I had a serious epiphany last night. Serious. Hardcore. Life-changing.
You see, I realized how important it is to communicate with you guys about keeping Crunchy Betty on track. First of all, I have SO many cool things waiting in the wings to post.
- This weekend, I’m attending my first community swap. I’m going to share my experience with y’all, but I also made too much facial oil and mocha-frappuccino facial mask, so I want to give them away to one of you guys.
- We’re also starting new occasional feature: Crunchy Challenges. Challenges to sneak crunchiness into your life easily and with a whole bunch of other people (so we can compare notes). The first one has to do with raw honey, so make sure you have some.
- We’re going to learn all kinds of things about essential oils and how to use them.
- And I have, like, a gazillion posts waiting to be written about things like how to I got rid of my blackheads, a recipe for the toilet cleaner I use, how to get rid of dandruff naturally, how to treat age spots, etc. Etc. Etc. The list is seriously five notebook pages long.
Not to mention, I’m diligently working on the first Crunchy Betty ebook every day (which is titled Food on Your Face for Acne and will hopefully be released within two months at a tentative price point of $7.95).
And about half a dozen other things I am dying to do with you all.
So. The excitement level is so high around here. SO high. You guys have made this – I swear to you – the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. Ever.
Where Am I Going With All of This?
When I started Crunchy Betty, it was with two intentions in mind: To become more crunchy and document it … and to be able to live off of it.
I started Crunchy Betty as a way to stop being a part of the daily grind of job that I didn’t even remotely enjoy. Good news is: I LOVE DOING WHAT I’M DOING.
The bad news is, I’m still not making any money.
And there’s a reason for this:
Crunchy Betty has had SEVERAL invitations to join prestigious ad networks, all of which I’ve turned down. All. Of. Which. I’ve. Turned. Down.
(We’re talking thousands of dollars a month that I’m just watching go away.)
Crunchy Betty is different than a vast majority of blogs (who are able to run ads), because I talk about things that fly in the face of corporate ideals, because nearly every product on the mainstream grocery store shelves have ingredients that I don’t want to encourage, and because the spirit of Crunchy Betty is homegrown goodness.
Thus, I have turned down ad networks.
The reasons for this are threefold:
- I don’t want to support businesses that I don’t believe in, and an ad network would, without exception, deliver those here.
- The last thing I want to do is turn Crunchy Betty into a commercial; that’s the opposite of what we’re here for.
- I’m afraid YOU would be completely put off if I ran a major ad network on the site, because it would be fairly hypocritical.
But do you see my quandary?
If I don’t run an ad network, my income is nearly wholly dependent on the support of my readers. I actually want it to be that way. I want you to tell me that you support what I’m doing, you support what you’ve gotten from this blog, you appreciate the value in everything we’re learning here … I want you to tell me that it’s WORTH IT for you that Crunchy Betty exists in its current incarnation.
(By the way, I’m NOT talking about ads from businesses who use WHOLLY ethical business practices and nourishing ingredients here. So if you’re one of those, I would love to talk to you. Read more about advertising on and supporting Crunchy Betty here.)
My Question to You
Before I ask the question, I want to say one last thing.
My epiphany was this: Everything I’m doing here is FOR YOU first. I don’t know when or where this happened, but it’s absolutely true. Whenever I do ANYTHING, whenever a company asks me to review a product (ps, I make $0 for doing a review/giveaway), whenever I write, it’s with YOU in mind first.
What would you get out of it? How will it help you? Will you be enriched by it, or engulfed in more marketing mayhem?
Everything I do, I do it for you. (Please don’t sue me Bryan Adams.) It’s true.
So given that I’m doing all of this for you and you never really asked for it, I thought, you know, maybe you’d like it if I actually had a conversation with you about this.
Please tell me which you would prefer.
That being said, I’ve decided that – if you want to donate – I’m going to set up three support levels.
- At the $15 support level, you’ll receive the first ebook I publish free and one week before it’s available to the public automatically.
- At the $30 support level, you’ll receive my first two ebooks free and one week before it’s available to the public automatically.
- And if you donate $50 or more, you’ll receive the first two ebooks PLUS a one-on-one 30-minute Skype voice consultation with me where you can ask me anything you’d like about making your own products to suit your skin type, being more crunchy around the house, or anything else you’d like some direction on.
If you just LOVE Crunchy Betty (as evidenced by the outpouring of comments and emails I get telling me this whole adventure has changed your life for the better) and want to offer $5 or $10, that is so incredibly appreciated, too.
If the results of the poll are such that you overwhelmingly would prefer I put up an ad network, I will consider it. Because, after all, this is for you, too.
And I’ll still continue to pursue ways to support Crunchy Betty monetarily otherwise – with your best interest in mind first and always.
Lastly, I just want to reiterate that if you’re willing to support Crunchy Betty, Crunchy Betty will be better able to support YOU (by actually being able to afford to buy all the ingredients it takes to experiment with and create new awesome recipes). You want me to do well. Trust me. When I’m doing well, I’m wildly generous.
