I used to accept advertising on this site, and it was kind of nice. I’d make a few bucks each month for a banner or a few links sprinkled in the sidebar, and nobody complained.
The common arguments potential advertisers give are “it’s really not that noticeable” or “why not make some money for your writing?”. The truth is, when it comes to working really hard towards something, every little bit matters.
When I redesigned this site a year ago, I spent months poring over many different iterations, and built the theme from the ground up. (Well, almost ground up. I used the Thesis theme framework. And yes, if you click that link it *could* make me a referral commission. And yes, I understand the irony.)
Once I had the theme in place, I changed much of it by testing and optimizing the layout for subscribers. If I have one goal for new visitors on this site, it’s that I want them to subscribe in some form. I spent a lot of time changing and testing different ways to organize the information and structure. (I saw an increase in newsletter signups of about 600% after doing this. No joke.) I took it seriously, and it’s been paying off.
So when someone asks me if I want to just “give up a little screen real estate” for their company, there is a lot more involved on my end than slapping up a banner in the header and calling it a day.
Most importantly, it detracts from you. 99.8% of the readers of this site won’t click on a banner or ad, so why would I put something up that annoys you, for a few bucks?
The issue is never about money. I mean, I’d love to be paid pantloads of money to do this. I could even make a little if I accepted ads. (I do have a family, after all.) But it would be a compromise.
Compromises mostly benefit people on the outside and usually never those that receive. I’ve been watching the House and Senate try and compromise on the debt ceiling over the past few months, and the compromise between politicians is seriously damaging. It pulls attention away from the core issue–not being owned by China–and instead focuses on individuals and politicians who all want something. (I’m almost positive that whoever coined the analogy “it’s like too many cooks in the kitchen” must have been watching a government operate.)
Fortunately for me, I don’t have to compromise on this site if I don’t want to. I’m the only cook here, which means that you’re stuck with what’s served :)
So that’s how advertising works on this site: it doesn’t. At least for now.
Photo by Roadsidepictures