Earlier today I discovered someone had hacked into my Twitter account and left an advertisement for a diet supplement as if I endorsed it. Yuck! This stealth commercial got under my skin so badly I had to write about it immediately (see below). Why get so upset? The ad, which stayed up for all of maybe seven minutes, wasn’t for smarmyhookups.com or tacky knitwear. Once everything was right with the world again, I mused on why it bothered me so much. Here are a three possible reasons:
1. The Explore What’s Next brand was built with a vision that our relationship with our reader comes first. For over four years we have been dedicated to providing helpful, quality content about relationships, anxiety, depression… just about anything about living in this complex stressful world. Advertisements, which makes money for the website that hosts them, changes the very relationship we’ve worked so hard to build. My opinion.
2. The only products endorsed here are EWN services, starting with a FREE 30 minute consultation! 🙂
3. Frankly I don’t want the distraction. Managing an advertising portfolio well takes time. It is possible, rare but possible, to have ads and do it with class. To do it well I suspect you need dedicated staff or blogging is your only job. That’s fine but it’s not me or EWN. I love my jobs, all of them – managing Explore What’s Next, being a good therapist for my clients, writer, wife, mother and steward of the animals under my care. That’s enough.
But mostly it’s number one.
Oh, I agree 110%, Dr. A! My Heart Sisters Twitter account was also recently hacked (with something that sounded like it really was coming from me personally – like “I made big money with XXX and so can you!!!”) Embarrassing and infuriating. Yoiks . . .
Also, as readership for our blogs grows, we become targets for marketing pitchmen wanting to place paid ads on our sites. But as you so wisely say, paid ads change the very relationships between writer and reader. One of my formerly-favourite health care blogs has recently exploded with ‘advertorial’ product endorsements, thinly veiled as the new posts on the blog. It’s both distasteful and SO-O-O-O disappointing.
Thanks for promising NOT to go there!
I’m glad you appreciate it, Carolyn. Sometimes we’re made to feel foolish for not “monetizing” our blogs. I get emails everyday from those pitchmen you mention and I have to laugh. “For $50.00 put this link into a blog post!” What!? It’s good enough to feel that people who come to Explore What’s Next and get some comfort, information, even a smile from its content. If someone visiting EWN wants to inquire about our services then that’s the cherry on top because we’re confident we have something special that he/she can genuinely use. You can find scented candles anywhere. 🙂