Serious Blogger? 2013 365 Challenge #255

There goes the diet again!

There goes the diet again!

I went into my blog today without realising I wasn’t logged in, and was surprised to see an advert within my text. I guess I knew that WordPress made money somehow from free blogs, but I hadn’t thought much more about it.

Apparently it costs $30 a year to remove the adverts, and now I’m wondering if I should pay it. When I clicked on the advert it said “you may be seeing this ad because the blogger is making money from their site” or words to that effect. Oh I wish I was making money from my blog! Then I wouldn’t feel guilty at the time it takes away from my family or from writing my novels. Not that I would give up writing my blog for anything.

One of the posts I linked to yesterday was When Blogging Doesn’t Work – on the Writing by the Seat of my Pants blog. It challenged the widely held belief that authors need to blog; explaining that it isn’t always necessary, particularly if you are blogging just for the sake of it rather than because you enjoy it. This was my comment:

Baking cookies with my girl

Baking cookies with my girl

“I started my blog without really understanding why, except that I needed one if I wanted to be an author. Then this year I started a daily blogging challenge – writing a novel in daily installments on my blog – and even though it’s been a right pain at times, I have enjoyed it immensely. It probably hasn’t given me a huge surge in blog followers, but it has improved my ability to write to a deadline and copy-edit quickly: benefits I hadn’t envisioned in the beginning. In fact, I may even do it again next year (although I suspect my family may beg me not to!!)”

I forgot to add that, through my blog, I have met such an amazing group of people and that my blogverse feels like a happy place where I enjoy spending time.

So, should I let advertising intrude on my happy place? Should I let you, my followers, think that I’m trying to make money from you, when I’m not (unless you want to buy my books, and then of course that’s just fine!)

Is it worth $30 a year to keep my blog pure? I’ve toyed with the idea of buying the full package and having my own domain name, but until now I’ve been perfectly happy with the free blog. I guess it’s just one more question in the long list of queries associated with self-publishing and being a writer: and one more thing to add to the list “Things I would do if I had more money”!

What do you think? Are the adverts annoying? Do you even see them? Am I worrying over nothing? Do tell.

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Below is the next installment in my novel Two-Hundred Steps Home: written in daily posts since 1st January as part of my 2013 365 Challenge. Read about the challenge here.You can catch up by downloading the free ebook volumes on the right hand side of the blog: 

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Claire gazed out the window as the ocean crashed against the shore, raising spray that would envelop the bus were they just a bit closer. She’d heard that the west coast was nicknamed the wet coast, and that seemed about right.

The heavy grey skies and angry sea soothed her, as if their rage forced her to be calm. Rain poured down the windows, enhancing rather than marring the view. Claire could see tree-covered hills climbing upwards from the other side of the bus. She curled in towards the window and let the weather entertain her.

The bus slowed and Claire roused herself to see why they had stopped. The driver explained that they were at a seal colony and anyone who fancied braving the rain was welcome to have a look around.

Claire uncurled herself and searched in her bag for a raincoat. Making her way to the front of the bus she realised she was the only person getting off. She was about to sit back down when a giggling couple from the front also disembarked. With a twisted smile, Claire decided she would run, if need be, to get away from them.

Outside, signposts led her down a walkway, slippery in the rain, towards the seal colony. All around her tall spiky plants stabbed at the sky.

There was no one else around as Claire followed the path to the viewing platform. Wind dragged hair across her face and the rain blew in sideways.

This was a stupid idea. I should have stayed on the bus. Knowing my luck they’ll leave without me.

Blinded by her wet hair, Claire almost walked into the railing. She rested her hands on the wood and searched the rocks for seals.

If they’ve got any sense they’ll be hiding in a cave somewhere out of the weather. Even if they are there I’m not going to see them through this.

Heaving a sigh that was swept away on the wind, Claire turned to walk back to the car park. Her stomach roiled like the pewter-grey waves and an almost overwhelming urge not to get back on the bus swept over her. The rigid routine, the upholstered seats, even Bethan’s unending good humour, felt like a cage that she was finally free from.

Claire pulled her hood tight around her face and leant in to the wind. With no seals to see, she knew there was no option but to go back and get on with her trip. Retracing her steps she didn’t notice the sign until she walked into it.

Who puts a bloody signpost in the middle of the footpath?

