Changing Times

(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!

85 thoughts on “Changing Times

  1. Ana Sweet

    Your blog has enough interesting content that I really want you to continue. I actually only read 3. One is from the UK and I have met her. One is from Japan and she is also a quilter. Her blog is so full of info on quilting, the daily issues of living in Japan, and fun photos. The last is yours and I have met you at retreat. I almost think of Iowa as a foreign country and it is interesting to find out things about rural farm Iowa.

    No one can satisfy everyone all the time. Please keep your blog open because I continue to recommend your patterns and book to others. I just skip over audio book reports and have no problem with any product placement because you are clear about what you are doing.

  2. Peggy

    I have never had a problem reading your page, even with the ads. The ones that pop up in each picture all have an “x” in the corner that I can click on to close them. However, just recently, and I imagine it happened when you reformatted your blog, there is a big blue banner ad at the bottom of the page that I feel is intrusive, and I have found no way of closing it to get rid of it. So, I just lower the whole page until that banner is below my taskbar, then lengthen my page from the top. Works like a charm to get rid of it! I do so enjoy reading your blog, everything from quilting to your kiddos (all of them).

  3. Paula (Texas)

    I love your blog! If I don’t want to hear about what you are reading, I skip that. If I want to click on an affiliate link, I do. Otherwise I just keep on reading. Ads I mostly ignore (sorry). I enjoy reading about your family, your daily life, and your quilting. The only thing I’m envious about is how quickly you seem to get your tops pieced and quilted! Keep on doing what you are doing!

  4. Jen

    I usually read from my android smartphone and the ads don’t bother me. Love the affiliate links…they save you from answering lots of emails. I wouldn’t change anything…I only read 4 or 5 blogs. I read this one and another every day…the others when I have time.

  5. Jeannie

    Your website doesn’t load slowly for me though others absolutely do. Some blog readers may unfortunately not have great internet speeds which makes websites load slowly. How quickly pages load can also depend on what browser a reader is using, what their browser settings are, and other technical issues unique to their own computer. It’s most unfortunate but the Internet and computing in general is complicated and becoming more so all the time. It is way beyond the ability of many if not most end users to resolve or understand how to address the difficulties they have. They tend to believe the problem is at the other end. Sometimes it is, but not always. You did well explaining the ad concerns from the perspective of the blog owner. Me personally, I think you do well by your readers in the content you provide in return for the ads, etc.

  6. Conni

    I, too, enjoy your blog! You are such practical, “down-to-earth” people that we all can relate to. Is it possible to have your ads placed on the side bar instead of over the top of your article? This is what I find most discouraging when I visit blogs with ads. Thanks for sharing your life and times with us!

  7. Karen

    I do some advertising on my blog too and I get it. The main thing of your advertising that bugs me is every paragraph has one word highlighted – I don’t know if you even see it yourself on your computer – If a person rolls over that word a pop up ad shows up. Also there is an ad across the bottom of the screen which on small laptops like mine it takes up a lot of space covering up about 2 inches of the lower screen. i don’t find your blog that slow to load. You have a lot of interesting things that you post and I enjoy reading it even though I’m not into child care.

  8. Jean Ward

    Just recently found your blog and I love it! I’m a less than wonderful quilter, so I love your “can-do” attitude and I am amazed by the amount you accomplish! Just how many hours do you have in your day, anyway? –Must be more than my measly little twenty-four! Anyway, keep on keeping on — you’re really doing a great job!

  9. Lynne Nicholson UK

    It’ll be all that malware on your blog slowing down computers *wink*
    Adverts on blogs don’t bother me because most of them link to the US and I’m in the UK and having been caught by companies not paying customs in the past and it costing me too much to get my things. Those that link to the UK are only tempting if they are for products I’m already planning to buy for a very good price.

  10. Kim

    I enjoy your blog and have never commented on anything. I want you to know that I never see ads on your blog and I don’t see any blue banner. Maybe the problem is with your readers. They should just get ad blockers. That might not be what you want to hear if you need the ads for income, but that’s the way I use my computer. And my ad blocker was free.

