I was mentioned in the post…

    Not having ads on my blog wasn’t some kind of grand gesture or statement that I decided to make. It’s really something that’s happened (or not happened, depending on how you look at it) totally naturally for me. I’ve been blogging for about 12 years now—and in earnest since 2001—and I started at a time when the idea of putting ads on blogs just hadn’t happened yet. Blogging wasn’t a way to make money or self-promote back then, it was a way to share stuff and meet people and be a part of a community. That is what I was drawn to back then, and that’s why I’ve kept on blogging all of these years later.

    So yes, I do love the medium. Of course I do!

    As the years have passed and advertising on blogs has becoming more commonplace, I’ve tried and failed to become comfortable with that model. While I certainly don’t disparage anyone for choosing to blog commercially, it’s just totally at odds with who I am and why I’m even doing this in the first place. I have a full-time job (and a half) and a full-time life and a full-time brain, and the last thing I need to add to my mix of crazy is a full-time blog that I have to take care of and track and worry about. I blog when I want to and about what I want to—I have no plans, no formula, no agenda, and no expectations. My blog is one of the few things in my life that I can say that about, and I LOVE it.

    (For what it’s worth, I’m 10x more likely to read a blog if it’s ad-free. Not because I think the content is necessarily better, but because I personally find constant exposure to advertising to be emotionally draining—but that’s a whole other subject for another day!)

    And I swear I’m not selling beagle puppies on the side. ;)

  2. This is an interesting post and I look forward to seeing what everyone has to say!

  3. Andrea Howe says:

    I guess what I’m wondering, is deep down, why do you think your content would get better without advertising? Why do you think advertising is holding your content back? And then if great things do happen, at that point wouldn’t it only be fair and climatic to earn something from that success?

    • Jules says:

      I don’t think I said that my content would get better with advertising or that it’s holding me back. Actually, I know I didn’t. If it came across that way, I apologize. I work very hard on everything I publish, and that wouldn’t change either way. The fact remains, it takes an enormous amount of traffic to earn money from blogging. Most bloggers make their money doing outside projects, so the great things that could happen would bring in their own rewards. (If I believed in that sort of stuff.)

      • Andrea Howe says:

        you’re right, you didn’t say that. I guess what i was reading into was when you said great things would happen-I guess that was me projecting. So that is my question revised: Why would great things happen once you remove advertising? Sorry to be dense, I just don’t see the correlation right now. Maybe you can explain it to me better over lunch? :)

        • Jules says:

          I said it in a later comment just a few minutes ago, probably while you were typing this response! :) Long story short, it’s a risk/reward thing. I have to sit and think about it some more, but I wonder if I am trying to push myself into a corner, forcing myself to get out of my safe box and put myself out there more.

          But, yes, we’ll talk about it (and more!) at lunch tomorrow. Yay!! :)

  4. Kay says:

    Jules,
    You write beautifully and I treasure your blog. I have laughed with you; wiped away tears with you; smiled bittersweet smiles that fearing red sharpies is in my past and may still be in your future. Your blog is a worthy product and I sincerely hope it will bring you HUGE financial rewards. You share your time, your family, and your view of the world with us; and I feel guilty that I get it all for free. If you were a subscription service, I would be a subscriber; when you write a book, I will pre order it for my Nook; Jules is in a magazine, I’m buying it. Do you see a pattern here? One way we reward people in our society is monetarily and that is okay. Love what you do? That is another reward. Contribute to a bigger venue ie. the blogging community… super. But in the meantime, from one guilt ridden Catholic to another..I would love for you to live your life, write your blog and make a fortune doing it whether it comes from advertising or other opportunities.

  5. I just fear you may get burnt out if there was NO form of compensation for all the work that you put in every day/week.
    It doesn’t have to be ads, but like the other person mentioned you could offer some kind of paid subscription, etc.
    I’m sure you’ll make the best decision for yourself and your family and your community here, though
    xo

    • Jules says:

      I never saw it like that before, that people may consider ads as additional motivation for bloggers to post regularly, like a balance for the work that goes into blogging.

