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Blogging for dollars?

Each of us blogs for a reason: you might write to document your life, you might write to satiate your…

Each of us blogs for a reason: you might write to document your life, you might write to satiate your inner muse — constantly clamouring for your attention just at the side of your consciousness — you might post photos to help you learn more about that awesome digital camera you just got, you might make stop-motion claymation movies because you just couldn’t get enough of Wallace and Gromit, you might write because you just can’t stop, or, you might be working on building traffic to your site so that eventually, you might be able to earn some money from all that creativity flowing through your veins. Each of our reasons for blogging is as individual as we are and that’s one of the wonderful things about the internet and the blogosphere.

So let’s say you’re blogging your heart out and all the time, attention, thought, and effort you’ve put in to your writing and photography has earned you a loyal following. You’re active in the community, and the conversation going in in your comments section is so interesting, thoughtful, and stimulating, you call it a salon. This labor of love — your blog — has some legs. It’s getting significant traffic. Did you know that you may be able to earn a bit of income from your site? Enter WordAds.

The WordAds program is an advertising program for sites on WordPress.com. As a blog owner, you can apply to have your blog considered for the program which allows you to run ads on your blog and earn revenue from those ads. Got your interest piqued? There are some questions you may want to consider before applying to the WordAds program to place ads on your site:

  • What effect might ads have on your readers’ thoughts about your site?
  • What effect would ads have on your approach to your blog?
  • Would your site still be your labor of love if it becomes a vehicle for income?

For those of you who may already have WordAds on your site, what factors did you think about when you considered ads?

In general, do you view monetized blogs any differently than blogs that don’t have ads? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Tomorrow on Daily Post, we’re featuring Ten Questions with Jon Burke, the man behind the WordAds program. If you’d like to learn more in the meantime, check out WordAds.

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  1. I’m new to WordPress but I view it as a good thing and plan on looking into it for myself. I consider myself an Artist but I also enjoy the business side of things. I have no desire to be a “starving” artist as the say, so I am greatful for the information. Great post, nice writing chops ;-).

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  2. I added WordAds to my blog about a month ago. I don’t find it had any negative effect on my readership. In my mind, when I see ads on other blogs, I consider it a good thing. In my mind it can give a blog a dash of credibility. I think it says -hey, I have been around the block with this blogging thing- when I see a blog that has ads.

    Now, too many ads and the wrong kind of ads are another story.

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      1. I am at an astounding $0.19. I am not interested in donating to charities at this moment in time, so don’t even waste your breath ;)

        All joking aside though, I don’t believe my earnings for the month of January are showing up yet, and I only had it for a few days in December (which I am assuming is where the 19 cents came from). I also understand that you can not redeem any money until you have made over $100 in earnings.

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  3. Say we don’t go for word ads. Does this mean that the ads will still appear but we won’t get paid. I know currently my readers do occasionally see an ad but I would be a bit concerned if my blog was being swamped with them, especially if I really didn’t want to go with wordads

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    1. Hi Mike, WordPress.com does occasionally show ads to site visitors who are not logged in to WordPress.com. We do this so that we can pay the bills and keep WordPress.com free. We do offer a “No Ads” upgrade which costs $30 per year — this prevents any ads from appearing on your site for a full year.

      If you chose to apply to WordAds, and were accepted, then you could place ads on your blog, and earn the income from them.

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  4. Why does everything have to be monetized? Personally, I have a heafty following and I would not insult their intelligence by tossing in drones who advertise. I have no issue with promoting a friend or small business that I have a relationship with but to lower my standards with pop up ads is not for me under any circumstances.

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  5. I don’t have a problem with a few ads showing up on sites I hit, but I detest pop ups right in the middle of my reading, or info wedged in between paragraphs or things of a personal nature, like dating sites and viagra If a blog looks cluttered, I move on fast. I would not want them on most of my blogs, because I post so many of my own visuals it would impact my presentation negatively. But, I would be interested in knowing how much money is involved and how it is calculated.

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  6. I have ads on my blog. I don’t feel like it hurts my blog, but sometimes I wish I had options to limit which companies could advertise on my blog. Sometimes the ‘ad’ on my blog, or someone else’s blog, is blocked out in red and white lines with a warning that says clicking it will take you to an unsafe site… those are the only times I wish ads were not on my blog because it looks ugly and unsecure

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      1. Cool. I don’t think I have been offended yet by an ad that I have seen on my blog. But I don’t know what ads others see when they come to my blog. If it uses a program to monitor a specific viewers preferences… then one person might get an ad for running shoes, and another person might get an ad for Trojan condoms, and a third might get an ad for Disney World.

        If I wrote a blog post about how most Disney cartoons stereotype women as needing rescued, I may not want Disney ads appearing on my blog. It’s not necessarily offensive, just awkward ad placement. Does that make sense?

