Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Advertizing on your blog. It's a conundrum for me.

I have been approached several times about placing advertisements, doing reviews, or placing links on my blog. I'm really not that into the whole idea. Mostly, because if I put something on my blog I want to be sure it is something I can really get behind. Not whatever Google/whoever thinks would fit with my profile/keywords or however their algorithms figure this sort of thing out. If I put up a recipe it is because I've tried it out and think ya'll would enjoy it. If I talk about a product or a service it is because it worked or didn't work for me. If I espouse a cause it is because it means something to me.

So random emails like the one I received today tend to make me twitchy:
On Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 8:07 AM, Sherry Williams wrote:
Dear Webmaster,

My name is Sherry, and my company Topspot-Promotions represents online sport sites in various domains. We are looking at reputable sites to offer them profitable opportunities to help promote some of my clients sites.

We would like to know if you are interested in working with us on this. For further details please don't hesitate to contact me.

Sherry Williams
Advertising Consultant
Business Development Department

I thought my response was politely appropriate:
Dear Sherry,

Thank you for the moniker of webmaster. I totally do not deserve it. No really I don't. Just ask my staff.

I am sure that your sport sites are very interested in doing promotions on blogs and other sorts of social media but my blog might not be the best place for that. You see, I'm not what one would call "sporty". In fact, anything that has to do with most sports is completely foreign to me. I, also, have a bit of an aversion to putting advertising on my blog. It would make me feel compelled to actually try the product first and that would be a problem for me (see non-sporty status above).

So thank you again for the whole webmaster thing and for thinking of me as a reputable site but I just don't think that I am right for your product.

It's a Dog's Life 

I hope she wasn't offended but I really do have a vague rational for why I have taken this path. I don't have all that many readers, I do have the best bunch just not all that many, so why would these unnamed online sports sites want to advertise on my blog? There can't be that much profit in it for them. I'm pretty sure it has to do with how many sites link to them and all that other web jazz, that hurts my head to think about. Sorry promotion guys, I'm not that interested in helping you out. I don't know you. I do feel that I know my readers/followers so I am more than happy to link to them or do whatever I can to promote their blogs/products/causes (Friends: let me know if you what me to post something for you. I'd be happy to).

Another reason is I didn't start my blog with the hopes of making money (though I am never averse to making money). I started it for a course I was taking in social media then when I found out what great people there were out there and developed a group that I feel that I've come to know. I continued my blog to keep in touch with that group.

I am more than fond of all my blog friends and feel that we have connected in a way that we wouldn't have been able to with all our busy lives. I know some of my blog friends better then I know my neighbors. I know my blog friend Becky's neighbors better then I know my own neighbors. (Hey, Pretty Neighbor). This world is so big and so diverse that it is hard to know anyone anymore but social networking brings it down to a manageable size. It gives us all a chance to learn how others live, think and feel in a non-threatening way. Hopefully, it will make us all a bit more tolerant of each other but that maybe asking a lot. Maybe, it's my live and let live attitude (or as my children call it my hippie mentality) but I like how social media can be a great equalizer.

So while I have no problem with advertising products, organizations, causes, and people that I am invested in I do have a problem with doing it for products, organizations, cause, and people that I am not. I'm just trying to keep it real here.

I know I have talked about this issue before but it seems to rear it's ugly head every once in awhile. Probably, when my tolerance for bullshit is breached. I'm open to suggestions so if you have another angle on this I'd love to hear it.



  1. I get those all the time too; I ignore them. The only two I've bothered with were the invitation to join Cook, Eat, Share - which I'm thrilled I did, because it has really driven a LOT of traffic to my site - and Foodbuzz. No, I wouldn't eat 90% of what they advertise, but a lot of my readers would. And they pay more than most advertisers do - without making my readers actually click the advertisements. Nor are their rules for having a banner ad as strict as, say, BlogHer.

    If nothing else, you should join Cook, Eat, Share. It's been a real boon in terms of readership, and the community itself is great, and many are vegetarian/vegan.

  2. I ignore them too. Most of the time. If something comes in that I'm interested in, say Disney since the kid is such a fanatic, then I look a little deeper, otherwise, DELETE.
    By the way, Sprite said the cutest thing last night. I've just written it up. I'll post it soon. When she did it, I thought of you immediately. :-)

  3. Just like you I don't want to lose my blog friends and I sure don't care if I make blog is for my friends and me!


  4. Pretty Neighbor says hi. :)

    I hear you. I just ignore all those PR emails unless they're personalized. I signed on with the BlogHer network more because I thought it was some kind of badge of seriousness than for $$. Which was good, because at my level it pays very little. Now I realize that it isn't really a badge of seriousness and I sometimes think about ditching it. I dunno.

    I could def. see you on Cook Eat Share.

  5. gee-mail has a goodish spam folder which I have a decko at now and then. But mostly do not bother beyond hitting DEL.

    I can see a validity for the cash. If it's put to use for micro-credit, ICRC or the MSF.
    But what I cannot work with at all is the key-logging that the targeting of ads would require when it enters anothers site.

  6. Jan: I signed up for Cook, Eat, Share. If you say it's good that is good enough for me.

    SK: I can't wait to hear what she said that would remind you of me. Or I should say I afraid of what she said that would remind you of me. Should I be apologizing now?

    Linda: Amen!

    Becky: I had heard that Blogher had some scary and complicated rules. I've just been too lazy to figure them out.

    Vince: Most things like this go to my junk folder but sometimes a rogue one will get through.

  7. I mostly get ones that are more specific than that. But usually they're for something that is very "Mom". To which I always have to reply, "Um, didn't you see the 'UN' up there??"

    Sometimes there are some good ones though. I do still adore my Zuvo water filter, and it fits with my "paranoid that the toxins are out to get me" persona.

  8. I wanted to buy some stuff but there was nothing to click here. I'm going through on-line shopping withdrawl.
    I clicked a meatless recipe just to get the rush of redirection.

  9. The generalized ones that aren't addressed directly to me but to 'webmaster' I always ignore. As far as I can tell, no 'real' money is to be made from a lot of those avenues - even the BlogHer Ads I have on my blog pay very little (if anything at all).

    I think you'd have a great presence on Cook, Eat, Share! :)

    RTT Follow: Dentist, Toys, Megamind

  10. Your response was AMAZING!!! I completely cracked up when I was reading it!

  11. I'm with you, I don't feel right advertising or doing reviews either. Although I don't craft up witty responses like you do, you're nicer than me. I have only ever accepted money ONCE, a few months ago some chick offered me $100 to link up one word in a post that was over a year old. When she offered to paypal me the money up front, I was like.. hellz yeah! So I did, got a cool hundo and nobody will ever see or read that old post. Weird.

  12. Since I am mainly a Mom-blog, I just ignore all the commercialism and paste my kids pics all over the place. Otherwise, I might be nervous about creeps.

  13. Wow...I'm late commenting here! So the ads thing, I feel the same way even though I do have ads. But my ads tend to be pretty good ones since my rep firm is huge. That being said, the only reason they accepted me is that I used to work for them and now? I'm too lazy to change my page layout. Plus I make about 15 bucks a month on it so BONUS!

    I got one for moisture wicking panties not too long ago. Needless to say, I sent them a very kind "hell no but thank you" note. Because if nothing else I'm polite. :)