Thoughts on Blogging

It’s late (for me), I had a terrible shitty night of sleep (or lack of) the last two nights, and just feel like rambling.

How sad is it that some bloggers feel they need to make up fake comments on their own posts and other posts about them, just to make it appear that they’re more popular/well-liked then they actually are?

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Long ago, I turned down initial offers for paid advertisements on my blog. I thought “I don’t do this for the money, so I’m not going to have advertisers” and then a few months later as I got more and more offers I realized – that was effing stupid. A text link in the sidebar is about as unobtrusive as you can get, and blogging DOES take time. Why would I turn down a little side money? There are things, though, that I still do turn down. I tried to sign up with a blogger ad site, but didn’t go through with it once I found out that they require you to put their banner ads “above the fold” i.e. right up at the top in the sidebar. I’ve turned down other blogger advertising networks for their garish banner ads that blink and flash. I don’t fault fellow established bloggers who have joined up with these networks, it’s just not for me personally.

But when I come across these newbie Blogger blogs where it’s all advertising, all the time, and they expect me to take them seriously as a sex blogger? No. I recently came across such a blog because the owner tried to leave a comment here. She’d apparently put up some dummy content to get Google Adsense to partner with her site (They won’t partner up with sex blogs, I looked into that for someone before) and there are Google Adsense banner ads in the sidebar, in between each post, and sometimes IN the posts!  wow. Not many quicker ways to get me to vacate a blog and never return. There’s another blog that I used to read where the author would put in tons of photos peppered about the post – not their own, mind you, just either stuff they found in Google Image search or worse….Amazon. and then it was linked to their Amazon affiliate account. The post would also be scattered with Amazon affiliate links – half the time the stuff would be barely or not at all related to the content.

A few weeks ago one of my text link advertisers tried to get me to agree to a paid post. Wherein they would write the content, it would contain links back to their store, and they’d pay me for publishing it.

NO. I told them quickly and in no uncertain terms that I do NOT do that. Perhaps it was something lost in translation, perhaps the word “no” in english means something else in her language, but she kept at it. Asking me 6 times in different ways. What if I wrote the post, she asked? Then it would be false content. NO. I write sex toy reviews and I do not ever agree to publish a positive-only review in exchange for a sex toy. I include the links but I say what I want to say, I give my honest opinions.

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You know what the nice thing is about having a blog vs having a “site”? I can do what I want. :)

I can write about what I want to write about. I don’t have a constraining set of topics that I must stick to. I can happily waltz along to other blogging things, whenever I want and it’s infrequent that a reader complains.

I can bitch about shit if I want. I can post rants or fluffy kittens.

I am a blogger. I happen to be a sex blogger. And I am proud that I am a sex blogger and will never get offended when called that. Instead of thumbing my nose at silly community projects, I do my best to promote them and include everyone.

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There was a time when I changed my RSS feed contents to “summary” rather than full text. I, wrongly, assumed that it would get me more traffic to my actual site where they would be more apt to comment and interact.

Doesn’t happen that way.

I have a number of blogs in my feed reader that use either the summary method or, worse, the title-only method. And I find myself skipping posts because the title or the first few sentences didn’t reel me in. Or because I’m just too lazy, or don’t have the time, to click through and read. And I would bet that a lot of others feel that very same way. Your thoughts on this?

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And finally, I read this over the weekend in Readers Digest (shaddup) and thought it was really appropriate and agreeable, especially what I’m seeing on Twitter, with this phrase being used a lot in the ever-irritating movement of hastags.

“Just Sayin’??”

They’re two little words innocuous enough on their own, though together they are poison. Just Sayin’ is the Hummel Lil’ Rascal of figures of speech, harmless until you look closer and see the slingshot in his back pocket. The way it’s used is in the form of a pulled punch. “No one above the age of seven should be seen chewing gum. Just sayin’.” “My boss smells like a brewery. Just sayin’.” It’s like a coy kicking of the dirt. “I’m going to say something offensive, but by adding these two words, I won’t have to take responsibility for it.”

Julie Klam, author of You Had Me at Woof

15 Responses

  1. FG says:

    Readers Digest??????
    Just sayin’

    *hauls ass for the door*

    RSS feed please keep it as this is now twice in one week that you have dragged my ass here to interact with you and probably would not have with a title only. Either that or I am feeling just too damn snarky for my own good of late.


    ~ Hmmm I’m gonna go with snarky, lol. And you shush up on the Readers Digest comment. You read it too!!

  2. JaT says:

    As a (relatively) newbie blogger trying to find my feet, I find figuring out whether to go down the paid advertisement path, paying for a domain, redesigning, advertising my site so difficult to navigate….especially as I am a little less than tech-savvy!

    I have been following your blog for several months – is there a post anywhere detailing the process you went through to get where you are now?

    xx JaT

  3. Aurore says:

    Thankfully, I’ve yet to come across a blog that’s overloaded with ads like that. I, like you, wouldn’t be able to tolerate it. I understand the need to make a little money off this thing we do called blogging (now more than ever) but standards people. If it offends my eyes or worse is just shameless begging, I can’t handle it. Sorry,#justsaying ;)

  4. SilverDreams says:

    Also as an admittedly newer blogger, I don’t get the entire ad thing. I understand having to pay for web hosting and whatnot, but a blog that’s mostly ads? Why bother?

