Advertising on Blogs. What do you think?

18 Jun

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Firstly, let me just say up front, that I have no intention of advertising on The Dizzy Pen. Now that that bit is out of the way…

I’ve noticed that an ever-increasing number of bloggers are participating in Amazon Associates or similar programs that allow you to link to products on your blog. The blogger selects products, links to them from their blog and collects a referral fee if a reader clicks the link and purchases the item.

I’m not sure where I stand on this. On one level it is convenient for me as a reader because I can go directly to the item mentioned and know I’m looking at the specific product the blogger recommends. Another part of me is completely turned off by the practice.

I visit quite a few pen, ink and paper blogs. One of my favorites is now so loaded down with Amazon ads that it takes me forever and a day to load the page. The problems with loading have negatively impacted how often I visit the site.

I’m curious about what you all think about this. I’ve created a poll and placed it in my sidebar. Please take a moment to participate. I’d also love to read your comments, so if you have something to say please post it.


NB: What I call “blogger selected fee for referral advertising” is not the same as a blog host site (like WordPress, Blogger, LiveJournal, etc) inserting advertising into a blog without the specific authorization of the blogger. That’s another issue entirely, and one that caused me to leave LiveJournal.


ETA 07-29-10:

After 35 votes I’ve closed this poll. The results are below.

11 Responses to “Advertising on Blogs. What do you think?”

  1. Silvermink June 18, 2010 at 7:14 PM #

    I don’t like it because of the appearance of bias it creates, particularly in reviews. If I get a cut when someone buys the product I’m reviewing on Amazon, it benefits me to give the product a better review than I might otherwise.

    I know there are plenty of people who run ads but don’t let it affect their behavior, but sometimes the appearance of a thing is more important than the actuality.

    • Dizzy Pen June 18, 2010 at 8:08 PM #

      You make a very good point Silvermink, and it’s one with which I definitely agree. Sometimes the appearance of impropriety is just as bad as impropriety itself.

  2. Lexi0514 June 18, 2010 at 7:18 PM #

    I hate the advertisements. One particular blogger, who I used to enjoy, has so many ads that I have just about quit bothering with her blog at all. It’s a shame that we can’t have fun with our hobbies and interests without slapping ads in everyone’s face. I smile everytime I see the “AD FREE BLOG” Owl symbol!

  3. Mike June 18, 2010 at 7:48 PM #

    As long as the content of the site stays at the level that made me follow the blog in the first place I don’t mind the adds. I may even consider buying through the link if it financiallyhelps out a blogger who I enjoy following.

  4. TA June 18, 2010 at 8:39 PM #

    Well, I don’t like it but I understand it. Blogging is time spent and getting a little something back for it doesn’t bother me too much. I do agree that it can make me wonder about the independence of opinion if they review a product from an advertiser. Actually, I use a plug-in that removes most advertising so I don’t often see it.

    I don’t do it and never will. For one thing about 3 people read my blog and for another I’m just happy they do and wouldn’t want to inflict ads on them. 😀

    • Dizzy Pen June 18, 2010 at 8:51 PM #

      I hear you there.

      • TAO June 19, 2010 at 9:17 AM #

        I lost my “O” in my name above. LOL! Typing too fast as usual.

  5. Julie June 24, 2010 at 4:13 PM #

    Just call me cranky, I don’t like ’em! I recently saw a couple of Google Ads on my own blog which I assume WordPress popped there. They come and go. Yikes! I can’t afford the “upgrade” to prevent this. But I do love WordPress and understand they need to make some dough too. Oops, I’m digressing. As a reader ads undermine my ability to trust what a blogger blogs about. Do they believe it or are they just trying to make $$? (Although few bloggers probably make any dough worth celebrating.) I’m also very ambivalent of all the free stuff that bloggers blog about. Same trustworthiness issue. Who to believe? I did it once and it make so uncomfortable… never again. This is the longest comment I ever left. Oops, again!

  6. Julie August 9, 2010 at 10:37 AM #

    And so one must not use the words “never again.” Clearly I’ve gotten over myself.

    • Dizzy Pen August 9, 2010 at 10:55 AM #

      I know what you mean about being uncomfortable about free stuff. The approach I take to it is that free stuff allows me to try things I otherwise would not have and report things to my readers that I otherwise would not have. In the end, I think there is more to gain than to lose.

      I also know that I’m an honest person and would never give something a positive review just because it was free. Either I like it or I don’t. I’m not fudging anything. I don’t think those giving the stuff away expect me to either (if they do, tough!). They give it away because they believe in their product and believe that if given an opportunity others will love it as well.

  7. Julie August 9, 2010 at 12:16 PM #

    Yeah, I’ve realized most folks will tell you when they have received something for free or if they bought it. There are websites, though, where I can’t tell and my wariness is up more than I like. At times, it can be hard to sort through the muddle of the internet. We still have brains to use. 🙂

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