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Forget Blogging For Ads: Promote Your Products or Services

I was reading today “Blogging for Ads is Dead - 5 Reasons Why You Sell Yourself Short & How You Can Fix It” by Gyutae Park. In his post he lists 5 reasons why you should avoid placing ads on your blog:

  1. Blogging for ads is whole lot of work for little pay
  2. Blogging for ads makes it very difficult for newcomers to survive
  3. Blog ads are passive - they don’t take advantage of your influence
  4. Blog ads force you to put advertisers before your readers
  5. Blog ads give you a negative perceived image

Instead he recommends monetizing your blog via:

  1. Direct sales of your own products and services
  2. Indirect monetization - new venture opportunities, clients, book deals, etc.
  3. Affiliate marketing - promoting others

What I found most intriguing about his post is his view that ads somehow cheapen a blog.

“A passive ad on your blog is a bad deal for everyone involved: you the blogger, the advertiser, and your readers. Blog ads don’t offer much compensation and can actually taint your credibility. They don’t give active exposure to advertisers and are obtrusive and irrelevant to readers.”

Whereas, I’ve heard others argue that a blog with ads gives the impression of an influential authority blog.

As for myself I’ve struggled with running ads on this blog. Like you I could always use a little extra coin but I’m concerned with turning readers off.

Call me cynical if you like but I’m suspicious of a blogger’s ethics who writes about products that earn them an income. Blogs that are just a billboard for promoting their own products or services are another complete turn-off.

When I click on a blog with a lot of blinking ads the scripts take forever to load the page and I get frustrated and close the tab.

I’m also turned off blogs that are obviously designed to just link bait readers and make money.

So I would like to know what you think:

  1. Do ads turn you off or hurt a blog’s credibility?
  2. Or do ads give you the impression that it is an influential authority blog?
  3. Do slow-loading ad scripts frustrate you, and do you end up closing the tab like I do?
  4. Is there any way to ethically earn income blogging, and without turning off readers?

I would really like to know what you think because I’m still struggling if I should monetize this blog and the best way to go about it.

Written January 9th, 2009 by | 167 Comments | Filed under: Blog Tips, Featured Tips, Make Money Tips

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There are 167 Comments so far to “Forget Blogging For Ads: Promote Your Products or Services”

  1. I happen to agree with some of it. I always think that you should create your own product or service. However, I to disagree with him about getting paid because someone is advertising on your Blog. I actually think it gives you more credibility because it shows that your Blog is good enough that people want to advertise on it.

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    Reply by: Blog Bloke at 2:45 pm said...

    Hi there. Thanks for your comment but I’m not sure if I would agree with your assessment, at least in part. There are a lot of newer blogs that are heavily laden with ads. Perhaps not premier ads, but still ads nonetheless. And I think it does cheapen the blog for reasons that I laid out in my post.

    On many occasions I’ve been approached by premier ad networks to place ads on this blog but I’ve resisted until now. I’ve also stayed away from affiliate links because I don’t see how I can be completely true to myself and ethics. It’s hard if not impossible to be truly impartial under those circumstances.

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  2. Hey Bloke,
    Nice post. I’m glad that my article was useful for you - it’s good food for thought. As for your blog, I think you can do a lot better focusing on affiliate marketing rather than putting up ads at this point. Work on building your readership and increasing your influence. You’ll then have a lot more pull and you can potentially create your own stuff. Good luck!

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    Reply by: Blog Bloke at 2:48 pm said...

    Thanks for your thought-provoking post Gyutae. You are the first marketer I’ve come across who agrees with some of my views about ads on blogs. However, like I said earlier in my post I can forsee problems with alternative methods of income as well. It’s a tough call when you put ethics first before income.

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  3. 1. Since I have Google ads on my blog I’m a little biased, but I don’t think ads hurt the credibly of the blogger but in my opinion getting paid to post about items does.

    2. The 125×125px ads on the sides of some blogs do make me think that blog may be credible since someone is paying for the spot, but reading the posts are the best indicator to me.

    3. Slow loading scrips cause me to run screaming in the opposite direction. Unless it’s a blogger that I love, I don’t wait for slow loading pages.

    4. I use Google ads to get a little coin (very very very little). I have my ads set to show related items based on text in my posts and only display ads at the bottom of the first post and a set on the sidebar. I don’t blog for any specific companies ads to show on my blog so I don’t think it hurts my traffic any. When I write about specific product it’s because I own and love them or used to own and hate them.

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    Reply by: Blog Bloke at 6:31 pm said...