      • I blogged for about 5 years … Got completely burnt out and felt like a lot of work was just EXPECTED of me …
        But since then I’ve branched out, rethought why I blog and what I want to do with it … and found a way to make $$ (only a little right now, but still) w/o ads and my blogging fire has been reignited!
        :)

        As a reader, I want to support what the author/creator does and the work he/she puts in … and if there are ads in your sidebar/etc I completely accept the need for it …

        xo

  6. I’ve heard it said repeatedly that we should be paid for the work we do, and blogging (however much we love it) IS work. Having said that, I don’t have any ads on my site (and mostly that’s an aesthetic thing. I worked hard on my design – as well as my words – and want FULL control of what my site looks like and I feel like ads detract from the visual experience).

    I’m a former political scientist, and even I will say: data, facts, and figures aside…do what makes YOU feel good. If it doesn’t make you feel right, why do it? And you don’t have to justify any of it to anyone but yourself.

  7. marisa says:

    A few (really disjointed) thoughts, because it’s late and I’m watching a Nate Berkus rerun :)

    – I love what Anna said above about ad-free blogging having no expectations. Is that sort of what you mean by ‘great things will happen’ – i.e., since you won’t have the expectations/limitations that come along with ads, you’ll feel better, more free and authentic, inevitably leading to better blogging?

    – It sounds like you’re saying that you are considering dropping your ad network because a) you have always had personal reservations about ads on your blog and b) because you don’t make a lot of money from it. I guess I don’t understand why the second part matters – why would just making a little money from ads be part of the reason to drop it completely? Isn’t a little better than none?

    -I recently wrote that I was thinking about shutting down my blog, but after giving it a little more thought I realized that I was only contemplating it because my perfectionist, type-A self gets caught up in the numbers and comparison game. I want to be the best at everything I do, and yet in terms of blogging success, I’m a total failure. So it is easier to shut down instead of just accepting that this is who I am as a blogger right now. I only relate that to you because I know you are type-A, too – maybe you need to not be so hard on yourself? It doesn’t have to be perfect, and that’s ok! (My life’s enduring lesson…)

    Tomorrow I’m going to read this rambling comment and cringe. Sorry, Jules!

    • Jules says:

      No, I have no idea what I mean. I guess the best way I have been able to explain it is that by going against the grain and taking risks, more will come of it. I wonder if I didn’t have the cushion of ad money if I would put myself out there more, perhaps work on my creative writing (outside the blog) more. Creating a do or die moment, if you will.

      Also, Nico goes to school in another year. That’s all the time I have left with him full time. After that, I go back to work, unless I can get another revenue stream in. This leaves me torn. Ad networks provide some, but not enough. If I eliminate that very small stream, will I force myself to navigate the bigger ones?

  8. Erika says:

    Two weeks ago, a group of women mentioned on twitter that they only made $500/month via an ad network. I thought it was funny because some people might be happy with that amount especially if they had other streams of revenue coming in. I did place ads on my blog and I don’t like them. With toddlers it seems at times that everything is chaotic and dusty and my blog is clean/uncluttered in response. Not only do I not care for the way the ads look on my page I don’t like some of the individual ads. *they will be coming down next month).

    That being said, what is wrong with getting compensated for your time? You work hard and we enjoy what you have to say. What about sponsors? You control what they look like, can put them together in one spot and are typically people that know your blog. I have read that people make more from that form that the other. You have said that you don’t like putting yourself out there (like your pimping yourself) but whether it is with ads from federated, sponsors, ebooks, or a book! we are still buying something.

    Ultimately, you have to do what feels right for you. Even if it is a unicorn thing.

  9. Katie Elliot says:

    I have no problems with ads on blogs. On some of the decorating blogs I love, The Lettered Cottage for one, I have clicked on advertisers (Hudson Goods, White Farm House) who I had never heard of before and found something perfect for my home. I consider it adding to what I get out of the blog itself. Most of the ads seem to tie in with the spirit of the blog in some way so I am all for it. It is an added benefit for me. I do think women, in general, underestimate their contributions and devalue their time whether it be blogging or preparing a meal. It seems to be even more true if it is something you enjoy doing. We need to get over that attitude. I agree with Kay’s point what you are doing deserves compensation and I want to see you get it. Own it Jules!