  11. Gwen adams

    I love your blog. I enjoy your family updates and look forward to see what your making. Keep blogging

  12. Penny

    Thank you for addressing this issue, Jo! I enjoy your blog just as it is please continue. I like the “hometown” feel to it! I do like the links you post with many things you’ve written about & had success using! As to ads ~ I read magazines & they have ads to help with costs & accept that the blogs I enjoy & read need ads also for same reason. There are others blogs that have become just to commercial so I just don’t read them anymore ~ yes, it’s just that simple. Sometimes on FB I find it necessary to change my settings. Regarding other things on the internet I just scroll on down if I’m not interested or often use delete. Ultimately I pick what I want to read.

  13. Erin

    I love your blog and I agree, sometimes when blogs get more commercialized they tend to change for the worse. What I see some blogs do that are trying to fight against commercialization is put up a paypal link. It usually says something like “do you enjoy our site? Please help us cover our server costs! We have raised $x out of $x needed. Thank you!” I usually donate myself in those cases because in my mind… you are offering me entertainment for free and I would be happy to offset some of those costs. The ads on your blog don’t bother me, I know they are there for a reason and I am happy they generate enough income for you.

  14. Jill Klop

    I love your blog. I’ve come to expect some advertising. Not just on your blog, but others as well. I feel like I’d rather see a few ads than have to pay a subscription. For me, seeing a few ads is the price that I pay, so to speak. As I mentioned yesterday, I had no idea the costs involved in blogging. It’s expensive. The ads are a means to an end. I love what you cover, from the quilting, to the child care, to your family. Thank you and Kelli, for what you provide to us.

  15. Carolyn

    Let me say that I have purchased from some of the companies you have provided links to, like some of the quilt shops that I would have otherwise not known about. If an ad pops up for something you are not specifically blogging about, I just ignore it. For instance, there is an ad for Pull-ups on here now, but I have no use for that product, so I ignore it. I agree with you about some people who are on Instagram or Facebook just to self promote. I handle it by blocking them from my feed. I also don’t have a problem with your blog loading slowly. I read it on my tablet, and I keep my tablet updated and free from unwanted cookies. I find that helps me.

  16. Robby H.

    I totally understand the need for ads, and don’t usually find yours bothersome. Heck, from time to time, I read them. There was a blog I liked that suddenly had ads you had to look at before you could read the content. I decided I was going away, but I wrote the blogger and told her very specifically why. She wrote me back and explained that the ads were not the way they had been explained to her and she was in the process of getting them changed, would I please hang on until the end of the month. She did exactly what she said, she’s still got ads, but they are more along the line of what you have and not super intrusive. I think sometimes bloggers are either mislead, or possibly don’t get feedback from their readers to know how things look from the other side of the monitor.

    I also noted the person above who commented about a Paypal button. That might be worth considering. I don’t always need a new book, but I’d be happy to pop for a little blog support from time to time because I do appreciate the value of things you can’t really sell to us.

  17. Karen

    I agree wholeheartedly! Constant advertising get very annoying, but I don’t feel that you or Kelly advertise things. You do give us the information to locate something that you already use if we are interested, which is very helpful, but you are not pushing or recommending anything, just giving your opinion. Which we value, very much.
    What really annoys me is all these people who make hurtful comments to you and Bonnie Hunter and Judy Laquidara, and many others I’m sure, that cause you to make changes and doubt yourselves, when they are apparently just people who have nothing better to do than criticize and cause problems. We love reading your blog and I’m sure I’m not the only one who checks back at least twice a day to make sure I don’t miss anything important! Please don’t let the few ruin things for the many!

  18. Diana Edwards

    I enjoy your blog. The ads do not both me. I read about four blogs regularly….which your is one of them . Thanks for sharing your time and stories.

  19. Gloria

    Jo & Kelli, I am a fairly new fan. I tell my hub & family about my NEW FRIENDS in Iowa and how creative, smart, busy, and fun you are! Not just anybody can handle three full time jobs daily!! If people have written things to criticize, hurt your feelings, & be mean, just know you have more friends and followers than have registered on your blog! Keep on with what you love and enjoy. It’s all wonderful!