    ButchtasticKyle and I were just having a tweet about this the other day. We both said that we read a lot of blogs but rarely comment on them. Here’s my effort to correct that, and there’s nothing fake about how much I admire your posts :)

    ~ A blog thats mostly ads is someone who either A: Set out from the beginning for the blog to generate income or B: just got too caught up and money hungry once they had the taste of what advertising can bring in. At first yes, it was “enough” for me for just my expenses to be covered. But having 3 blogs, 1 of them being a community project, takes time! Why not get a little back for that, ya know? And thank you for commenting and saying hello! :)

  5. Janie says:

    I’m with you on that, there’s only a couple of blogs that I actually click on in my RSS feed that have summaries. It’s just not enough to know whether to bother or not and when you have 40+ things to read every day something’s gotta give. And mine isn’t the longest feed reader.

    Also Lilly you are an exemplary blogger, your adverts are so unobtrusive and I always know I can trust your reviews to be honest. And yes, the fact that you can write whatever you want on a blog is pretty awesome.


    ~ thank you dear! Ahhh to have only 40. *wistful sigh* I think mine’s well over 200 now =/

  6. Ruby says:

    I don’t have time and energy to click on 100 posts to read the full version, so even if the blog is good an looks really nice – it’ll have to be extraordinary for me til bother keeping the subscription or check it out on a regular basis…

  7. Epiphora says:

    I did the same thing with advertising on my blog. The extra income has helped immensely, and it has been completely worth it. Sponsored posts, though, yeah, that’s where I draw the line.

    Summaries in Google Reader cause the same reaction in me: I often skip over them.

    ~ I agree, very worth it. I feel silly for ever passing them up.

  8. I mostly just skip summaries in my Google Reader. I’m reading a zillion and one things in and around a busy schedule; if I want to comment, I wander over and do so, but I don’t like being dragged over to read the post.

    I love how unobtrusive the ads are here. I’ve never been approached about putting adverts up on my blog, but if I was, I’d probably handle it the same way as you. I’ll review, but honestly.

  9. Nadia West says:

    Sometimes I discover I’m terribly naive. :-) The idea of fabricating fake comments on my own posts has never occurred to me. I don’t get many comments on my blog, but I couldn’t be so pathetic as to fake comments.

    ~ You know, it had never occurred to me, either!! I think it’s pretty low.

  10. Missy says:

    Glad you mentioned the RSS feed. Mine is set to show the full post(s) and I have been thinking of changing it, I guess now I won’t!

    I have buttons on my blog, but they are either companies I review for or other bloggers. I have never been offered money for a sidebar link though I have done a few sponsored posts on my family blog. Most companies doing sponsored posts aren’t looking for the content, they are looking for the link so you can write about whatever you want. I don’t consider them to be false content at all, I wrote about real things they just happened to have certain keywords with links in the post…issues that I have had in the past with my truck, the baby shower that I was given, my daughters diaper rash, and I recently wrote one about a new product that I would honestly love to have.

    Only the very first sponsored post I did was specifically about a shop and while I simply write about the products they sold that I liked, it didn’t fit in with my blog and is the only one that I now regret agreeing to.

  11. Joan Price says:

    I have accepted some advertisers and turned down others. My blog about sex & aging is geared to a particular demographic (over age 50), and although some readers are totally sex-positive in all ways, others land on my blog because they have a question or issue about senior sexuality and my content reflects that focus.

    I would totally lose those tentative readers if I had ads that were too blatant or youth-oriented. So I handpick among the advertisers that approach me.

  12. Black Pearl says:

    I have come across the ad blogger and I quickly and feverishly click, click, click my way off!! I don’t begrudge anyone for trying to make a little money, but when the ads become your blog at some point you have to say “No more!”

    …just sayin’! Just kidding, I hate that phrase!

  13. hubman says:

    Like you, I have tons of blogs in my reader. I have them organized into folders, only a small number of them are in my “must read” folder, regardless of whether they have the full post or just a summary visible. These are my friends and those whose blogs I consistently enjoy. All the others, if they only have a summary, the title or 1st sentence better grab my attention or else I’m not going to visit their blog to read the entire post.

    You’ve got me thinking, since my blog is set to only show a summary in a reader I assume that I get more traffic that way, as it forces people to visit my blog, but maybe I’m wrong. I’m thinking maybe I’ll switch to showing the entire post in reader for a while and see what my statcounter says after a couple of weeks….

  14. Joker_SATX says:

    I find that for a sex blog, yours is more on the intellectual side. I find that fascinating as well as a bit intimidating at times and this is why I read your blog constantly but comment on it infrequently.

    Your blog always gives me food for thought. I personally don’t like advertising at all. This is why I guess I never really pay attention to it, or why I usually don’t watch mainstream TV anymore. I really don’t care for commercials. Can’t stand watching them. So, once again, you got me thinking about the blogs I visit and whether or not they have advertising on them…Hmm.

    I say, that you are following the right path. Your blog is perfect just the way it is. I enjoy it.

  15. Surreal227 says:

    Seeing alot of ads does the same thing watching TV at this time of year does to me… I turn it off. Don’t get me wrong, everyone is entitled to a say. But when you watch 3 political candidate commercials bashing one another and then watch the same car commercial for the 30th time, it gets old.

    One of the reasons I love your site above others is the fact that the ads are not in my face, they are discretely to the side and I can choose to click on them, not be put in the way so that I accidentally do.