Sunday, 2 October 2011

To monetise or not to monetise, that is the question

We could all use a bit more money

Sometimes its just too much
So, I've been thinking about whether I should monetise my blog or not. You know have adverts slapped all over it for herbal Viagra and and hair transplant services... not that any of us need either of those things you understand!!! I've mainly been thinking about it because I am totally broke and finding work isn't as easy as I thought it would be. Apparently the economy sucks or something. Coupled with this is the fact that my blog is actually doing really well on the old hits score and viewings and as it's only just 4 months old, or thereabouts. I have been told that to have reached nearly 79,000 hits is pretty darn good going, and I think it's not too bad going, even if I say so myself. So I could potentially make a bit of money out of it to buy more things for the hobby, and give you guys more content. Plus with me tinkering with the aesthetic view and layout of the blog it just seemed like a prudent time to consider all my options...

 ...or a Pepsi it's up to you really!!!

The downside though is that I always want to be open, honest and frank with you guys, and I wouldn't want adverts for some online retailer or suchlike on my blog to influence either what I write, or more importantly what you guys think of what I write. For instance, in the review of my Dystopian Wars Ika  Squid I was honest with you all about how it came to be in my possession, and gave you all the information up front, as it should be. You see I don't want to be one of those bloggers constantly begging you to 'click on these advert links' and 'buy stuff from here'. That's not really me, and I also care that a lot of you out there respect my current reviews and opinions on products. It really does mean a lot to me that you trust my views. So it has not been that straight forward a decision at all for me, on the one hand fame and fortune and on the other respect from my fellow gamer...

You have been warned!!!
However, I have made my choice, and being unbiased and respected as a reviewer is a little bit more important to me as a person than maybe getting an extra £10 a month, or whatever to spend on more toy soldiers. I just think that if I have something to say about a shop, service or product, I don't want to be thinking 'how will this affect my advertising revenue'. So for now The Frontline Gamer Blog will be staying an advert free zone. I'll continue to tell you guys how it is, and also let you all know if I've had stuff for free, or if I've been bribed by Matt Ward to stop calling him a gimp!!! Hopefully you guys will all respect and appreciate the decision I've taken as I've done it to maintain your trust in my reviews. I still respect and understand the decision those blogs that have decided to actually have adverts on there sites have taken, and I have nothing against it in general, but it's not for me or this blog. What do you lot think of the whole advertising and sponsorship thing (something else I've been offered recently)? Peace out!


  1. Lol, I am so not stalking you *hides something*

    Erm, I too have considered it, I kinda feel it cheapens a blog and over clutters it, I find I tend not to stay or look further in ad riddled blogs, I think I hate them or something...

    I have thought about trying to monetize Rant, but it's a niche blog and I doubt it would make enough money to soothe my OCD...

    Course I understand being tight, out of work right in the middle of the last financial crisis (not that it went away) and I'm staring down the barrel of being sans jobbie, though admittedly my soul needs a healthy top up ...

    I'll probably use that time productively and work on the game we discussed.

    So Im going to thumbs down monetizing FLG, though I like the new look lots, really makes me wish I had sorted mine a while back :o(

  2. I don't think you get much money anyway, it's a piddling percentage of a cent for every hundred views. Or that's what I heard.

    I'm glad you didn't, I'm against the whole system in principle. I really think companies should pay us to view their ads. Research shows that kids (in first world countries) can tune them out pretty comprehensively by age 8 or 9 anyway.

    Instead of the owner of a site slowly getting money from a company for everyone who clicks, or a shop owner getting money from a company to put up posters or whatever, companies should just go straight to the source: Pay consumers a bribe, and in return they'll be exposed to your ads. If they refuse the money they get ad-free content.

    It really pisses me off that I pay for my internet usage (through the nose by the way, it's one of the many things that is horribly overpriced in Australia) and companies soak up my bandwidth with ineffective advertising. It doesn't work, it's annoying, and in effect I'm paying for it to be deployed on myself.

    Ah, another rant successfuly concluded . . .

  3. I do agree that it does cheapen a blog aesthetically, and I think you'd have some difficult decisions ahead in where to place them (I imagine that revenue differs depending on prominence?).

    That said, it certainly wouldn't stop me from reading your blog. We've all been following it for quite some time before the face lift, after all (though to be honest I read posts via Google reader on my mobile 95% of the time). I'm so used to advertising that I pay no attention to it.

