Ad-Free Blog

A few months ago, I added the cute little Ad-Free Blog banner to our sidebar.

Don't get me wrong. It doesn't bother me at all that people who write for a living, and whose posts and pictures are clever and entertaining enough to make me want to go back include ads on their blogs. Garden Rant does it, and I'm enjoying the blog enough to read most of their posts.

Then again, many blogs, even really wonderful blogs with a lot of great information, beautiful photos, inspiration, such as Gardening Gone Wild or Clay and Limestone are ad free. Come to think of it, almost all of the blogs I really cherish are free, and it's a sweet, heart-warming feeling that someone has given the gift of their time, and doesn't want anything in return.

Ad-free also applies to comments. If someone takes the time to leave a comment, I'm always excited and have a look at their site. If the site belongs to a business, especially in cases where the English in the comment is so bad that I'm sure someone got paid by the hour to leave the comment, the comment is marked as Spam. If the site belongs to a business and includes a URL, I might mark it as Spam or, for thoughtful comments, just delete it. After all, that's what having an Ad-Free Blog is all about.

Meanwhile, thank you to Google for hosting so many blogs and offering clever ways to load pictures, change templates and all that. Thank you to all our fellow bloggers who are resisting the urge to Monetize (is that even a word?). Thank you to all of you who are leaving comments even without a comment-provoking question at the end.

Don't you want to comment on that?


Carol said…
I agree with you but do not mind if others have a few related ads on their blog. I get requests for links to be added on my blog for say 150 dollar per year. I suppose if they were for organic eco friendly products or special retreats I might consider but so far I am with you . . . Ad Free. ;>)
Meredehuit ♥ said…
I agree with you, so far, I've found no compelling reason to include them. They tend to make a messy blog.
Country Mouse said…
(Oh how cool you repurposed that photo I took from our driveway, with the hummingbird, for the banner!) I definitely like being a non-commercial venture. "Getting and spending we lay waste our days", as Wordsworth said. But if people are using a blog to make a living, that's also fine. I like having something I like to do for its own sake. And since much of life is not like that - this is definitely a precious zone for me.
steph said…
I, too, like an ad-free blog, but I'm also with Country Mouse in that there are people who make their living on their blog.

That said, there are ads and there are just-too-dang-many ads. I get around not having to look at their messy, messy page o' ads by just setting up a feed and looking ONLY at the test and photos of the blog. Yes, I miss out on their lovely banner art (such as yours), but I also don't see the ads. Basically, they have driven away ANY possibility to monetize by overdoing the process. (Yes, Town Mouse, it is a word. :-)
Christine said…
Yay! That's what I love about gardening- it can be as consumery (well that is definitely not a word!) or simple as you want it to be.
Here-here! Down with advertisery! It wouldn't make my snarky blog any money, besides. I dunno, if stores that I actually buy products from asked me to advertise in exchange for goods and services, I may be tempted. They would also have to look good, and no flashing or filling the page to obscure everything else. And since this isn't probably going to happen, down with advertisery!
Anonymous said…
Like you, I don't mind adds on other blogs, but I don't want them on mine...
No, one small exception... Years ago, I hosted a mailinglist about herbs parallel to my website that was exclusively herb-related at that time.
One day I got an email from one of the members of that mailinglist, offering me free hosting for my website, because he really liked my site, and had noticed that I was having problems with my hosting provider.
We had a mail-exchange, and he paid us a visit, and I moved my site to his server... He has een hosting my site for free, so I created a small banner, advertising his green hosting-company. (No, he didn't ask for it, but it is a small thing I can give in return for those years of free hosting, free support... )
xoxoxo said…
I often go out of the way to avoid advertisements in my life. Radio, TV, movies and blogs!
I love the ad freeness(not a word?) of your blog and many others Im attracted to for the 2nd reason, is the design is simpler and easy to read.
I cannot say fore sure that if I was approached to try out some product for FREE, I would decline..
Good for you, Mrs. Mouse! I also got some offers about ads and links. My blog is ad-free. Well, it doesn't even has a side bar. I believe it helps to keep focus on text and pictures. But to be honest, if someone gives me a VERY, I mean VERY VERY good offer, I may consider it and use the money to buy more beautiful plants or, even better, to hire a garden designer to help me.
Kate said…
Well... may I offer up a different opinion?

