Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Dodging the adverts

When is a blog not a blog? I looked up the definition of blog and found this on Wikipedia... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog

There are many different types of blogs, differing not only in the type of content, but also in the way that content is delivered or written.

The personal blog, an ongoing diary or commentary by an individual, is the traditional, most common blog. Personal bloggers usually take pride in their blog posts, even if their blog is never read. Blogs often become more than a way to just communicate; they become a way to reflect on life, or works of art. Blogging can have a sentimental quality. Few personal blogs rise to fame and the mainstream but some personal blogs gain an extensive following.

Yes, I think that sort of applies to mine, this is the definition I had in mind when I started. Somewhere to write down my thoughts about my everyday activities. It follows on from my paper diaries which I kept for years. By doing it electronically I can keep things tidy, insert photographs to fit the pages, and that all important feature of editing what I have written. No excuse for spelling mistakes now, unless you hit the wrong key and don't notice.

A bit more from Wikipedia...
Some blogs focus on a particular subject, such as political blogs, travel blogs, gardening blogs, house blogs, fashion blogs, project blogs, education blogs, niche blogs, classical music blogs, quizzing blogs and legal blogs. Two common types of genre blogs are art blogs,and music blogs. A blog featuring discussions especially about home and family, is not uncommonly called a mom blog.

I think mine is called a lifestyle blog, and as you've probably guessed by now, it is about my simple living, money saving, frugality, and making the most of my life without it costing the earth. I think it's safe to say that I am happy with things as they are. Scrimping for me is not a chore, it's not a hardship I have to endure, I find it fun and a challenge to discover ways to stretch my money, which in turn enables me to enjoy my retirement. I am also concerned about the impact consumerism has on the planet, in short we, as in humans, are destroying it. If I can do my bit by buying second hand, reusing, or by not buying at all, I shall feel better about myself. I hope I get these points across to anyone reading this.

Now comes the question, given the subject matter of my blog, why would I want to make money out of it? Or more straight to the point, make money out of the people who read my blog. The answer is, I don't. Even more ludicrous, other people think they can make money from my blog. I get spam from them, trying to slip an advert in, disguised as a genuine comment. They are easy to spot, no you don't have to pretend to be my friend, I can spot the difference between a person who is interested, and one who is sneakily trying to put one over on me. They get zapped.

I also receive requests from people asking politely if they can link up to my blog, in exchange for me to add a link to their blog. Those who ask have often turned their blog into a money making enterprise, by adding adverts, monetising it as they call it. That's fine if they want to go down that route, but I can say now that I never read any advertising on any blogs or forums that I visit, so I don't want any links on mine to other peoples enterprises.

The definition of  a blog has become a little muddied,
Wikipedia again...
Blogging and advertising

It is common for blogs to feature advertisements either to financially benefit the blogger or to promote the blogger's favorite causes. The popularity of blogs has also given rise to "fake blogs" in which a company will create a fictional blog as a marketing tool to promote a product.
Consumer-generated advertising is a relatively new and controversial development and it has created a new model of marketing communication from businesses to consumers. Among the various forms of advertising on blog, the most controversial are the sponsored posts. These are blog entries or posts and may be in the form of feedback, reviews, opinion, videos, etc. and usually contain a link back to the desired site using a keyword/s.

Blogs have led to a breakdown of the traditional advertising model where companies can skip over the advertising agencies and contact the customers directly themselves. On the other hand, new companies specialised in blog advertising have been established, to take advantage of this new development as well.
However, there are many people who look negatively on this new development. Some believe that any form of commercial activity on blogs will destroy the blogosphere’s credibility.

I have recently been invited to attend an event in Leeds, this is it briefly....

The first Write on Finance Blog Up, will be held in Leeds, Yorkshire. I thought it was about time that UK personal finance bloggers/writers and people working in the finance industry had an opportunity to get together (aspiring bloggers/writers and overseas attendees are also very welcome). The focus of the event will be on learning from each other, networking and looking at ways to work together to mutual benefit.

What exactly is 'mutual benefit'. The way I see it is that the person who started the website, (and I view it as a website, not a blog) will be the one to make a few bob out of it, the ticket prices are not cheap. This site is about people who have got money who want to make more money. My blog is about having very little money and finding ways to manage. Two totally different things. I won't be going.

So to sum up, bet you thought I never would after all that rambling, are you still awake, ha ha. I have no problem with people trying to sell a few of their home made items on their blog. I have no problem with blogs that are set up directly to sell and make money through advertising, BUT, they shouldn't call themselves a blog, they are a web site. You will be pleased to know that my blog is going to stay a blog, you won't have to dodge the adverts because there isn't going to be any. Toodle pip


  1. Totally agree with everything you have said here.I have reading blogs where the posts are full of embedded links, and guest posts just trying to sell you something.
    I don't have any issues with small home run busineses having a side button where you can choose to click if you are interested but really hate those posts that you can tell have only been written to direct you to sponsored sites.