  20. mary

    i think you have found a good mix of advertising. It is understandable that you need some to keep paying the bills but it also is pretty evident that you are promoting yourself for the sake of fame and fortune. You give us helpful information just like a neighbour dropping in for a coffee. Thats one thing I love most about your blog, it feels like real people are doing it, not phony self-promoting snake-oil salespersons

  21. Ellie

    Jo, I can’t begin to tell you how sad I would be if you quit blogging! Reading you with my coffee every morning starts my day off right. You are so positive and encouraging with wonderful ideas you freely share. I love reading about your family and all your children. I’ve learned to just ignore the ads I’m not interested in. If a post is about something that doesn’t interest me I feel free to skip it! As for speed of loading, that is more likely to involve the fact that picture heavy sites are slower to load than text only ones. It makes sense if you think about how much more information a picture takes to transmit than text. Another thing which can slow loading is how many people are on line in your area at the time and whether you’re using a desktop with wired connections or a wireless connection on a phone or tablet.
    Bottom line is I hope you and Kelli feel the love and support your readers have for you!

  22. Jo Post author

    No…not the ads. It’s the sneak in and try to sell me stuff within the words of the blog.

  23. Chris Jensen

    You and Kelli are doing a great job. I love hearing about the family and child care kids.
    I never have a problem with ads or the blog being slow.

  24. Adrienne

    Sheesh… I guess I should be embarrassed to say that I’ve never noticed the ads… until now!

  25. Robin

    I am obsessed with your blog and don’t want you to change it. In all honesty, I’ve never even paid attention the ads and I also have no problem with loading your page. You are an asset to the quilting, daycare and cooking community and if people have a problem they should just bypass your page. Thank you for everything you do, and for putting your heart into it.

    By the way, I finally made it to a book store yesterday to get the February issue of American Patchwork & Quilting. I can’t wait to make your quilt from the cover.

  26. Susan the Farm Quilter

    I agree with you…hate the ads on Facebook and on blogs, but I get why they are there…I don’t pay for using Facebook or reading blogs. The only ads that really bug me are the ones that cover half of the page so I have about 2 inches to read! I have learned to avoid the highlighted words in blogs (you and Bonnie always seem to have the most) and if I accidentally roll over one, there is the X to get rid of it. When I open your blog (fast, never slow) there is an ad at the bottom for Shareaholic that I can’t get rid of…not my favorite thing to see – I’d rather see your quilts or kiddos! The ads on the side or embedded in your blog, honestly I have learned to just ignore them! I like hearing about the things you have/use, quilting related or otherwise, just in case I’m considering the purchase (Instant Pot) of one…or you are tempting me into the contemplation of purchasing it!!! The links on those thinks are very much appreciated!

  27. Mary

    Dear Jo…Your blog loads quickly without any problems. I think people don’t realize the problem with loading the site might be their own slow Wifi service.
    Your blog is always fun but I occasionally skip posts about books, only because we have different interests. I’m an iPhone user so I skip the Android posts, but all in all, I absolutely love your humor, hearing about living in a small town, and all the other interesting things you do.
    We all understand the cost of doing anything online, so we have to be tolerant of some ads. BTW, your ads are truly not annoying; I honestly don’t even notice them. Keep posting and advertising anything that helps you stay online.
    Your blog and Bonnie’s are the only ones I read on a regular basis.
    A city girl from the west coast

  28. Janelle

    Jo & Kelli, I LOVE this Blog! <3 You put more content, across a HUGE interest base, than any I have EVER read! You talk about cooking, thrifting, child care, neighbors, community, quilting, farming, crafting, kids, DIY stuff, house renovations, Hubby's interests, and a slew of other things! Of all of the places I visit on the internet, Yours would be where I would be more than happy to drop a couple of bucks to enjoy! Do the Paypal thing, I'll help out! Don't worry about the ads, I don't even notice them! ;)

  29. Sharon

    I wouldn’t have said anything, but just because you asked, what bothers me the most is the strip of blue advertising at the bottom from Shareaholic that I can’t get rid of. The other ads, I’m used to seeing and I realize that it is to cut down on the cost of running the blog.

  30. Debbie

    With the banner across the top of the blog and the blue banner across the bottom, there is barely enough space to read the blog without scrolling and scrolling and scrolling. I’d like to be able to close the blue banner.

  31. Diane W

    Jo and Kelli, I look forward to your blog every post. It’s like you’re at my farm, sitting at the kitchen table for coffee and a visit. I know the ads support your blog and I have used your links. Keep being the awesome people that you are and sharing your lives so generously with us all.