    Hi Erika. I’m wondering perhaps if the perception that ads portray an authoritative blog is because so many of the bigger for-profit blogs are doing it?

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    Reply by: Erica at 9:36 am said...

    Maybe, and newspapers have always used ads to bring in money too.

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  4. If the advertising on a blog is non-descript and subtle, it doesn’t bother me at all. I started out with Google ads in the early days, and then I ran across those blogs whose only purpose is to try to make money. They turned me off big time. I get especially frustrated when I visit a blog and the pop-ups start. That blog does not get a return visit.

    I’m not sure that credibility is lost for those blogs that have advertisements, especially if they are not imposing. I’ll use Kathy and The Junk Drawer Blog as an illustration. She has some advertisements, but they don’t really jump out at you. However, there have been some blog that I’ve gone to where the whole reason for a particular post was to plug a product. Those blogs don’t have any credibility for me, and they also don’t make it to my feed reader.

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    Reply by: Blog Bloke at 6:38 pm said...

    Well said Lee. There’s a fine-line between obtrusiveness and subtlety. It depends on how your blog is designed and implemented that really counts. Is it really possible to do affiliate marketing without selling out? I don’t know…

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    Reply by: Lee at 7:06 am said...

    In reality, the need for ad revenue to support really successful blogs is a must. When a blog starts getting the traffic that The Pioneer Woman gets, for instance, the ad revenue is important to pay for the infrastructure that her blog needs. But even in this case, the advertising is very subtle and you almost have to look for it.

    I’m not expecting to need that kind of support any time soon. And in fact, I wouldn’t mind generating revenue from my photography and writing. But I’m not going to become typical of the blogs that do that.

    I have found it interesting the number of blogs that originate in the Phillipines that are trying to generate revenue from blogging. There are huge networks where they support each other in trying to make money from blogging. I suspect that we have already passed the saturation point and those that make any kind of significant income from blogging are the exceptions rather than the rule.

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    Reply by: Blog Bloke at 6:15 pm said...

    I actually had to look real hard to find advertising on that link. But that can also be a double edged sword. If you conceal the ads too much it can be considered deceiving.

    My costs for running this site are going up and is another reason why I’m considering some form of monetization. I may just end up experimenting until I hit the right combo.

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  5. I tend to not believe that ads make a blog look unprofessional, as everyone is allowed to make money however they choose to. I also don’t believe it’s unprofessional to accept paid advertising. What I do believe is unprofessional is writing fluff ads about someone just to get paid without adding any meat or substance to the review. And it’s unprofessional to have a blog and not say anything.

    Overall, everyone has choices to make. I don’t believe there’s a single person who’d ignore my content because I have ads. If that were the case, then they probably don’t watch TV or listen to the radio either.

    Mitchs last blog post…My Search Engine SERP Tests

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    Reply by: Blog Bloke at 6:51 pm said...

    Hi Mitch. Thanks so much for your frank comments and you are probably the perfect person for me to pose my question to.

    Do you believe that you can be totally impartial blogging about a product or service that you are being paid to write about?

    I’m not talking about just writing substance here. It’s complete impartiality that I’m concerned with.

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    Reply by: Mitch at 7:03 pm said...

    Actually, I’ve made it my policy to never write about anyone who wants to pay me for it; at least up front. If someone wishes to advertise later on, I’d consider it (hasn’t happened yet, though). The reviews I’ve written were unsolicited, and things I tried first so I could write about them. And I haven’t been paid for any of mine.

    Do I believe it can be done, though? I think so, but I don’t think it would be the norm. I think there can be a modicum of honesty, but would someone being paid totally trash something they didn’t like? I doubt it. However, one would hope that if they were going to trash something that they wouldn’t accept the money from the advertiser.

    Mitchs last blog post…My Search Engine SERP Tests

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    Reply by: Blog Bloke at 7:14 pm said...

    I guess it all comes down to how much faith you put in human nature ;-)

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    Reply by: Dennis Edell at 1:38 pm said...

    I can I can! LOL

    On my “get reviewed” page (currently down for revamping), I state outwardly that I don’t do “plugs”.

    For site/blog reviews I state point blank in NO uncertain terms, that it will be a gods honest review. If something is no good, you’re going to hear it, BUT, I always follow that up with helpful tip on how to fix the issue…..I’m not there to bash either.

    For product reviews, if I haven’t already used it you will send me a free copy for perusal; then again the above conditions apply.

    Totally unbiased and paid for it. ;)

    I’m not a millionaire. I’m not even a steady thousand-aire lol, but I have already turned away several paid opportunities thus far.