  2. Well said Ilona, I was sort of sucked into this for a while and then I had a rethink. If folk are lovely enough to drop by to read what are my often very off the wall ramblings then who am I to inflict adverts on them just to gain a few pence.

    I've quickly reverted to my diary style and have turned down loads of requests for 'guest posts' 'advertising features' etc..

    A Blog is a 'web log', an online diary and as you say should really not be the same as a website. I do read some peoples posts that beg you to click on adverts to earn them money but I am fast losing patience with them.

    Sue xx

  3. Hi i am glad you posted this, i have been a reader for a long time and often read blogs on frugal living and generally enjoy tips from everyone. I pay it forward by passing tips on. My pet hate... indeed peeve, is the ones that have a financially motivated goal to flog to the reader. I choose not to read in those cases, and i have found one particular thread on a fav forum of mine on MSE particularly irking as it points to their blog, references books for sale and while it does have genuine tips on is rapidly going downhill in my opinion. As is their linked blogs( guest posting etc)

    Well said Ilona. Gill x

  4. very interesting. I hate it when I am merrily reading and stumble over a chunk of advertising. A real turn-off.

  5. Good for you, Ilona. I read and follow several blogs, although don't often comment on them, unless there's something I particularly want to say/comment about. Adverts on blogs don't bother me per se, I can generally just ignore them, unless they're flashing or moving ones which I do find annoying. I have to say there are two things that irritate me the most on blogs. A) When the blogger persists in asking you to click on an advert to earn them a few pence, even if they point this out and tell you that you don't actually have to purchase anything from the ad (as if I would anyway!). B) When they make a point of asking you to vote for them for some bloggy award.....if I feel they deserve an award for some aspect of their blog, then I will vote because I WANT to, not because I've been ASKED to.

    Just so you're sure about it, nothing about your blog irritates me!

    Regards, Sooze

  6. Woozy/Sooze, you said everything I wanted to say.
    If I invite you into my home for a coffee and chat I'm not going to try to sell you something, or ask you to sit and read a whole load of advertsising blurb....so why would I do that on my blog?
    Jane x

  7. My adverts on my blog disappeared recently. Just like that. No warning. I don't care. They only earned me £8.92p in a whole year! Hey I'm stopping this comment, because I can feel a blog post coming on. Come to think of it, where is my £8.92p?

  8. There are a couple of blogs I used to read that became so full of guest and sponsored posts that there was very rarely a post that didn't have an advertising motive.Needless to say I don't read them anymore.

  9. I have also removed a blog from my blogroll because the blogger started having competitions and giveaways where among the criteria for entry to the competition was a request to click on a link to an advert, in order for her to earn money. I got so fed up of this that I decided not to read there any longer. If I am interested, I will click on the ad, but I have no intention of being blackmailed into it! There is a blog I read which does have ads, but the blogger's writing is so entertaining that it is worth it... I'm not getting into monetising my blog at all - as you say, we tend to write about saving money, so why would we be encouraging people to spend it?!? Well said.

  10. Well said Ilona and Woozy!

  11. My blog is a personal blog and I don't have advertising. Blogging is something I truly enjoy and I would still do it even if no one at all read it!!

    If I do recommend something it is because I have bought it myself and love it. It would be false to give reviews of things just to make a profit. People don't have money to waste and can't afford to be mis-sold. Blogging is an amazing thing - a true community - and I feel that I have a responsibility to be honest with any readers I may have.

  12. I hate adverts of any kind especially the ones on the tv ( laptop in my case) I refuse to watch them and mute the sound, its just another kind of brainwashing and I will not be part of it.
    By the way I loved the relaxed kitty from yesterday's post.

  13. I totally agree with what Jenny had posted here.
    My sentiments entirely!!

  14. Ditto with Sarina my thoughts are the same as Jenny, great post Ilona cxx

  15. Like yours just as it is. Not at all asleep, frozen, as I've just come in from standing (a) at Poynton station waiting for train then standing at Piccadilly, Manchester for my next train. It's like mid-winter although quite seasonal for the time of the year.

    I think if I had a blog it would be as simple as possible, with no links or whatever to complicate it. Don't think anyone would be interested in my ramblings anyway, I'll just read other peoples.

    I loved Mayze reading your maps by the way.

  16. Erk
    Actually I never thought about it like that and you are quite right.
    I just went through mine and took all the ads off .

  17. Great thinking Ilona. Nice to have you as one of the few not trying to make money every which way. Love your blog. Enjoy your trips. Del

  18. Hi Ilona

    Just wanted to say I think you have hit the nail on the head with regard to what is and isn't a blog, and that I agree whole-heartedly with the "diary/personal record" definition. I know some have monetised their blogs and, if that's what they want, that's up to them. But it's not what I want from mine, or what I enjoy when reading other blogs, either.

    Keep up the good (independent!) work!


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