On any given day, you can run around the blogosphere and find someone who’s been blogging about the removal of ads from their site. Or why they won’t ever have ads on their sites. It always goes back to some moral stance that they are trying to make and how it supposedly adds more weight to what recommendations that they do make. This isn’t one of those posts.
I run ads. I most likely always will. I enjoy blogging. It’s a great outlet for me both creatively and professionally. But I can’t do it for free. There are expenses involved. Arguably, I make more than my expenses are in a year, in a month. But the extra profit from this particular outlet allows me to work on other outlets. Other websites and other business ventures. For instance: I sell on eBay. It’s a small scale operation, with dreams of being a bit bigger. The extra money from this and other sites has allowed me to buy larger amounts of inventory and as a result, make more money there as well. That same extra money has allowed me to buy more domains to develop. (never mind that I’ve been having a hard time getting the motivation to develop them.)
In nearly every facet of life, there are two sets of people. The professionals and the hobbyists. I make money from my work here. That makes me a professional. If you don’t make money from your work, I would argue that you are merely a hobbyist. If you see yourself as a professional, you should be getting paid for your work. And unless you’re blogging for your employer, you’ll have to pay yourself. How will you do that? Advertisement revenue. Jim at The Net Fool put it best in the title of his post today. Cash is King!
Advertisements don’t have to be intrusive. They don’t have to be deceiving. You can still hold your moral ground while getting paid for your work. Make the decision to clearly label all affiliate links (I don’t, but that’s another post) and advertisements. If you’ve disclosed that you may make money from the link or banner, how is that a bad thing? You can be a professional and moral at the same time. It sometimes seems rare, but it does happen.
One last bit to chew on. Abraham Lincoln once said (long before the time of blogs) that “that which we attain too cheaply, we esteem to lightly”. If you’re giving your content away for free with no visible means of revenue, what does that tell you about how your content will be esteemed?