Thursday, May 1, 2014

Why I Don't Carry Advertisements On My Blog

To monetize or not to monetize - that has been the question for the past couple years. Every so often I ask myself if I want to start showing ads or if I want to promote pain products/services on this blog. As you can see, the answer I keep coming up with is no. 

Here's the thing. I have very specific intentions about what I want this space to be and what I don't want this space to be. I am an educated woman whose entire life has been seriously affected by chronic migraines and fibromyalgia. I am blogging to share my journey, the ups and downs, the lessons and the struggles, the ugliness and the beauty of it all. 

Being completely open and honest about all of this has been very important to me from day one. This is why I don't allow any of my friends and family (except one cousin who is also dealing with chronic migraines) to look at my blog. I know myself well enough to know that I would edit myself if I knew they were all reading. This is also partly why I don't have my full name attached to my blog.

I take this honesty thing seriously - in my life in general and here in this blog. I want all my readers to be able to trust me and everything on my blog, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ pages. So when I receive requests from companies to try their products and blog about it, I always take a long hard look at them. What I've found is that they have ALL turned out to be snake oil. Either they contain ingredients that are common migraine triggers, or they will make false claims about curing migraines or fibromyalgia, or they try to pretend like they are not companies but individuals who are also suffering like me (gosh this one really makes me mad), or they are super secretive about what is actually in their products. 

I have no philosophical issue with promoting products and/or services that are beneficial for those of us suffering with migraines or fibromyalgia. In fact I do so from time to time, informally. The trouble is that I've never found a migraine or fibro specific product that I felt was worth promoting and I refuse to put anything on my blog that I don't believe in and/or exploits the vulnerability of those of us who are battling this every day. Whenever I talk about products or services on this blog, it is always stuff for the general public but happens to provide comfort, entertainment, or have some other relevant benefit to life with chronic pain. 

My continual decision to not have ads on my blog is related but slightly different. Whenever I revisit this question I consider the same 3 issues. 
1. Can I find ads that are relevant to my content and/or truly loved by me?
2. What kind of time commitment is involved?
3. Will it distract from the intention of my blog and/or annoy my readers?

As a reader of many blogs I am often turned off by ads, especially pop-up ads that require me to click on a tiny X to get to my content. I don't mind them so much when looking at lifestyle blogs or when they are relevant to the health related blogs I read. But, sometimes the ads just take over and it is hard to tell the difference between the ads and the trust worthy content. I simply don't want that for my readers. I also never want to be put in a position where I am pressured to be supportive of a company because they advertise on my page. Plus, I don't want managing ads to become a distraction from living life or blogging. I have such limited energy to begin with.

All of that being said, I can think of only one company I would like to advertise on my blog: Netflix. I'm a huge fan - have been for years. I believe in the company and honestly think that their services have been of great benefit to me as I struggle with all this chronic pain crap. I've sung their praises over and over on my blog and would be comfortable carrying their ad. 

I don't know if this will change over time or not but for now this is where I stand. I would love to hear what you readers think about ads and product promotion on blogs. 


  1. I appreciate this philosophy. There are enough people out there trying to sell things and spreading bad information about migraines without those suffering from the conditions also contributing to the mess.

  2. I am just trying netflix on my nook and I am super excited about it.