I’ll tell you this for free…

…put yer money away!*

This post was prompted, in part, by a wonderful recent presentation by Merlin Mann’s entitled How To Blog and its horror-inducing first few slides.

I’ve been contacted in the past week by two separate individuals who wanted to place paid advertisements on my sites. The first offered $150 for 6 text-link ads at the end of blog posts on the now-defunct teaching.mrbelshaw.co.uk. I presume this is because these appear near the top of Google search rankings for certain keywords. The second was simply exploring the possibility of paid adverts on this blog.

I said no to both on principle. You may find that strange, as I’ve had Google and iTunes ads on my sites before.** Well, yes, but I’ve realised the error of my ways! As has been pointed out to me by several people, adverts on a personal blog make people question your impartiality and just don’t look very professional. I’ve taken these points on board. The only advertising on my sites now can be found at historyshareforum.com to help cover hosting and bandwidth costs. :-p

So you can be sure that when I recommend certain products and services, I’m not being paid the individuals or companies behind them. Transparency is key.

The only thing I’m now struggling with now is revealing which school I work at. In the past I’ve made sure I don’t say where I work to keep the professional and personal completely separate. In a connected online world, however, this is becoming increasingly difficult. Take elearnr, for example. This is a blog I’ve set up to share links, resources and guides I create in my new role as E-Learning Staff Tutor. Whilst I mention names of members of staff on there, I haven’t – as yet – said which school I’m talking about. I’m torn between what it will mean for this blog, and being completely transparent with the other.

I’d appreciate your thoughts and comments. 🙂

*Watch this YouTube video clip of Peter Kay if you don’t get what I’m talking about…

** I apologise you can see an iTunes ad in the sidebar, I’ve tried several times to get rid of it using K2’s sidebar manager, but it just won’t budge! 🙁

(image by Joseph Robertson @ Flickr)

12 Comments

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  1. Hello Doug,

    I blog mainly for to reasons: 1) for me 2) for my work colleagues. In that order. I view my blog (rubbish as it may be to most people) as a tool for professional development. I learn blogging in the same way that teachers learn teaching.

    Making money is certainly not one of my objectives (I’d have a job anyway, hardly anyone reads my blog!). Yet I do have adsense ads in the sidebar of individual posts – although not on the front page.

    I don’t think the odd adsense ad, tucked away timidly, makes you look unprofessional, or biased, particularly since it is Google who choses the ads. Overbearing ads are a different story.

    I’m not ashamed to say that the ads on my blog have earned me about $150 this year which, while not enough to for that 50 foot yacht, it will pay my hosting fees.

    I probably don’t get ‘it’. But to paraphrase Peter Kay: “what is this ‘it’ we all keep comparing ourselves to?”

    I think I just get a different ‘it’. I don’t think things are ever black or white.

    José

  2. Hello Doug,

    I blog mainly for to reasons: 1) for me 2) for my work colleagues. In that order. I view my blog (rubbish as it may be to most people) as a tool for professional development. I learn blogging in the same way that teachers learn teaching.

    Making money is certainly not one of my objectives (I’d have a job anyway, hardly anyone reads my blog!). Yet I do have adsense ads in the sidebar of individual posts – although not on the front page.

    I don’t think the odd adsense ad, tucked away timidly, makes you look unprofessional, or biased, particularly since it is Google who choses the ads. Overbearing ads are a different story.

    I’m not ashamed to say that the ads on my blog have earned me about $150 this year which, while not enough to for that 50 foot yacht, it will pay my hosting fees.

    I probably don’t get ‘it’. But to paraphrase Peter Kay: “what is this ‘it’ we all keep comparing ourselves to?”

    I think I just get a different ‘it’. I don’t think things are ever black or white.

