Advertising: What to Do? What to Do?

Bright-and-early yesterday morning, I posted my Christmas Special for advertising.

I felt sick to my stomach all day long.

I felt… that squeamish feeling, like after you see a creepy bug or something and you just can’t get the jitters off of your skin.

I couldn’t wait until this morning’s post cleared the air with some innocent Indian Corn! Ah!

I don’t have one single business bone in my body. (Ha! I don’t even have any business cartilage!) So, the whole making-money thing is completely unnatural and yucky to me. Though, I know it’s not inherently evil. It’s just not natural.

So, I’m not sure what I’m going to do about the ad thing, but I want you to know that I will not change the focus, the heart, or the vision of my blog just to make money. (I know, you started doubting me with that tuna fish hoopla, didn’t you?) I won’t manipulate you or make things all about “BUY THIS PRODUCT!” At the same time, though, it would be great to help chip away at the mortgage simply by hosting a cute ad button in my side-bar, and try out some complimentary curriculum products… so I’m torn.

If you have any thoughts on the matter that might round out my decision-making process, please share!

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16 Comments to "Advertising: What to Do? What to Do?"

  1. November 18, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Laura, you are so sweet.

    I’ll tell you where I made my mistake (or where it gets difficult, I should say). A cute button on a sidebar is easy and you don’t have to do anything. When you open your advertising up for posts and vlogs, it gets messy. My advice: stay on a month-to-month basis (so you can always stop), only have one giveaway/vlog/post a month featuring a product (and charge for that), and stay away from sponsored posts-links at the end of each post (it’s a lot of work!).

    Granted, this is just my humble opinion, but it is also my experience.

    I suggest this: only one 150 X 150 ad per month (exclusive always gets you more money). Charge $50 for just the ad, or $75 for ad with post, or $90 for ad with vlog.

    This keeps it simple for you and your readers, and it benefits the advertiser more.

    There you go – take it or leave it! :)

  2. Kari Swigart
    November 18, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    When I saw your announcement yesterday for advertising I thought it was a great idea and actually wished I had something to promore. If you can use your creativity and do what you love to help out the family budget– go for it! You are a woman of integrity.

  3. November 18, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and there are other ways to make money with your blog. ;)
    Email me if inquiring minds want to know.

  4. November 18, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    hey – coming by way of a tweet to your blog for the 1st time.
    nice to meet you.

    i just opened up my sidebar in november. i can already tell you where i made a BIG mistake. – i thought i should do a seperate post for each sponsor. not thinking i would get more then 4 sponsors. well, now i do more sponsor posts then my own.
    so i sent out an email saying i will do 1 post a month to highlight all the sponsors with 1 pic per sponsor in that post. it’s too much to do more. i blog alot. but now, it’s turned into a “sponsor” vibe blog & i so didn’t want that.

    just remember why your blog has grown – YOU are the reason. your readers want to read about you & what you have to say. sharing sponsors is great & wonderful, but YOU keep blogging.

    sorry. have no idea why i shared so much…but since i just started as well, i thought i would share what i have learned.

    good luck to you.
    kellie

  5. November 18, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Dear Laura~
    I’ve been reading your blog (when I have time) for a few months now. I think it’s wonderful. I probably have never commented (again, the time thing…7 children), but I still have been so encouraged here.
    That being said, I have to admit that I was a little disappointed to read yesterday’s post. I wondered, “Do they need extra income…food…or more stuff…stuff…OR…maybe they’re going to give all that money to Compassion…” This will sound odd, but I also thought about it from time to time all day.
    Blogging (esp Upside Down) seems to turn so quickly in so many directions, I know, I struggle with my quiet, unknown, mommy blog constantly (and am even dealing with a little internet addiction right now)…it seems hard to stay true to the reason you started blogging.
    So, that’s what I always come back to…why did I start this blog? You may find your answer there.
    *If you do advertise, I would stick with Sarah Mae’s advice. As a homemaker, it feels odd to be ‘pressured’ to buy ‘stuff’ from other homemakers, and keeping it simple, sparse would maybe help eliminate that.
    Or, if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
    Prayers you are able to come to a decision, and sense a peace with it.
    ~Kathi

  6. November 18, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Hey Laura! I’m fairly new to bloggin, and it’s something I hold loosely in my palm and am always praying about–mainly because I struggle with the balance of…every part of it.

    So, I’m speaking from inexperience and with a heart that regularly cries out for wisdom and discernment. I hope my two cents will help in some way!

    I appreciate your heart’s desire to both serve your readers and serve your family (which I assume comes first). I see nothing wrong, if your husband has given his blessing, to advertise products that you believe would genuinely serve your readers. My rule of thumb is that if I advertise it, I have to be 100% behind it myself.

    One thing that has guided my husband and I (he is the one that wanted me to start blogging), has been going back to the woman’s role in Scripture. The Proverbs 31 woman was certainly industrious and brought income to her family through the sale of real estate and clothing. While every husband may not want this, I do not think there is anything Biblically wrong with putting ads on your blog. It will boil down to individual conscience and the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Many things are gray until, as we go deeper with the Lord, he makes them more black and white. For one, it might be sinful to put up an ad, while for another there is freedom.

