Warning: This is not about career management, rather, it’s a little transparency on whether I make money by pimping stuff on this blog. I hope I don’t bore you
A couple of weeks ago one of my best friends from high school came for a visit. He is the guy responsible for coming up with the name “JibberJobber,” getting me into computer stuff (I was just studying Spanish at the time), one of the first lifetime premium JibberJobber purchasers, a reader of this blog and much more. We have a really cool, open relationship.
So we were working in my office before going out to tour the city, he was doing e-mail stuff and I was doing my daily blog post. He asked a question that I know has been on the mind of many of my blog readers:
When you write about things… books, services, etc. Do you get paid for that?
The answer is, not really. I do have some affiliate relationships, which I’m going to put into an affiliate page, and some of my partners offer commissions if someone uses their services. But this hasn’t been a big deal in the past, and I do not blog on someone/something just because I might get $15 out of it. In fact, I won’t blog on something just because I might get $200 out of it.
I write my blog posts with the fire and passion that I got last year, when I was laid off for a dumb reason, out on the street, with no respect, not finding a job, having no luck. Working very hard, but very frustrated. I will never forget how I felt. I will never forget the stress on my family. I will never forget how lonely and depressing it can be.
One of my missions as a blogger is to share ideas, best practices and resources that can help people that are either in that situation, or might be in that situation soon. I’m not blogging for bucks, I’m blogging to share. I didn’t quite realize this until eMom blogger Wendy Piersall gave a presentation about her real mission – it hit me right between the eyes and it gave me goosebumps. And I understood that my message is bigger than my blog, bigger than me.
Sounds kind of PollyAnna, right? Here’s the rest of the story.
- I started blogging as a marketing complement… and it has turned out to be one of the best marketing things I’ve ever done. Yes, I do want people to know about JibberJobber, sign up for it, use it, promote it, etc. That’s no secret.
- I have blogged about a number of books that I’ve read. I think it would be cool to make some money from promoting those books but I have not, even though I know many of you have bought some of them. I still think that every single person should read Never Eat Alone, Brag! and Career Distinction. I always promote those because they each helped me immensely – but here’s my dirty little secret – I rarely buy books… my local library is just too good and I read too many books to be able to afford them.
- I personally think the Amazon affiliate program is lame, since I would only get something like 4% kickback on the books that you buy from them. I kind of signed up with them but am not pursuing it, and if I link to a book I like it’s usually to the author’s main page, or to their affiliate link. Yep, I’m leaving some money on the table.
- I have signed up for a few other affiliate programs, and will eventually roll them out. I just want to do it “right,” I don’t want to jeopardize the quality and feel of this blog, and it hasn’t been the highest priority for me.
- I used to have GoogleAds on the blog and in JibberJobber. But I never really liked their terms. And apparently they didn’t like me, I was kicked out of their system for something I had no control over.
- I will begin to look for sponsors for this blog and the website. But right now I have other fish to fry… so I’m not ready to spend time there yet. When I do get sponsors I’m going to take the Penelope Trunk route and still keep my own flavor, AND not plaster the site with sponsorship ads. My blog and site are cluttered enough… and no one needs another website with a ton of ads all over the place.
- I do get paid sometimes, when I include a small ad at the end of a post (like today’s post). I can choose what I put there, and usually it has nothing to do with the post. I only do it if I don’t think it’s a distraction. It has been sporadic and unconsequential, as far as money goes, and I haven’t even tallied up the totals. I think I do it more as an ego-trip so that I can think of myself as a paid blogger :p.
- I have partners who are in a special relationship with JibberJobber. I promote their services more than usual, but I have no problem promoting them because I’ve met each of them, spent time on the phone, have continued relationships with them, and am indeed a believer of what they offer. However, there are non-partners that I have great relationships with and won’t hesitate to promote them either.
The bottom line is, I write to who I was a year ago… and won’t compromise on the quality of the message. I might take advantage of some monetizing opportunities but will never do it unless I can feel comfortable about the actual endorsement. In other words, if I don’t believe in the thing, I won’t endorse it. So here are two questions:
What do you think about this? Do you believe it (or are you skeptical about my intentions)? Is it honorable, or should I consider a different tactic? If I’m getting a kickback for a mention, do I need to mention that in the post?
If you are a blogger, how is this different from what you do?
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