  10. kylydia says:

    From an honest standpoint, my favorite blogs are ones that I regularly read from my Google Reader. Unless I comment (which is rare because I am a lurker/voyeur by nature), I never even SEE your actual site. If I do click over from home, the Firefox plug-in kicks in and automatically removes any ads, anyway.

    All that to say I agree with your, “do as you like” attitude.

  11. Theresa K. says:

    I read your blog for the content (which I love!) and for the photos. Do what feels best to you. I don’t mind ads IF they are pleasantly innocuous and don’t follow me around the page.

    Also, your pioneer woman link needs adjusting. Lots of ads. Made me chuckle.

  12. Amy says:

    Well, I’ve mentioned my thoughts before on advertising–I’m neither for, nor against it. I’m all for getting compensated for your work; blogs with annoying ads, however, are just that–annoying.

    But there’s something to be said for your gut {you know what I mean!}. I suggest sitting down and having a good long heart-to-heart with yourself. Perhaps you’ll discover giving yourself time away from crunching numbers–from comparing yourself to others–will free you up, get your creativity going, and you’ll be inspired to try something different … maybe even something that will make you money! Perhaps you’ll opt for peace of mind over all else. Or, you might realize that money will buy treats all around some bright summer day. And who doesn’t love a free treat?

    After all, you know the drill: we can present both sides of the case with skill and passion. But ultimately, it boils down to what lies in the gut of the jury …

  13. Laura H. says:

    I have to tell you….I read your blog regularly (since the Real Simple article) yet if you asked me without me looking….I didn’t realize your blog even had ads. It is beautifully done, I don’t have to contend with pop up windows, flashing ads taking over, etc.

    I am a blog junkie and I don’t judge a blog by whether it is ad free or not. I’m sure it’s a *thing* in the blog world, but I think in general….blog readers like me don’t care. Honestly…the first thing that usually attracts me is the look….but after that I care most about content and how EASY it is to access the content.

    I am struggling with 2 very popular blogs that I have loved for a long time but one only shows a sliver of the photo about the post and I have to click again to access it. Then it is hit or miss after that if the content is there. I really like to glance and see if it is worth my time. Something as simple as that is turning me away from that blog more and more.

    Another very popular blog is divided into many sections and sometimes….it’s just fluff. So I have to click through several sections only to read about nothing. I’ve found myself skipping a day or two of that blog without realizing it.

    I’m still clicking on your blog every day. I usually know by the title what I’m getting into, can see the photos, etc. You deserve compensation for that, but I understand it’s a personal choice. I’m not judging you either way. I just like your posts.

  14. frances says:

    I don’t have an opinion on the ads or no ads question. I will read your blog either way and while it sounds like an agonizing decision for you, I trust you to make the choice that’s right for you (and I respect your right to change your mind at some point, too!).

    As a teacher, though, I have to take issue with the underlying notion that if you’re doing something you love you don’t need to be compensated. I think that’s an unreasonable and truly damaging expectation, for yourself and for others.

    Advertising might not be the right compensation for you; just because you’re not being financially compensated doesn’t render your work valueless (motherhood, anyone?). But loving what you do – feeling called to it, even – isn’t necessarily compensation enough. The sense that you’re contributing something meaningful isn’t necessarily enough. The relationships that you create and nourish aren’t necessarily enough. Now, financial rewards wouldn’t necessarily be enough, either, in the absence of the other things. But being compensated financially for doing something you love doesn’t cheapen your love for it.

    And now I’m getting off my personal high horse.

    Good luck with your decision.

