ADS ARE NOT DIRTY
Advertising is a way of life. You like certain things better than others. You tell your friends about the stuff you love. "WOW! Where did you get that purse?!!" It happens whether you get paid for it or not, right? As long as you aren't lying to sell a product, advertising is a great way to pass along the stuff you enjoy and share a part of yourself that might not get covered in a blog post.
Don't judge me because I allow ads on my site. Just know that anything I link here is something I would read, use, or share! If I don't like it, it's NOT going to find space on Sprittibee's blog. Even down to the colors on my template!
WHAT KIND OF ADS DO YOU DO?
I have run all sorts of ads on my site. I've done reviews that were for product, reviews that I did for free just because I liked a product - even though I purchased it myself, and reviews for money (only on products I liked). I've done contests and give-aways. I've partnered with other bloggers to give things away. I've done paid text links, link exchanges, charity links for non-profits, and BlogHer ads in my sidebar. I've been an Amazon, TOS, and Vision Forum associate. I even had a Netflix affiliation at one point, but gave it up because all my friends got Netflix, but didn't use my link! For shame!
I think every blogger hopes that her/his blog will be a profitable one. A passionate blogger is going to blog whether they get rewarded for blogging or not. My opinion is that: as long as you are being honest, only giving honest opinions, there's no reason why you shouldn't accept ads or review opportunities. Pat yourself on the back for all your time, passion and effort. And pat others on the back by using your revenues (if you get any worth writing home about) to buy blessings to return to your readers!
Also... be frank with the company who is sending the product: "If I hate your stuff, I will return it and not post about it."
That's my motto, anyway.
(This is the size of a 125x125 pixel ad box.)
THE STUFF I 'RECOMMEND'
My little 125x125 box ads will never lead you astray. They are wholesome, good places and things. Some are paid ads, some are free ones. Just because. If you want to advertise there; let me know. I'll shoot you a reasonable and current rate based on my latest weekly traffic report. I'll link back to your web page - or whatever page you want (as long as I approve of the site/product).
I blog about a wide variety of stuff. You can read more about it on my "What Do You Blog About" post. I'd probably guess that my main audience are homeschool mothers, parents, Christian moms, conservative tax-paying citizens, Texans. However, I'm sure that not all the people who stop here are exactly the same. Many might not fit in to any of those categories. You just never know when you blog about so many topics.
I used to keep up with stats, ecosystems, technorati, and such; but it really took the joy out of my blogging. I started becoming a numbers blogger. It wasn't happy any more.
I get a lot of emails from people wanting to know (before they send me some sort of sample of a product or request for a review) how many readers do you have? I can understand their reasons for asking. So I do keep up with my feed and email subscriptions (the number is available on my sidebar). I also get an email from my stat-counter once a week to let me know a general average for my hits. I don't check stats. Rarely I will go in to see what types of Google searches are drawing in the visitors... but for the most part, I stay away from the numbers. They don't tell me anything I need to know... and they remind me of the bathroom scale too much.
What I want to know is whether YOU are enjoying my posts. That only happens in comments. Because life is busy (especially for homeschool moms), I treasure your comments. I know you didn't have time to leave one... but you chose to do it anyway. I know that only 5 out of 100 people will stop to leave a note, so I try and respond to each and every one. HINT: PLEASE leave your email address as I respond mostly OFF-BLOG because it's easier to email than log in here to respond individually.
I hate that I can't respond to everyone, but I do my best because I'm a person. Not a blog. And I know you are, too.
Thus brings me back to the ads...
IF YOU READ MY BLOG AND WONDER WHY I ADVERTISE...
I used to blog entirely out of the goodness of my heart. But after a year or two, without reward, blogging became the 'thing that took me away' from the hubby and kids. They likened it to a video game addiction (mainly to rebut the fact that they had one and I was griping about it). That didn't set well with me.
So rather than give up blogging, I took on ads. Yep. I did a few reviews, I did a few give-aways, I ran a contest or two, I added a few paid links to my site. These things brought in products to our home that we wanted - that were not in the budget. Good products. Fun products. It also brought in a few dollars to buy groceries and sometimes keep the checkbook out of the red. Not bad for the work I originally was doing for free, right?!
Well, my husband and kids certainly were impressed. When I got that free iPod in 2006 they quit bugging me about my blog time. I just waved the pink iPod at them and said - "Mommy is at WORK." They went back to their video games, I got some peace and quiet. We suddenly became able to itemize our tax returns and say we were 'self-employed'. No longer could Daddy and kids point the finger of 'addiction' at mommy during computer time. She was doing official business... even if she was getting paid less than someone flipping burgers at McDonald's.
My blog is my ministry - my way of sharing and encouraging other moms out there. With or without ads, I would be writing and sharing the same things. Ads only help me to share what I love with you while giving back to my family. That's a win-win situation in my book.
IN A NUTSHELL:
* I don't give away, link to, or review items/services/sites that I would not use or don't like.
* Ads provide my family with incentives to allow mommy to spend some time on the computer without distraction each week - this is good for EVERYONE. Cuz when mommy ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.