I do freelance work for a number of non-profit groups. And, they are struggling in these economic times.

I do just a few ads on my blog and I donate all the money to that NWF backyard wildlife habitat movement they've got going on. I donated $480 in 2009, the revenue from those ads. So, sometimes the ad thing is okay. I mean, if it's for a good cause...
Jim Groble said…
Ad free. It's a hobby. jim
Town Mouse said…
Quite a topic here. Everyone, I completely agree that there's nothing wrong with ads. Garden Rant has them, and I enjoy reading that blog.

I just prefer not having ads, and appreciate the generosity and time of everyone who does offer their blogs ad free.

Kate, I'm impressed you offer the money you make as a donation. And you have so very few ads on your blog, it almost counts as ad free ;->
Bom said…
I don't mind blogs with ads. That is the blog owner's prerogative. Ads won't stop me from visiting if I really enjoy the posts. That said, I admit that I have stopped regular (almost daily) visits to some blogs just because the ads alongside the text can become too messy. Using the reader option of my browser is an option but I rarely use it because I enjoy the whole look of the websites I visit.
Anonymous said…
Hi TM, I steer away from ads myself (although I do leave pertinent comments from business sites). I have had two problems with ads on others' blogs: (1) ads that take so long to load that I give up on trying to read the blog post (which doesn't appear until after the ads have loaded) and (2) offensive ads that have appeared on blogs where the blogger has no control over the content of the ads on their blog -- some really hateful stuff during one political campaign, and in one case, animated semi-pornography (the figures who were copulating were clothed). I don't mind if people want to include ads on their blogs, but I think they need to take some responsibility for/exercise some control over the content of those ads. -Jean
Jean's comment about having ads that you can't control is the best reason I can think of not to monetize a blog. The last thing I'd want to see appearing on blog would be something I personally find offensive, and with election season just behind us I could think of a lot of ads I wouldn't want near my blog. I do get the occasional offer for a placement, but I've declined them all, even if they'd be ads that I could arrange myself and know exactly what would be appearing on my pages.

That slides into the why blog? question. If not for money, what? I really hate to call it a hobby. Somehow it feels like a higher calling, just like gardening thoughtfully.

Still, for the person who chooses to monetize, why not? Computers aren't free. Internet connections aren't cheap. The readers can decide whether they want to visit.
Terra said…
I saw the post on garden bloggers and came over to say hi. I see you garden for wildlife in California and so do I, so I am your newest follower.
My huge bramble patch in our backyard shelters many a wild critter.
On the topic of ads, I don't care about ads because the blog's content and personality of the blogger are what gain my attention. My own blog doesn't have ads.
Great post! I liked reading the comments you received on this topic. I prefer blogs which have no hidden agenda, or, at least, no obvious commercial agenda. There's something attractive, honest, and genuine about people who blog simply for the love of their topic. I rarely delete blogs from my lengthy nature blog list; however, when it becomes apparent someone is attempting to advertise their "work" product, like a cell phone carrier directly in posts... then I delete. I use blogger, too, and wonder how the heck google can host all these non-money generating blogs. Like everything these days, it takes time and money.
Elephant's Eye said…
Never mind clicking on ads. There is apparently a whole 'nother way to make money by affiliation
I agree with Jean I won't hang around waiting for ads to load. And I won't be back if the content is a thin smear in a sandwich of ads.
Then if you write an e-book about gardening with natives in California, you too can ...
I used to be more concerned about this issue, but now I pretty much ignore any ads and don't think about it. My blog remains ad free. It just seems like too much hassle and an increased loading time for the paltry amount I'd actually receive.