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  7. You pose the question – “In general, do you view monetized blogs any differently than blogs that don’t have ads?” I don’t distinguish because (I am guessing) you cannot tell the difference between a blog subscribing to the WordAds programme and a non-Pro site where ads are occasionally automatically inserted by the ‘system’. Have a missed something – more than likely :-)

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  8. I activated Wordads on my blog last summer and it’s been a pleasant surprise. I was hesitant at first, but I’m glad I did. The ads aren’t too intrusive. And, honestly, ads are so a part of the internet now, that most people hardly notice them unless they are just obnoxious, like the ones that take over the screen or start playing videos automatically. Unless you’re getting a crazy amount of traffic, you aren’t going to make a living off the income, but it is a nice to make a little on the side while doing something you’re passionate about.

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  9. Personally I find that as a reader, ads can be distracting, especially from content that is serious. It also matters how well the ad content fits the theme and subjects in the blog.

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  10. I don’t view others differently if they choose to monetize their blogs. It is obvious when they are choosing to do it since you can see the ads even if logged in. The one downside is when someone posts featuring photos and an ad shows up directly next to or below them, which I find can be distracting in taking the focus away from the photos.

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  11. I do not blog to make money. I blog to share my writing with those who enjoy my personal stories and poems. I find ads distracting in my blog and others. I don’t want to sound like a purist, but why do we have to be bombarded with others wanting us to buy EVERYWHERE ?!

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  12. I’d love to get paid for my blog; blogging the first time I’ve ever given it away for free. I don’t change my opinion of blogs with ads; if anything they look slightly more legitimate. Without it mine looks like something dreamed up by any old schmuck. Which I’m not. Truly. Not.

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  13. Very few writers make a full income off ad revenue alone, so I have no issue with ads on blog pages. So long as sponsores dont affect the writing! :)

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  14. IT COMES RIGHT DOWN TO MONEY IT DOESN’T IT? I LIKE MONEY FOR WHAT IT CAN DO, BUT IF I HAVE TO GO BACK TO WRITING ON THE SIDEWALK WITH CHALK TO EXPRESS MY THOUGHT TO THE WORLD, THEN I AM HEADED TO WAL-MART AND GETTING NEW KNEE PADS IF IT WILL KEEP MY BLOG FROM BEING OVERRUN WITH ADS!

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    1. Hi @Volcanosunset — you’re welcome to comment here, but please don’t shout. (Writing in all capital letters is considered to be shouting or yelling on the internet.) Thank you!

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  15. Ads don’t seem to be a bad idea at all. In my opinion, they include their own attractions.
    It is beautiful to view both regular content and see some of the interesting ads that could be available on a blog.
    It is so good to know that an able team has been putting thoughts together about issues like these.
    Keep up the good work.
    Lovely post!

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    1. Agree. I dont know anyone who does not use stuff like adblock plus and noscript. For myself, I can´t remember when I saw the last ad in the internet. It must be years ago. I think I did forget that the internet is full of ads since I use firefox and such stuff. Just some weeks ago when I talked about it on our teamspeak voice sever with real life friends and online game friends… My impression is that adblock is very famous and heavily spread. They all know it and use it.

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  16. I am a little confused about the difference in what is considered family-friendly and what I am seeing on some of the sites that state they have ads. Can one have profane language on their blog and still have ads.

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  17. This question doesn’t really apply to me since my blog’s always all over the place, but for people with more focused and niche blogs, is there a way for them to let WordPress know the specific types of ads they believe their readership may actually be interested in? It also seems like it’d reduce the times a blogger would have to report an ad they might find offensive, as mentioned earlier in comments.

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  18. I can’t figure out a way to see any ads that are appearing on my blog??? I try to keep my blog clean and beautiful, and a lot is devoted to God, so how can I find out what ads are popping up for those who aren’t wordpress bloggers visiting??? I would be horrified if a viagra add or some such other items are showing next to my poems about God??? Can I get a list or something, that shows what ads are being placed on my blog?? and can I refuse some ads, if they are NOT copicetic???

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    1. Shards of Dubois, If you want to see if ads are on your blog, visit your blog without logging in. You can enter your blog URL in Google and then click on it/follow it like a visitor to your site would. If there’s an ad, you’d see it; usually at the end of a post. They are not intrusive and the ones I see on my blog are not offensive. :-)
      Eliz

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      1. thank you Eliz, but I’ve tried that and have never seen any ad’s pop up at all….hopefully that means that not too many are showing, which is good, and I’m glad to know there aren’t any too offensive…lol…not like I don’t like a good joke, or even a dirty joke, but it hadn’t occurred to me there might be condem or viagra ads showing up next to my poems…lol thanks again for your response.

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      1. I can’t see them Krista…I’ve tried being logged out and googling it, but I still don’t see any….so maybe they just aren’t showing yet??? don’t tell wordpress…hehe maybe they forgot me… lol thanks, and I will if I do.

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  19. I would definitely be interested if I had some control over the ads that would appear on my site. I wonder if WordPress has a list of criteria that ads must meet; i.e. no profanity, suitable for ‘family’ viewing, etc. When I see ads on sites, I assume that the blog owner supports the advertising, therefore it is important to me that the ads support the message being conveyed on my blog.

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