    I think it is possible to overstate the affect on the impartiality of your reviews, too. They're subjective anyway, and you do a pretty good job of stating your reasons/argument behind a particular reviewing conclusion. Do you have any control over the content of the ads anyway?

    You could also consider donating any revenue to a charity or to the maintenance/upkeep of a non-profit wargaming community resource such as a forums. For example, if I was to blog about playing Germans in Flames of War, I might consider donating ad revenue towards the upkeep of the feldgrau website, which is a fantastic resource for information on the German armed forces.

    Just a few thoughts, love the new look!

  4. My wife has some adverts on her blog. One year when she really worked hard getting advertizing and sponsors I think she pulled in about 1K for the year. But when you time averaged the cost for doing the stuff that she did not enjoy (like looking for sponsor and that stuff), a minimum wage job would have been better.

    She got an offer to join a specific ad network that group blogs of certain types together to sell advertizing in blocks directly to companies where she would have some control over the ad content(as opposed to something like the google ads). I read the contract and found it so one sided in terms of rights and liabilities.

    The group had a composite page where it would highlight the blogs but it included the right for them to reproduce an photos or videos any way they wanted and transfer that right. I explained to my wife that this meant they could take a photo of our daughter in some companies clothes and sell it to that company for an ad campaign. They also had a clause about if they get sued over content from your site that they used you were on the hook for legal fees but that they bore no responsibility for the ads they put on your site.

    I wrote her like a 4 page response with changes required to the contract to make it acceptable but I do not think she bothered to send it in and just decided that this hassle for like 30 dollars tops a month was not worth it. Plus since it is real income you have to pay your top marginal tax rate on it also.

    As for my blog I leave it total non-monetized as purely an educational and editorially resource. I do follow my hits but mainly just to track the referring sites so I can see what is linking to me. Since I rarely post anything important I mainly get hits from google images.

  5. I used to use Project Wonderful on the old GAME OVER, the Blogspot one. I think I made about a tenner in six weeks, which was... enough to pay me into a Warmahordes tournament, actually, and at the time I was thinking that if it covered a small expense like that it was probably worth a go. Plus I've never had an ad I've disapproved of, which helped.

    Haven't done it on the WordPress one, largely because I'd have to pay for hosting to make it work, and that seems a bit counter-intuitive. If I do ever end up with hosting and a domain name and all that twaddle, I'll probably stick the ads back up...

  6. @Sorrowshard, yeah I kind of feel the same way. Plus as others have pointed out, I'm highly unlikely to every make a living out of it now am I, so why bother?

    @James S, you're absolutely right there have been plenty of studies that show many forms of advertising are ineffective, especially when people are expecting to see them (TV add breaks). However when you don't expect them, or when you're doing something else like driving a car then adverts do worm their way into your head. Because you're distracted and your normally barriers aren't up... and feel free to rant anytime you like!!! lol.

    @Micky, cheers that's some interesting things to think about. To be honest the thing that I was thinking about was sponsorship. I was emailed by somebody who offered me a flat rate to place an image and a link in a tool box on either the top or side of my blog. It'd have paid a flat rate every month and would have been enough to have grabbed me a few mini's each month... but it still wasn't enough to convince me to do it. It was close though.

    @eriochrome, as always really interesting reading your thoughts. I think you've convinced me I did the right thing, so thanks for that!!!

    @Von, as I said I have no problems with others having adds, its never really affected the way I view what others do. Interesting that you got enough dosh to pay for something. Most people I spoke to about it said I'd be lucky to get anything at all... but then again the sponsorship option where somebody agrees a flat rate up front is also an interesting avenue. There you have control of sorts in a way over which company or companies you have up on your website. I'd never turn into one of those bloggers who constantly begged people to click on links though. Whats the point?

  7. I can't comment on this, as I'm busy clicking on ads to send my buddy Purgatus, from Best Overall, to NOVA next year....
    Apparently I need to click three hundred million more times, so gimme a minute...

  8. @SinSynn, PMSL... that's the best comment so far!!!

  9. I don't think it really matters one way or the other. Unless it A) causes you more trouble then its worth. Or B) you make a little extra cash to do something you already enjoy.

  10. @Lord Azaghul... and there's the pragmatic view. Having you lot around is like having my very own council of wise advisers. Cheers for all the thoughts guys. I've pondered it some more today and... I can't be bothered it seems like too much hassle right now and unless somebody really made it worth my while I don't see why I should!!!