I was painfully shy as a child. Meek. Easily bullied and thin skinned. One day during recess in first grade three older girls came up and started making fun of me. I don’t remember the insults, but it upset me enough that my mom noticed when she picked me up from school hours later. I caved and told her about the mean girls who laughed at me and called me names. My mom comforted me for a second and then marched onto the playground, found the girls, and ripped them new ones. I learned two things.
- A thirty-something year old woman can and will chew out third graders.
- I should never, ever tell my mom anything ever again.
I also decided I would never be that person, my mom. I would never be so empathetic that I absorb the feelings of family and friends as if they were my own. I would never barge into someone else’s battle and start defending people who don’t need defending.
I am totally that person.
I came home last night from the best Mother’s Day present ever. I sat down to gather my thoughts before writing it all out for today and decided to first pop on over to Nicole’s blog and see how her AMEX post was going. It’s a sponsored post and, because she has a large indie following, I suspected there might be some resistance to corporate involvement. Nicole suspected it as well, and we actually discussed the possibility weeks ago when AMEX approached her.
I discuss the ins and outs of blogging with many of you, actually. What can I say? It’s becoming a passion. (Brigitte, I owe you an email.)
I’ll cut to the chase. After reading the comments I may or may not have cornered a 3rd grader and ripped them a new one. Or, if not a 3rd grader, one who thinks like one. Zing! That’s right. Scratch your dirty neck, @ 11:47pm.
Then Nicole wrote another post addressing some of the negative commentary and, again, I became that person when confronted with 3rd grade mentality. Surely not my finest hour, and not behavior I would recommend to those over the age of 15 but, for the record, I totally moded @ 12:58pm.
Yeah, I’m totally that person.
Or, maybe I’m not. Maybe the reason I had such a bee in my bonnet was because the subject of blogging and money is something I have struggled with from the beginning. When Nicole designed my first blog, I couldn’t decide whether I wanted advertisers. She advised that I join an ad network and put up the shop banners of my friends so that if I one day decide to have advertising, it won’t come as a shock to loyal readers. I thought it was a great idea, so that’s what I did.
Two and a half years later, I still don’t know where I sit on the issue.
When it comes to blogs like Making it Lovely, Decor8, The Bright Side Project, et al, I feel advertising is a no-brainer. These blogs are solution driven. They provide answers to questions on design, decor, and lifestyle and advertising satisfies the needs of the triumvirate relationship. Readers get their answers for free, bloggers are recompensed for their time, and advertisers promote their brand in a key demographic. Win-win-win.
I don’t share the same conviction with personal blogs. Sometimes I look at personal blogs with advertising (like mine) and think…ick. I said as much to Nicole this morning and she reminded me that Dooce pioneered the concept of monetization and blogging. I read an article online a while back that suggested The Pioneer Woman, also a personal blogger, makes upwards of six figures a year on her blog. I believe the figure reported was $1.9 million, but I can’t find the article.
That’s roughly 190 round-trips to Argentina. Just saying.
So, I don’t know where I sit on the monetization of personal blogs. I haven’t pursued advertisers. In fact, I turned down three requests for advertising in the last month. The banners I have up now are affiliates (I have never made a dime on them), friends, or banner exchanges. I make anywhere from $40 to $150 with BlogHer every month. The average is $60. I’m not sure that is enough for me to continue the relationship, but it does pay for my hosting fees.
Nicole and I have been working on a redesign of the blog and the main hang-up has been whether or not I will have advertising. In my ideal, dream-blogger world, I write my essays on suburban home life on a blog devoid of advertisers. I don’t freelance, either. It’s just you, me and my words, the money for me to avoid going back to work as an attorney somehow magically appearing in my back account every time I need to make a student loan payment.
That is the person I want to be.
And you? What are your thoughts on advertising and blogging? At least 72% of you must have at least thought about it.