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July 13, 2007


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creative-type dad

How else am I going to by chicken?

(tapping finger)

the mad momma

I think a recurring trend in all the comments is that those of us who dont have other day jobs keep the advertising. it doesnt hurt. and its not something we personally endorse. its not idealism - its just common sense. half the time i have no fricking clue what ads are up on my blog and i dont care. the money it brings in goes a little way in helping me stay home with my kids and i dont care if that means i have sold out! some sites carry a lot of ads that get the page heavy and also distracting. but i dont stop reading a blog i enjoy just for that. you could reduce ur posts to a line at the bottom of the page and endorse every product on earth and i would still read your blog.

i guess its about your financial situation. if you are well off you can afford to kick the money aside. but i need it.. and if i can get it without having to tattoo my butt i will be happy to take it!!


my kids & I love McDonalds, we're hippy vegans and we go there and eat salad and use the play equiment. Whats wrong with that? does everyone that carries a Starbucks cup align themselves with everything that corporation has ever done, like kill mom and pops business? I hate Starbucks & and I hope McDonalds takes some of their coffee business away and thats really why I support them & why I wanted to comment here, but I also wanted to point out that I'm partial to the Sweet Juniper! blog not because of the McDonalds ad, but because I feel it's genuine & funny as shit, and I also like this site because I feel it's genuine & funny as shit, except for this post.
***this comment sponsored by people for independent coffee worldwide***
MD thanks for the platform, peace :)


I'm like many others here, on other people's blogs, as long as the ads aren't detracting from my reading, I'm ok with them. For my own blog, however, I'd hate to be responsible for companies unwittingly being connected with a short, round, near-sighted, so-far-out-of-the-mainstream, liberal, geek such as myself so I just don't sign up for them. That and I think I'd only make enough to buy Sweet Pea and Evie a jelly bean they could share every month or so off the proceeds so it's not really worth it. I DO put charity ads up though, does that count?

Anne Glamore

One reason I was eager to try out the Blogher ads is that Blogher also features four posts at the bottom of each ad, so the day that you're featured can increase your traffic and hopefully bring in new, permanent readers.

I've never made a secret of the fact that my goal in starting the blog was to establish a platform for my writing, so that eventually I can put together a book of humorous essays ("It's Natural But It's Rated R", for example)-- sort of an Erma Bombeck for the new millennium.

So I keep an eye out for anything new that might increase traffic, not for accolades and $, but for the future. The Top Momma button did that for a while (I think it's outlasted its usefulness); the blogging award nomination buttons, not so much.
I probably should take all of them off, and stick with BlogHer alone.

I also pursue print opportunities, but blog readers don't know that unless they happen to read the magazine or unless I publish a link to the publication.

Long way of saying-- I'll try anything to see what pulls in readers without repelling them!

In fact - coming next week (cringe) our first YouTube video. Sigh.


I'm relatively new to this so the idea of advertising hasn't been on my radar very long. I started seeing ads pop up on some of my favorite blogs and I got turned off but continued to read and try to ignore the ads. If nothing else, they're just an eye sore. I understand wanting to supplement income, but I still need my blog to hash out crap that would start to feel disingenuous sitting next to an ad. I still haven't made it over to blogher to really check it out because frankly, it looked like an advert everywhere I saw it posted on the sidebars. We're all doing this for different reasons and the evolution of how we interact with each other online is something I'm walking into without much experience. I do know that whenever the graphics are too chaotic, I stop reading because it's kind of like being in a badly designed room. Ads tend to contribute to bad design. (babble's site design has gotten impossible for me to navigate for instance)

ray lee

I have had the same exact exchanges with many friends and readers. I use Xanga, which means I have to PAY so that there are no ads on my page. I understand why they do it and I don't mind it. I will not attach or align myself with ads that I do not support. In fact, I don't want to promote anything but my own thoughts on my blog. I make like minimum wage and the money would surely help my thirst for some more Tanquerray martinis, but I cannot betray my own principles.

Sometimes, my friends would ask me to advertise certain things for them on my blog because so many people read it. But unless it is something that is for the greater good for the world, I always tell them that I won't do it. Most of them understand, but those who don't, believe that I'm not really being a true friend. So yeah, saying "no" also tells me who my true friends really are.