    As far as block ads (125’s) are concerned, I may have a never-before-seen (by me) idea coming out. :)
    Dennis Edells last blog post…Threaded Comments Have Arrived! Edit Comments Is Coming…

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    Reply by: Blog Bloke at 6:17 pm said...

    Having a faq file for advertising makes sense so there will be no misunderstanding. So long as you put the link up-front-and-center.

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    Reply by: Dennis Edell at 7:50 am said...

    Oh if I am going to charge for something, there is noooooooo misunderstanding. A prime example of why it’s OK to wait for monetization… learning from others mistakes.

    It’s kinda like the last member of a family to learn to drive; you’re usually the best. ;)
    Dennis Edells last blog post…*Best Blog Review Contest* EXTENDED To Months End - $100 First Prize

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  6. I too have been loath to monetize my blog. Even though any money would come in very useful, I am sceptical of making a decent enough income from ads to make it worthwhile.

    I recently caved in and added a local ad networks banner to my sidebar but find it very intrusive and so far no ads have been forthcoming. What swayed me towards this one is the blogging communities they have created in other countries. Seems I need a good reason to add ads.

    Then again they do not bother me on other blogs as long as the blogs do not just exist for money making purposes and have decent posts.

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    Reply by: Blog Bloke at 6:20 pm said...

    Considering the benefits you provide to the blogosphere and how long you have been blogging I think you would be justified to at least recover your costs.

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  7. Hey, Bloke. You might remember how I struggled with whether or not to monetize my blog. I do make an OK amount of money, enough to cover hosting costs, domain registration and a bunch of fun merchandise I use for contest prizes for readers. And a few pennies leftover to buy myself a sundae.

    As for how I feel about ads on other blogs, as long as they don’t draw my attention away from the content, I have no issue with that. The flashing ones make me dizzy, though. In fact, I even dislike the ads that run on my blog that are animated for a few seconds before they “come to rest.”

    I don’t know that ads necessarily give a blog credibility. In fact, the ones that have too many and annoy people tend to garner less credibility (in my mind anyway).

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    Reply by: Blog Bloke at 6:26 pm said...

    It’s too bad you don’t have more control over the type of ad so it’s not animated. I dislike blinking ads as well. They distract from the content and turn me off. At least your ad doesn’t seem to slow down the loading of your page which is the absolute worst as far as I’m concerned.

    It’s good to see you back again Kathy. It’s been a long time.

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  8. I work for Blogging Ads and obviously we support the idea of bloggers making money by placing ads on their blogs. The other ideas for making money ( 1. Direct sales of your own products and services, 2. Indirect monetization - new venture opportunities, clients, book deals, etc., 3. Affiliate marketing - promoting others) are great but can take a much longer time commitment and may not pay off. Bloggingads.com is a guarantee of money for you time.

    True, it won’t make you rich, but it can pay for some extras in your life quite easily. We feel it is a good match for someone who doesn’t have the inclination or the time to do those other time-intensive tasks. For a stay at home mom or a college student looking to make an extra $100 bucks a month this is a perfect plan.

    We also frown upon blogs where every post is an ad and would much rather see an ad placed within the original writings. We manually approve all of our bloggers and will not approve many blogs who make only ad placements. Of course, some get through or change their practices after approval. These blogs usually drop PR value and then a moved to inactive in our system until the achieve PR value again.

    Thanks for the space here and we welcome any bloggers to submit their site to bloggingads.com. Next month (Feb. 2009) we will open our site to add more advertisers as well.

    Blogging Ads - It Pays to Blog

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  9. Hi bloke,
    I agree with you on many ways. Adds in your blog to monetize your expense is nothing wrong. product promotion and writing blogs for other is gaining momentum. These writing will fetch you more money than your adds. And these contents will be in the provider site, you will be just a visiting writer with couple of posts for decent money. This is getting traction.

    More adds is not the way to go. That equally creates a bad impact on the readers.

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  10. Finally someone who can write a good blog ! . This is the kind of information that is useful to those want to increase their SERP’s.

    I loved your post and will be telling others about it. Subscribing to your RSS feed now. Thanks

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  11. Ads per se don’t really turn me off because I understand that a blog owner is just trying to make some cash. What turns me off are excessive ads, blatant paid posts and yes, blogs that load slow because of ad scripts.

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  12. Oh man this is great, I should tell my friends about this article…thanks pal…

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  13. I think that ads on blogs make them look tacky. They don’t promote much revenue and aren’t really worth the page space.

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 3:44 pm said...

    @Gaia Herbs, some look like downtown Las Vegas in the evening.

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  14. really good one…thanks for the post.