    • YES. Frances said exactly what I wanted to say, only more eloquently. Thanks, Frances! :-)

      • Jules says:

        You are right, and the fault is mine for not communicating clearly. I don’t think it’s noble to blog without compensation, and I don’t think that those who blog for money do so without love. I believe that those who blog ad-free do it truly because they love it, and because they are ad-free, perhaps some of the pressure is lifted. (Similar to what Marissa said earlier.) That’s where the premise ends. It’s inaccurate to extrapolate that further and say that those who blog for money don’t love it.

        I once spoke with a fellow student in college who loved literature but was a sociology major. When I asked her why, she said that it was because she read for the joy of it, and if it was her major, she was afraid that it would become work. She was too afraid of losing her passion for it. At the time, I thought that was great advice and followed suit, majoring in psychology. That’s one of my questions with ads. If I remove the pressure of CPM, page views, money, et al, maybe I will stop beating myself up for not being perfect.

        You know, now that I type it out, that was terrible advice. I always regretted not being a literature major.

        • frances says:

          And I’m that literature loving Sociology major (not that exact one, but that is exactly my story) who has never regretted it. :-)

          If removing ads would also help remove your impulse to beat yourself up for things not being “perfect” (quotes completely intentional) then I am all for it.

          I thought I had already said to much earlier, but I have a couple of things to add now:

          1. Despite what I wrote above, doing what you love is, truly, priceless. If there are things you can change about how you blog that help you to love it even more, then do them. Absolutely.

          2. I believe in having faith. If you have the sense that giving up ads will lead to something great, I think you should listen to that impulse. Even if the only greatness it leads to is a further freeing of yourself from your own inner editor, that’s pretty darn great.

        • I double majored just so I could do lit! And now, of course, I only ever use my bio degree, but I still don’t regret all the extra work that went into my english major.

  15. Caitlin says:

    I tend to read blogs solely from my RSS reader, and only pop my head in to make comments. My official stance is neither for nor against ads on blogs in general. On one hand, I skim over them for the most part, but on the other hand, I like the feeling that the author is getting some compensation while they entertain me for free.
    I love seeing indie shop ads more than I like seeing ads for Lowes or Martha Stewart, and the blogs I love best usually happen to have more ads that skew in that direction.

  16. LauraC says:

    While I don’t mind blogs that have ads, I will never click on one, and find them (the flashy, changy kind) annoying. BUT . . . sponsors are a different ball game. I’ve clicked on many sponsor ads and bought things that I love. And I always feel happy to have found another shop whose style I admire! The blogs I read whose sponsors I click on have tastefully chosen them and they “fit” their readership. Other ads (Google, Blogher) are random junk. One thing you don’t do that I appreciate so much is host giveaways. I avoid them like the plague, what a waste of my time! Ugh. I always skip those posts.

  17. Hannah says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and I’m ashamed to admit that reading this post I thought you were talking about whether to ADD advertising. It wasn’t until I finished it that I scrolled down and noticed your tiny little ads for the first time (I swear I’m actually a very detailed oriented, observant person). So I won’t speak to the gut or emotional feelings about advertising but instead throw in my two cents as follows: Yours ads are itsy bitsy. The fact that you’re even grappling so much with this issue shows that you’re not the kind of person whose blog is going to turn into the first 50 pages of InStyle. So I say take the small kick back your ads do generate each month and take the kiddos to a movie (or dinosaur exhibit) on us.

  18. jeannett says:

