I recently asked about putting up a Google AdSense widget on my blog and in my RSS feed. DixieFlatline suggested text-link-ads as an alternative. I've nearly decided that I'm going to experiment with a widget for both of them, or maybe just AdSense. It'll take me a week or two to get it set up. (I'm busy with other stuff right now.)
Several of my regular commenters have said "FSK, you should sell some ads on your blog." For example, Barry B. from Debt Prison has been telling me to monetize my blog for awhile now, although he hasn't participated in the recent discussion. A few Anonymous commenters said "Selling advertising on your blog is immoral!"
First, I'll list the advantages of selling advertising on my blog.
I want to switch from using Blogger to self-hosting on my own domain. If hosting my own domain costs $10/month, then I really should make sure I can raise $10/month in advertising first.
I want to write my own PHP forum/AgoristBay engine. For this, I need to host my own domain, and not use Blogger or other free hosting.
I don't have enough readers to blog as a full-time source of income. However, if I keep up 10%-20% monthly growth for a few years, then I might have enough readers for that to be viable. If the Remnant is over 1 million people, then I'm nowhere close to maximizing my potential audience. A lot of people are disgusted with the current economic and political system, but don't know of any viable resistance strategy. I like agorism, because you can fight the bad guys and show a profit at the same time!
I'm looking into ways to promote agorism and make a profit at the same time. I would be better off with my own domain, rather than being dependent on Blogger. I'm growing dissatisfied with Blogger. Instead of moving to hosted WordPress (fskrealityguide.wordpress.com or something like that), I'd rather move to my own domain, install WordPress, and keep 100% control.
If I have my own business, I'm not as dependent on a corporate wage slave job. The Internet makes it easier for people to start small businesses. Using Blogger, my expenses are $0. Even if I move to self-hosting, my expenses are negligible.
Now, I'll respond to the criticisms of selling advertising.
Selling advertising will compromise the content of your blog!
Actually, programs like Google AdSense and text-link-ads allow me to keep full editorial control and still make a little money.
If I were a mainstream media source, then advertising totally corrupts the content presented.
Other people wind up doing "advertisements disguised as content". In other words, they're paid to write an article promoting something, but pretend that it's an article they would have written anyway. I consider that immoral. If someone paid me to write a post about something, I'd clearly mark it as an advertisement.
Selling advertising only corrupts my blog if it negatively impacts the content I present. Some of my articles are very attractive from a SEO/advertising perspective, and others not as much.
I'm only looking to make $10-$20/month right now, so I can cover my hosting costs if I move to my own domain.
Plus, the advertisements will be in the left sidebar or RSS feed footer. You can easily ignore them.
I'm going to stop reading if you put up ads!
The only people who made this complaint were Anonymous. None of the people who give regular intelligent comments had that attitude. The regular non-Anonymous commenters all have said "Go ahead and put up ads, FSK!"
If a handful of people stop reading because I put up ads, that's negligible compared to my blog's long-term growth trend.
Other bloggers have said that you shouldn't worry about losing readers when you first put ads up on your blog. Overall, people will be attracted by my good content.
Putting up ads supports the State!
As long as I work in my corporate wage-slave job, I'm supporting the State.
At least via blogging, I'm promoting agorism. If I can make a reasonable profit while blogging, then I can promote agorism and show a profit at the same time!
In the context of a slave economy, all on-the-books work supports the State, whether I'm blogging for advertising money or working in my corporate wage slave job.
You should solicit donations!
This is worth seriously considering. When I move to my own domain, I might allow people to make a donation to disable all ads. That is not an option on Blogger. The terms of text-link-ads don't allow me to disable it for certain site visitors, but I believe I can do that with AdSense, where I'm only paid for click-throughs.
There's another interesting point. All my regular non-Anonymous commenters said "Put up ads, FSK!" The only people who suggested donations were themselves commenting Anonymously. This lends more credibility to "Supporting your site via advertising is better than supporting it via donations!"
If my goal is to eventually have a for-profit business, I don't think that can be supported via donations. As I'm more successful, people would be more reluctant to donate. For now, I'm not relying on my blog for full-time income. I just want to clear $10/month so I could afford hosting.
I can put up ads without it compromising the content of my blog. I'm looking to expand into other things besides blogging, and for that I need my own domain. For now, given the context of a slave economy, there's nothing wrong with me putting up ads to help raise money to pay for hosting.
DixieFlatline complained that I'm taking too long to make the decision to put up ads. There's no need to rush. If I'm only expecting to make $5-$10 per week anyway, I'm not giving up much by waiting. I'm way behind on the "Reader Mail" answering comments, and I'm trying to catch up with that. Plus, I have a couple of interviews for wage slave jobs lined up.