Let’s Talk About My Blog Ads…

posted by Andrea | 07/29/2019

As many of you may have noticed (who am I kidding, you’ve ALL noticed), my blog has significantly more advertisements over this past year than it did for the first 8+ years. 

This is due to switching ad networks back in June of 2018. I’m now working with Mediavine.  

To be perfectly honest, I REALLY love working with them. They have excellent customer service, they are super helpful, and they definitely know their stuff when it comes to monetizing a blog via advertisements! 

Also… my ad revenue has tripled over the past year — which is amazing (for me!)

However, I 100% realize the extra ads do not create the most enjoyable reader experience for you. 

Yes, I get it! 

I don’t love the ads either… but for now, they seems to be the “best” way for me to continue offering everything on my blog COMPLETELY FREE to anyone and everyone who wants to read it! 

I don’t sell anything.

I don’t push subscriptions or sign-ups.

I don’t publish high-pressure sales pitches.

I almost never offer giveaways anymore. 

I almost never write sponsored posts. 

I never use affiliate links for anything other than products I personally use and love.

I don’t promote or endorse anything unless it’s something I actually own and use.

I have quit the majority of my Virtual Assistant jobs. 

The fact that I do NOT do the things I listed above means that I have MUCH MORE FREEDOM to write about whatever I want, whenever I want to write about it. I am not being told what to say by a company or a brand, I’m not trying to sway my readers opinions to make a sale or increase my revenue, I’m not trying to portray a half-true version of my life just so it looks good on the sponsoring company’s Instagram profile. 

I just get to write about my favorite simple living tips, share simple recipes, show pictures of our house and yard, and give you a little peek into the window of my life at home with my family. 

Honestly, it’s the BEST job I could ever imagine for myself at this point in my life! 

That said, it IS still a “job”… and while I wish I could simply publish new content every day without earning an income, the reality of life is such that I would never be able to justify spending so much time online without knowing my time resulted in a decent income for our family. 

Maybe in another life when I didn’t have 4 children to care for… but right now, my time is too valuable to work outside of my job as a mom without earning an income!

I’m hoping you can all appreciate, or at least accept, this! 

So the ads must stay! 

However, please know that I keep my ad settings at the lowest possible frequency, and there are not suppose to be any pop-up ads or auto-video ads (although I know they sneak through from time to time.)

It’s not a perfect system, it’s not ideal, but it is what it is for now. 

If I eventually start selling content (books, ebooks, online courses, etc.) or develop another source of income, my in-content ads will be the first thing to go! Of course, if anyone feels the desire to directly sponsor me with a full-time salary while letting me write whatever I want to write, I will gladly remove all in-content ads from my blog immediately– LOL!! 

Wouldn’t that be amazing! 🙂

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An FYI Regarding the Types of Ads on My Blog: 

I get emails from time to time saying that there is “questionable content” in my ads — and while I do appreciate knowing this, I also want to mention that MOST of the content you see in the ads on my blog is directly related to YOUR OWN computer usage, browser history, cookies, cache, etc. 

I’m not sure how it all works, but the “powers of the internet” somehow track your online usage and then use that information to target the ads you see to specifically appeal to you (and the others who use your computer). 

I have personally banned ALL ads for anything I feel is questionable or inappropriate (dating services, alcohol, tobacco, guns, politics, lottery, medical, sexual, other adult content, etc. etc.) So from my stand point, there shouldn’t be any of those types of ads showing up on my blog. 

HOWEVER, if you (or someone in your household) regularly visits websites that sell guns, or if you use an online dating service, those types of ads MIGHT show up within the content of my blog ON YOUR COMPUTER. 

This is not because I’m choosing to show you those ads! 

Please know this is not a perfect system. There are certainly exceptions to the rule and times when my efforts to block these ads from my site fail. However, I DO try! 

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One way to read my blog ad-free…

There is one very simple way you can currently read my blog ad-free… all you have to do is request to get my blog posts via email instead of heading to my blog directly to read. 

If this is how you choose to read my blog, you will receive one email every day I publish new content (usually Monday-Friday). The emails usually come in the afternoon and they contain the exact same content, text, and photos from my published blog posts — simply without the ads! 

Of course, I’d rather have you read directly from my blog because that’s how I earn an income from the ads, but if the ads bother you too much, the email option might be just what you’re looking for!

And yes, the emails are all free as well! 🙂

NOTE: The subscription box is towards the top of my right sidebar (see image below). 

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As I mentioned above, I DO realize that advertisements within the content of my blog are not ideal… but working without an income is also not ideal, nor is bringing my children to daycare so I can earn an income outside of the home. 

I’ve thought about the ads a lot over the past year, I’ve weighed the pros and cons, I’ve talked with many new and long-time readers, and I honestly HAVE considered removing the ads several times.

However, my thought process always circles back to the following…

I want to write and publish content online Monday through Friday.

I want to interact with readers via comments, emails, and social media each day. 

I want to earn an income that makes my time and effort worth while.

I want to enjoy working a very flexible job from home while playing with my children, tackling house projects with Dave, cooking big meals for whoever decides to join us for dinner that night, baking bread from scratch, working in the yard, and plowing through my daily to-do list. 

If a handful of advertisements allow me to do everything I listed above, then the ads stay! 

I love what I do, I appreciate all my readers, I value the opportunity to provide as much FREE advice, ideas, tips, and tools as I can, and I cherish the ability to work from home at this point in my life. 

I hope this all makes sense!

That said, if you choose to stop reading because of the ads, I do completely understand (I still encourage you to try reading via email). 