    girl. we could have a very long coffee date talking about this exact thing!
    -i never wanted to host ads. mainly because i didn’t want the visual clutter. after a while, i realized i was dropping some coin on my blog. plus, i really wanted to go to some conferences. and i didn’t feel completely comfortable using money out of our personal checking account (that i don’t contribute to being a SAHM) for my bloggy hobby. so, i took in some handmade/etsy type ad spots. stressful. i’m actually waiting for my last paid spot to expire and then i’m done. i take the traffic they get from me personally. i realize they are small mom owned businesses who don’t have huge ad budgets and only advertise in a handful of spaces. so it becomes a completely draining thing for me. and i find myself pushing their shops/products/etc in an attempt to boost their numbers. but then my blog content falters. and it’s a vicious cycle. not to mention that i never want any of them to say yes to ad space with me because they don’t want to offend me or because they feel bad. it’s an awful experience all the way around. (not to mention that i’ve found that most of my readers aren’t really the “handmade type” after all!)
    -but i still have the problem of paying for this “hobby” of mine. i realized that there are other forms of compensation…from…gasp!…corporate sponsors. things like blogging on THEIR blogs (keeping your content clean). working with brands that are in fact a good fit with your content/readers. using affiliate links for products that you personally endorse. i’m still getting my feet wet with the whole thing but my previous notions of having a giant tide bottle in my sidebar as the poster child for brand partnerships is dissolving…because it doesn’t HAVE to be a tacky plastic bottle. it can be what works for you and your content.
    long story short, i’m giving up the etsy-esque ad spots and looking at maybe one or two bigger partnerships…and no, that probably isn’t tide. ;)

    • Jules says:

      You have summed up my problem with independent companies and advertising perfectly! I am a people pleaser, and it would kill me to know someone wasted money here. But, like Rachel later says in this thread, it’s a business decision they should shoulder.

      As for aesthetics, in the end I think maybe two graphic ads from an ad network can look less cluttered than a sea of indie banners. Maybe. It all depends on the presentation.

  19. I’d like to add, without simply nodding my head frantically as I read another commenter’s words, that I personally don’t mind most ads. There are the sites that are completely wallpapered with ads and that is distracting, of course, but a banner/sidebar ad or two? They barely even make a blip on my radar. They are the equivalent, to me, of a farmer putting a billboard on the land that happens to run right by the freeway. People are gonna drive by anyway, you might as well make a buck or two while they’re doing so.

    I have ads (Blogher) on my site because it helps cover the cost of having a blog, barely. I don’t make a ton of money from them (on average I make enough in a month to cover the cost of two movie tickets and maybe a small popcorn and soda) and I think if I ever did start making a ton of money from my blog I would be freaked out and remove the ads. Or I would donate the money to charity, or I would use it to buy cool stuff to give away to my readers, like Pioneer Woman does.

    I personally don’t feel any pressure to blog more, or more effectively, just because I have ads on my site. I blog when I blog, and if I make money that’s fine. If I don’t, that’s fine too. After all, if there aren’t eyeballs on my site then my ad network doesn’t have to pay me as much, so it’s not a loss for them. For me all the incentive to blog is internal. I blog because I want to, ads or no ads. Period.

  20. vginiafille says:

    I honed in on the personal, rather than the advertisement discussion…

    “It’s a money thing, but it’s also a gut thing. I can’t believe I am going to write this, but a small part of me has a gut feeling that if I remove advertising from my site, great things are going to happen.”

    We are all intuitive, but if it makes you feel better, you can think of it in rational, Malcom Gladwell terms: thin-slicing your experience.

    I have never been sorry when I went with my gut. Your writing is intelligent, you are clearly observant and self-aware. Go with your gut.

  21. Sara Jane says:

    Until I read this post and looked for them, I didn’t realize you even had ads. So, obviously they didn’t detract from your aesthetic. Or maybe I’m just really unobservant.

  22. Anna says:

    IMO, as long as advertising does not affect the content of your blog, there’s no reason to get rid of your ad network (I’m talking about networks that have strict editorial requirements or placement issues, which FM does not have as far as I know). Keep that stream open, I say, even if it is a small amount of money coming in, because you never know when it might grow and besides, it’s money.

    The other things to think about are additional revenue streams you can create, if that’s where you want to take the blog. I think you can do that with or without ads, so I don’t really see a problem there. It might be that at one point people didn’t like ads on blogs but now it’s so common, I think it doesn’t matter as much as it once did. Obviously I’m biased, though. :)

  23. Okay, I’ve wasted so much time debating this in my head, it’s sort of a relief to see someone doing it in real life. Or, you know, on the internet.