Which brings me to a totally unrelated question--I like vodka and I hate gin... yet, I LOVE Tanquerray. You ever think of switching from Ketel One to Tanquerray? I did and my martini has not tasted better. Just a thought...

-ray leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

ray lee

Also-- I would like to add an important point. It's not just about aligning yourself to advertisements, but I also do not believe it is right to make money off my blog. I think by doing so, I am not expressing thoughts, but SELLING my thoughts on something that is PUBLIC for everyone to see. My thoughts are not for sale and they should be free if I choose to post it on a public site. Writing for a publication or a book is different because that is a task that requires compensation in time. Blogging is something I do for fun and should not be commercialized.

-ray leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee


Way to ruffle up some feathers, MD.
I definitely question the sincerity of the blogs with ads all over them. I'm sure those folks love writing but I think there's a creative element missing when you're doing it for money.


Whoa, this really unleashed some strong feelings! I have to say, I have mixed feelings about the whole blogging-for-money things. One of my best blog-friends is a single mom with a part-time job--blogging on a paid platform (and she's got a ginormous Mickey D's ad right now) makes her life--and her ability to support her children--a lot less stressful. And when the San Diego Reader offered me money two years ago to reprint some of my posts, I didn't blink an eye before I said yes.

At this point, I'm in a financial position where the decision of whether or not to take ads is an esoteric one--it's a luxury I enjoy, due to my relative stability. But that could all change tomorrow, and I don't think I'd think twice about putting ads on my blog if it meant keeping my kids in ever-expanding shoes.


Keep the damn ads off, it's better that way. It's so nice to go to a website that's ad-free. It's the same reason I go DVR, no ads : )


It's a big old Blogosphere, with plenty of room for blogs-with-ads and blogs-without. The ads don't bother me, nor do they enhance my experience.

The overabundance of advertising tends to work against itself, though. There is such a thing as too much. And there are so many ads everywhere -- TV, billboards, the Web, now personal blogs -- I don't even SEE the ads anymore.

I think the link ads that relate to the blog's theme/topic make the most sense. I have to admit, I have clicked on a few of those...

I don't have ads on my blog at the moment, though I have thought of it. But I like the way my blog is WITHOUT ads. It makes my content stand out and be noticed; that's what I want.

Once an advertiser contacted me with a hilarious and insulting proposition (they'll remain nameless). Because I had mentioned food a couple of times on my blog -- even though I blog about writing -- this account rep asked if I would put up some ads for her, on my blog, for FREE. That's right -- without any offer of payment for my space or my troubles, I was to feel honored that they thought my blog was worthy enough to post their fine 125x125 ads on it. The implication was that my blog would be enhanced by their big brand on my blog.

I didn't email her back.

Pete Aldin

Agree with Heather above; why can't we have communication and entertainment without marketing?? (By the way can I interest you in my new book...?) ;)

Rachel E.

I understand a blogger not wanting to "sell-out" and put ads on their blog sites - it does seem to dilute the purity of it all. But there's another part of me that kind of admires the hell out of someone that can find a way to earn a living from their writing. A way to stay home with the kids or a way to supplement income for college or to pay medical bills or to help take care of ailing parents or to enhance ones life in whatever way they choose. It shows that the person has the creativity and kahunas to find another way to get by and thrive in life instead of spending their life "working for the man" so to speak.


Don't even notice them. Go straight to the content and move on!


I don't look or click on people's ads. They are never anything of interest to me. I do, however, tend to leave a blog when I see that they want money donated into an account like PayPal. I have no problems with donations for charitable organizations--I've even contributed to several over the past couple of years. I just don't want to see online begging.


Personally, I don't mind personal ads as long as they're discreet and in good taste. Dooce, for example, does a pretty good job with the ads on her site. However, if the ads show up in the guise of pop-ups or pop-unders, then I may not visit that site anymore.


It doesn't bother me if the ads are not flashing with the arrow to "click here". I visit blogs for the content.

I'm guilty of having Google ads on my blog. It's all the hubbie doing, he's hoping to earn enough mula to get rid of the "golden handcuff" aka stop working for "the man", but so far it's not working out much. We're lucky if we get enough for a bag of diaper for Parker once a month. That darn kid can sure poop!!


I don't mind ads on blogs. I just don't read them and that's it. Eventuallly, if I find one interesting, I'll clic it and see where it takes me but that's it.
I was going to stop therebut then I rememper the pay per post scheme where the blogger has to post a certain entries reviewing something. Of course, the reviews are almost always glowing. I hate that and I did stop reading that blog.
But the money she made in just a couple of months helped her pay her wedding invites so what the hell do I know?

