Ken's Naperville Real Estate Blog : A slippery slope: Accepting Paid Advertisers on Your Website or Blog

A slippery slope: Accepting Paid Advertisers on Your Website or Blog

Are you considering selling ad space on your blog or website?  If so, I understand...

I have been writing a real estate blog for 5 years.  I also have several different Facebook business pages, and am active on several forums...

For whatever reason, my posts are gaining momentum.  I have a rapidly growing and engaged audience.  I write about antyhing I have passion for.  Business developement, social media, exercise/yoga, scooters, and my soon to be scooter dealership.

At one point, the thought crossed my mind to monetize this activity.  Selling ad space perhaps...
 
Therefore, I understand the temptation a successful social media writer may have to make money out of their following.  We all look for business opportunities, and this may seem like a natural extension of your success.
 
But I will caution you this.  Accepting paid advertisors to your website/blog is a slippery slope...

Here is my related story:
 
As you may know, I purchased a scooter a few months ago, and what started as cheap form of transportation, became a hobby, than an obsession, and now a dream.  I want to open my own dealership, Naperville Scooter.
 
Before buying my bike, I came across various websites...
 
One was a site based out of Minnesota named Just Gotta Scoot.  Run by David Harrington, a passionate scooter enthusiast,  the site offers reviews on scooters,  accessories and various other scooter related topics.  I have devoured his reviews, and they shaped my scooter purchase.  When it is time to add another bike to my stable, I will return and re-read his reviews.  They are great...
 
Early on, I learned that David didn't accept money from advertisers.  He felt that, if he was taking on paid advertisers, how could he truly be an unbiased reviewer.  I respect his opinion.
 
A few weeks after purchasing my bike, I found a forum that was dedicated to scooters.  I was excited, and wanted to absorb all the info I could.  So I joined.
 
I noticed that they had various ads all over the site.  It didn't bother me.  The ads generally had pictures of scooters, and I could look at scooters all day...
 
After checking out their site, I shared my experience with Dave up in Minnesota.  I explained how the ads didn't bother me, and thought he should perhaps reconsider his stance.  David stuck by his guns, and again I respected his decision, although I didn't fully grasp it... 
 
6 weeks passed, and as mentioned above, my cheap transportation has developed into a passion and dream of mine.  I hope to open my dealership within 6 months.
 
I have a business plan.  I have been looking at locations, inquiring about financing options, and am in talks with various scooter distributers about what brands to stock in my dealership...
 
I am passionate about this, and again, I write about my passions.  My readers seem to enjoy this...
 
My goal when writing is to inspire others to pursue their own dreams, as well as to share mine...
 
I have posted my writings on various scooter forums, as well as two real estate sites, Active Rain and Trulia.  Real estate is my primary business.  I am a Realtor, was first exposed to social media on AR, and therefore, write most of my posts there.
 
My posts have been extremely well received, and I have received invaluable input from literally around the world.
 
The sharing of ideas and thoughts inspires me, feeding my passion.  Even Trulia and Active Rain have no complaints.  No one has even asked, "What does this have to do with real estate?"  Again, I write my posts hoping to inspire, and I hope it does.
 
Unfortunately, one site has been the exception.  The moderators of the site (the site police) have set upon
like a pack of harpies...
              
 
They say I am plugging my page, my business (which is at this time really more of a dream), have mocked me, and even made fun of my bike.
 
They look at my posts as an effort for free advertising.  They suggest that when I get my business going, I  am welcome to pay for ad space.  Again, my contributions are met with disdain, and they make it clear my posts are not welcome or appreciated...
 
I don't get it.  If I can't share my passion about scooters and my dream of a dealership on a scooter forum, where can I?
 
Again, there hasn't been the slightest complaint on any other site.
 
I believe this forum has lost it's way.  I am sure when it started, they had noble intentions.  They hoped to bring like minded individuals together to share thoughts, ideas, and dreams.  
 
Now, due to their pursuit of the almighty dollar, they don't embrace me, my passion, or my contributions...
 
They chased me away.  At worst, I was an active participant that could draw others to their site.  At best, I inspired.
 
So again, my thoughts are this...
 
If you have an active website or blog, I tell a cautionary tale.  Don't chase the dollar.  Accepting ad revenue is a slippery slope.
 
Instead, I choose to follow the path of Dave Harrington or even Facebook's own Mark Zuckerberg.
 
If you chase money, you may end up sacrificing your soul.
 
Ken
 
 
 
Read my related posts:
 
 
 
And check out these links:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Comment balloon 3 commentsKen Tracy • November 11 2012 01:44PM

Comments

Ken...

I just think that it's a personal choice. We all make business decisions, and I don't see this as an ethical or moral issue.

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) almost 6 years ago

It is a coice for sure, I had a TV show for a long time and of course we had advertisers and most I used in the business. But paid or not nothing would peruade me to say or embrace something I didn't believe in.

Posted by Charles Stallions Real Estate Services, Buyers Agent 800-309-3414 Pace and Gulf Breeze,Fl. (Charles Stallions Real Estate Services Inc) almost 6 years ago
Hi Richard and Joyce. Sure. Again, I have nothing against the concept. However, it is a slippery slope. The forum I refer to has slipped right off the mountain to oblivion. It is a cautionary tale. Thanks again! Ken
Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) almost 6 years ago

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