So, at this point in my blogging journey, I am officially at the 5 month point. They say it takes 3 months (90 days) for something to stick and stay with it and I’m happy to announce that I am really enjoying my online experience so far. In this time, I have been learning all that I can about the world of blogging. From writing blog posts, researching ways to be a better blogger and learning to use social media properly to engage with the blogging community – it sure has been a massive learning curve for me!
Interestingly enough, I have observed that there are a lot of blogs out there who have great content and beautiful layouts… and ads.
And then there’s mine.
You’ve probably noticed that there’s no advertising on this post. Or on my whole blog.
Now, I have been grappling with the idea of putting ads on my blog for a while now, and whilst the immediate appeal of monetizing my site is right there with a click of a button, I have made the decision to keep my blog ad-free.
Happily Amber After is Ad-Free!
Let me explain why.
1. My Story.
This is first and foremost, my number one reason to be ad-free. I have a story to tell. It is a fictional story of a teen Perth girl, navigating her way through the craziness we call adolescence. I mean, being a teenager is a part of life; why not capture it in a unique way? Sure, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I feel it is an important story to share with the world.
The amount of energy, effort and time I have put into creating Happily Amber After has demanded months and months of research, planning and writing into the late hours of the night, not to mention the personal sacrifices I’ve had to make… and the ones I know are yet to come.
Don’t get me wrong, there are times where I have thought ‘where is the pay off in all this?’ but I have always remained true to the foundations of why I started this blog in the first place. All I want is for people to read and share Amber’s story. And I personally feel that having advertisements on my blog would be a distraction from all the hard work I have put into my posts.
Think of it this way: when you buy a book, there are no ads littered through the text, is there? It’s just you, the book and your imagination. So, why should my web serial be any different? Plus, it’s free.
Take that Amazon!
When you meet someone new, first impressions always count. They shouldn’t, but they do. It’s the same for blogs. Those first 10 seconds can either make or break the ‘vibe’ of your blog. It’s common knowledge that websites that look aesthetically pleasing do much better than those that look messy and disorganised. I’m not sure about you, but if I visit a website and all I see are ad’s everywhere on their home page, I am turned off instantly. It makes me question if the creator truly cares about their target audience and the quality of their content, or if they are only chasing money. Getting the balance right can be tricky, and I tip my hat to anyone who has it all in check.
In saying that, I want to create a ‘safe vibe’ for those people who visit Happily Amber After. I don’t want readers to feel like they are being targeted by advertising companies, and that I don’t care about their reader experience on my blog. Because I really do.
You guys are the most valuable part of my whole blog. It would be nothing without an audience. And I am so privileged to have you all visit, and hope that you will come back again and again.
3. Comforting Protection
Although Happily Amber After is a fictional teen story, the experiences that Amber goes through are very much real. I’m sure there are people out there have had intense crushes, fought with friends, had their hearts broken, dealt with ‘out of touch parents’ – the list goes on! As Amber’s journey progresses, so do her experiences. Some good, and some… well, can be quite sensitive.
Honestly, I don’t know what type of people will visit my blog. But I feel that I have a duty to protect them from advertising which could be damaging mentally. This is the scenario I fear that I have pictured in my head:
E.g. ‘Amber experiences negative interaction from her boyfriend because he thinks she’s fat. A reader comes along and relates to the situation personally, emotions are high and suddenly, there’s an ad for dieting pills staring him/her in the face…’
I know it’s totally far-fetched, but this is the last thing that I want to happen to anyone. I mean, I could completely avoid the subject matter altogether, but I feel that these taboo topics need to be addressed. I just want you all to know that Happily Amber After won’t EVER intentionally trigger readers (there will always be warnings if there is sensitive content), but if I allow advertising on my blog, I have no control over what is displayed. Usually it’s reader targeted, based on what they have been looking at and their interests. However, on the off chance that they’re in a bad place or mindset, searching for answers, I really hope that my writing provides some comfort knowing they aren’t the only ones in that situation… without an ad telling them otherwise.
I really hope that makes sense.
I’m not sure if this is an unorthodox approach to blogging but I feel it’s what I need to do. I know that advertising is considered a sign of a seasoned and successful blogger, but I honestly think it depends on the individual and what their blog is about.
That being said, I am not completely adverse to the idea of any monetisation. There are other avenues, aside from advertisements and I may be inclined to consider these in the future.
If it fits within the boundaries of what my blog is about.
I want to be honest with you all and say that if something comes along and I truly truly believe in it and believe it to be of benefit in any way, you will always have my full disclosure. But I think I’m a long way from that!
Apologies for the super long post – I didn’t realise it would be this long!
What are your thoughts on ads? Let me know in the comments below!