SciFi Dad

I have no ads on my blog for the reasons you mention above. It's a personal space, and not for sale, rent or use by people other than me.

That being said, I don't use the presence of ads as any kind of barometer or determining factor in whether or not I read a site. Their blog, their decision. Not mine.


I don't have ads on my blog. However, I don't begrudge anyone who does. But... but... the first pop-up, the first flashing, obnoxious ad that sucks every bit of random memory from my system or the first time I sense I'm being "marketed to" in the content, I'm outta there.




I don't have ads on my blog. However, I don't begrudge anyone who does. But... but... the first pop-up, the first flashing, obnoxious ad that sucks every bit of random memory from my system or the first time I sense I'm being "marketed to" in the content, I'm outta there.




I used to get about 22 hits a day. Can someone tell me how much I'd be raking in? I might just start blogging again.


I think it's unfortunate - although inevitable - that blogging has become an income for some. It is akin to inviting a friend over to chat in your home and then displaying Mary Kay, Tupperware, and Southern Living products upon their arrival. So wrong.

Ultimately, I believe blogging = community. A safe, friendly, not-for-profit place of sharing our passions, ideas, and perspective on life. And, no, I don't want fries with that!


if people want to put ads on their site to help make ends meet, that's fine. They just shouldn't get all bent out of shape because other people stop reading their blogs. Can't have it both ways.

mimi smartypants

These points about "The New Yorker takes ads without aligning themselves with the advertiser" and Joyce Carol Oates are a bit spurious. Publishers absolutely do align themselves with advertisers when they take ads. That's why magazines turn down ads that they don't think fit with their mission. Happens all the time. Let's say Halliburton wants a big old ad in The Nation or In These Times and is willing to pay for it. You think they're going to say yes? You choose the McDonald's ad but how about the NRA ad? If you would say yes to one and not the other, then it's hard to argue that you're not endorsing the things you do choose.

You're the publisher of your site, not just the author. Which is why you're more like The Nation than Joyce Carol Oates. You don't just produce the product (the writing), you decide how to present it. It's totally cool if you see blogging as a job. However, when there's personal writing on a personal site, you're inviting readers to know who you are. You're someone who advertises for McDonald's. It probably doesn't make me like the writing any less, assuming I liked it in the first place (and for most of the FM stable, I do), but it somehow disappoints.

I have a family to support too, by the way. And I'm not all pissed off about the ads on blogs, I clearly said that if it floats your boat, then fine. I am, however, very tired of advertising.

dutch from sweet juniper

mimi do you even realize how lame and tired this bullshit is? please, go ahead and enjoy all those sweet dreams on your pink punk rock pillow. you win! you are so much more hardcore than every mare [and stallion] in the FM stable! but just don't fool yourself into believing that your thoughts are in any way original, and weren't already considered at length by those of us who still went ahead and made the decision to accept advertising anyways.

mimi smartypants

I totally realize it. See my original post where I called myself out on said lameness every other sentence or so. Looks like MetroDad didn't quote that part, but you're nuts if you don't think I'm aware.

And you can take your condescension and stick it up your ass. I'll say what I like on my site, and you can accept the ads you want on yours. I don't give a flying fuck what you do, and I said (like eight times by now) that I still like the writing on the blogs with ads that I read. But I can post about whatever tired lame bullshit I want, thanks. And I would guess that MetroDad can reprint that tired lame bullshit if he wants to as well. And I never said or even insinuated that you hadn't thought about the implications of advertising on a personal site. I explained why I don't care for advertising on personal sites. Why are you so bent out of shape?

Honestly, my post was so mild. I was surprised to see an ad for McDonald's, I posted my thoughts about it on my own website. You're not doing yourself any favors with your frothing here.

dutch from sweet juniper

I'm not bent out of shape, I'm just a total fucking asshole who likes to argue about shit.

mimi smartypants

Okay, then that's cool. Let's go get a Southwestern salad together!

dutch from sweet juniper

It's snappy. Just like you.


I am new to blogging...so I will admit that when I see blogs with ads I actually thought that they didn't have a choice (like a lot of free web pages) and you had to pay for the blog service to get them taken off...which is why I was so happy that wordpress offered ad free...for free.

