Jul 18 2007

Does having ads make me a less passionate blogger?

Published by at 11:17 am under Blogging

Last night I was used as an example of a site that has Google ads in a blog post on the Computer Defense blog.  No offense was meant, or taken, but it got me thinking: do putting ads on your site mean you’re any less passionate about your blogging?  Does wanting to make a few bucks off of the traffic coming to your site make the content on the site any less valuable?   As I commented on the site, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to make a few bucks off of what’s basically a hobby.  I think of it as being almost exactly the same as an amateur furniture maker who sells what he makes at a local store; he’d doing what he loves and making a few bucks off of something he’d be doing anyways.

I’m passionate about security and I really enjoy blogging.  I like the minor income that Google ads bring in, but it’s not much more than enough to take my wife out to dinner once in a while.  If readers told me the ads were obnoxious and annoying, I’d remove them as quickly as possible.  But in the time I’ve had them up, this is the first real negative feedback I’ve gotten.  Maybe they’ll disappear when I eventually get around to redesigning the site, but truthfully I think they’ll stay.

I’m not going to be putting any ads in my RSS feeds, that’s one thing I can state without equivocation.  I find that almost as annoying as Ty and the other commenters do. And the extra $20 a month really aren’t worth annoying anyone.  And I have to agree with LonerVamps comment that number of ads I’ve seen popping up on different forums lately is infinitely more annoying than ads on a blog.

Ads are the staple for some sites, mostly sites that get a lot more traffic than I do on a daily basis.  Some people even make a living due to the ads they have on their sites.  Does that make their contribution any less valuable?  I don’t think so, though if the author starts concentrating more on revenue stream than post quality, both will suffer.  Are ads to distracting to the other information that’s on the site?  This is a definite possibility if done poorly, which I admit may be the case on my site.

I’m interested in knowing what readers think.  Do you think the ads are distracting or obnoxious?  Or are they just part of the landscape of the blogosphere?  Do you filter them out unconsciously, or read each and every one?  Or are you like me and have installed NoScript and AdBlock in Firefox and don’t even see most of the ads.  Heck, I don’t even see my own ads most of the time for exactly that reason.

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8 responses so far

8 Responses to “Does having ads make me a less passionate blogger?”

  1. Jasonon 18 Jul 2007 at 12:09 pm

    I don’t even notice your ads. And of course they don’t make you a less passionate blogger, thats just silly.

    It would be totally retarded for someone to stop visiting a site with quality content on it due to a few hardly noticeable ads.

    Although, you put ads on your own site and use a filter so you don’t seem then on other blogs – bad :)

    Keep the ads and enjoy your dinners.

  2. Denison 18 Jul 2007 at 12:14 pm

    As far as you don’t blog to make money, I don’t see anything wrong in having ads on the blog. It will become problematic when your wife will want to go out more often 😉

    Keep the good blogging on !
    Denis

    BTW, I use Noscript & Adblock…

  3. Mirkoon 18 Jul 2007 at 12:15 pm

    I really don’t think ads on a blog mean its quality is low. It depends a lot on how these ads are placed and how many of them you have. Some go overboard and put 4 or more large AdSense blocks on a single page, that results in chaos and I’m sure that kind of a blog doesn’t have good stats.

    If a person maintains a blog with adverts that gets enough traffic to enable the author to live off it, he must be doing something right. People certainly wouldn’t come back again and again to click on ads surrounded by worthless content.

    I say keep the ads, it makes for a sweet dinner once in a while, doesn’t it? :)

  4. Dennis McDonaldon 18 Jul 2007 at 1:09 pm

    Keep the ads.

    As long as they don’t wiggle, blink, or make noise they are fine with me.

    Consider the extra cash a gift!

    Dennis

    ps – how is the Mac?

  5. Martinon 18 Jul 2007 at 1:24 pm

    Love the Mac Book Pro, though most of what I’m using for now a days is my video blogging. I love Final Cut Express nearly as much as I hate Garage Band. Luckily, I do my podcasting on my PC, so I don’t have to use GB at all.

    Martin

  6. Tyleron 18 Jul 2007 at 5:18 pm

    Martin,

    Perhaps there was a disconnect… I was by no means saying it made you any less passionate of a blogger.

    I don’t compare blogging to the amateur furniture maker though… I would say if you were consulting that would be the same as selling furniture on the side… but I wouldn’t compare blogging.. but again that’s a personal call.

    As I said, I’ve got no problem with “appropriately placed” ads (appropriately placed being subjective)… Such as ads at the tops and bottoms of pages, and on the side bar… It’s the ads between posts (especially Flash ads between posts) that drive me nuts.

    I could go with NoScript and AdBlock but as I said in my comment on my site… I find NoScript to be more annoying these days than anythings.. It’s similar to my reasons for not running a software firewall. I can’t stand having to OK everything. That’s so defeatist compared to the purpose of a computer.

    Although NoScript does give me a laugh… It’s so much more invasive than UAC (which I really don’t mind)… yet you never hear people complain about NoScript… people are always complaining about UAC (but that’s off topic).

  7. Christofer Hoffon 19 Jul 2007 at 6:46 am

    Yes, they’re annoying and it detracts from the content. Not to pick on Alan, but his site is a giant Amazon/Google/Symantec ad these days…

    It doesn’t make you a bad person, but it does make it difficult to read — esp. on a mobile device.

    My $0.02

    /Hoff

  8. David Szpunaron 27 Jul 2007 at 10:27 pm

    Ironically, I didn’t know you had any ads until I saw this post; I’ve subscribed to your feed in Thunderbird for so long, which loads each post in its original webpage but doesn’t run JavaScript (and it appears your post pages are ad-free anyway), that I can’t remember ever visiting your homepage! Maybe I did a long time ago and don’t remember.

    Still good stuff on the blog and podcast, regardless of ads! They’re possibly the least-intrusive ads I’ve seen in a while.

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