Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Ads on my blog? Hell yes!

The latest brouhaha to hit the blogosphere appears to be whether or not it's OK to have advertisements on your personal blogs. Yet another controversy that boils down to the haves vs the have nots. It's bizarre. Bloggers that I read are infamous for claiming how liberal they are politically. Ummm...but they don't even see the relationship between whether or not blogging is a 'hobby' or a source of income, sometimes a primary source of income. Of course, the people who are against blogs with advertisements are the people who have more than enough money to forget that everyone isn't being supported by a rich husband in advertising or high tech. Many people with blogs, myself proudly included, use the meager income they make on their blog advertising as a supplement to their incomes. Some, like Dooce, use their ads as a primary income source.

I don't even know who the first person was to blog about it, nor do I care. When Dooce added ads to her blog, the first wave of the controversy erupted, and in my opinion, nothing new or valuable as been added to any subsequent discussion. The point is, blogs belong to their writers. If you don't like the ads, don't read the blogs. Which will leave you with very few blogs to read, since most blogs out there have ads these days.

Ads don't bother me in the least. I have them, they're not going away. I make enough income from my ads alone to feed my family for a week. If you honestly believe that I'm going to claim blog purity and rip food from my kid's mouths because you believe ads taint blogs, well then I've got a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you. It's not gonna happen. Nor should it. I don't mind ads on my blogs. I have control over the ad content from BlogHer and my other ads. The only ads that aren't under my complete control are the Google Adsense Ads, and let's face it, they're not big money makers since very few people actually click on them. They're text only ads, and easy to ignore. The other ads I try to keep fresh. Some of them offer bargains and sales, which I hope to pass along to anyone interested in checking them out. I try to change the content in order to keep current with the special offers added. No ad appears on my site that I wouldn't purchase myself.

This is another version of class warfare. The people with control of large sums of money can keep ads off their sites and be all judgemental about whether or not it's kosher to have any ads at all. The people who need the extra revenue put ads on their site to help out their cash flow because they need it. Rich folks never seem to understand the need for extra cash. When you've got a rich husband supporting you, or own your own lucrative business, you don't know the meaning of the need for every penny you can possibly scrounge up. So you tend to be judgemental and all "I'm better than you are because I keep my blog pure." Um, I don't notice the quality of blogs that added advertisements to have fallen drastically. If the blog was enjoyable reading before, it's pretty much the same with the ads. At Metrodad, where there is a long thread regarding this very topic, Dutch of Sweet Juniper says this very thing. Now, he's not my favorite blogger in the universe, but he's right on this score. He uses his income to help support his family. His content remains the same. Sparser since he's taken a paid blogging job, but the same quality. The ads do nothing to change his blog except ad a bit of revenue.

L, from Homesick Home has also tackled this discussion recently. She only has one small Google ad on her site, but all the revenue from that site goes directly to charity, and she posts about where it will go when she gets the money from Google. Good for her!

I don't know how anyone these days could even bring this topic to the boil again. It's old and wizened and literally done to death. Ads are going to remain on blogs. We're not talking pay for post blogs. We're talking about the personal blogs we all enjoy. They help out with the little extras for some people, and for other people they are a source of income. To ask people to remove that money because you think it's not pure? Feh!

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Blogger CaHwyGuy - Daniel the California Highway Guy said...

I have no problems with you having ads on your blog, because it's your blog, not mine. I don't have ads on mine (but if I did, the income wouldn't go to me anyway but to LJ, for there is an ad-supported level). But I do have affiliate relationships for the FAQ and my highway pages, so I understand where you are coming from.

I do want to address, however, one stereotype you kept bringing up:

Of course, the people who are against blogs with advertisements are the people who have more than enough money to forget that everyone isn't being supported by a rich husband in advertising or high tech.

The people who need the extra revenue put ads on their site to help out their cash flow because they need it. Rich folks never seem to understand the need for extra cash.

Comparing my income situation to yours, I would probably be in that "rich" category (although I personally don't use that adjective). I work for the govt, and have a nice salary. But (a) I have no problems with those who have ads, and (b) I understand the needs to put ads on a site.