For the most part ads don't bother me...but I hate the ones that are huge and blinky and take so much time to load that you have to wait forever for the page to load. Oh, and let's not forget the poorly coded ones that error out and you never get to see the page you visited to begin with and may even shut down your browser.

Yea. Ads suck.


Wow, I put up a throwaway post on a Friday based on a drunken conversation I had at a bar on Tuesday with another blogger. I then go out of town for the weekend and come back Monday morning feeling like Dick Cavett back in '71 when Gore Vidal and Normal Mailer were throwing not only chairs but also brilliantly acerbic insults at one another.

C'mon, kids. Let's go to the Golden Arches together. My treat. If everyone plays nice, I'll get us all Happy Meals.


This reminds me of the MIM "False Advertising" debacle.....and that wasn't even about ads.


What I'm finding interesting is the fact that so many personal bloggers here are basically admitting that part of the reason they're maintaining their blogs is for the money!

Yes, I get the fact that if you have a decent readership, you want to be compensated for your writing and content. But be honest. You're no longer really writing a personal blog, are you? You may be writing about personal things in your life. However, you're writing for money. Plain and simple.

Previously I tended to ignore the ads on people's sites. If they allowed someone to earn a few extra dollars to pay for the occasional meal or two, I'm ok with that. I'm just surprised to see so many bloggers commenting here about how they rely on those personal blogs to really make money.

I'm so disappointed to learn that and I think it will diminish my enjoyment from reading those blogs. I hope it's worth it for them.


I don't post ads because I do post reviews that I don't want even subliminally tainted and I read books like "No Logo" in the copious free time I have since becoming a parent. YMMV.


"If they allowed someone to earn a few extra dollars to pay for the occasional meal or two, I'm ok with that. I'm just surprised to see so many bloggers commenting here about how they rely on those personal blogs to really make money."

So...it's okay if they make only a little money, but once they make enough to pay for preschool or their mortgage payment, it will "diminish" the reader's "enjoyment?"

I'm just trying to understand all this, because there are so many strong, conflicting opinions. I have ads on my blog even though I don't need the money (in fact, I donate the proceeds to charity). How does whether someone needs the money from their ads or not change the quality of their content?


L...Sorry. Don't think I explained myself well in my comment. I think it's more about the intent. If you're actively looking to make money from the ads on your site (no matter what you do with that money,) you're no longer a personal blogger. You're a professional writer.

It may not change the quality of the blogger's content. However, can't you see why readers might be turned off by it? That just the fact that the personal writing is a commercial enterprise no longer makes it as personal as it was before?


Aside from a handful of personal websites, I think most of them suck ass. Just a bunch of mediocre writers rambling about the boring aspects of their lives. If they can make a few bucks off their site, good for them. Nobody would ever pay any of them for their writing anyway.


Helena, I think it's true that it's possible sometimes, that making personal writing into a commercial enterprise no longer makes it as "personal" as it was before, and that perhaps some writers might start pandering to their advertisers rather than their readers. However, I don't think it's a given that it will happen, and in fact, I haven't seen it happen on any of the blogs I read -- many of which started ad-free and then switched to accepting ads.

I consider myself both a professional writer AND a personal blogger, and I don't think they're necessarily mutually exclusive. The only people who read my blog are some close friends and a few dozen strangers. My intentions and my motivation for writing my blog are what make it a personal blog, and neither my writing nor my readership is going to change, whether the ads are there or not. It makes me happy that I can collect some cash for charity doing what I would be doing no matter what.


Hate the ads. Hate even more the "go check out my review blog" posts. Hate the parent bloggers reviews. Hate it. I don't begrudge the bloggers but I admit that the more ads/reviews there seem to be, the less likely I am to return. I enjoyed blogging a lot more a year or so ago, before all the Blogher crap and the other sites (like Babble, heh) and all the linking from the original blog to "my post at the super cool (insert trendy name here)". Bleh.

Now I'm off to read all these comments.


I love Dooce and Sweet Juniper! As long as they don't start promoting necrophilia or the Bush Administration, I will read them forever and ever!

Adele Richards

Ha! I love your writing. And I see your point. Just personally, ads don't bother me at all. I just think 'Good, this person whose blog I read and whom I like even though I've never met them, is getting some money for this. Cool."