    José

    • Thanks José. You’re right, there’s nothing inherently *wrong* in covering the hosting fees – that’s, after all, what I do with historyshareforum.com. But I do think that I’ve been guilty in the past of tarnishing my professional image by placing adverts on my site. After all, I wouldn’t condone adverts in my classroom or on my car…

      And, by the way, you are far too self-deprecating. Lots of people read your blog (including me) and really like what you write! :-)

  3. Hello Doug,I blog mainly for to reasons: 1) for me 2) for my work colleagues. In that order. I view my blog (rubbish as it may be to most people) as a tool for professional development. I learn blogging in the same way that teachers learn teaching.Making money is certainly not one of my objectives (I'd have a job anyway, hardly anyone reads my blog!). Yet I do have adsense ads in the sidebar of individual posts – although not on the front page.I don't think the odd adsense ad, tucked away timidly, makes you look unprofessional, or biased, particularly since it is Google who choses the ads. Overbearing ads are a different story.I'm not ashamed to say that the ads on my blog have earned me about $150 this year which, while not enough to for that 50 foot yacht, it will pay my hosting fees.I probably don't get 'it'. But to paraphrase Peter Kay: "what is this 'it' we all keep comparing ourselves to?"I think I just get a different 'it'. I don't think things are ever black or white.José

  4. Thanks José. You're right, there's nothing inherently *wrong* in covering the hosting fees – that's, after all, what I do with historyshareforum.com. But I do think that I've been guilty in the past of tarnishing my professional image by placing adverts on my site. After all, I wouldn't condone adverts in my classroom or on my car…And, by the way, you are far too self-deprecating. Lots of people read your blog (including me) and really like what you write! :-)

  5. Hello Doug,I blog mainly for to reasons: 1) for me 2) for my work colleagues. In that order. I view my blog (rubbish as it may be to most people) as a tool for professional development. I learn blogging in the same way that teachers learn teaching.Making money is certainly not one of my objectives (I'd have a job anyway, hardly anyone reads my blog!). Yet I do have adsense ads in the sidebar of individual posts – although not on the front page.I don't think the odd adsense ad, tucked away timidly, makes you look unprofessional, or biased, particularly since it is Google who choses the ads. Overbearing ads are a different story.I'm not ashamed to say that the ads on my blog have earned me about $150 this year which, while not enough to for that 50 foot yacht, it will pay my hosting fees.I probably don't get 'it'. But to paraphrase Peter Kay: “what is this 'it' we all keep comparing ourselves to?”I think I just get a different 'it'. I don't think things are ever black or white.José

  6. It is a tough one, the anonymity of blogs in an educational setting. I am considering the implications of being open and honest with my placements during my upcoming PGCE.

  7. It is a tough one, the anonymity of blogs in an educational setting. I am considering the implications of being open and honest with my placements during my upcoming PGCE.

  8. Hi Doug

    Advertising has come up elsewhere of late. I think Vicki of Cool Cat fame blogged about it on her blog and the TechLearning Blog. I personally do not like advertising on a personal blog. I tried AdSense once but it was just too ugly in my opinion.

    One of my students makes about $60.00USD a day oh his game portal via AdSense. He is 16.

    I blog so I can get out there. Bit of a backwater here on the south coast of NSW. Not much happening and many are simply thinking of retirement. I am too but change is always uppermost in my mind. Like to be on the curve.

    My focus has been professional development and this year half of my work outside school has been generated by Google searches that found my blog and resources. One job was generated because the person liked my delicious links!

    Of course I blog about other topics as well. Music, the cat, life. Guess that may show I am human. Who knows? My students like the cat posts.

    I have mentioned where I work and I do mention colleagues as well.

  9. Hi DougAdvertising has come up elsewhere of late. I think Vicki of Cool Cat fame blogged about it on her blog and the TechLearning Blog. I personally do not like advertising on a personal blog. I tried AdSense once but it was just too ugly in my opinion.One of my students makes about $60.00USD a day oh his game portal via AdSense. He is 16.I blog so I can get out there. Bit of a backwater here on the south coast of NSW. Not much happening and many are simply thinking of retirement. I am too but change is always uppermost in my mind. Like to be on the curve.My focus has been professional development and this year half of my work outside school has been generated by Google searches that found my blog and resources. One job was generated because the person liked my delicious links!Of course I blog about other topics as well. Music, the cat, life. Guess that may show I am human. Who knows? My students like the cat posts.I have mentioned where I work and I do mention colleagues as well.

  10. Hi Doug,

    I don’t put who I work for on my blog, but, like you, a quick Google search will find it out anyway…

  11. Hi Doug,I don't put who I work for on my blog, but, like you, a quick Google search will find it out anyway…

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