I’ve thought for a long while about whether it would be appropriate to show advertisements on my blog. The short version is that it depends on where I currently am with this business. If I am currently taking clients and building solutions for people with this business I don’t think it makes sense to show ads. If, on the other hand, I’m still working in a corporate environment and building a reputation for this business through blogging then it may make sense to show ads. Let’s take a look at the arguments.
Not advertising while working with clients
If I am actively working for clients, my blog should work to advertise for my own business by showing my expertise. It seems like it would take away from my business to have my users see advertisements for another company. It may also present a disconnect in what the business model of the company is. When I’m working for clients I want to make it clear that creating solutions is the business model. Not earning revenue through advertising.
Advertising while building reputation
If I were simply using the blog to build name recognition, my main goal would be to generate proof of expertise. While this is the same goal as before, driving business to another’s company through ads at this phase in a company doesn’t detract from my company’s goals at this stage since I’m not making money from them by providing any other services to them. In fact, it may help support the company during the time that I’m trying to get it up and running while working for someone else.
Ads vs Affiliate Marketing
Let’s start this section with some definitions. Showing ads on this blog would mean using a service such as AdSense to get ads that would show on the sidebar. I would be paid in return for placing ads of interest to my readers and having them click on them. Affiliate marketing would be using a service such as Amazon’s affiliate program and writing posts recommending a product to drive traffic to buy the product.
I detest the idea of being a shill for somebody else’s product solely for the sake of making money. Because of this I am very hesitant to start the process of affiliate marketing. If I love a product and have a healthy measure of experience with it I would be willing to be an affiliate for it.
That being said my priority is to write posts that help others learn from my mistakes and successes. If one of these posts happens to be a good fit for affiliate marketing so be it. But I will not seek out products to write about only for the purpose of making money. This means that it sounds like ads are the way to go to fit my intentions.
I will, however, take a look at placing affiliate links in my posts about setting up and installing functionality on a Synology DS718+. These are posts that I would have written whether or not I made money from them. I needed the product for myself, liked it, and wanted to show how I’ve used it in order to help others. I didn’t pick the product to write about because I wanted to create an affiliate marketing post and, for me, that is the difference between being a shill and a helpful expert.
Because I am presently working a corporate job to continue to support my family and build a base for this business, I plan to place ads as unobtrusively as possible on this blog. This will, I hope, help generate some income for the business while I am not working for clients. If successful, this income will build a base of of income that will eventually allow me to support my family while focusing full time on building this business. Once I have started actively building the business as a consulting / freelance business I plan to remove the ads from this blog.
I would love to hear your thoughts on advertising in general and, in specific, this approach. Please leave comments or reach our to me via email or Twitter @TRPriceSoftware.