She rubbed her head and looked up at the offending pillar. It was one of the tourist signs, like she had seen at Cape Reinga, showing the distances to places near and far.

London 16,286km. I don’t think I wanted to know that. I might as well be on the moon.

It was a long way home

*

Back on the bus, Claire felt like she’d gate-crashed a party. All the passengers who had decided to stay warm and dry were gathered in groups, chatting and laughing. Claire sidled up the aisle to her seat and slid in to skulk by the window.

“Claire, you’re back!”

Claire turned as Bethan bounced onto the seat next to her.

“How were the seals? Nice and dry I see.”

“Ha ha. What did I miss? Feels like a festival in here.”

“Everyone’s discussing their fancy dress costume for this evening.”

“Fancy dress?” Claire groaned. Now she really wanted to get off the bus.

“Yes, apparently we have to source our outfit in town later, before we get to the Poo Pub tonight.”

“Poo Pub?” Claire felt like a parrot, but she didn’t know what else to say.

Maybe I sent Josh away too soon. Fancy dress and silliness are much more his thing than mine.

Claire wrapped her arms around herself and curled into the window. It was going to be a long day.

***

23 thoughts on “Serious Blogger? 2013 365 Challenge #255

  1. I don’t see any advertisements right now although I see a white box on my blog that says “others may see an advertisement on this space” or something. I am planning on getting self-hosted in the near future because I really want to be able to monetize my blog and ads seems better than affiliate links and reviews. 🙂
    Your blog looks perfectly fine for me 🙂

    • Thank you! 🙂 You don’t see adverts if you’re logged into WordPress. I have vaguely wondered if there’s a way to make an income from the blog but I don’t get nearly enough traffic. Maybe in a year or two, although I’d rather not. I’m not very business minded! Lol

  2. I don’t see any advertisements, probably because I’m logged into wordpress. No white box either.

    If it were me though, I’d pay the $30 and get rid of them. For those who come here and aren’t logged in, they don’t look as professional.

      • First of all, I am so new to this, that I appreciate your telling me I need to log out. I did not realize that.
        And I am thinking of becoming “premium” to avoid the ads. (adverts you call them) I have never seen one but I have seen the rectangles where they are blocking out spacing to place them in. (so get ready) Thirdly, I love the WordPress group also. I may have said this, but there is a real community here. And while it does take away from family obligations (a lot of us are women and artists and mothers and wives all at once), it is happy time just for us.

      • Time away to be ourselves for ourselves is essential. Getting the balance right is always tricky (and getting people to see writing and blogging as anything other than a hobby is tough too!)

  3. This post really interested me, because I had the same thoughts the first time I saw an ad on my blog. I didn’t click on it, but now I’m annoyed by the idea that the insinuation is that the blogger is making money from the ad, which I certainly am not. Honestly, though, I do the same thing when I see these ads on blogs as I do when I see them on Facebook–I ignore them. Sorry, WordPress, that’s just the way it is.

    As for whether or not to blog as an author, I wrote about that at “Blogging IS Writing” http://wp.me/p2IvJd-yk and “Should Fiction Writers Bother with Blogs and Websites?” http://wp.me/p2IvJd-yL, and of course many other bloggers have written about this subject, too, offering various opinions which seem mostly divided by whether or not they’ve published and used their blogs effectively. I don’t think the question really is whether or not you should blog if you’re a writer, but rather, what is the best use of your blog; you spelled it out quite well for your own blog: “It has improved my ability to write to a deadline and copy-edit quickly: benefits I hadn’t envisioned in the beginning,” and “I have met such an amazing group of people and . . . my blogverse feels like a happy place where I enjoy spending time.” So don’t let those ads get you down–just keep writing, and we’ll keep reading!

    • Thank you so much for ths reply and for the links to your posts. It’s encouraging to hear that others go through the same thought processes. We all want to make it as authors but we all have a finite amount of time, money, energy and an infinite amount of options. I’m a natural worrier (and a comparer) so I always wonder if I should be doing things differently.

  4. Those sneaky devils. I thought they made all their revenue by selling domain names and premium themes, now they’re sneaking ads into private blogs. That’s frustrating. I’ve been thinking about monetizing as well but I’d have to make far more than $30 a year to make it worth it.

