The Monday Question: Advertise!

Blogging is a very enjoyable activity which still gives me a lot of joy since I started doing it. I love the interaction with others, discussing movies, giving advice or helping others out. It’s the main reason I keep doing doing it.

Over the years I regularly have had requests about placing ads on my blog and I usually declined them, because I felt they didn’t add much or were things which I didn’t feel were a match to what I write about. But recently I decided to say yes for once, just to experience that side of blogging, one I hadn’t thought about at all. It was a non obtrusive one on an older article, so the impact of it wouldn’t be too big. I must admit that I was surprised by the ease of it all and the money I earned with it was used to move my site to a self hosted server.

It did make me think about monetizing a blog. Is it a good or a bad thing? What would I do and what wouldn’t I? There are so many possibilities, from becoming an affiliate of a big site like Amazon to placing non intrusive links to a specific site or having a company create a guest post for you. So I thought I’d ask you the question:

What are your feelings on adding advertisements to your blog?

32 thoughts on “The Monday Question: Advertise!

  1. I think I would consider if the chance ever came for me. As long as it’s not something that would distract or take anything away from the blog. I like the changes you made here; a phenomenal blog(can’t wait for your End of Watch review).

    • Yeah, those are my feelings too, it is a very fine line to walk and thanks for the compliments! I can already tell you that I loved End of Watch and have given it a high score!

  2. I’m not a fan. Of course I can understand and accept that some bloggers feel the need to include them, especially if they’re self hosted and can’t afford the costs for it otherwise.

    But be aware of that if you include too many ads it takes away something from the blog.

    Payed guest posts is an abomination and undermines everything a blog should be. If you have ads you need to be clear and honest about it. Have a special place for ads and NEVER EVER deceive the audience so they might think what in fact is an ad is an editorial article, something you have written.

    I know that noone forces bloggers to keep the same ethical standards as journalists, but as a reader and blogger I wish more bloggers did. Those blurred lines drags down the entire concept of blogging to a lower level than it needs to be at, putting it in a bad light.

    My message to fellow bloggers is not to be greedy. The few bucks you may make on a payed link may cost you more in credibility than you imagine.

    • I can understand those feelings Jessica and it is something which I do have mixed feelings about. I agree that too many ads do take something away from a blog. When I was on there used to be ads and with the move there are now none unless I choose so myself, which is something I like. I’m not too keen on payed guest posts either and if I would do one I’d put “Advertorial” in the title. Clarity is very important.

  3. Writing a blog takes time and effort. Getting a little compensation for that time and effort through advertising would be much appreciated. I wouldn’t want the blog to look like a NASCAR automobile and driver, but a few would ads would be appreciated.

    • I have done guest posts before and don’t really mind them if I can see them in advance. Guest posts by advertisers I am very hesitant on though and have never said yes to those.

  4. I tried ads on my blog for a few weeks but I didn’t like the way they looked on the page and the money didn’t make it worth it. I’d consider it if the money was better but not if it compromised the look of my site or what I was saying.

  5. You said you got contacted by someone to place ads on your blog and got paid for it? How did you go about that? Hate to say it, but it’s something I probably need, and they are so common in so many places that I doubt people will think it’ll really hurt my integrity.

    • I really didn’t do anything in order to get contacted. I’ve been blogging for a while and have written some articles which were well read and mentioned on big sites like IMDB and Life Entertainment. I guess that has helped in advertisers finding me. I see it as a nice extra, not as something I’m actively chasing.

  6. Generally speaking, I’m not a big fan of ads. I can certainly see the use of them, though — especially as this is something that takes a lot of time and sometimes money.

    I’ve only been approached a couple times. I’ve turned them down both times because it was the “write a post on this topic, and link to our site” kind of deal. Even with the caveat that I could write about a movie that was on the topic, it still felt too deceptive to me — I don’t want to do anything to undermine the integrity of the blog and the fact that what’s there is, 100%, my honest opinion. (Also, I’m not keen on sending traffic to online casinos, which is what the offers in question were from.) Similarly, I can’t see taking money from some stranger to let them write a guest post.

    A spot ad… maybe. I’m pretty hateful towards banner ads in general (and I’ve worked the tech side of that business, so I feel like my soul’s been tarnished enough already), but I can see the validity of them. But it would have to be discreet, unobtrusive, and inoffensive. And it would have to be something that was of concrete benefit to me — a few cents per click with nothing up front wouldn’t be enough to justify it to me.

