Advertising on my blogs is an unfortunate necessity
It’s the devil of the Internet. How does one make enough return to recover the costs of serious blogging? Sure, there are free blogging alternatives, but when it comes to blogging for real, only self-hosted blogs offer the tools that can attract decent daily levels of daily traffic, and hence interaction, and if I may be so bold, attention.
In my case, keeping my blogs online costs around $2,500 per year, which includes hosting fees, software and theme purchases, annual upgrade fees, plus the costs of site development by my (absolutely brilliant) WordPress developer.
While clicking around my blogs may work seamlessly for my readers, it is thanks to what I have spent that they do. But paying for this has meant including advertising on my blogs to cover the costs. I wish there was an alternative, as I would far prefer my blogs were ad free.
Not only are ads distracting from my main content, they also slow down site speed, not to mention that a click on an ad means I lose a visitor, who may have viewed more pages on my blog. But they earned me a little by leaving via an ad click.
It’s a bit of a catch 22 though, as you can’t spend if you don’t earn.
There are obvious alternatives, such as a donate button, but let’s get real here, whoever donates? Sell ad space? Well, I get asked almost every week, but no way will I sell a speck of my blog space to dating sites or guaranteed weight loss scams.
Selling ebooks? Well, I’m an author so that’s what I do, but blogs are not the best place to sell books. No matter how many book widgets I may have on my blogs, it’s really only on Amazon where I sell books.
In some ways, it’s as if nothing has changed, however. In the sixties, the Addams Family, Bewitched and Hogan’s Heroes would never have survived without ad breaks every seven minutes, nor would NCIS today. So, I survive on Google ads.
Advertising! Ppffft! Who wants it? No one. But in the end, we all need paid advertising, because it is what pays the bills for those who provide entertaining or informative content, for those who want to consume it for free. Even popular free blogging platforms are advertising supported by one means or another, so don’t think Blogger or WordPress.com sites are offered out of the goodness of someone’s heart.
So we are all stuck with Internet advertising in one form or another.
Mind you, if I saw a huge jump in sales of my books via my book ads on my blogs, I would kill the Google ads in an instant. But somehow you know, I doubt I’ll have to.
In the end, the Internet is simply a revisited model of 60’s TV. It’s about advertising paying for the supply of what consumers want – free content. Sadly, nothing changes.