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  106. RT @BLOGBlokeTips URLs With or Without WWW Subdomain - Which is Best? http://www.blogbloke.com/url-with-or-without-www/

  107. Reading: "Create a Gmail button for your Blog"( http://twitthis.com/n89kok )

  108. The Complete Guide of Becoming a Logo Designer http://bit.ly/cF6NZ1 I made my own .. what do you think? http://www.blogbloke.com/

  109. Ok, I'm color blind. I'm experimenting with the blog design so please bear with me http://www.blogbloke.com/

  110. Hi Blokesters! I changed the blog design a bit, so please tell me what you think http://www.blogbloke.com/

  111. I think I may have the only bannerless blog design out there .. http://www.blogbloke.com/

  112. RT @BLOGBlokeTips What is NOFOLLOW and Why Your Blog Should Get Rid of It http://bit.ly/bCdNr0

  113. RT @barry_wells: RT @BLOGBlokeTips What is NOFOLLOW and Why Your Blog Should Get Rid of It http://bit.ly/bCdNr0

  114. Merry Christmas Blokesters! http://bit.ly/gUl4jD

  115. Merry Christmas Blokesters! http://bit.ly/f8HLR5

  116. RT @BLOGBlokeTips 10 Reasons Why I Don’t Like Your Blog http://bit.ly/9ZMRRT

  117. RT @tracymatthewman: RT @BLOGBlokeTips 10 Reasons Why I Don’t Like Your Blog http://bit.ly/9ZMRRT

  118. RT @tracymatthewman: RT @BLOGBlokeTips 10 Reasons Why I Don’t Like Your Blog http://bit.ly/9ZMRRT

  119. @UKLegalEagle See: http://bit.ly/aFyYWx | http://bit.ly/2Lg92 | http://bit.ly/35DtAY … might help!

  120. @johnbrissenden Have found this http://www.blogbloke.com/moving-wordpress-blogger/ Explains but I don't know what he's on about!

  121. Currently Browsing: http://is.gd/1neArY

  122. I'm really happy with the design changes I made to the blog. How about you? http://www.blogbloke.com/

  123. 8 #twitter tips to promote your #blog http://bit.ly/YpqhV #socialmedia #seo #blogging

  124. I think I am finally finding my voice! http://bit.ly/h4mMQh /MKD

  125. Shocking, the # of copycats bouncing off my post http://bit.ly/6rFYFE without linking or even a hat tip.

  126. Gave the blog a new facelift. Let me know what you think http://www.blogbloke.com/

  127. Can anybody confirm my blog is down? http://www.blogbloke.com/ Thanks

  128. SO TRUE:15 Secret Tips for Building A Better Blog http://bit.ly/bhiGqN

  129. RT @BLOGBlokeTips: SO TRUE:15 Secret Tips for Building A Better Blog http://bit.ly/bhiGqN

  130. Does anybody else notice my blog is down? http://www.blogbloke.com/

  131. @rogerajohnson Roger, will you do me a favor and check my blog it it's working for you? I won't load at my end http://www.blogbloke.com/

  132. @rhyswynne Rhys! Ahhhh are you any good at redirecting blogger to wordpress?!?!? http://ow.ly/4lETl #stuck #bigtime

  133. @BLOGBlokeTips Keep it real with the true blogging original Blog Bloke http://www.blogbloke.com/

  134. How to win friends and influence people through social media http://bit.ly/gDmHUd

  135. 10 Reasons Why Twitter Is So Popular above: http://www.blogbloke.com/twitter-popular/

  136. Hence, people are lazy and stupid??? http://www.blogbloke.com/twitter-popular/

  137. The Suffering Blogger: 10 Lessons I’ve Learned the Hard Way http://bit.ly/cGMMD2

  138. @HDNinjaCP This should help http://www.blogbloke.com/moving-wordpress-blogger/ also If you move to blogger I can make you a amazing (cont)

  139. 10 Reasons Why Twitter Is So Popular http://bit.ly/j6sU1S

  140. @ksheriffdeen A link is at the bottom of my profile http://www.blogbloke.com/

  141. The TRUTH About Social Networks http://t.co/W1nioqw

  142. @blogneta @vaspersthegrate I said the same thing many moons ago http://www.blogbloke.com/twitter-grow-up/

  143. "Making Your Blog Search Engine Friendly - http://t.co/QanVLRj

  144. "Making Your Blog Search Engine Friendly - http://t.co/QanVLRj

  145. Migrating-Redirecting Blogger to Wordpress: The Complete Guide! http://bit.ly/nw7j7B

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