(Brace yourself…this is a no picture post)
First off let me say I’m happy to live in the U.S. with all of my freedoms. I’m totally fine with people making a profit but I’m tired of everything having to become profit making.
When Facebook first started out, I really loved it. My family and friends were quick to post pictures and tell of the day’s events. It was a great mix of “look what dumb thing my kid did” to a family picture with a birthday cake. I loved that.
Now companies have Facebook Pages….their stuff is in my feed whether I liked their page or not because advertising has taken over. I’ve gone through and “unfriended” friends who are selling this or selling that. I’ve gone through and “unfriended” people who only post political crap. Even after all of that, I still get a lot of what I believe is junk in my feed.
I’ve loved Instagram. It is becoming much the same….more ads. More people using it to market their business and products. It annoys me. It ruins it for me.
When I sit down to “relax” at the computer and take in a little of what I call “brain rot”, I don’t want to be bombarded with advertisements. I hate it.
It’s happened and is even happening more with blogs. There was an awesome blog I used for childcare a lot. It was a mom doing her thing, sharing activities she did with her kids. It was a great site. Then wham. It all changed. There was a cleaner and sleeker look. The mom now had a professional photo of herself on the page. She turned her site into something I no longer cared to visit. Ads were EVERYWHERE and the click to learn more was CRAZY. To read a whole blog entry I’d have to click through four pages and then click more if there was a printable that went with the activity I wanted to make. Worse it was deceiving which button to click to go to the next page. I quit reading the blog. The commercialism ruined it.
Recently I’ve notice one of my favorite blogs doing the same. I read the sales pitch embedded in the story. I see the ads. I see what was a fun mom sharing her work, turn into a marketed business. I see the shared tip turn into a marketed advertisement. I read the blog to relax but the marketing is now overwhelming-it’s in every entry. For me it’s gotten to be a “shove it in my face” marketed business and I’m sad about it. I used to be the biggest fan. I’m getting at the point I’m going to say good-bye to this blog too. I understand…that’s part of life. It’s part of growing….It’s part of a “home town mom” moving out into the big world…sadly for me, I miss the home town mom…to be honest, I was more likely to buy from the “home town mom” than the marketed business.
SO…all that has lead me to think about and look at our blog. I don’t want to be a “farm wife” gone wild into the marketing aspect of blogging. Kelli and I don’t want to turn people away by pushing or throwing products at them. It’s made me really think and analyze what we want the blog to be…and we decided we want it to be us. We want to stay the “farm wives”.
We do earn some money from the blog via ads, affiliate links, and endorsements.
So we decided to analyze those avenues…here’s what we found….
We have ads. We need them. We need them to pay for some of the blog costs. Neither Kelli nor I have the money we need to pay for the costs of the blog. (Remember that $200 I had to spend that I told you about yesterday?) The ads are there to pay for the costs. I don’t feel bad about the ads. Do I love them? no. Do I wish they weren’t there? yes.
What people don’t realize is that a blog owner has to pay for the space their blog takes on the internet and has to pay for the visitors to come. I can’t afford to pay for all that. People all the time ask if we can get rid of the ads. We can’t. Our family is not independently rich. I don’t feel that we have much of a choice on the ads. They have to say…it’s the only way we can justify giving up so much of our time to the blog or explain to our husbands the amount of money we spend on the blog.
Affiliate links. We have those. If I am writing about something on the blog such as my Instant Pot I often link to Amazon. If a reader would follow this link and purchase an Instant Pot, Amazon will pay us a small percentage of the sale. We make about $20 a month on this. I don’t put the links in there for the money…$20 isn’t worth the time to find the links. I put them in because readers will write to me and ask “which Instant Pot do you have?”. Well by putting the link in, it saves me time and helps people find the answer to their questions on their own. I don’t think the affiliate links are intrusive. I actually find them helpful. I know lots of blogs that do this and I personally love quick access to the links.
Endorsements. I get free promotional things to test out if I write a review for them. For example Martingale will send me a book to review. I get to keep the book. In return I have to write a review. All of my reviews are my own personal opinions. I actually think that they aren’t a “buy this book” spiel. Anyone reading the blog can see by the title of the post that it is a book review and they can opt to not read it. I don’t feel it is veiled advertising…and the veiled advertising is what drives me crazy.
When I review a book that I listened to on Audible….again I do add Amazon affiliate links. Again, I don’t make much money on the link. I don’t write about the books with dollars in mind. I write them more as a “we all belong to a book club” and these are some books I’ve read and liked. I have no money agenda in mind when I write the posts.
I don’t want anyone ever to read the blog and feel like we are selling something. I don’t want to become a vehicle to market things be it an Instant Pot, a magazine we have a featured product in, or anything else. I honestly only tell about those things as they are a part of my life.
It’s hard to write a blog and make it financially feasible and not have some type of money generating features. What’s too much? What’s the right amount? I’m so at a loss. We don’t want the blog to be one of the blogs I don’t like with the sales pitches and give readers the feeling that they can’t create something without that exact type and model of equipment or the exact brand of school glue. I want you to be able to read the blog without feeling like I’m a salesperson. I have no want, need or desire to be a salesperson. Truly I only want to be the farm wife that happens to blog…
I do get complaints about the ads. I get it. For me, on the blogs I read that have ads, after awhile I become numb to the ads and don’t really even see them. I get complaints that the blog doesn’t load as quickly as some and readers attribute that to the ads. I can’t do much about that.
Please don’t ever feel like we are suggesting or pushing you into buying something. I truly want your visit here to be relaxing and pressure free. We all need some down time and that’s what I want the blog to be for you.
We welcome kind, constructive input….What’s your ideal? Are you tired of what I’m describing too? I’d love to hear from you!