This is a response to a longtime reader who feels we’ve sold out and are no fun to read anymore. I had to agree with her to a point. I replied to her privately, and then realized that that is exactly the sort of thing that is invisible to the world, but important and real. And I just can’t get to enough of the important and real stuff anymore because I have to make a living. And I suppose I didn’t realize that anything here could be interpreted as thinly disguised. It is what it is. Anyway. Onward.
I’m done reading. Not just this mom blog but all of them.
You guys are no fun anymore. I understand the need to earn a living and capitalize on success but it seems all of you are just in it for the money now. The shameless promotion and product placement these days has taken a feel of sincerity out of what I’m reading. The ads on the pages make all of these blos look like garbage. Everything is sponsored by some corporate interest but thinly veiled as a random event or discussion. As a loyal reader of this blog and others I am feeling sold out by you guys.
I miss the simpler times. I just feel like it’s all become about money for mom blogs.
I hear you, I really do. We didn’t get paid for that show. Or any others. It was just fun. And a lot of work.
And I hear you on the blog’s appearance too. What was supposed to be the transfer of information and display and acknowledgement of recognition by others (Social Moms, Blog with Integrity, Blogtrepreneur, Red Tri, Babble, Interflora) looks like advertising. I didn’t accept any money to display those badges. There are really only 4 paid ads on this site. The rest are colorful buttons that make it look, well, worse.
As for being in it for the money, there ain’t much of it. I earn enough for about a week’s worth of groceries from those ads each month. The real money (which btw still has me below the poverty line for a household of four) is the web design and other consulting I do, but readers can’t see. I’m also writing a book on divorce, which while a business decision, is still close to my heart. Those things keep me away from the real writing I did more frequently here in the past. I have to support my family and right now what does it is stuff you don’t see.
I’m sorry you feel sold out. I’ve really liked having you visit, and I feel like I’ve known you for years. I sort of feel sold out, too, when companies have to know how many visitors, twitter followers and facebook fans we have before deciding whether to toss a commercial or frankly anything at all to us. I’ve lost jobs to other bloggers because I don’t actively pursue/inflate those numbers.
But stepping back and looking at my site, I can see exactly what you mean. I miss the fun days too, back when I had an executive job that paid the bills but also sucked the life out of me and limited the time I spent with the kids. I nearly didn’t survive those days. Literally. I still have nightmares.
I wish I had a solution. I just don’t know what that is. I’m so busy paddling underwater that I honestly can’t think of a way to go back. Unless someone wants to support me while I do it for fun like I used to do. But I supported myself then, and I do it now, only the economy has narrowed the options. It’s what we have until we have something better.
I could marry a rich man and let him support me while I wrote full time, but that would REALLY be selling out.
You know what? I’m going to post this exchange. I think it’s important for your (increasingly common) comment to be heard, and for me to have a chance to answer. This was going to be a private email – and there again is a glimpse of the stuff I spend my time doing that is invisible to others. I do a lot of private communication out of respect because some people really do come to me for help and advice and I want to do it, but don’t need everyone to see it. Unfortunately, that’s not the kind of stuff that gets us paid, but it’s what makes this still worthwhile for me, and probably for a lot of other bloggers too.
I hope this helps. Your comment helped me. Maybe the stuff that I thought was returning acknowledgement in the sidebars just isn’t necessary, especially if it looks the way you say it does. It’s hard to be objective over here, because, you know, I don’t have anyone else with a paycheck to contribute.
As an aside (since I’m pretty sure someone will bring this up), I live with Guy, but we split everything right down the middle; he takes care of his three children and ex, and I take care of my three children. We both struggle, but are not dependent on anyone else, and never will be if we can help it.
P.S. I’m going to try an experiment: I’m removing all non-paid placements for a few days to see how it looks. The boxes will remain so you can see the difference. I really do appreciate the people represented by those badges; they are my top sources of traffic and I want to give back. But let’s try it out.