  32. Mary

    I have stopped reading many blogs because of the ads poppping up rught in the middle of the posts. Also, I can’t see why there is a teaser and then I have to click to read more. I really, really appreciate that your post is in my email but then I can go to your site to look for other info. but not always. Thanks and keep doing what you’re doing!

  33. norma

    I think you’re doing a great job. I love hearing about your family, quilts, food, childcare, neighbors,thrifting, farming, etc ! I don’t do childcare but I have grandchildren so all of it resonates with me. Keep up the good work if you can. I appreciate you!

  34. Linda B

    I have also become disillusioned with Facebook and Instagram due to all the advertising. I used to check them both several times per day, and now I only look at them every couple of days. I rarely make it very far down my timeline before I get tired of all the advertisements.

    I only follow a few blogs. One of them has numerous advertisements. For that one I use my Safari reader view feature (which blocks the advertisements). I follow email notifications to read new blog entries.

    Having said all that—I don’t feel that your blog has excessive advertising. I always enjoy your blog, and I learn a lot.

    Thank you for taking time in your busy lives to share with us.

  35. Amy

    I had noticed with Internet Explorer, it was hard to load your page, it took a long time. Now I use Google and no problems. Love your blog. What’s wonderful about the internet, if you aren’t interested in something you can scroll past it. Please continue this wonderful blog!

  36. Jackie Goosen

    I hate all of the ads too! Your. Log isn’t too bad and if the ads make me cranky, I click on the PDF version.

  37. Gwen

    I like your blog just the way it is. I like links to places to buy things you like to use. I have ordered some of the things and like them too. I do have the blue banner at the bottom of the page that others have mentioned and I haven’t found a way to get rid of it. I read your blog because of your great quilting projects and advice on the way you do things. I have used many of your tips. I also read your blog because you talk about living in small town Iowa. I grew up in a small town in Iowa and miss it. I have found a couple of other blogs from small town Iowa that I also read. I found them on your list of other blogs. I am still sorry I had to cancel my trip to your retreat with Bonnie Hunter last summer due to family obligations. I would have loved to meet you and Kelly and all the others attending the retreat. Also, I would have loved to spend a few days enjoying small town Iowa.

  38. Bonnie Lippincott

    I love your blog. I start looking at other blogs, last for a few months and end up deleting them. They don’t hold my interest, even though they are solely about quilting. Your blog, on the other hand, is a quite unique in that you are a quilting blog, but you also have the childcare (which I love) and throw in the book reviews or telephone reviews or whatever is on your mind at the time.

    I live in California and I love to hear your midwest ideas and other things unique to your area. I love hearing about your children, even the ups and downs, and just learning! I’ve made some of your recipes, too!

    Keep it up! What you are doing is right. If there is ever anything I’m not interested in at the moment, I just skip it. It’s that easy.

    Thanks for keeping on . . . ads and all!

  39. Cindy

    Someone mentioned that we get magazines and they have ads to help pay for the magazine. And we have to pay for the magazine. You offered much more and it costs us nothing. I love your blog and all that you share. Thanks for sharing and inspiring.

  40. Kathleen

    oh wow, not an easy discussion, but thank you for raising it. Every person is different. I enjoy your blog, can ignore the ads, and avoid the highlighted words, and have a good experience. I much less am enthusiastic about the posts about your new cell phone, then I feel used a tiny bit, but i just skip those.

    I think, in the end, your blog is for YOU, not for the readers. Post what you want, and people can read or not, as they wish.

    I don’t like the quilter self-promotion either, if that’s the entire content. Some people find a nice balance of sharing their professional and individual news. The others I just don’t read.
    And I just stay off Facebook, cause it never amused me in the first place – way too self-indulgent, with everyone showing photos of their dinner.

    Just be real, and we’ll be there to read about it. Hugs,

  41. Sherri Crum

    I’ve been reading your blog a long time–started when you were buying the house and starting the remodel. Yours is the one blog I read every day. Love, love it!

