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Valuing My Self-Worth

January 26, 2010

Long-time readers of this blog – if there are such people – know that there really isn’t any advertising cluttering up this space. Sure, there are FTP and Pokerati banners, but they’re there for a reason.

That said, I’m certainly not opposed to accepting ads and I’ve recently put up contact information so that potential advertisers can reach me. While the offers aren’t exactly flooding in, I have gotten some interest and, to tell the truth, I’m shocked that anybody would take these ads if the deals I’m being offered are typical of the market.

I’ll let the email chain speak for itself. First, the inquiry:

Dear Webmaster,

We would like to invite you to an opportunity for your website: https://katkin.wordpress.com

We are looking for reputable web sites to help us promote our clients’ websites.

If you are interested we would be more than happy to send you some information about our proposal.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Let’s forget that this is obviously a form letter – and a poorly worded one at that. What’s interesting here is that the person making the inquiry isn’t willing to provide their client’s name in the letter. Now, there may be some legitimate reasons for this, though I have a hard time figuring out what they may be if the purpose of the inquiry is to purchase advertising. Still, my interest was piqued and I took a few seconds to send back a generic response:

Hi XXXX –

Thank you for your email regarding advertising on my site. Please send me information about your client and the type of deal they are looking for.

Best,

Jon

Admittedly, my email was rather short and didn’t ask for a lot of specifics. Still, I was expecting something more than this in return:

Hi Jon,

Thank you for your reply.

I represent an online gaming company looking to improve their marketing position. I would like to add a new post with 2-3 outbound links on it and an internal permanent link from the “poker” list to the post.

I can offer you $120 for the year for this service.

I will provide all the content (which is great content and very professional) and the instructions.

Where do I begin on this mess? I guess at the beginning. As you’ll notice, my emailing friend still will not reveal the name of his client. This is a big red flag as far as I’m concerned and, at this point, I’ve pretty well made up my mind that I don’t want to deal with this people at all.

Secondly, I am completely unable to decipher what he is asking for in terms of an ad: “I would like to add a new post with 2-3 outbound links on it and an internal permanent link from the “poker” list to the post.” If I’m reading this right, I think he’s asking to place content on my blog and a link to his client – whomever that may be – in my blogroll. I’m not really sure. Still, whatever he’s proposing doesn’t sound much like an ad to me.

Finally, for whatever it is he wants, my email buddy is willing to pay me the princely sum of $120 for a year’s worth of exposure. Now I know my little corner of the blogosphere is nowhere near the biggest or most trafficked spot on the web, but $10 a month? Really? That’s just insulting, which may explain the somewhat venomous tone of my response:

XXXX –

Thanks for your response. Unfortunately, based on the information you’ve provided me so far, I am not willing to consider any kind of deal with you right now. If you are serious about advertising on my site, I need some specific information from you, including the specific name of the company that wants to advertise.

Additionally, I need information about the “post” you want me to place on my site. I am happy to consider text ads and banners in the side bar, but content ads are a very different animal.

Finally, I am not willing to discuss a fee for advertising until I have a better idea of exactly the types and sizes of ads you want to place. That said, your offer of $120 for a year’s worth of advertising is, in a word, laughable.

If you are serious about advertising on my site, I am happy to discuss specifics with you. If not, I ask that you not waste any more of my time.

Jon

Again, I make no claims that I can drive tons of traffic to anyone’s site. Hell, I’m often amazed that I get visitors here, but the fact is, I do, and I actually take my own content at least somewhat seriously. More than that though, I value my reputation and integrity, and I’m not willing to jeopardize either one for a measly $10/month. In my opinion, an advertisement on a personal blog such as this is akin to an endorsement and I won’t promote a company or product that I can’t honestly recommend to a friend.

I’m not sure writing this entry is the best thing I can do if I ever hope to monetize this space, but honestly, I don’t really care. If people want to advertise here, I’m happy to consider reasonable offers. If not, I’m fine with that too.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 26, 2010 3:16 am

    A useful comparison is google adsense. If you put a google adsense ad on your site you may earn about $10 per month if you get 5000 unique visitors per month. At least that was my experience with magazine site I run.

    Not really worth it, for a low-traffic magazine, doesn’t even begin to cover costs.

    Now, I can get more than that from targetted advertising on that magazine because of the demographics of my readership, which is something I can quantify, but it takes a lot of work to hustle those ads even so.

    In short: internet advertising is hard to make money at, and you shouldn’t make it about your self worth. No dribble of income is going to accurately measure the value of your writing. Make the decision because a few extra bucks is worth five minutes of work, or else because it simply is not worth the time and space you would have to devote to it.

  2. katkin permalink*
    January 26, 2010 3:50 am

    Fair points sir.

    Honestly, I didn’t start this blog as a money-making enterprise so whether or not I get advertisers isn’t a big deal to me. That said, if I devote time and space to promoting a product or, in this case, an online gaming site, I expect reasonable compensation. Maybe, in this market, that is just $10/month. I don’t know.

    Still, without any specifics as to who the potential advertiser is or as to what kind of content they want me to post, I’m certainly not going to commit to a deal for what seems like a ridiculously low sum. Without a clear explanation of what the potential advertiser is looking for, how can I rightfully judge what the deal should be worth? If all they want is a small text ad and a couple of links, then $120 may be perfectly fair. If, however, they want much more than that for the same money (which is my belief), then I have no trouble turning the deal down.

    All of that aside, what really got under my skin about this whole thing was not the money (or lack of same), but the agent’s failure to provide even basic information about his client or to adequately outline the deal he is proposing. I find it sad that some people may jump at a deal like this without any facts because, to me, these are people who don’t put any value on their work or their own self-worth. Again, its not about the money so much as it is about putting my name (by implication, at least) behind the person or company whose ad I’m running.

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