I’m such a ninny. I was weeks into setting up and tweaking my infant blog on WordPress when I discovered that there were blogsites out there THAT WERE ACTUALLY MAKING MONEY! What a concept! For example, Problogger admits to a six-figure salary from his efforts, and he’s just one among millions, likely.
I have pondered this fact ever since then, even signing up for the Amazon Associates program along the way, although, between the inscrutable WordPress restrictions and my Mac, I haven’t exactly been able to get it to work. (And since my site didn’t turn into a book blog like I initially thought it would, I probably wouldn’t make much off the Amazon link anyway.)
I have no problem with blogs containing advertising, although I don’t think I’ve ever clicked on any ad. (Sorry.) My friend’s daughter, a Mommyblogger, makes a nice little part-time income and gets lots of fun freebies for promoting products on her site, which allows her to stay home with her toddlers. I think that’s great, and so do all the other young mothers who regularly visit her blog. She’s very up front about what she does, and she also regularly files posts that don’t advertise or promote anything.
Thanks to all of you who have kindly mentioned my site and included me on your blogrolls. I’ve tried to reciprocate. But I’ve recently run into a few blogs in my interest areas that offer to promote my blog on their more-trafficked sites — for a fee. They even provide a PayPal link to facilitate the transaction.
Maybe I was a journalist for too many years, but that idea BOTHERS me. Believe me, I’m not naive. I know how public relations and lobbying can make whores of even the most respected individuals and publications. But I somehow want to hold the Blogosphere above all that. It’s the wide-open and free-from-influence side of the Web that appeals to me and made me want to join the party, and I guess I expect some honesty from the sites I visit — and from myself when I post something.
Advertising in widgets and at breaks is one thing, but giving a thumbs-up to somebody’s site because he or she paid you to crosses the line for me.
Am I being too squeamish? Naive? Impractical? And just exactly how honest is the Blogosphere?