  42. Terri in BC

    Yours is one of the few blogs that I feel has the right mix of personal content and ads that help defer the costs, and one of the few that I read regularly. The only problem I have is that the banner at the bottom has no way of getting rid of it, but I can manage. (the banner at the top can easily be closed by clicking the X in the top right-hand corner)

  43. Sally Warren

    If I am trying to read a blog and the ads are intrusive or flashing too much, I click on the little three and half lines icon to the left of the blog title (not sure what to call it, on your blog it is at the top, just to the left of joscountryjunction.com). That takes away the ads. Another trick to cut back on annoying ads is to just enlarge the blog post until the ads are off the screen and all you see is the blog post (easy to do on an iPad).
    Now, I have to say, reading your blog has cost me a good bit of money! You sent me to Quilted Twins and Green Fairy Quilts…..and they are such good websites/companies! You really do get good deals there. I really enjoy your posts, whether about your Bonnie Hunter quilts, your thrift shopping, childcare, neighbor girl, Ruby tales, auctions, health, family, etc. Thank you and please keep it up!!

  44. Anne Deedrick

    Jo, I love your blog. For me it’s the perfect amount of quilting, recipes, book reviews. I ignore adds if they aren’t something I’m interested in. I love that you and Kelli share your life with us. You keep things so real, you’re like the neighbor next door and fun to get to know. Please keep blogging.

  45. Eleanor Kay Hunzinger

    I personally enjoy your blog post very much. You are the only blog that sounds like “down home good people”. I grew up on a farm and can identify with many of the things you talk about. It has never even occured to me that you were selling anything. I hope you will continue your blog. I am enthused to hear how much quilting you accomplish while having child care children to take care of. I enjoy seeing your work. I never even knew Bonnie Hunter was until I read your blog. All I can say is keep up the good work and don’t be intimadated by other people.

  46. Darby

    I completely agree about ads on Facebook. The ads by companies didn’t bother me as much as the ads from people I thought were my friends but in the end just wanted to sell me their nutritional supplements, etc. Some post 5+ times per day! In October I deactivated my Facebook account due to all the crud from my “friends”. One is a close family member & is the main reason I quit. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t quit your blog! After getting rid of Facebook & Snapchat it’s the only thing I have left! I look at Instagram once or twice a week. It doesn’t really interest me. Probably because I don’t follow many people due to being afraid I’ll end up seeing all their self promotion & advertising. You and Kelli are everything but that!

    -A Wisconsin Farm Wife

  47. Fran

    Keep doing what you are doing. I enjoy your blog very much. I don’t ever feel pressure to buy anything, and the ads do not bother me one bit. I mostly ignore them. Not to worry. You are doing a great job. I love looking at your quilts and also reading about your thrift store adventures.

  48. Maureen

    Jo and Kelli,
    Most of what I would say about your blog has been said. I would hate to see you go away. Your blog is usually the one that I save to read last–it’s kind of like saving the best for last. I enjoy reading about farm life and how you care for your kids. I enjoy hearing about neighbor girl and I pray for her. I have prayed for you as you have dealt with health issues, and I’ve enjoyed your book reviews. You have made me add a number if books to my “to read” list. And, of course, it’s always fun to read about and see your latest quilts. The two of you come across as just two regular ordinary women, and that’s what makes Jo’s Country Junction so readable and enjoyable. Keep it up!

  49. Linda

    I understand the need for some ads and I think you have a balanced amount, uh, except for that blue banner across the bottom from shareaholic. That one impinges on my screen length and is most annoying. I don’t know whether you can control that one or not, but just thought I would mention it. I’m not dropping your blog over it!

  50. Robin Boggan

    Well said Jo! I love your blog and look forward to see what your family has been up to. I watch you get your quilts done so fast and it has made me realize that if you do a little everyday I to can get my quilts done. Thanks for all your help that give to us. Take care of yourself and please keep your blog going.

  51. Li

    Well said. I appreciate the time you put in to write. Very interesting content. Nice tone. Down to earth. Keep up the good work

  52. Linda Hodges

    I think you can see from the comments received that you have a dedicated following and people don’t want to see you change or finish blogging. It’s wonderful to read about your quilting, family, recipes and things going on in your area. Yes, there are things I don’t read, ie. the cell phone entries but being in the UK, they are of no interest to me. However, most of the adds I can tolerate. I do get annoyed when I read any blogs where ads come up that have nothing to do with what I am interested in. I have had two where there have been “inappropriate” ads pop up – these blogs I have immediately stopped following. Just keep up your wonderful stories as you are. I love reading your tales. Hugs to you all.