    Your ads don’t bother me AT ALL. They are tasteful, somehow, in the way you’ve chosen to place them. I guess I vaguely thought you had sponsors? But now I realize that you don’t, but I had to scroll around to notice that. That impresses me, because honestly, my main objection to ads is aesthetic.

    I hate the idea of cluttering up my blog with ads from an ad network (although now that I’ve seen yours I’m impressed) and I’m a little stressed by the idea of adding sponsors. I think I would feel like jeanette, and worry endlessly about whether it was worth their money. Even though really that is their business decision to make.

    So, no real advice, except that I love your blog and in the end you just have to do what’s right for you. And I’ll eventually figure out what’s right for me. Hopefully.

  24. Miss B. says:

    “Beagle puppies are cute! They bring in way more than a 125×125 banner!”

    Amen agreed, beagle puppies are cute and all that ad stuff gibbering makes sense too. Good luck my dear!

  25. Val says:

    The only reason I’ve ever noticed your ads is that I often check in on you from my tiny netbook and since the ad is up top and my screen is so small, I have to scroll past it to get down under your banner. On my desktop, I never even notice. So ad impact is definitely relative.

    Speaking as strictly a blog-reader with no dog in the fight, so to speak, I have to say that most ads don’t bother me at all. I hate anything that moves or blinks because it distracts me. And I hate those damn “Learn this one weird trick to lose belly fat” ads. In general, I like the sponsorship model better, since the ads tend to be more relevant, streamlined and visually cohesive. And I do click through from time to time, especially on design blogs.

    In the past you’ve said that you feel that ads are less intrusive on design blogs because more of the content is somewhat product driven (like, “check out my new curtains” or “how to get stains off your countertop” or “38 ways to set your table for Easter”). You’ve said that it’s harder to determine how to advertise on a lifestyle blog, where your posts cover a much wider range of topics. I think that that is a really valid point and a really tricky problem.

    Either way, I read your blog everyday. And I would have no problem either way (unless you start with the aforementioned belly fat commercial). I would love for you to get paid for what you do. I BUY magazines I like for the content and I don’t begrudge them the ads. I get to read your stuff for free, so I definitely don’t begrudge you the diet coke your ads pay for.

  26. ijoemonkey says:

    My two cents:

    I’ve been reading your blog since the red sharpie incident (even when I’m supposed to be writing a paper). Ads do not bother me, unless they make me wait, take up the screen and are totally in my face. Yours are not. Ads also do not make me question the content.

    Ultimately, readers can tell when content has been slapped in for ad revenue purposes and is not genuine. Even then, if the content is informative enough I’ll tolerate it (for a little bit anyway).

    But it sounds like you have to go with what works for you. It’s all cost-benefit right? If you benefit MORE from not having the ads (the angst, the freedom, whatnot), then ditch the ads. If the ads help pay for hosting, and you don’t have to worry about getting a job to pay for hosting, and it would COST you more not to have the ads, keep em.

  27. Cara says:

    Ok, Jules. 39 comments and you call yourself a “small blogger”???? Secondly, I see nothing wrong with earning some $$ for a job well done. :) I haven’t done it b/c I fear. That’s the honest truth. I fear b/c I have no comments on my blog that the advertising people would turn me down, I fear that then I would feel more pressured to make sure I blog all the time (when I do it now I don’t feel pressured, just something I like to do)….and fear might just be holding me back….but I am not annoyed by advertising on blogs. Honestly, sometimes I just don’t even notice it. I have such limited time to read (uninterrupted) that I read what I came to read (content) and then move on! :) HTH Have sooooooooo much fun shopping. I assume you are going “kid free” or you wouldn’t be so excited about it. (B/c I went to the mall-which is uber rare for me these days-with 4 kids yesterday. Not good. Trust me. Not good.)

  28. Peaches says:

    Plainly put:
    Time = Money and Blogging = Time, thereby, you deserve to make some money off of it. Through ads, through sponsors, whatever you want. This is your turf. No ads is swell too. This is your turf. We all come here because THIS IS YOUR TURF.
    Follow that gut. Unicorns know best!

