Get up off my ads - why advertising sucks
When personal finance blogs open up their page to artificial advertisements, I can't help but notice the irony. You're promoting financial literacy and saving money, yet your ads take me to sites that allow me to spend money or pay more for a given product? Some notable atrocious advertising on personal finance blogs include: $1500 payday loans, buy homes no money down, bad credit loans. The scary thing is, these are on sites I read and like. But the advertisements? No siree, not for me, thank you very much.
In addition to the moral conundrum presented by such advertising on personal finance sites, most advertising is not aesthetically pleasing. What color-blind, harebrained advertiser came up with such creative ads such as these?
If I were a goat cheese merchant, I'd be totally offended. And the thought of being lumped together with those smelly pizza cheese merchants, the audacity of GoogleAdsense!
Another problem I have with much of the advertising is you can't control the content. GoogleAdsense and many other programs, simply find keywords in the blog and insert ads accordingly. Let's say I write an article about how to get 2 Free CDs +$11 in YOUR pocket, but Google picks up the name "Vince" and gives me ads for "How to dunk like Vince Carter" or "Vince Gill guitar licks" What interest do you have in either of those?
Now you may be thinking, "But you have links to all of these places, what's up with that?" Here is my promise to you, the reader. All of the links on my site will be for products that I personally endorse and most likely own or have tried. In almost all of the deals, I take part. In all of the cashback programs, I am a member. In all of the financial institutions, I own an account (unless otherwise noted). In all of the crazy money making ventures, I venture. You get the point.
After that tirade against advertising, I will make some exceptions - call it clearing my conscience or what you will. I have recently become an Amazon.com Associate. What that entails is, I post links to Amazon.com for certain products I endorse. As you can see from my most recent product endorsement, however, I add a disclaimer at the end.
If you're interested in reading this book, I got mine for free from Paperbackswap.com, so I highly recommend that route or borrowing it from your public library.Why? Because Amazon.com does not offer the best price. But it offers many useful reviews of products, and if by chance you're one of those people that must buy it new, then I might as well profit from it, right?
While many personal finance bloggers look to make a personal profit through blogging and advertising, I have no such illusion. My conscience is worth more than the few dollars I would make by allowing such dishonest advertising on my site. I do this out of the satisfaction of knowing that I am spreading the good word about saving money - earning referrals is secondary to this. Rest assured, I am on your side, and I will always save you money. No link here will ever lead you astray.
Links to my favorite advertising averters:
I Will Teach You To Be Rich
Ask Uncle Bill