  53. Donna

    Please don’t change the blog!!! I love the farm wife view! I grew up in a small town and a lot of my friends were farm kids so I can relate to a lot of things you write about! I never had children but I love reading about the childcare kids; neighbor girl and your own kids!!! Of course I love reading about your quilts and when you get published! I really don’t mind the ads on your blog!!! I have also quit reading a lot of blogs because they have become so commercialized! They only post if they have a new fabric line; book or something they want to sell coming out! I like reading about every day people and events in their lives. There is one blogger I follow who apologizes because she thinks her post for the day is boring but it is not! It is interesting since my life is so different from hers or yours! Thank you so much for not getting political on your blog! I have dropped a few blogs because they talk politics! I don’t care what your views are but if I want to read about politics I will click on a news sight!!! I read quilt blogs to get away from politics!!! Thanks for a fun, informative blog!!!

  54. Donna

    Let’s face it – there are just some things we do have to put up with – and the ads on your page aren’t that annoying like some blogs. Just stay the way you and Kelli are – we like you just like that!

  55. Sherry V

    I agree with you 110%!

    On Facebook I usually don’t go through my “feed”, I go to my groups and then scroll through them.

    My big gripe is the blogs that are camouflaged as quilt sites but are really sales pitches for their latest ruler, tool, fabric line, trip, etc, etc., etc.

    I understand that people need to make a living….and maybe that is why I will never be a famous quilter. . .but if to do that means I need to be a walking, talking billboard sign for my business then it ain’t happening.

    I have done pattern testing for several designers. . . .and I will continue doing that . . .and I appreciate that they don’t expect me to be shouting their wares from my blog. Because that is not who I am or who I want to be.

    Your blog is fine…I can click off the ads when they cover your content and I can ignore the links if I want. But, more than that, your content is not a constant sales pitch…..and that is the most appreciated.

  56. KimZ

    Jo, I can relate too your frustrations. I no longer have FB. I enjoy instagram but, it seems to be going the way of FB. What I enjoy most is your blog. I have read it for years & enjoy reading what you post. Your quilting is inspiring. I have loved watching your new home come together. Your family is everything & You share just the right amount without being intrusive. I thank you for keeping it real & leave me feeling like a neighbor. Just know you are appreciated. Do what’s right for you!

  57. Roxanne

    I hope you’re feeling the love! We’re out here loving you being you. I want you to enjoy your experience of writing the blog as much as we enjoy reading it. It’s a two way street so let us know what we can do too. Really!

  58. Jean

    I love your blog and hardly notice the ads. It is rather like reading a newspaper where it is not necessary to read the ads. And I totally understand the need for ads. We get so very much from you for free. As far as I’m concerned it has always been clear there are costs to blogging in regards to both time and money and therefore the need for ads that do not have to be read. I only read your blog, Bonnie Hunter’s blog and now thanks to you the Quilted Twins blog. Thank you every so much for your generosity in providing this blog.

  59. Bridget

    I am reading this all with interest even though I can’t really relate as I have NEVER been of Facebook etc. really. I read very few blogs but I do read yours and I have clicked thru to a few things. I have also purchased your book and highly recommend it!!(unsolicited comment :)) I read you because it is nice to get another person’s perspective on life. I am busy with two small children and a full time job and a long commute so my time matters. I am married to a retired farmer so I understand all the farming related posts LOL (I have a long commute because you can’t move farms). Your posts are just exactly long enough for me to eat my breakfast and get going for the day. I found you thru Bonnie Hunter’s website when she listed the blog’s she followed. She no longer does, for a reason. :( Please don’t stop blogging. I don’t mind the ads.

  60. Cindy F

    I love your blog! When I first started reading blogs I would spend a lot of time going through many of them and over time I’ve only stayed with 2-3 and yours is one of them. Do I love the ads? No, but they aren’t bothering me enough to stop coming here. I know there are expenses for you and Kelli and I accept that you need to support the blog in some manner. I don’t know of any site that is ad free. Nothing in life is free and if people want to read ad free content they should expect to pay for it.

  61. Delisa

    Jo, keep doing what you are doing! I love your blog. Its a special treat when this farmer’s daughter gets to hear what your hubby is doing on the farm. I’ll share one of my dad’s sayings that we heard a MILLION times growing up…”Beggar’s can’t be choosers”, so if ya ain’t paying, hush and appreciate what you receive.

