Thursday, March 15, 2007


A Message from the Department of Commerce

If you’ve been around for a while, you’ll remember the wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth over the whole issue of ads on the blog. Not just anybody’s blog, mind you – you want to put ads on your blog, more power to you. Nope, I was just angsting about ads on my blog.

I started toying with the idea of ads back in September of last year. Then I got caught up in one of those blogstorms that swirl through the blogosphere every now and then and changed my mind, and I said all kinds of lofty, idealistic things like I didn’t want to sell our stories.

Apparently, I just hadn’t been offered the right price. Silly me, I should know everything is for sale.

So yes, there are now ads on the blog. The seller approached me out of the blue and simply made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Aside from the money, I liked the offer because it was simple, straightforward, and completely in my control. The ads are text only, I am free to place them wherever I want, and there is no contract to sign. While I won’t tell you what I earn from them, I will tell you that it’s a decent amount, not based on click-throughs or page impressions. In fact, I’m highly impressed with the company and the respect they showed me.

By contrast, and not to slag anyone in particular, but one of the things that I didn’t like about the other offer I was entertaining back in September, from the Blogher ad network, was that they stipulated that the ad must appear ‘above the fold’. Plus, they were honkin’ big ads with pictures, and you never knew exactly what you would be advertising.

The thing that bugged me the most about the whole blog ads thing was not even the advertising itself, but the predatorial (is that a word?) way advertisers were taking advantage of bloggers - bloggers who might be selling themselves or their work short. And here I' m not talking about the Blogher ad network at all, just the pittance that was being offered to most paid bloggers that really didn't respect the work and effort and heart that goes into a successful blog.

To me, this deal was a fair wage with no ethical strings. (The words and link will never change, and it leads to a well-respected shopping comparison site called bizrate.com.) But I’ve promised to always be up front, and so I wanted to let you know that there’s been a policy shift and I’m now on the advertising gravy train.

After all, someone’s gotta start saving for Tristan and Simon’s bail college fund.