    • There are lots of decisions and options. I already have a website that costs me too much to maintain so I’m loathe to give WordPress $30 just to get rid of the adverts. It’s tempting to combine the website and blog but one is writermummy and the other amanda-martin and I like them both!

  5. My husband found the same thing on my blog and I got very annoyed. However, I don’t have the money to remove them, so they stay. Didn’t know they were insinuating that I make money from my blog, though. I don’t*. I may have to change up some of my priorities.

    *I’m an Amazon affiliate, but I’ve only linked one or two items in posts, and I have a page for all the rest. Plus, I haven’t made any money through that, yet. I really hope WordPress changes its wording. I may have to switch if they don’t.)

  6. I honestly wasn’t aware of the ads, as I’m never logged out of my account…but I’ve never noticed them on anyone else’s WordPress blogs either. Maybe it’s just a coincidence that I’ve never come across them or maybe most of the blogs I read have paid accounts, I’m not sure, but it’s not something that I’ve had an issue with myself.

    That said, I’ve also been considering a paid account for a number of reasons. For one thing, I believe you can buy a .com domain name through them? And I was thinking that it might be a good idea to have my name as a domain. Also, you get a hell of a lot more upload space, and since I’ve taken to adding images into my posts, I’m eventually going to need that space.

    In conclusion, I think that if you have the cash and are willing to spend it, it might be a good idea to upgrade your blog. But if you don’t have the cash, or you don’t personally think that it’s worth the money, I wouldn’t be too concerned…lots of big, important websites have ads on them…it’s just one of those things, and we’re so used to it at this point that we just kind’ve skim right past them. lol 🙂

    • The way I understand it, you don’t see ads on any WordPress site if you’re logged in, hence why I hadn’t noticed them before.
      The premium package looks good and if I didn’t already have a website as well I would definitely get it.

  7. Thanks for the mention, I appreciate it. I can’t see any advertisements on your blog, I guess my pop-up blocker is the reason for that. I have one on my browser and one through my antivirus software.

    I had no idea WordPress was making statements like that! The last one I read went something like this, “You are seeing these ads to keep WordPress a free blogging platform.” Granted, that was several months ago, and I’m imagining this may be just bad copywriting since most companies outsource EVERYTHING these days. I’m really hoping this is the case, if not, I have to start looking into my options like everyone else here.

    • You don’t see any ads if you’re logged in, as far as I understand it, so as long as all visitors to my site are wordpress bloggers they won’t see ads.
      I’m wondering if what I saw was a marketing ploy by WordPress to convince me to pay the $30 because I wouldn’t want people to get the wrong idea about the purpose of my blog. It worked! 🙂

  8. I stay logged in, so have never seen and ad, and have not missed a day this year. But if ads appeared, I would ignore per usual. Save you money by pinning a disclaimer between your blog a Claire installment, saying what you did above…to the effect…”author makes NO profit from this blog nor any WordPress ads inserted. But please feel free to buy my books.”

  9. I’m a bit horrified. I thought there were no ads on wordpress blogs. I thought that was why they didn’t let you do google adsense. Now I know it’s because they do it. I’ve never seen a wordpress blog or a box, but then I’ve always been logged in. I have my own domain name and forwarding but otherwise mine’s a free blog, too.

    Cheers

    MTM

  10. I was surprised the first time I saw an ad on someone’s WordPress site too, but once I figured out that it was WordPress making the money from it I was fine with it. I think WordPress does a fine job of keeping spam away, and offering the site for free so that I can learn the tools and test my blogging wings seemed like a fair exchange for them to sell a bit of space on ‘my’ site.
    However, I decided to pay the $30 and remove the ads from my site because my philosophy for A Scenic Route is to have it be as serene as possible–no hype, no hustle. I also noticed that some of the ads have political content, and the last thing I want is to have one of my readers be offended by a political ad they think I agree with!

    • Ooh Kirsten you might just have swung the balance. I was tending towards leaving the ads but I hadn’t thought about the content. I absolutely don’t want anything political or something I don’t agree with, and I don’t want to worry about it. You’re right, WordPress do an excellent job – I’ve been very happy with them, their widgets and formatting and templates are so easy to use.

      • Yeah, frozen peas was one thing, but the political stuff was too much for me! And you never know what might strike one of my followers the wrong way.

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