I don't read dooce anymore because I'm terrified of seeing another picture of her obese, slovenly, mouth-breathing relative, perhaps the most repulsive human to grace the internet. Also, she's just not that interesting. Mimi Smartypants rocks. I read her without fail. It's got nothing to do with ads, or no ads.

I ignore ads unless they are blinking or making noise, in which case I leave the page and never come back. I think posting a bunch of "awards" and multiple blogrolls makes a blogger look stupid and pathetic. The lamest tactic of all is comment churning (via micheleagnew.com and others)to make it seem as if your site is actually popular. "Michele sent me" is just another way of saying "Or I never would have bothered."


Hey, MD, can we Supersize our Value Meals?

Dude... Dutch and Mimi smacked each other around on your blog... you have ARRIVED! Next you'll be lampooned on SNL and forget all about the little people...


You and MimiSmartypants are two of my favorite bloggers and I've always respected the fact that neither one of you has ads. Does that mean that I don't read blogs with ads? Definitely not. Some of my favorite writers have blogs that are inundated with ads.

However I really agree with Mimi. It really IS nice to see just a "sliver of handcrafted, non-commercial, free-to-all, personal-expression space in the world, even if just on the internet."


What kind of toy is in the Happy Meal this week?


Brat...it's Hello Kitty!


I'm with you, MD.

I hate the ads. They detract a lot from a site.

pnuts mama

hey MD, coming in a little after the hoopla in the comments.
i tend to block out ads (except ones that load above the masthead- good lord) but do get annoyed when they clog the hell out of my load time. i block pop-ups and have no idea if blogs i read have them, and don't care. my issue with advertising comes from my former life *in* advertising and my own personal epiphany over consumerism and consumption. which does not mean that i am no longer a consumer or that i don't consume, but i have personally stopped believing that what i own is who i am and that more stuff will make anyone happy. but i digress. i don't stop reading a blog b/c of ads, but do if their stuff gets stale or offensive or they just stop posting enough.

i'll admit i'm fairly naive when it comes to overt product reviews b/c i am the kind if person who will gladly tell you when i like (or don't like) something, and assume the writer i'm reading is doing the same. if i've been fooled, well, shame on me. FWIW, i hope dutch got a shit-ton of money mentioning the sn*ck tr*p juniper uses b/c we love ours and have gotten one for all the toddlers we love, too. what i am saying is i doubt he was paid to advertise that product but even if he was, i don't care and good for him, cause some of the best shit i've found for my kid has been casually mentioned on blogs i read by parents of toddlers. it's like you all are my virtual communal parent support system. and speaking of SJ, why the attention to them specifically over the McD ads? every single blog i read with FM ads has those McD ads right now, so wtf is that about?

and re: "personal" blogs that have ads. IME there is a difference btwn daily diaries of folks who use the blog platform to share their everyday stuff (some interesting and some not) with friends and family and a few strangers who don't get a lot of traffic and the folks who are clearly professional-grade writers who started a blog for whatever reason and because of their skill and abilities grew their readership and are now able to support themselves/their families with their craft. i mean, why do you think the big ones are big? b/c they are good writers, who consistently put out great stories that connect with many people for a variety of reasons, like any good artist. and good artists and craftspeople should be paid for their work, when it's being viewed/used.

as far as blogs changing when they started taking ads (or writing for other pay-for sites), well, i have to give most of the people i read the benefit of the doubt that it has more to do with the volume of readers influencing what they do and do not share rather than a perception of what their advertisers want. what i mean is if you go back in the archives, when those bloggers started out they probably were sharing more personal info, etc., and chose to reign it in when they went big, which i totally understand. we all know the exceptions, but there aren't too many people who are willing to put their address online for thousands of folks to have at their disposal. do i miss some of the more personal stuff on those blogs? yes, but i respect someone's right to privacy and i'm happy that they'll get compensated for some great work.

the other side of that is the less personal info or angst or vulnerability a blogger shares allows the reader to imagine those details (right or wrong) and change that blogger into someone they're not. then, when confronted with the truth of those details, the reader accuses the blogger of hypocrisy or selling out, instead of cutting them some slack that maybe they are just like them and eat fast food or let their kid watch the same crap on tv that we all do, instead of some alterna-punk-hippie-indie icon of whatever.

sorry this was so damn long, but i was thinking about it all day. tired or not, it seems as though this was something people needed to talk about, MD. stay cool.

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