blogging + my integrity
"partner with us and sell our product!"
"write a post about such-n-such and we will send you pay pal money!"
"we want to buy ad space on your blog - when should we get started?"
i'm not sure exactly when my blog made that turn from "hobby blog for fun" to "hey i'm dying to make some extra money over here please solicit my blog for ad space!" i'm not entirely sure how i feel about this. i've always considered myself to be a person of at least mediocre integrity. i'm an honest person, i don't like to be lied to, and i don't like pretending to be someone that i'm not in order to make a few extra bucks.
i've partnered with shabby apple in the past - which of course i did not make a dime from. which is fine - whether or not they pay me i still love their clothing and love to have them around here! next week i am partnering with campus book rentals for a fun post and giveaway. again - i'm not receiving any compensation for it. these are things i am ok with because i believe in what they do or sell and i'm keeping my integrity while sharing with you a product or service that i stand behind.
what bothers me i suppose is that lately i have seen a few of my favorite blogs, that i used to read daily, sell out and become nothing but one big flashing ad. they became more about "sponsored post from pier one" than "i love pier one - aren't these vases divine?" it just didn't seem honest to me anymore and so i quit reading their blogs. not to say that they weren't honest about it being a sponsored post - because they were - but if you have to write one sponsored post after the other just to make content for your blog then what is your blog really about? i don't want to read it if that is what you are after.
i have often wanted to say that i will never charge for advertisement on my blog. but i hesitate because what if one day i get to a place where i do? right now blogging is still just a hobby for me and i enjoy it. i don't want to charge for advertisements because then i feel pressured to blog so many times a week and tweet about products all the time and that isn't what this blog is about for me.
this is my home on the internet. i get to choose the curtains and the wallpaper. for right now, i want to have lovely people around that i adore who create products and tell stories that i want to hang on the walls and put in books on my coffee table.
i get to choose what stays and what goes. and for now what stays is sponsor swapping with folks who i truly stand behind. maybe one day i will charge a small amount to advertise here which will offset the cost of me advertising on larger blogs. and even then - i will be picky about who i let advertise here. there are some reasons why though. some of them, like showcasing products and people i truly believe in and would actually purchase, are under my control. some of them, however, or not.
being a pastor's wife, let alone being a Christian, dictates what kind of things i can do or say in public. i knew this when i married chris and i still struggle with it a lot. especially over the past year, when being a pastor's wife really had an impact on some close friendships. as a pastor's wife i have to remember that i am always that first and foremost in public. but the brunt of that post is a different story for a different day.
it does mean that i have to be selective about what i choose to share here and who i choose to promote. i had someone want to swap ads with me ages ago. she was a sweet girl with a fresh and funny blog (who i still follow, actually) but she had some pictures on her blog that didn't set well with me. if one of the kiddos in our youth group or members of our church saw her ad on my blog, clicked over, and saw these pictures... what does that say about me? they will automatically judge me (whether i like it, or want to admit it, or not). it does constrain me a bit but not in a way that makes me feel censored. it requires me to check myself regularly and keeps my integrity in tact. (can i get an amen from the other pastor's wives out there?)
so for now things will remain as they are. i will continue to swap ads. i will probably never use an ad network but if i do it will be after careful research and soul searching. if i ever charge for ads it will be after i have decided that i feel worthy of taking your hard earned money and i know that i have time to thoroughly promote you in trade for said money. it is the only thing that feels right to me.
so i just wanted to share these random thoughts with you. do you agree? disagree? have an opinion? i'd love to hear from you on this and see how others handle it.
to see some friends in baton rouge.
1 » corn field in north east louisiana
2 » a gorgeous old bridge just north of sicily island, la
3 » crossing the mighty mississippi