    • Oh, and one additional thing: Link farming (which is what these “write on the topic and link to us” offers are often trying to do) is heavily frowned upon by most reputable search engines. Going along with something like that could lead to Google nuking your page ratings, so it has the potential to negatively impact your blog itself.

    • Morgan, I think no one is a fan of ads (I haven’t met them), but they are everywhere. When I was on, they were added automatically (although I never saw them because I use an adblocker), so now being on a self hosted server I like the freedom that gives me. I don’t expect to suddenly place lots of ads on the site, but like the fact I can choose to do a couple when I feel like it.

      Reading all the comments it seems more people frown upon writing a specific post only for an advertiser. I was wondering though how you’d feel about a competition sponsored by a company?

      • My feelings on that are a bit more mixed. I’m still a little leery of it — and turned down an offer to host a contest once — but I’m not as completely against it. It’s still certainly advertising for the company, but it’s at least advertising of a sort the blog’s readers might be interested in. If it’s a contest for a giveaway for a film on DVD (such as the one I turned down), then at least there’s something actually in it for people. I’m still not sure I’d do it, and certainly wouldn’t if I couldn’t verify it was a reputable company behind it, but it’s something I’d be a little more open to.

  7. I think I’d only do it if it added something to the site. I write a film blog, so if someone wants to advertise cars then I’m not gonna do it. If it’s film related, then I’d consider it but it would depend on what it is. I’ve had a few guest posts up on my site but there’s no money involved with those, it just helps out other bloggers and adds something different to my blog.

  8. I think the odd ad here or there is fine. As long as it’s unobtrusive and doesn’t hinder a reader from reading your blog it’s fine. Of course, a large majority of people read through RSS Readers and emails, so sometimes ads are a bit pointless. But, owning a self hosted website costs money, so it’s your right to try and make some of that money back.

    I’ve had plenty of emails asking for paid guest posts on my blog. I draw the line there. Mostly because my blog doesn’t really lend itself well to those sorts of posts. And you can spot them a mile off. Just ruins the personal nature of blogs, from my POV.

  9. I don’t think it’s wrong to put an ad to your blog, but don’t let it mess your head, to make it all about money. Because it will distract you from the whole point of blogging. I never said yes to a paid guest post, or any favor, not because I don’t want to but they just never in sync to the blog. I once posted a product but I’ve thought whether I should do it like 100 times before. And it was a little weird. I just never posted anything that clearly is selling anything out of content, because I’m afraid it’ll bug the readers.
    Nice topic!

  10. I think if you can earn a little money from all the hard work you put into My Film Views then there’s nothing wrong with it. Getting an email from someone wanting to take out advertising on your site is both great from a financial perspective and also shows you’re doing the right things in gaining and maintaining an audience where hits, google rank and key words are appealing to potential advertisers. It is a pat on the back and some money in the pocket.

    If the content is good people will continue to read regardless on the advertising. For things like Amazon affiliation they can actually add to the quality of the post by allowing people easy access to the films to buy on DVD and Blu-ray – I use this on my film reviews with great success.

    I say – if the advertisers want you, take it while you can. You just don’t know when they might not want you anymore…

  11. I’m not morally opposed to it or anything, but if the ads intrude on my reading experience in any way (large/floating ads, numerous ads, flashing ads, slow load times) chances are I will not return to the blog.

    Would I do it on my own blog? For the right price, sure I would. But with my smallish readership, I doubt anyone would pay me what I think it’s worth.

  12. Sorry I’m late to this man. Interesting post though. I’ve had a few offers to do competions but I knocked them back. I’m not happy with advertising at all. It takes the personal touch out of your blog. Still, I’ve read through the comments and I’ve been enlightened a little. I can understand people for it as there blog becomes a little payed work but it’s not enough for me. I don’t want to promote big business or companies.

  13. I actually am in the process of revamping my Blog, and this is something I’m looking into. It’s hard to find sponsors / ads relevant to the topics at hand. I run a movie / book / tv / random-ness Blog… so definitely will not start writing Product Reviews for the revenue.

    However, the Amazon listing + others in the comments of these posts sound interesting. Would love to hear more about that. I’m a complete novice to this and have trouble changing the theme of my Blog and do no Photo Editing for my posts whatsoever!

    Love your Blog and will definitely be reading all your tips and such.

    • Yeah, that sounds like an interesting option to look into. It might not bring in huge sums of money, but it is nice to get a little bit once in a while.

      Thanks for the kind words!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.