Why Are There SO Many Ads?

filed under: Blogging on May 7, 2015

Dear Sweet Reader,

I feel like we need to have a heart-to-heart.

A few of you have expressed concern, dismay, general dislike for the advertisements on my blog.

I get it, I really do. As someone who likes to read blogs, they can get in the way. They can be intrusive. They can be annoying. Aggressive even. They can be hard to get rid of.

They can be a deal-breaker for me.

So I am assuming they are for you too.

I want to tell you why they are there, and why they are all over the place and address a very real and very personal issue.

It’s about money. (but not in a greedy way like you may be thinking)

The first time I ever went to a blog that was covered in ads it was unsettling. I kept trying to click out or click away and couldn’t. I was just trying to see a recipe but there was some crazy pop-up every 2 seconds and then an ad that popped up in every image and I felt icky. I looked at the website differently moving forward. The blog author seemed greedy in my eyes. I mean, did she really need that many ads?!?

So if *I* was offended by ads, why would I put them on my blog? Why would I do that knowing how offensive they can be?

Well, as I am sure you know, a food blog is basically a free website that offers recipes, tips & tricks, detailed and personalized instructions, unique tutorials, one of a kind ideas, as well as personality and real life experience.

The real deal behind website advertising.

Why you may not have known is that it costs a great deal of money to run a food blog.

For me to run this free website of thousands of free recipes, I need to pay a webhost ($120/month), buy equipment to photograph food ($18k so far) as well as props to style the food (I cannot reveal this amount or my husband will kill me), pay for technical support ($200/month), website design and support ($14k), advertising campaigns ($1600/month), not to mention the grocery bill for the recipes I share (anywhere from $400-$1k/month)! Miscellaneous expenses run anywhere from $15/month (paying for classes to learn about SEO, video, food styling, etc.) to $3,000! (Like when you have a project due and drop your camera and need to replace it ASAP. That happened. I cried. A lot.)

Blogging is not cheap, nor easy.

But still.

Why do you need SO MANY ads???

According to Smart Blogger:

The average “click-through rate” (CTR, or times that a reader clicks on an ad) varies by industry; however, the average is around 0.1%. Let’s say the average cost-per-click (how much you earn when somebody clicks an ad) is $0.50. That means you would need around 1,000 unique visitors each day to get even one ad click and earn $0.50 for the day.

If you enjoy 1,000 unique visitors each day to your blog, you can do a lot better than $0.50 per day in income. The bottom line is that advertising requires a ton of traffic to be worthwhile.

Basically, the more ads, the more chances you give a reader to engage with your advertising.

And certain ads pay more than others. For instance, that really annoying video ad that starts playing when your mouse hovers over it, that ad pays more than the one just sitting casually over on my sidebar.

Or the ad that immediately follows every single paragraph. (or before) Those tend to have higher engagement because they fit “seamlessly” into the blog post. (I was going to add a picture to illustrate this, but I am assuming there will be an ad right above this so I don’t really need a picture!)

The point being… I don’t run ads to be greedy. This is one of the most reliable (but unreliable-my income changes by as much as 60% month to month!!) ways I have of earning an income for the work I do. Just a few days ago my husband quit his job and at this point, I am the sole income earner for my family. This is a great responsibility and one that I do not take lightly, always considering the future of my 5 kids and home. It’s my job.

To everyone who hates all these ads and never wants to visit this blog again and who thinks I should be jailed (yes, one angry woman thought I should be prosecuted and jailed for excessive advertising), I am sorry.

I am sorry for all the ads! Please come back anyway. :)

I am SO SO SO sorry.

My goal is to one day be able to remove all ads from my blog and make this a beautiful wonderful experience. I often think about how this all could be better for you! (And if you have suggestions I am always open to them.)

I hope and pray that you will forgive the intrusion and still opt to hang out here. It wouldn’t be the same without you!

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  • Sarah Dawne Schnelle says:

    So sorry you are dealing with unkind people. I thoroughly enjoy all your recipe. I went back to culinary school in my late 40’s, I would love to do what you do!!! You go girl … ignore the the the nasty remarks…. you are doing nothing wrong…they are probably just jealous ❤️❤️❤️

  • Sarah says:

    Fantastic post.. Superb blog thanks for sharing this nice one …

  • Teri Fryer says:

    I cannot thank you enough for all your amazing recipes.. I am a firefighter and I love love love getting to my fire station and logging onto your website. I print up a new recipe to try for the pure pleasure of seeing the delight on their faces. I don’t care one bit about the ads… thank you from the bottom of this gals heart for doing what you do.. I sincerely appreciate and so do all my fellow firefighters! Have a blessed day!

    • Amanda says:

      Thank you Teri! God bless you!

  • Suchita says:

    Your baking styles are Perfecto I need the recipes of cookies I love baking and love to make cookies by ur recipes kindly send some recipies of cookies .

  • Alice Romano says:

    I’ll deal with ads. You have some great recipes. No jail time lol

  • Kristen says:

    So if click on every ad, would that help you? Because I’m more than willing!

