All About the Ads
You may have noticed that I recently started putting ads up on this site. I wanted to write a post telling you a little bit about my philosophy for advertising on my site and why I decided to go this route. First, why put ads on my site?
I’ll be honest, I really struggled with whether or not to put ads on my site. I have had this site since 2007 and I’ve never put ads up until now. I sometimes thought about it, because we could definitely use the money, but I always decided against it. Blogging was my hobby and I didn’t want the pressure to make money from it to kill the joy I received from doing it. I also thought to myself, “I won’t really be able to make money from it; I can’t really BE a blogger. I’m not good enough, so why stress myself out trying? Why not just leave it as it is and just enjoy writing when I want to?” I feared I would fail if I tried to make a little income from it, and usually when I fear failure I decide not to try at all.
I also feared that people would be annoyed by the ads, judge me for it, and value my site less because of it. Well, I realize now that this fear was sort of silly – most bloggers have ads up. As a reader of literally hundreds of blogs I personally don’t mind ads at all especially when they are content appropriate to the site. So, if other readers are anything like me, putting up ads shouldn’t be a problem for them. So, that fear wasn’t too hard to get over.
Here’s what it came down to for me though…
A few weeks ago I wrote a whole post about valuing myself and my work. In many ways adding advertisements and affiliate programs to the site has been a way for me to value my own contribution to the world and the work that I do. I put in a lot of time blogging and it’s not wrong for me to want to make some money from it (sometimes I still feel like it is, though, what is that? Why do I feel guilty for wanting to help support my family by doing something I love?)
Anyway, it took me a while to process through all of that and come to a place where I was ready to try to make a little income through my writing. So, this is me trying. So, here’s a bit about what I desire for these ads to be…
My Current Ad Philosophy:
I want my ads to add value for my readers. I want to post ads for good, quality products that I think my readers will need, want, or already be looking for.
I will personally select what ads go up on my site. That means no randomly generated Google ads. If you see an ad up on the site it means that I personally looked at the company and I like what they are selling.
I want my ads to look ascetically pleasing and to not distract from the content of the site or annoy my readers. This means no pop up ads and I will probably at least limit my use of banners and flash ads.
My current ads:
First off, all of the ads currently on my site are affiliate links. That means that if you click on them and then end up buying something from them I’ll get a small commission. Ok, so let’s talk about each of the current ads individually:
Real Food Nutrition & Health: This is a text book written for home schooling families that outlines health and nutrition from a clearly real food perspective. It was written by Kristen at Food Renegade. Many of you may have noticed that I have been participating in “Fight Back Friday’s” over at Food Renegade. I love Kristen’s site and I am super excited to promote this book. I just got my copy of it and plan on starting it tonight. I will definitely write a full review of the book once I finish it. I personally am really excited about this because I was homeschooled and would have LOVED to have this for a text book. I also am seriously considering homeschooling my son (and any other future children I may have) so I’m excited that to have this as a resource down the road.
Story-Formed Calendar: This is NOT a paid ad and as of this time I receive NO commission for this link. I put this up because I love it and it supports a very dear friend of mine. My friend and mentor, Tara, makes these calendars. They are calendars centered on the Christian church calendar. It’s filled with beautiful pictures taken by Tara and other photographers I know (this year’s calendar even has one of my own pictures in it). I love the idea of centering our lives in God’s story and time. Click on the link and learn more about this wonderful tool for worship and daily life.
This boutique sells products for mom’s and babies – things like cloth diapers, nursing bras, baby carriers and other such items. I’ll be honest I only recently learned about this store and I haven’t bought anything from them yet (we have a bit of a no spending rule in place at the moment). But, I have looked through the site quite a bit and there are definitely tons of things I’d love to have from this beautiful boutique. I feel good about supporting this store and advertising them on my site.
This on-line store carries organic herbs, essential oils and teas. They have been in business since 1987 and they have a great reputation. They guarantee that they “will never sell or stock products that are more than a few months from harvest (except for seasonal items)” so you are certain that the products you buy from them will be fresh and high quality. There were also the “first U.S. supplier of Fair Trade Certified medicinal herbs” and they have extensive policies about recycling and re-using. In fact they are a “Zero Waste” company – meaning that “any perceived materials which might be regarded as waste are either recycled, re-used, composted, reclaimed, or brought back into the production cycle”. I am really excited to support this beautiful company and their wonderful products.
I have an affiliate account with Amazon so pretty much anytime that I link to Amazon from my site it is an affiliate link. This means that if you buy something from Amazon after getting there from my link then I will receive a very small, but very appreciated commission.
This isn’t a paid ad – it’s something that I believe in and want to support and promote. Check it out! Alright, that’s it for now. There may be other one’s up in the near future – just know that they will always be personally approved by me. If you ever have a question or concern about an ad on the site please contact me and let me know.
I am also very interested in selling ad space on my site (of course only for companies that fit with my values and the topics addressed on this site). So, if you have a company that you would like to advertise on bethstedman.com please contact me. I’d love to discuss options with you.
Finally, I’d like to ask all of you, my readers and friends, what do you think? Do you have any feedback on the ads I have right now and on how I have placed them on the site? Do you have any feedback in general about including ads or not including ads? Do you have any suggestions about additional ways for me to make an income from this site so that I can continue to spend a good deal of time bringing you what I hope is value-adding, quality content? I truly value your opinions and would love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment or contact me directly.
Rejoicing in the journey - Bethany Stedman