We’ve all been there. You go to Facebook or a company site or even a blog, like mine, and an ad pops up. I know, I roll my eyes and close the page. It’s annoying right?!
It sometimes makes me want to click away immediately because all I want to do is read about what is tastiest chocolate bar and I get an ad for vacuums or something, right smack in the middle of the article! (Don’t tease chocolate is good for you. Antioxidants and all!)
It’s important to me that I don’t frustrate my readers with ad bombardment, but when I started my blog, I also wanted to figure out how to form relationships with affiliates so I could advertise the products I love in an easier way.
Well, I soon found out that blogging can be costly and I really encourage you to stick with this post until the end. I have a point, I swear! But first, let’s take an ad break for an ad that has nothing to do with my site…
Okay, let’s continue.
I love sharing info and products through giveaways, but it doesn’t come free all the time.
Yes, I have reached out to companies to do reviews and a few have been gracious enough to send me products to review for you, but most of them can’t always do it and that means some of the products are purchased out-of-pocket.
I’ve had my blog for about a year and wanted to share what I learned along the way about those dastardly ads.
Ads are here for an important reason, yes they are trying to sell something to you, but some ads are there for the simple reason of being seen.
For instance, some companies like Google have a program that all you, as a blogger, have to do is post the link…if someone clicks on it, you can get a commission. Now, mind you, this may not be a lot, but I am a believer of every penny helps and 20 cents today is 20 cents more than I had yesterday.
Other companies require you to sign up for a program and register your site and then once you are approved, you can copy and paste links to banners (the ads to your right) and if a reader clicks and/or visits the site and makes a purchase, the blogger makes a commission. It can be anywhere from a few cents to several dollars.
The blogger needs to post these ads due to some various costly expenses of running a blog.
But some websites are free, right?
Well, yes that’s true. It may not cost the blogger anything to blog initially, but if a blogger really wants to promote themselves and their content, they are often needing a more professional site and that includes a ton of features that a free subscriber would have to pay for like themes, fonts, widgets (everything to “hold” the ads on the right side and bottom of my blog) and many other sources.
These features are usually all contained within one theme. If the blogger uses a free site, they may not have the theme they need included in their free subscription, so they upgrade. On top of that, in order to get a web address that is not only searchable, but has a legitimate web URL, most of the time those URL addresses have to be purchased and that is an annual fee for keeping the domain name and a monthly fee for hosting the website. You may have heard of sites like godaddy.com and similar. You can find free addresses and some that are around $5 for the first year, but it may raise to around $15.
So, why are .com or .org URLs important? Well, take for instance when you search on the web for let’s say, a college for example. Are you going to feel more confident with a college with a .edu or a college with some URL that you don’t recognize at all?
For me, I want a legitimate URL because it helps me feel confident knowing that the company has met the requirements to get these domain names.
In my case, if I sign up with a free hosting site, I don’t necessarily own the content. The hosting site does. Not to put WordPress on blast, but if I registered my blog through wordpress.com, they could basically do what they wanted to my blog at any time, including shutting it down.
That is the agreement I take when signing up, even if it’s free, but with a domain name that I pay for, I own what’s on my site. I own my blog and as long as I pay my monthly fee, I have ownership and no one else. It’s kind of like paying a mortgage in a sense (for a lack of a better comparison). You buy a house and have to pay a mortgage. The mortgage allows you to make payments so that the price is easier to handle instead of paying total cost all at once. You own the house, you just pay to make it more affordable on monthly terms. If you don’t pay your mortgage, your house may be taken from you, but the content of the house is yours. The furniture you bought, the electronics, the linens. Everything you purchased outright belongs to you if your house is taken away. The same goes for my website. They can “take away” my domain name, but my content is mine. It’s out there, just not being paid for. If I don’t pay for my domain name and someone takes my web address after a certain period of time, all they have is the web address, not my content.
Okay, now that I’ve lost you, just know that this is basically a way for bloggers to protect themselves and their content.
Let me tell you this. Here’s a breakdown of cost: So let’s estimate this at $24.99 for a theme package (one time fee) and $12 a month for hosting.
Okay, so that’s not a big expense is what you’re thinking, right? Well, maybe not in the small picture, but how do blogs provide free products and samples, giveaways and similar cool stuff?
While, as I mentioned above, some of these are sponsored, but a lot of time they are not.
My last giveaway was for a natural deodorant. I had two to choose from at $8.99 a piece and my latest giveaway is a $6.95 value. This doesn’t include my cost to ship it out to the winner making the total cost being in the $35 range and the winner gets this free of cost!
Now in my case, I am not wealthy in the slightest. I use my commissions through ads to buy the giveaway items and pay for my site and that truly leaves me with hardly anything left over and it’s because I am just starting out.
While some bloggers make it big overnight, most do not. Just like actors in hollywood, it takes reaching out to people, dealing with rejection. I mean poor Leo didn’t get an oscar until 2016 after being nominated 6 times for an Oscar and that’s just Academy Awards, not even mentioning the 9 other nominations from SAG. Oh! and it took him being eaten by a bear to make it happen! Give the guy a break.
P.S. I do love that when he won, he chose to speak about climate change and not how pissed he was for not winning prior. Props!
Okay, so where is this rambling post going? Well, it make years to get enough earnings for bloggers to not only pay for the expenses, but earn a living…
So I am asking you not to click away when you see ads. You can close them, but take the time to read the blogs articles and check out the content. Blogging is rigorous work and it takes a lot of time and research on most bloggers parts.
In my specific case, I ONLY advertise companies who products I have tried, tested, used and/or corresponded with and I will NOT promote a product that I have never used myself. It’s seems silly to promote a product that you know nothing about.
I have been offered affiliate relationships with great companies that I turned down due to the fact they refused to send me products. I am not saying expensive stuff, but natural deodorant and similar items. I don’t want things for free, but if I am spending the money on the blog, I want to make sure the product I am promoting is a well made, quality product. I have also had relationships with affiliates that I have ended because of information I have found out later that I didn’t agree with.
So now that you have stayed with me until of the line (shameless plug for my favorite superhero)…
…do me a favor and just stick through the blog articles you want to read. Turn off your ad blockers and just ignore the ad if you want, but don’t totally dismiss the blog due to this. We, as bloggers, do what we do because we love it. If we make money in the process, it’s a bonus!