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So yeah…ads.

Don Draper looking demonic and badass.Hello, readers. You may have noticed ads showing up on the site. I’m trying out WordPress’s WordAds program to see what the revenue-to-visual clutter ratio is and if it’s worth doing. I’ll have enough data in 3 months or so to make a long-term decision about whether to continue.

So you know, I have no control over what ads get displayed when and where. It’s all done in real time on a back end that I can’t see, and they change up frequently. I’ll admit that I’m feeling some trepidation about the possibility of diet ads popping up on body acceptance posts (for example), but economic realities being what they are I’m choosing to think of it as making body acceptance posts show up all over their diet ads. I spend at least 100 hours/month working on the site between reading emails, writing posts, and moderating comments and need to think about ways to make that work pay off for me, even if only nominally.

I’ll still be running a pledge drive as planned in June. I’ll be offering a streaming link and a download to my movie, The Wardrobe as a reward for donations in any dollar amount.

Thanks as always for your thoughtful comments, and to letter writers for sharing their stories with us.

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43 comments
  1. Seems perfectly fair to me. Though I mostly read your blog via RSS where it’s not so much an issue, you fo’ sho’ deserve some income for all the work. You’re the Unofficial Therapist To The Internet, after all.

    • JenniferP said:

      Thanks very much!

  2. tizz said:

    anything i can do to support you — consider it DONE!

    i can’t wait for your column compilation book deal.

    • JenniferP said:

      Thanks so much, lady.

  3. Please don’t apologise. I love what you do here and the community you have cultivated you deserve to be compensated. Also, I cannot wait for your pledge drive in June, I’m dying to see The Wardrobe!

    • JenniferP said:

      Thanks so much!

  4. Laura said:

    What is it that gets you paid? Is actually playing the video the important part, or is it enough that it shows up? I will disable my adblocker for you if it will help you get compensated!

    • JenniferP said:

      From what I understand it’s based on total page-views. You don’t actually have to play the videos, I think. Today’s the very first day, I won’t have any real data for at least a month or so. Thank you!

      • me said:

        Just in case, I’ll disable my adblocker for your blog. Though I’ve never seen anything definitive about that interfering with advertising revenue (but maybe it depends on the type of ads? or the particular ad network?).

        I hope the ads help offset all of the time and energy you put into making this place awesome. And please let us know (after you have some data, of course) if playing the ads winds up giving you a boost in addition to the page view itself.

  5. Ace said:

    You shouldn’t have to be ashamed of wanting to get paid for all this, and there’s not a ton of options for you to go to if you do. Ads are ads, if we don’t like them, we’ll ignore them.

    I am looking forward to getting access to your movie though. I’ll be donating for sure.

    • JenniferP said:

      I’m not ashamed or apologizing. I just wanted to be forthright – in the past I’ve said “I’m not supported by ads!” so I wanted to say “In the future I will be marginally supported by ads.” Thanks for the vote of confidence.

  6. robiewankenobie said:

    this is what i just read. “blah blah blah blah blah blah DOWNLOAD OF MY MOVIE WITH DONATION.” can’t wait!

    • JenniferP said:

      You read it correctly, then. 🙂

  7. This is an interesting coincidence. My friends and I have just opened an online science and nature store (quarkyscience.com) (literally – we went live on Monday) and we are making web advertising decisions. I love your blog, I love the people commenting on your blog, (Team Awkward Army!), I’d certainly be interested in advertising on your blog directly, though I guess advice column and science/nature are not the most obvious fit? But why shouldn’t you get some of our ad bucks instead of just Google and FaceBook?

    Not a spammer, please don’t send me to time out. I only bring it up because you are talking about accepting ads.

    • JenniferP said:

      Thanks for thinking of me. As part of my agreement with WordAds, I have to refer other advertisers to their system and can’t accept other ads. (This is why this is a pilot, trial period).

      • Fair enough. I have been looking at WordAds, but most of their info is geared at getting bloggers to sign up with their service; I’m having trouble finding good info geared at the people who want to advertise on their service. Have they given you a referral link or anything?

        • JenniferP said:

          These are the guys who power WordAds – Federated Media. Hopefully something there will help you.

  8. You *should* get paid for the work you do here! And I hope you are paying Commander Logic!

    • JenniferP said:

      I pay Commander Logic in smiles.