I think, unless you are in the super-wealthy class, you understand the need for extra cash. Larger houses have larger mortgages, there are kids' expenses and medical expenses, and I never know when my headaches are going to get bad enough to disable me (it's happened to others with migraines) or affect work performance.

So, at least (I hope) it is not rich vs. poor in this case, but judgemental vs. non-judgemental. There are folks who just can't see the positions of others.

The only time that ads bother me is when they make it impossible to read the page. But that's the fault of poor page design, not the ads.

15/7/07 9:45 AM  
Blogger Avitable said...

I think it's a bit simplistic to boil it down to "haves" vs. "have nots". Everybody would like to make more money, even if they already have a lot.

My personal opinion is that ads don't belong on a personal blog. It's like sending out a Christmas newsletter that has ads and coupons on the back. Or inviting friends over and giving them brochures.

Luckily, I use Firefox, and my Adblock blocks all ads online, so I can't tell which blogs have ads and which don't. They don't get any clicks or impressions from me, and I can surf in peace, without being visually assaulted.

15/7/07 9:51 AM  
Blogger Dave2 said...

I admit that I look at blogs which are covered with ads and wonder if the blogger might write differently if those ads weren't there, but I also accept that it's their blog and their choice.

But just as I don't condemn people for putting ads on their site, I don't think it's fair that I be condemned because I don't want them on mine.

I DO feel that it is important that my blog be "pure" so I can write about what I want to write about without worrying over what an advertiser might think. For me, this has nothing to do with quality of content, but has everything to do with freedom of content. I have the freedom to say whatever crass, offensive, juvenile, obscene, un-PC, bizarre thing I want because I don't have to fear my ad from Linen & Things will be pulled. And that's WHY I blog in the first place. Does this lust for freedom of expression make me be judgmental on blogs with ads or make me feel better than bloggers who have ads? Not at all.

Yet somehow this entry makes me feel as if I do.

Yes, I am currently lucky enough not to need the money that ads can generate... but this is not because I am "in control of large sums of money" or am "rich folk." It's because I work my ass off. I work very hard for what I have, including the "luxury" of not having to put ads on my site and not having to worry about offending advertisers. So drafting me into a class warfare struggle because I don't consider ads to be kosher FOR ME hardly seems fair.

15/7/07 11:49 AM  
Blogger desertbitch said...

I am an ex-blogger and am firmly in the have-not category, YET I have a problem with ads on blogs. I have a problem with the rampant consumerism of the mommy bloggers. I have a problem with a blog post about blueberry juice that the manufacturer sent and how delish the cocktails are you can make with it. I am bothered by supposed liberals with good jobs whose blog has a McDonalds ad. I hate "Style Hives". Maybe I am just a jealous bitch, but really the landfills must be full of pacifier holders by now.
I never noticed ads here before,but now I will look.

Good for you that your ads go to put food on your table, others say it just keeps them in manicures and vodka...I dont begrudge you a paycheck, but you dont strike me as a braindead consumerbot.

20/7/07 2:19 PM  
Blogger margalit said...


Nice to hear from you. I hope your health is good. I wondered how you were doing. No, I'm not a mindless consumerbot, and ads do help with our monthly bottom line. If they didn't, they'd be gone.

I agree with you about all the other comments, but stylehive, at least for me, isn't about consumerism. I was an early stylehive adaptor, and I did so because I LOVE handmade artisan crafts and I like to share my love with people. Most of my stylehive is handmade items crafted by some of the best artists in the world. I work hard to keep my sylehive up to date with various artists works, and much of what I see on other people's stylehive page reflects my interests. Yes, there are the consumerbots who put baby crap and stupid stuff on their stylehive, but those people are so obviously only in it for the money that I doubt their pages are viewed much.

Anyhow, good to hear from you away from that deadly bunch.

20/7/07 2:48 PM  
Blogger desertbitch said...

I shall visit your stylehive...it really was just an easy target for my disdain of the constant hawking of merch and blogging about "things".
be looking for an email from me.

20/7/07 3:46 PM  

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