A note of support for Trent at The Simple Dollar, who just removed all Google ads because of ethical conflicts. Since Trent has over 20,000 subscribers by feed alone, this was no small decision.
Like Merchant Ships has a no-ad policy for similar reasons. I feel uncomfortable showing you how to save money and--at the same time--encouraging you to buy.
Circumstances may change, but for now, I feel good about this choice.
I LOVE that you don't have ads on your site. Not only might it be a conflict with the purpose of your blog, but I hate having to use caution with my kids around when I look at a blog that I'm familiar with ... I don't want any provocative ads popping up for my kids to view.
I feel just the opposite. I think your site looks MORE professional because you have no ads. It makes it look like you're so successful you don't need the revenue.
I've been looking for a blog I like as much as yours, but can't find one because the ads look so tacky and are distracting.
Keep up the great work!
Just for clarity, I had included a line about my blog ironically not looking as professional because it does not have ads.
Immediately after publishing I decided to edit out that line because it looked too me-me-me.
That is such a tough decision to make. We had a really hard time with the Google Ad Words for the exact same reason as Trent. The straw that broke the camel's back was when a lady emailed me to tell me that she had sent a company money for mystery shopping that I had recommended. It took me awhile to figure out what she was talking about, until I realized that she had pulled a company from one of those advertisements.
We have had difficulties for years figuring out what to do and finally have made a step in a positive direction. We have only advertisement and all of the advertisements have been designed with our readers in mind. They are all products that I have felt comfortable with, and it has provided income for the time that we put into our work on our site.
It was a long road though, to get to this place, and I sympathize with anyone who has had a bad experience with advertisers. There were many late night phone calls, emails, and directions for yanking inappropriate advertisements before we found a comfortable niche.
I think what you do here is great- no matter what you decide!
I'm the same...no ads. I think they're just kind of tacky and cheap.
Those "blogher" ads are on about every blog these days it seems. I doubt I'll ever go there.
I do have a "ad-free blog" button on my site just so folks know it isn't my thing.
Like Merchant Ships isn't really a business or a full-size--unlike Amy's at Momadvice.com.
Hers strikes me as a great compromise between what has become a full-time family job and decent ads.
I personally don't mind ads so much as long as they don't blink and are family friendly.
But I also like the freedom that no ads gives me. I don't feel "beholden" to readers--I don't feel that blogging is a job. I feel like I can walk away whenever I want.
We were ad-free for ~1 year, and I loved it! :) But, we have had costs for running our website, and so now I am thankful for the bit we earn from ads, which has allowed us to pretty much break even on expenses/revenue. I guess the nice thing about Google ads is that the person earns money for clicks, NOT sales. I'm still amazed that anyone actually clicks on the ads though! :)
Thank you so much for this post. I had not been introduced to Simple Dollar. I bookmarked it.
I've been wondering why you have chosen to be ad-free, given your large readership. Thanks for the explanation. I heartily agree with your decision, although I don't begrudge the bloggers that do choose to advertise.
Meredith, I love the clean look of your site. It looks perfectly professional to me! I also say bravo to you for doing a fantastic job blogging without ads- your blog is a joy to read!
As for my blog, I have chosen to use ads, but no google ads or anything that I do not have control over. The only ads that I have up are from merchants that I have personally bought from and feel that I can highly recommend.
If I move to something like blogads in the future, I will continue to be careful to choose only family friendly ads from places that I have looked into myself and feel comfortable with. It's an integrity issue, and it affects the trust that my readers have in me. I want to only promote that which I can do with full integrity, leaving no room for my readers to feel that they have been deceived or led astray.
I agree, no ads are the way to go, thank you. I hope you can continue to do so but if you can't I will still read you blog, I love it. But as it stand you site is so clean and uncluttered, easy to reas. Thank you.
It's so interesting that you posted this because this exact topic was on my mind all day yesterday.
After a little thinking, I really cut down on a lot of the ads that I had on my site, but after reading your post, decided to clean them all out.
I think that I made 20 cents on my ads and they were more clutter than anything.
I've always loved the simplicity of your site, by the way.
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