  29. Dorothy says:

    I love your blog. I will keep reading even if you change your adorable backgrounds into ridiculous ads for male shaving products – but I know that’s just me. I want you to do whatever is going to leave you happy and fulfulled, and if that means I get to keep sharing little snippets of your life, than advertisements are a price I’m willing to pay!

  30. Becca says:

    Someone else may have already made this point but I thought I would do it too… just in case… I loved reading what everyone said (but I wanted to give input so I scrolled quickly to the bottom) and to me it sounds like you have overwhelming support either way… something that should put you at peace in and of itself. I think a lot of people confuse passions and jobs too much. The world sometimes makes you think that you can only get paid doing something you don’t like. You hear everyone complaining about their jobs and the mundane in and out of it all. I disagree with that. I am a teacher and the second I really don’t have the passion to teach anymore… I hope I have the nerve to quit and go elsewhere. The children and the light bulb moments are what drive me everyday. It’s a blessing that I also get paid to do what I love. On the flip side, there is quite a lot of bs that goes into the “art of teaching” all of which has nothing to do with teaching at all… think paper work, parents, standardized tests and don’t even get me started on the meetings! With that being said, I don’t think that you should feel guilty about making a little money (no matter how small you think it is) to write… to do something you are clearly passionate about. Heck, I wish I had half the eloquence, creativity and confidence you have. Honestly, I come here for the stories of wit and wisdom and if there is an ad… oh well, maybe I will run into something I just can’t live without! Ha! Otherwise, I will just ignore them. I honestly think you already know what you will do and you are looking for supporters to join your side to make you feel comfortable with the decision you make. The great thing is that you already have tons of them and they will still be here either way:) Good luck on making your decision and I look forward to reading more from you:)

  31. Tana says:

    I’ll keep this short and sweet, if only because that’s the extent of my thoughts on it :)

    I read blogs for their content. I couldn’t care less if they have ads or not; to me, it doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t affect what I think of the blog or blogger. If doens’t affect how often I read (or don’t read) the blog.

    I am not a blogger (trying to think how to put this politely) so I wonder if this is something that is more relevant in the blog world? I just read them :)

  32. Tana says:

    After skimming through the comments, I agree with Val. The only time ads bother me is when they blink or move. Or advertise what not to eat to get rid of belly fat.

    I look at it as reading a magazine; I don’t begrudge (or frankly, think twice about) ads in magazines. I just like to read them.

  33. Amydelle says:

    I love your blog.

    Advertising doesn’t bother me at all. I agree with the previous posters that equated blog advertisements to those in a magazine… Blogs are my new magazines. Sometimes I come across an ad for a small company that I’d never heard of, and happily follow the link. It’s fine!

    I love that some stay at home moms are able to make a little bit (or a lot!) of cash by doing something that they love. Advertisements can be tasteful. Making money off blogging can be tasteful.

    I wish you luck in your decision!

  34. Licia says:

    I say go with your gut. After all, you didn’t like what being an attorney did to your soul, so forget the attorney in you and just listen to your soul. If you decide to forgo ads and then change your mind, there will be advertisers waiting for you at the other end anyway. Your blog is great and you will be able to get your ads back if you want them.
    My personal opinion regarding advertising and blogging is that blogging should be rewarded. I read your blog regularly and it entertains me, informs me, and makes me think about things. I don’t expect people to spend time and invest talent into something that benefits me, yet not advertise. Your ads are tasteful and do not bother me one bit. If I don’t want to see them, I don’t look their way!

  35. Sue H. says:

    Always always, always go with your gut. Then you will never be double-minded, which will just make you nuts. Shut that little worldly yapping voice right out of your head and go do YOUR thing. Yes, I also believe wonderfulness will happen when you do.

Leave A Comment

Hi! I’m Jules.

I used to be an attorney, but it made me grumpy. Now I write about life, sweet and savory, as a wife and mother to two small boys. My knowledge of dinosaurs knows no bounds.

You can read more, including the meaning behind the name Pancakes and French Fries here. And, yes, I really am phenomenally indecisive.