    • Amanda says:

      Oh goodness, no! Don’t do that. lol But thank you! <3

  • Nancy says:

    Amanda, I LOVE your site! I look forward to it daily, and it’s one of my first go-to’s when searching for a recipe!
    I know it’s the holiday season, and I feel compelled to say what an idiot that woman is who thinks you should be jailed…but I won’t.😏
    That aside, I think it is tremendously brave of you to bring this message to us viewers. You certainly didn’t have to! Thank you for your integrity.
    You hang in there. I wish you and your family all the very best!
    Merry Christmas 🎄❤️

  • Paula says:

    I don’t mind the ads. I just run the ad blocker on my phone and read just the text. 😊

  • Carol says:

    Love your blog the ads are fine

  • Mark Stromberg says:

    Jail time,really?
    There will always be ‘Candy Ass Cry Babies’
    Keep up the good work.
    Have your husband adapt your work to the grill, I have baked birthday cakes, rolls, cookies on gas a d wood grills.
    I’m looking forward to the Tatertot Casserole over pecan wood.
    Crybabies, go play in the freeway, you have chosen to come here, enjoy her work and thank her.

  • Sue says:

    Thank you for the Explanation. I knew some of this but not all and it is helpful to know! I wish you the best.

  • Robin says:

    Thank you for presenting details of the cost of blogging. Now I understand !!!

  • Pamela says:

    I think most people who have ANY concept of the cyber world know why ads are there. Now I’m going to date myself here. I remember when blogs FIRST appeared, WITHOUT ADS believe it or not. It didn’t last long, but it did exist. In fact,it was a shock when they began to appear, slowly at first. The owner does have some control but THE ad type, which I think lost more traffic than did any good I believe, not sure, may be gone. It was the one in which in the body of the blog, right within the recipe, EVERYPLACE where the mouse ran over certain words, in bold, triggered an ad to pop open. Words like flour, eggs, meat, cook and so forth, words you COULD NOT avoid using. They were impossible to stop, it covered vital info, it was THE single most annoying advertisement in the history of mankind. I would write BEGGING it to be removed and the blogger never would so I would leave the site subscription. I imagine many others did also as I haven’t seen it several years now, thank heavens. So it lost more traffic than ever selling anything. And if it makes you feel better, I DO open ads in the right margin at times. On the pictures, rarely. And yes, that video one IS annoying but I’m getting pretty good at avoiding it. Closing the one on the bottom is simply routine now. Maybe if you sell enough books or get your own Food Network program or invent equipment you can lose some of them. What it boils down to is the type of ad and I guess we as your viewers ask you try to choose the least intrusive. Honestly, these ad companies should have an on staff psychologist to tell them things like the more annoying and more intrusive an ad is, the less anyone will open it. I regularly will open ads in the right margin basically because I AM THE ONE who controls when it opens so if I see a product or service or recipe (often recipes) there which peaks my interest, I will open it. I follow sites to this day I found in this margin. However, those on the bottom, which open EVERY STINKING TIME, to my knowledge, I have NEVER opened one. Its almost become a game about how quickly I can get it closed. I’ve learned to block out or ignore ones on pictures. So the more control the viewer has, the more they open them. No one likes to have things forced on them. I would be VERY curious to see the rates of success for all the ads. (yes, I am a former researcher for Johns Hopkins for 15 years and yes, I do have a psychology degree) Some ads might decide to alter their approach. But then, people who work for advertising firms can’t be that bright anyway. After all, why would someone CHOOSE to work for an industry the entire rest of the population detestes? Would you? I would be ashamed to say I was an ad exec. So they aren’t going to be bright enough to work with human desires and habits but just think the more they stuff it down the throats of America, the more they’ll buy. I actually do email companies who run exceptionally STUPID ads or when they get to a point of “enough already, I’ve seen it 746,389 times. (Of course I don’t count, but maybe we should) For example, I’ve been trying to contact Hilton Inns about their commercial with the dumb blond at the bar, who met the bartender 2 minutes earlier and says, “tell the story of how we met.” First, anyone THAT stupid shouldn’t be alone in public, it runs 500 times a day just on one channel (not exaggerating) AND they use a blond (yes I am although with a fair amount of gray now which I color away). You CANNOT reach any office that doesn’t handle reservations and so forth, nothing any good to complain about any ads. Its been running 6 months or more, never changed and thats 5 months 3 weeks too long. Even good ads, like the new tailgate for GMC Trucks. Its fine, but they saturate the market so badly, it gets REALLY old REALLY fast. If Hershey or Cadbury ran the “bell” candy kisses playing nonstop or the Cadbury Bunny all year they would be hated rather than beloved classics. I hate Cadbury eggs to eat, but I adore that commercial. Most ads today completely fail in their purpose. They rarely explain WHY someone should buy it or use it or why is it better than others. There are good ones. “My mother washes the dishes BEFORE she puts them in the dishwasher. So what does the dishwasher do?” We have all know people who did this and thought, “well thats stupid”. That ad lets us know right away why we should buy the product. But enough of me psychoanalyzing the ad industry. Some of us do know why they’re there on the blog and we tolerate them. We just ask you to choose with great care. I’m just grateful those “word popups” are gone. Thankfully the blog content is well worth a few annoying ads. I don’t think folk are going anywhere any time soon.

  • Dawn Klein says:

    I am a 66 year old woman with an extreme passion for baking. I wrote a cookbook back in 1997. I placed it in a small 3-ring binder that lays flat on the counter. I made it 3-ring so that I could add recipes. I am also an expert at high-altitude baking. I don’t know how your site wound up on our phone, but would really love to meet you. We have a passion in common. I am not a weirdo. The name of my cookbook is “Love In Every Bite”. It can be found on Amazon under that name by Dawn Klein. Well this is longer than I expected. So I better get to sleep.
    P.S. email me and I will give you my phone number. Thanks, Dawn

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