    Years ago, my mom was one of the early subscribers to Farm Wife News. We all loved that magazine. I continued to get it after finishing college and moving to the city. Some of my favorite recipes came from those pages. Sadly they sold the publishing company to Reader’s Digest, and things changed and it became just another glossy magazine. Gone were the real stories of the farming community and its ups and downs, it became a Southern Living like thing. I still miss the old magazine and often I think that your blog is like that magazine….a slice of REAL life. Thank you for sharing with us each day!

  62. Ann Shepherd

    I don’t read that many blogs for a lot of the reasons you mention but yours is a daily treat. Tend not to notice most of the ads in the same way as I would in a magazine. As a UK reader it’s nice to be part of a life somewhere else in the world and I appreciate you sharing yours with others.

  63. Angela Schultz

    I truly enjoy your blog. I agree with your assessment of the ads. It’s a necessary thing to keep paying the bills. I think you’re doing a fantastic job. Part of the reason I enjoy your blog so much is the down to earth feel you give. Your ads are not intrusive. One thing I like the most is that you do not always get the latest and greatest fabric lines. I love that you thrift for fabric. I can’t always afford new fabric and am encouraged by your thrifting. I want to make all the cool quilts out there but I can’t afford to rush out and get all that expensive fabric. You are not pushy about the things and products you enjoy and use. I follow a lot of blogs but only read the articles if the post is truly something I’m interested in enough to put up with the ads. There are a few exceptions, your blog being one of them. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the blog and it’s readers. Keep up the good work!

  64. Carolyn

    Yes the adds can be intrusive. I usually read the blog in my email, and it shows the whole story and pics. If I want to comment like now, i have to go to the internet version. I like it and I like the links you use. I like the farm wives and hope you don’t change, well much. bc we all change.

  65. Girl in the Stix

    I enjoy your blog, and you are always up front about where books come from, and your links to Amazon. I don’t feel a “sales pitch” vibe at all. I appreciate the time and effort it takes to write and prepare a blog post (photos, links, et al.). I hope you enjoy writing the blog and continue for a long time.

  66. Joyce Mullis

    One bonus I did not see you mention is that most of your posts have a PDF version. I’ll download that and don’t worry about my IPad struggling to reload because of ads. I too blog and have kept it simple and non commercial. I do on occasion promote two retreats I facilitate, but it’s very low key. I enjoy your quilting talent and will continue to do so. Good job!

  67. Mary Jo B.

    To quote a few lines from Billy Joel

    Don’t go changing, to try and please me …

    I took the good times, I’ll take the bad times
    I’ll take you just the way you are :>)

  68. Peggy

    my only issue with advertising is when the host (blog, radio, podcast etc) seems to pretend that the product advertised is not affiliated with them or that they are over the top about it. I appreciate that you are always open about your affiliations. I stopped listening to a radio station because it would be something chatty like ‘I really needed my house painted. I searched and searched and found that such-and-such company is the best”………..and surprise, such-and-such also has commercials on that segment.

  69. LA

    I feel guilty about using an ad blocker, but it is the only way I can see your blog. I am on a farm and the internet here is so slow the page won’t load with the ads. Some days it doesn’t load at all. It’s the way life is out here and there’s no chance of any company moving in and giving us faster speed. There aren’t enough people to pay the costs.

  70. Catherine

    Recently I’ve unsubscribed to a bunch of blogs because of the intrusive ads and being forced to click around just to read the content. Your blog is one of the few I kept. I enjoy the quilts, the book reviews, the family stories, everything. I feel like you’re my friend even though we’ve never met. Keep up what you’re doing. It’s excellent!

  71. Bobbiesews

    Just adding my 2 cents, I love your blog and it’s format. I like the comment that mentioned a neighbor and a cup of coffee, don’t we share info with our friends in person???? I have read most of the books you reviewed,please keep on. I’ve tried recipes and print out the ones that are keepers for my family. I love your reviews of quilt stores and I’m not EVEN close to IA. I’ve even played with the idea of coming to IA for one of the future retreats, just saying……..
    Keep on living your life your way and PLEASE keep on blogging.