I’d like to hear from YOU! 

What are YOUR suggestions, tips, and/or ideas for my blog (something to do with ads or something completely different)? Please share them in the comments or shoot me an email. I WILL listen and respond! 

And if you’d like to sponsor my blog (LOL) just email me, and I’ll pull my ads down tomorrow! 

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114 comments

  1. Natalia

    08/01/2019

    I have subscribed so I wouldn’t miss a post, but I also come to the site (most days) to read the wonderful comments and give you the little bit of revenue. Because I’ve already read the post in my email feed, I just scroll down to the comment section and rarely even notice any ads. And yes, the ads on the right side of the screen, at least, are customed for my interests 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks so much Natalia!

    [Reply]

  2. Julia

    07/31/2019

    I actually was reading your blog through Bloglovin, but then noticed that not all of your posts load on it. So I am happy to come to your site and give you more ad revenue in order to read your content. The ads honestly don’t bother me at all.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    That’s very sweet of you Julia! Thanks so much!

    [Reply]

  3. Dana

    07/31/2019

    I completely understand why you run ads on your blog (and as a musician, I’m familiar with feeling like you need to justify why the work you do deserves to make money)! I’ve been reading you for what feels like forever – before you had Nora – and I appreciate your writing and the work that you do.

    Full disclosure, I read almost all my favorite blogs through Feedly so it’s less of an issue for me. But, a thought: would you be interested in doing a Patreon or even just putting a “donate” PayPal button at the top in your navbar? There are several writers that I support on Patreon and a few others that I regularly hit that Donate button to support, sinc eI know I’m not helping them out with ad revenue. Others might be willing to do the same 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks so much Dana!
    You know… I’ve honestly never even heard of Patreon — I’ll have to look into that. I’m not sure I feel comfortable putting a donate button on my site — I don’t know why though! I’ll think about it!

    [Reply]

  4. Laura

    07/30/2019

    I really appreciate your efforts to minimize the impact of ads, but I also recognize that the name of the game for bloggers is to earn money. It IS a job for the overwhelming majority. However, there are many blog sites that I no longer follow because they’re saturated with constant product pushing and info about all of the freebies that the blogger received for the sponsorship. I want personal blog content, as much as possible. I don’t want to spend my time essentially reading commercials for product endorsement that only have a sprinkling of real life observations. The ads on your site don’t bother me because I’m getting real blog input with sensible, down to earth, personal experience and advice.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks for your thoughtful response Laura!! I don’t love writing sponsored posts either, so using ads makes life “easier” for me, and hopefully allows my blog to feel more personal to my readers!

    [Reply]

  5. Jennifer

    07/30/2019

    Just like so many have already said, your blog (including ad usage) is extremely well done.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    awww, thanks Jennifer!

    [Reply]

  6. Elizabeth

    07/30/2019

    I wish I could sponsor you, but if my reading online helps bring in income, I’ll do that instead (since I can’t afford to sponsor!) So many of my “friends” whose content I used to enjoy has gone to sponsors and giveaways only. Since I work for an advertising business, I understand the drive towards that, but it does lack sincerity, and my personal interest in their lives is fading. Thanks for taking the hit but keeping true to how you want to be able to make money and be sincere!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Elizabeth — just keep reading (and sharing) my blog and I’ll be happy!!

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  7. Marva

    07/30/2019

    Just want to add my agreement with most folks here – the ads don’t bother me. Yours is the only blog I read every day – so enjoyable and helpful and encouraging! I’m glad you can earn a living doing this!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    well thanks so much Marva!

    [Reply]

  8. BB

    07/29/2019

    I was reading this and thought – “ads? what ads is she talking about?” Then I clicked the title link (I SO love those, I can get the blog post into my browser to save it to whatever bookmark I want it in!) So, I thought ‘is she talking about ads when the title link is clicked? I hadn’t noticed them…:”, so I clhecked and nothing out of the ordinary there with places to click to see other content on your blog.
    So then I created a new tab and typed in your blog URL. STILL no ads. Huh. Then I noticed my ABP symbol (Ad Block Plus) up in the corner of my computer screen. THAT must be what is keeping me from seeing them. So…if folks are reading your blog posts from your webpage, if they install ABP, they won’t see the ads! Easy Peasy!
    Hope this helps!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — well glad that ads havn’t been bothering you at all!

    [Reply]

  9. JoDi

    07/29/2019

    The ads on your site are some of the least intrusive of any site I visit. The sites I hate are the ones with videos that auto-play that you CAN’T stop and follow you down the side of the page as you scroll. I switched to a browser with an ad-blocking feature to avoid that nonsense!

    [Reply]

  10. Amanda Carlen

    07/29/2019

    The ads do not bother me at all. I totally understand that your time is valuable and you are just trying to earn an honest living.

    I love your blog and will continue to read.

    Question…..Do you all keep up with the girls that lived with you before Nora was born?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Amanda!
    As for contact with our international student, we are Facebook friends with the one who stayed with us the whole year. We don’t have any contact with the one who was forced to leave part way through the year.

    [Reply]

  11. Cindy

    07/29/2019

    I’ve been reading your blog since way before Nora was born, and it’s one of the few I still seek out to read every single day. I read it through Feedly, which doesn’t show the ads, however there are days when I will click through to your website JUST so that my reading it gets counted in your page views. I don’t mind the ads at all. You are SO thoughtful, SO authentic, and SO full of useful daily living tips. Thanks for being a bright spot on the Internet!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks so much Cindy! You’re the best!

    [Reply]