“Have you made anything from your blog yet?”

People offline who know about my blog don’t understand why I don’t use it to milk every drop of a dollar out of it that I possibly can since I’m “so good with that stuff”. “That stuff” refers to blogging, writing and computer stuff. It refers to understanding it enough to participate in the hype, or the fad.

“Why don’t you advertise?” “Why don’t you do that sponsor posts thing like you mentioned others do?” “Why don’t you link to ___ if they’re offering money?”

This, that, blah, blah, blah. I have tried to blog for that, I really have. I even tried offering advertising on my sidebar before quite a few times. I probably could have made something from it had I really milked it and paraded it around. I just wasn’t passionate about it enough. Money depresses me, and 6birds is my sanctuary. Why would I ever want to bring onto 6birds something so depressing like that when its purpose isn’t even to make money? They don’t understand it, and therefore it’s difficult to convince them that blogging is a hobby for me and that I can’t [for some reason] pull off making money with this hobby like fellow bloggers (i.e. Christine and Manda) can without coming across as sleazy.

I’ve received referrals to and from companies to have sponsored stuff on here, but it all boils down to the biggest problem: I can’t blog for money and/or other people, and bringing the requirement to please others to 6birds simply makes me resent it, the blog/domain/etc.. I already struggle with feeling as if I need to please people enough. I’d rather be able to do with 6birds as I please without having to keep up a link or two going to a sponsor’s site. I like keeping it flexible.

It’s probably a clusterfuck, but if I want to promote someone or something, I’m going to do in my words and make the anchor text what I would make it, not what is provided. And it’s because I want to. Incentives or not. No deadlines.

It’s just that 6birds is so personal to me. I don’t accept guest posts, and I’ve done a few interviews in the past (I do hope to do more eventually; I’m just bad at keeping up with emails). It’s a personal blog, and I am the only user of it. It’s just me. Me, me, me. I feel sleazy trying to sell something so dear to me just to make a quick few bucks.

And there’s just something about this that people offline can’t fathom. Of all the things I’m asked about my blog, this one I’m asked about the most. -.-

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Comments on this post

Angie’s gravatar

I absolutely respect your reasons for not wanting to monetize your blog because you’re right it is such a pain to keep up with. I wish more people understood that it’s just not for everyone.

Agent Q’s gravatar

The last sentence surprised me the most simply because that’s not one of the first things I would have anticipated nor asked. I guess it’s because I tend to think of blogs [such as mine, yours, and quite a few others’] as a sanctuary just like you said. It’s also used to express our own thoughts and just ourselves in general, and there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, I see it as a portfolio that showcases our passion and creativity for expression. I mean what more could one ask for when we’re already treating it as our hobby, right? 🙂

Darnielle’s gravatar

I know exactly how you feel. “Personal blog” means something different to much of the blogging world these days, when it should have always stayed the way you’re running 6birds as. THIS is a personal blog.

While readers are awesome, and comments are great, a personal blog SHOULD be about the person writing it, not the people reading it. I can’t help but think so many people are revealing less about themselves than they’d actually like to because they’re writing more for their audience than themselves. I’m guilty of this myself, so I would know! Haha.

As for monetising these kinds of personal blogs (not the new generation of “personal blogs”), it really does seem impersonal and kinda tacky. Even if you’re giving honest opinions on sponsored posts, it’s always going to come off as fake.

Anyway, keep on doing what you’re doing! I love reading 6birds just as it is! 🙂

Jess’s gravatar

I probably wouldn’t be the keenest on comoditizing my blog, either. I mean, my blog is ultimately built for me to do what I want, and not for other people to dictate, y’know? Not saying the money would hurt, but… it’s not necessary. Especially if it would change the heart and soul of the website.

Kya’s gravatar

I can understand what you mean completely. I have never wanted to have paid advertising on my website the idea just feels so wrong to me, I like to have on my site what I like and means something (although my blog isn’t as personal as yours, it has been in the past and even just the random posts are still things I like and I want there).

I guess you could try and put it into a situation they understand. If they have a car, do they put advertising all over it if people paid them to do it, or would they rather have it how they liked it and customize it how they want.. hmm maybe that isn’t the best example, but something like that. 😛

Robin’s gravatar

Amen to this entire post.

I have no desire to crap out promoted words that I don’t really mean, and I would feel quite ridiculous pretending that I, a twenty-five-year-old who has graduated from college already, am totally excited about CAMPUS TEXTBOOK RENTALS!!!! (I have seen about ten, if not more, sponsored posts for that service).

Also, I think “offline people” don’t understand the work that goes into promoting a blog, “socializing” online with other bloggers, etc. You don’t just publish a site and start getting checks in the mail. You have to get to know people, find blogs that you genuinely like to read, and leave heartfelt comments (not quick “Cool post!” notes, left only in the hopes of someone clicking your name) so that you can develop connections.

Shar’s gravatar

I agree completely. My blog is my sanctuary too and I’m not out to make money especially on such random things of my life. If I wanted to make money I would go elsewhere and dedicate another part of my internet/website life to it like if I wanted to sell my artwork or something. Something completely separate but even so, I wouldn’t be driven by it.

I tried to get friends to understand that blogging is just a way to let go and possibly socialize. They just think that I do it to make money of some sort and get some WWW fame. HOW exactly does that happen? I don’t know how they think that works but I just laugh and joke that I will make a layout for them and they can start one since they think it’s easy to make money online LOL.

Angie’s gravatar

Sometimes it just seems as if in this world nobody is allowed to do anything without it being driven by money and greed. How sad is it that we live in a time where everything is so fueled by money? D; Sometimes I wish more people would set themselves free of that hold that money has over them. I know that a lot of the world revolves around it and it’s necessary but why are we all so consumed by having it, earning it, saving it and spending it. The reality is, at the end of this life.. we can’t take all our money when we go. I feel like we should invest our lives more on the things that matter than the things that don’t. So then we have to decide what matters!

Sorry for my little rant there hehe.. I just think it’s great that you stand up for what you believe regarding this. Hobbies don’t always have to draw in money. Sure making money doing something you enjoy is nice, but what happens when something you love turns into a way to earn money? It makes it a job and eventually something we used to enjoy becomes a source of stress!

Anyway! You tell ’em, Liz!!

Carrie’s gravatar

Sometimes people must realize that money is not the only thing that matters. I am in love with money! Without cash, I am SO depressed. It’s sad but at least I’ve admitted that I have an issue.

Stephanie’s gravatar

I think that you could probably write a review of a product once in a while without coming off tacky. But, I also understand not wanting to do it on a personal blog, which is also why I haven’t done it yet. Personally, I think that monetizing works better on more topical blogs. To me, it is not awkward at all for a beauty blogger to review makeup and lotion and display ads from fashion brands. It’s also not awkward at all for a book blogger to be paid to review books and display book-related ads.

And if your family still doesn’t understand, feel free to show them my blog, so that they know that there are a lot of people out there like you, if you wish. I guess that they’ve always identified blogging as a business venture (which is not unreasonable these days), while I first learned about blogging as a personal venture and then learned about the business part to some (most?) blogs later. Hopefully, they’ll understand!

Sara’s gravatar

You go girl! Or is that out of form now to say? I’m not up to date on the latest phrases, but I totally support you keeping your blog exactly as you want it to be.

Blogging has a place for everyone. Some people will want (or need to) include ads, while others do not.

You’re a strong personality, Liz. I know you’ll do exactly what’s best for you and I think the way you blog right now meets what you want. That’s the best way to blog:~)

I hope you have a great weekend.