      • commanderlogic said:

        The occasional cup of coffee, hanging out with the Cap, and the opportunity to indulge my HELPING impulse is plenty payment for the comparatively wee bit of work that I do around the site. But I do appreciate the thought, Comradde! You are nice!

  9. xtinas said:

    Right-click Adblock Plus > Disable on captainawkward.com

    I always open CA posts from my RSS reader in their own windows, and I’m happy to do what I can to help support things, so long as the ads aren’t videos that autoplay on open. (The MIDI of our times.) 😀

    • JenniferP said:

      NO AUTOPLAY. Sweet Jesus, no.

    • LilyR said:

      Seconded

  10. pochiblythe said:

    You do what you need to do! Your readers prefer ads to losing you. I support you 100%.

  11. Yan said:

    I hadn’t actually noticed anything yet, but I do appreciate forthright explanations of changes to things in my universe, so thanks. And the measured approach seems in keeping with the whole blog.

    Looking forward to movie time in June!

    • G said:

      “forthright explanations” == “using her words”

    • JenniferP said:

      Thanks for asking. Paypal it is for now – nothing is perfect. Can you (or anyone else) suggest alternatives?

      • altravis said:

        Stripe is great. They’re more like a “real” merchant account only without all the headaches! You could use it for your pledge drive, too. https://stripe.com/

        There’s even a WordPress plugin: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-stripe/ so it’d be very little hassle to set up.

        • JenniferP said:

          It had multiple links so was caught by the spam filter, no worries. Thanks for the rec, I’ll check it out.

  12. liyyspoon said:

    Totally cool with the ads like all above. One question about the pledge drive – cuz boy, do I wanna see The Wardrobe! – will it be ok to donate in the UK? I tend to not have dollars around you see 🙂

    • JenniferP said:

      I think it will work just fine via PayPal and will convert amounts and everything.

  13. I believe that AdSense also attempts to combine website data with the browsing history from visitors themselves, so there’s no way you can control what I see anyway. So far my ads have been “WHY MEN PULL AWAY: 10 Ugly Mistakes Women Make that Ruins Any Chance of A Relationship” for the astonishingly named CatchHimAndKeepHim.com, and a baffling number of advertisements for decking materials… which says a lot about what the Internet thinks of us, Captain. Anyway, well done for making your niche and working to keep it.

  14. Since AdSense combines my browsing history with stats for your website in a rather sad attempt to target me with fantastic advertising for things I desperately need, I see a bizarre mix of advertisements for “WHY MEN PULL AWAY: Ten Ugly Mistakes Women Make That Ruins Any Chance of A Relationship” (ad for the beautifully named CatchHimAndKeepHim.com) and … a really amazing amount of ads for decking materials. Which is great, since I’m always in the mood to stuff some men into bell jars full of formaldehyde before erecting patios in stranger’s houses – it’s like they’ve been reading my diary!

    In all seriousness, good for you for making a niche and fighting to keep it. WePay.com is supposed to be a viable alternative to PayPal – at least, the Regretsy lady endorses it.

    • JenniferP said:

      Thanks for the rec. I may set up a variety of methods on the donation page.

      And yeah, the CatchHimAndKeepHim guys are all over my gmail inbox for this site, too. Where did I put my butterfly net?

  15. Veronica said:

    I have yet to run into any truly obnoxious advertisements. I hope it stays that way for your sake, but I think most of us should be pretty understanding about the level of control you can afford to such a thing.

    AND NOW A POINT OF DIGRESSION, which seems better to put here than on the actual letter posts –

    I wanted to give you a heads up that the blog Bitches Gotta Eat has some serious malware issues right now. Last time I clicked on the link, I wound up having to do a system restore in order to get rid of the software it stuck on my laptop. I don’t know if the blog owner is aware that somebody hacked her site or something else is up, but I wanted to make sure you were aware in case nobody else had emailed you regarding the problem. I’m hoping the problem has been fixed, but I haven’t clicked it since it happened for fear of having to deal with again.

    • JenniferP said:

      I’ll let the author know, she’s a friend.

      • Veronica said:

        Thanks! I hope she got it all sorted out, as I really enjoyed her blog. 🙂

  16. Beth said:

    I just read four posts in a row and the ads were not at all troublesome. Also, this is one of my very favorite sites and I am happy to be an ad-seeing-eyeball to help you keep doing it!

  17. The ads I’ve seen have not been inappropriate, obnoxious, or intrusive.

    • JenniferP said:

      Good to know, thanks!

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