For Amanda and Swistle and anyone else who’s curious what’s going on in my head.
A couple of years ago I decided it would be OK to be paid for my writing on this site, and started using google ads. At first it was great — I made a month’s hosting fees in a single day (admittedly my hosting costs are very low). (And actually, that might have been when I was still on blogger, but in that case just call it domain registration fees.) But after the ads had been there for a while, people stopped clicking on them. Google’s advertisers were getting my readers’ eyes but I was getting no cash in exchange. Bullshit, I thought, so I took them down. I think I had them up for close to a year.
At some point I was contacted by the Crazy Hip Blog Mamas webring folks with an offer: $25 a month for a few text links. I took it, though I have to tell you I am pretty sure it destroyed my google page rank. The price seemed fair, though, and I don’t regret it at all. (Seriously, what do I need a page rank for?) That lasted about a year, too.
I signed up with BlogHer ads. I’d heard they were great and paid well, and I’d found an assessment tool on their site (which I can’t find now) that estimated how much my site would make. It said $175-250 per month, which sounded amazing. I assumed it would be about half that, because it was based on hits and I’m sure a lot of those are really robots, which wouldn’t be counted. Still sounded amazing. But I was really disappointed in the payout and the way it’s set up (though I have to say the people running it are some of the nicest ever, and it does seem to work for a lot of folks). I stuck with it because I liked meeting new people through the headlines feature and even $30 a month was helping.
But here’s the thing: I am worth more than a dollar a day, and I don’t feel like giving away advertising for that little. I’d rather do this for free because I love it (and I do) than undervalue myself. So I’m paying for my own hosting fees — there was a time not long ago that everyone did that. And I am not done with advertising for good, I am just done with advertising right now. (I left up the “ads” for my friends’ stores and causes. Those were put up originally because I wanted to offset how dirty I felt for having ads in the first place, but I think they’ll stay — though I reserve the right to start rotating them to take up less space.)
Besides, I don’t want to treat blogging as a business, and making money off it sometimes made it feel like a business. If I am going to run a business, this isn’t it. This is my online living room.
I’ve put up a donate button, but you know. It’s optional. I don’t charge people to come over.