Should you have Ads on your blog?
If so, what should they be?
What are your opinions on ads? How do you feel about affiliate links where the blogger makes money recommending a product? What do you think is an appropriate ad or form of monetization for a blog. Do you feel a make money online blog should be treated the same as another niche? I’d like to know how you feel about these questions.
Courtney Tuttle asked the question in a recent post "Is selling ads evil?"
This is in response to some bloggers who do not have ads on their blogs and do not plan to. The comments on the post also go into not only having ads, but what is really appropriate for a blog, especially in the make money online blogging niche. I really suggest you read his post and the comments as the bloggers in question made comments also.
Is Selling Ads Evil? | Internet Marketing | Strategy & Services To me, in a perfect world, we would all only make money through affiliate offers of products and services we have tried and endorse ourselves on all of our sites. I would like to hope that people trust me even though I sell ads, I certainly would never point you guys in a post toward a product that I didn’t use
Do you think running ads on a blog is appropriate?
I would like to say that I agree with Court’s point that having ads is not evil. I also agree that I would much rather see ads than see a blog end because the owner loses interest. If you can make a good income from ads, I would think the interest would last more.
So many of us have been taught that "Money is the root of all evil."
That statement is actually a misquote of the Bible. The truthful term is "The love of money is the root of all evil." Misquoting God is another source of evil. It worked on Eve and seems have continued working on many people today. We pay heavily for listening to those misquotes.
I find that people without money seem to love it more than those who have what they need and want.
They are focused on what they do not have that others have. It can become an obsession. Where am I going to get the rent for next week? How am I going to pay that bill? I deserve that new car as much as he does. Or even worse, "The rich are not paying their fair share." It becomes covetousness. Beware when you start hearing the phrase "It’s not fair!"
So what ads should you have?
One problem with a blog is there is a given endorsement by you just for showing an ad. It can affect the respect people will give you. Take online dating services for example. There are a lot of sleazy ads and services. I have seen some ads on blogs that make me wonder what kind of ethics the blogger has.
It is worse for the make money online blogging niche.
There are a lot of products out there that are overpriced and over-hyped. There are some outright scams. There are shady practices. This can really have an impact on your name or brand. I think there was a bit of embarrassment from those who promoted the $9.95 Joel Comm product that found their readers felt tricked. This can happen real easy and it may even be out of your control once you have promoted it. Even if it seem like a good product to you.
Should you promote something you have not tried?
This is really the sticky question. If you run AdSense, it would be difficult for you to even try the products (you would even get penalized clicking your links to see what the product was). Yet, for many niches, AdSense on of the best ways to monetize and no one thinks there is anything wrong with using it. There are lots of products that could be advertised that you might not be able to try for several reasons.
Sometimes, you’ll still have problems without making money from a product.
Some people want advice just so they can argue with your suggestions.
I saw this a lot in the photography business.
I hated when someone would ask for advice. It was almost always the same thing. I would be told someone at the counter wanted advice on what camera to buy. I was very busy. We did not sell cameras so there was no financial gain for me (other than being able to show them better pictures when they came in for processing).
I would give the advice asked for, and they would literally argue with me.
My advice was based on what I used. It was bases on seeing millions of photos and finding out what ones were taken with what cameras. Still, these idiots would tell me that this camera had such and such features and so and so said it was good. They wanted to by a camera make I knew was junk (most of those camera makers still make junk). Why, did they ask me then? They asked me, I did not come to them. I had work to do instead of stand there arguing.
I see this happen with bloggers.
They offer advice or help, much of it very good. You will see a comment on how this post was not up to the bloggers normal standards and they are going to unsubscribe, never return, or hack the blog. At least I have not had to face that here yet, I am no expert yet. I have seen it though. I bet a lot more of these types of comments are deleted before we see them.
You may face the same problem of your credibility if you have ads or not.
Anytime you give advice, you put yourself up to criticism. It does not matter if you make money from it or not. I think you might as well make money from your advise. I say put the ad or affiliate link up.
What about products you do not have experience with?
I am planning a post about hosting. While I can speak from experience about the hosts I use, what about hosts others I trust recommend? Should I not even mention or link to them? If I mention them, is it wrong to give an affiliate link and make money from it even though I do not have experience with them? They are going to pay the same if they choose the host from my link or not. What if things change at a host I do recommend from experience and things go bad?
What about generic text ads like AdSense?
Do you feel that there is endorsement by the site they are on? Besides the question of are they ugly or do they disturb the reader or site layout. Do you feel they are dishonest in any way. Do you think the average Internet surfer feels they are part of the site?
I think that there are some differences.
I think there can be a difference between endorsing a product and showing an ad for it. I also think that the blogger or Internet marketer also needs to look at each situation and make sure that he is not misleading readers into thinking an ad or link is an endorsement when it is not. I think an endorsement is something that takes even more care than an ad. It is a personal recommendation. It should be treated like advice to a friend.
What are your opinions?
No arguments please.:)