    You may not “need” anything. But if a family is desirous say, of purchasing a house without going into debt, it would be a good thing, I think, for the woman to help contribute to saving by blogging for income. Your desire to help pay of the mortgage is a good thing. I’m sure your husband is blessed by it!

    What does he want you to do?

    I have come across some pretty amazing, helpful tools to aide my roles at home that were advertised on other blogs. I’m so thankful for what they’ve promoted. I also really enjoy blogs that don’t advertise.

    When I hit “post comment,” I’ll say a prayer for you. I’ve found it hard to discern what the Lord wants vs. what I want on my blog at times.

    I love your blog–whatever you decide to do! It has been a true source of encouragement, inspiration, and conviction. I love spreading the word about it.

    Forgive me for the lengthy comment!

  7. November 18, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Laura,
    I have never commented on here before, but I have to say that I think it is admirable that you would be helping your family by adding income! What a blessing that you can do that while doing what you love, and sharing what you know and have learned during different seasons of your life. I don’t see that as something to feel guilty about, but something to be thankful for! I think of the Proverbs woman and I would see this as an opportunity to emulate her. I’m sure there will be challenges ( I have a blog, but am not a “blogger” , so I don’t know from experience like Sarah Mae), but everything in this life has the propensity to pull us away from our priorities … We just have to be disciplined and diligent. I personally don’t think it matters what you use the money for, that is between the Lord, you, and your husband. Readers don’t have any right to judge whether or not you ” need ” the money. I am just excited for you that you have this opportunity!

    And for the record, I love sponsored posts! I have leaned about so many great products and wonderful companies through them! Not to mention the great items I have purchased! I think if readers dont want to read them, they won’t. I think most enjoy reading what you have to say so much that they would keep coming back anyways… Even if they were anti- advertising. Just my two cents…

  8. November 18, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Wow, Kelly and I were writing at the same time… and apparently think the same thing! Lol :)

  9. November 18, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Sarah Mae. Keep it simple. Keep it real.

    One thing I am learning as I am just now coming into advertising (though I knew before from reading other blogs) is not to bombard your readers with product posts. I try to keep mine down to once a week and I think that is even a bit much for me, so I am scaling back.

    Right now, I don’t have the readership to actually make money. I am only doing product reviews/giveaways. And to be honest, all though the products are great, I have a purpose for wanting to make actual money. 1. Is to help support things like The Mercy House. 2. I really want to go to Relevant next year. Off the bat, that may seem selfish, but I don’t think so. Relevant is waaay more than a blogging conference (as you know!) It changed my life. Literally. I *need* that and my husband supports me 100% and agrees that I need it. It’s more like a spiritual retreat.

    Anyways, I personally think that your reasons behind your wanting to advertise are none of our business. LOL To put it plainly. I don’t feel like I have any *right* to be “disappointed” because this is YOUR blog and YOUR space. While it’s great to be sensitive to your readers, don’t let them run your blog. It’s yours. :) *hugs*

  10. November 18, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    I’m loving all this insight! Keep it comin’!

  11. November 18, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    I’d only recently begun blogging consistently before attending Relevant and have been asking myself the same questions. I have tons of respect for women who find a way to bring extra income to their families through something they love: blogging, or otherwise. I hope you find what works for you and maybe one day you can share your own suggestions on how to go about it.

  12. Jenny
    November 18, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    I loved it so much that you even asked the question, Laura. I thought about it all day the other day….

    Talk with God, talk with Ryan. I think your blog is FANTASTIC and if it can bring in an income…by all means, go for it! And if it doesn’t work, then stop. It’s that simple. AND, I think the two of you are so wise, you’ll know when to shift when the timing is right.

    I love the wisdom gained just by asking the question. Be so glad you asked it now, rather than later. That in itself is just plain wise ;)

    I think if you do choose to advertise, you’ll do it in a way that is tasteful and tactful. And I love advertisements when they are promoted in a tasteful way. I love learning about new products, etc.

    You’re doing a great job, love! Really! And don’t you get ‘sick in your stomach all day long’ about such things, ever again ;) ha. Your readers are in this with you, you know that, right?? You inspire.

  13. Amy
    November 21, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    I don’t fault you for wanting to make money on blogging, but I am SOOOOOO sick of all the ads, giveaways, and reviews on blogs.

    On a side note, for some reason your side bar is still down at the bottom of your blog on IE.

    • November 21, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for your comment, Amy.

      My husband said that perhaps the side bar is down at the bottom if you are not using an updated version of IE? Otherwise, is it possible to use Firefox? I think Firefox has fewer issues. I’ll have him look into it. Thank you.

  14. Amy
    November 21, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    I am using IE 8 if that helps.

    • November 21, 2010 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

      Ryan said he’ll check it out as soon as he’s able. Thanks for your patience.