Back when I bought my domain and was teetering on the edge of taking blogging slightly more seriously (subjective, of course), I flirted with the idea of monetizing. Monetizing = selling ad space, joining a for-profit ad network, hiding a trojan horse in the comments to steal routing numbers from mean commenters… you get the idea. I’d been told it was an easy way to put a few pennies in the bank, and even a little baby blog like mine could rack up enough per-view ad revenue to buy a pair of running socks* and maybe a packet of Gu each year. Seemed like an alright gig.
*short, non-compression, single pack socks
So I looked into a few options (BlogHer, Adsense, affiliate programs, etc) and just never went for it. Yes I’ve run some sponsored posts and done giveaways, and for a brief moment had a Brooks affiliate button on my side bar that literally no one ever clicked on so I made $0.00 from, but other than that SarahOUaL has been a non-contributing member to my income statement since its inception in 2010. Product reviews, comp’d entries, and discounts on stuff I was already buying are a very nice perk that I don’t discredit at all, they just can’t pay my rent or give me ground to stand on in the Breadwinner Debates with Brian.
the early days blogging at oual.wordpress.com as Sarah Soon-To-Be. my posture (and content?) has deteriorated significantly since then, and I kind of miss the limes header and bobblehead audience.
In the end, there were a few reasons I decided not to monetize my blog:
- I didn’t want to feel like I HAD to write.
Sometimes (last week, case-in-point) I just don’t feel like writing. And that’s fine because no one is relying on traffic or views from me. I never wanted to feel an obligation, whether it be to post when I didn’t have anything to say or promote something I didn’t really care for, and I definitely didn’t want my tone to change because of it. I wanted my blog to be MY space. Not Mine + ___ Advertiser’s.
- Site stats stress me out.
The pressure of hitting page view goals or equating a slow day with a smaller paycheck was way more stress than I wanted. I already felt like checking my analytics was somewhat of a counterproductive habit; the numbers always seemed to rebel when I tried reacting to the reports. Plus once in a blue moon there’d be a referring source link I just did NOT need to know was sending visitors to my site. Unless I need to report numbers (views, clicks, etc) for a sponsored post, I keep my eyes off the stats dashboard. QOL has improved dramatically.
- No in-house IT department.
There was something – self-host, maybe? – I would’ve had to do to get BlogHer running, and I just simply didn’t feel like dealing with it. Maybe it would’ve been super easy, I got distracted by something and didn’t care enough to look back into it.
There are a lot of blogs who do monetizing smartly and tastefully. I respect those people that can make a career out of blogging and still balance their voice and content in a way that seems genuine. I’m not sure I could do that, and it wouldn’t be worth sacrificing the connection I’ve built with all of you to do so. Also one time someone* told me they loved that there were none of those “pop up spinny fandangle box things” on my site, and I took that to heart. Fandangle box-free since 2010!
*it was my grandma
Bottom line, the little $$ I might’ve made (and had to claim on my taxes? F that.) just didn’t seem worth the hassle, and that’s why you don’t see ads here.
That’s also why I’m not apologizing for not writing since last Monday.
* I’m not trying to take away from anyone who does monetize, just giving the reasons why I don’t since a few people have asked or seemed shocked when I tell them I don’t make money from the blog.