  72. Barbara

    Hi Jo! I love reading your blog. and I check it every day. I had an in-home daycare for 10 years and I love hearing stories about your kiddos and experiences with them. I love seeing your beautiful quilts and projects. I’m a quilter and sew-er of all kinds of things, including a chinchilla hammock! I enjoy hearing about your cooking and baking. I like hearing from Kelli and what’s going on with her. In a nutshell, I love your whole blog! Now I am about your age, and I don’t expect speedy loading times or perfect conditions , I’m just thankful to be able to log on, read and look at your photos of beautiful quilts and what-not. I don’t care about ads – I just ignore them! I hope you continue blogging as you brighten my day and I’m sure many others feel the same!

  73. Rhonda Russell

    I find you have a good balance between content and ads. Your ads are unobtrusive and I’m able to read your content without interruption from the content. Like you, I have stopped reading some blogs because the advertisements took over and it took too long for the pages to load. So far, I haven’t had that problem with your blog. I personally like the links for products within the content–it’s much easier to go check out what you are writing about. Also, I don’t mind the book reviews. I don’t read them but you make it obvious in the title that it is a book review and I can easily skip it without having to load the page. I think you’ve found an excellent balance between your content and the advertisements that allow you to continue to provide your content. Thank you for letting us see into your world.

  74. ColleenM

    I follow you every day and would be very sad if you stopped blogging. The ladies from my church quilt group call you “my friend in Iowa” that I send scraps to (even though we haven’t met…yet). I have followed a few links and purchased a couple of items. The ads, meh, I look if they seem interesting otherwise, I just ignore them.

    I also echo Mary Jo.

    Thanks for all you and Kelli do!

  75. Janine Baker

    Jo:
    I always feel so bad when I read of someone being mean to you girls. You give me and many others so much pleasure with your blog. You take time from your day to share your life with us, it just doesn’t seem fair that you should be subjected to all the meanness you get. You are the first blog I read everyday! I only read a handful, but you are first. I love hearing of your life, childcare, Iowa and most especially all the quilting that you get done! I agree with one of the other comments-you MUST have more than 24 hours in a day! I have made several of your recipes and just feel like you are a long distance BFF. I would like to send you a few things that I am purging and think you would like. Could you send me your address? I had it once when I mailed you some fabric, but am not able to find it now. I am not sure how you want to get it to me, I hate to have it plastered all over the internet-you never know about people now days. Sincerely, Janine

  76. Susan

    No complaints from me! I really enjoy your sharing the books you enjoy- I do that with other friends too!
    I don’t find the ads too obnoxious. The ones that make me crazy are the ones that cover up what I am trying to read. That defies the purpose of me even going to that blog. Do what you have to do to cover your expenses, we all do.
    I enjoy hearing about normal families and their lives.

  77. Catholic Bibliophagist

    Your blog has just the right tone, and your content is so valuable to me that I don’t mind the ads at all. I feel like the ads are there to make the content possible, unlike some blogs where I feel like the content is just a thin excuse for ads. Please just keep doing what you’re doing.

  78. Joyce Chapman

    I use Google Chrome to use the internet and read my mail and I don’t have any ads pop up when I’m reading on the computer and using the mouse to scroll. Perhaps it happens in Internet Explorer or another program?? I do have the rectangular ads at the top and bottom, but don’t pay attention to them. I have lots of space to read in between. The rest of your ads are on the right side of the page, not intrusive at all. I have a long list of blogs that I’m currently trying to determine which ones to remove. It will definitely be the ones who are constantly pushing their current fabric line and latest patterns for sale. When you look at the patterns, they are mostly old patterns that they are now claiming they’ve invented. Some feel they have to post every day, when they really don’t have anything to say. Love your blog and will keep it for sure. I sometimes don’t get to read your newest post on the day you post, but I always go back to make sure I’ve not missed any posts. Don’t change anything!!

  79. Claire Surovell

    I’m not bothered by the ads, I understand why they are there. I have learned a lot about quilting and Iowa life from you. I have followed blogs you follow and learned about other quilters. I am touched by your openness and your charity.

  80. Mabel

    I read your blog in Newsify and do not see any ads. I love your way of writing and the items you write about. But I totally share your opinion about some blogs where you have to click several times to read something. And other times you get ads that you cannot cancel. I do not like it, and erase that kind of blogs from my list.

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