If you have any other ideas on how you’d like to financially support Crunchy Betty, please let me know here in the comments. I’m open to anything – EXCEPT: I do not want to make and sell products.
I’ve learned my lesson over the last two scrubs I’ve sold. It’s not a passion of mine, to mass prepare and sell things. I love to write, I love to find exciting ways to be crunchy, and I love to support businesses who are doing awesome things for US and the world. But I don’t love to buy pounds upon pounds of ingredients, prepare them, package them, and ship them.
(You know how you learn what you want in life? You start by finding the things you don’t want.)
Thank you all SO much for your support – be it financially, emotionally, or through your incredible participation in this journey back to real and good that we’re ALL taking together.
I want to end with a thought from a reader who emailed me a couple of weeks ago. She said,
I just feel like you have literally changed all sorts of things in my life for the better and you deserve to be compensated for all that value that you provide to us, your Dear Readers.
I’m not trying to just be flattering either. I really mean it. You are doing the work, experimenting, buying all sorts of ingredients, and carefully detailing your adventures in a fun appealing way. You are what got me started on this whole thing. I can’t help but think of the financial aspects of everything.
She went on to make me realize that Crunchy Betty is like a magazine – your favorite magazine – only you get it almost EVERY SINGLE WEEKDAY. And what would you pay to subscribe to a monthly specialty magazine? Especially one that’s not full of ads?
Or should it be full of ads?
I totally get this. As a blogger I’ve got the same issue going on. My suggestions are two:
1. Have you considered affiliate programs for the products items that you love and would recommend? I’m think like essential oils, butters, and so forth. The things that one will be using to make homemade products.
2. What about giving webinars? It’s online so other than securing a site to host the webinar, not much out of pocket expense. Folks would pay for the webinar and you could talk about going natural, how to get started, the basics of what folks will need..etc. Or whatever else you or your readers would feel is beneficial. 🙂
Wow, I love the awesome response you’re getting here! One other option you might consider is accepting ads from individuals/businesses instead of working with a major ad company. I’ve seen it done successfully on other blogs (like yesandyes.org) and it would give you a lot of control over who you sell the ads to and how much your ad space costs. I don’t know if it would give you the income you’re looking for, but I imagine it would help…I bet you’d get a great response too!
Regardless of what direction you take, I’ll still be an avid supporter of your site and what you do!
i’m a little late to the conversation, but i didn’t want to miss the chance to say this:
Betty, you are super awesome, and you absolutely ROCK MY WORLD on a daily basis!!
you put so much into this blog and you deserve to make money from it. i voted for reader donations above, but when i think about it more, i say go with the ad networks. why not take money from the big corporations to fuel the rest of us with knowledge that makes buying their products irrelevant? especially if the ads are just across the top or side, we’re all pretty trained to tune those out. 🙂 also, while i would love to donate money to you regularly, that’s just not possible.
i love the donation+ idea that you have come up with. i would totally donate over the list price for one or more of your ebooks. (provided i can just read them on my laptop… no e-reader here!) i also like someone else’s idea of donating to specific ingredients. if that is a lot to coordinate, maybe you can just set up categories that our donations would be earmarked for, like household, skincare, haircare, etc. 🙂 that way you can also gauge what your readers are most interested in. my final suggestion for the donations is don’t be afraid to actively solicit them! even if you put ads up, i think it’s fine to give us a reminder about what we can get for our donations once/month or so. 🙂
Here’s what you need to do: (And I apologize if this advice has already been given.)
Put together a media kit.
Make a list of all the businesses/ companies whose products you use & believe in. ESPECIALLY if you’ve already blogged about them on a regular basis.
FIND the people who are in charge of the Marketing for those brands & contact them with your media kit & invite them to sponsor your posts about their products.
I say ads are no problem. But at the same time I know it would drive you batty to see JUNK advertised on your beloved baby’s forehead.
I too am one who no longer sees the ads, and am inclined to say DO IT! Take the money you need, they get the notice they want so badly, everyone wins. I don’t know if I could sell my husband on the idea of donating to a blog, but if you had classes or books that could be a different story.
My opinion: do the ads until you can get other ideas off the ground. Some of these comments had good thoughts! In the mean time we promise not to judge you wrongly for anything we see in a sidebar! OK? OK!
Thanks so much for letting us in on your private struggles here. I would have had NO IDEA how much time this represented, or sweat, blood, and tears. It makes you even more… an everyday Betty. Although, thinking of some of your crazy, funny stories, you are one of those people who we can connect with, you seem “just like me”. In a good way. : )
Aw man, it makes me sad to think of how much you were eating yourself up over this before you posted about it. We’re here for you Crunchy Betty!
Oh, how I wish you enjoyed making and selling stuff! My online shopping cart would be full of crunchy wonderfulness. My family and I are now 99.9% crunchy, thanks to you. I rinsed my hair with apple cider vinegar today, and my husband said it smelled like “poop/apples”. But I didn’t even care, because my hair was so soft!
When I have some extra dollars, I will be sending a few your way 🙂
P.S. Do you know of any healthy donut recipes? The lack of donuts is practically killing my poor husband!
Google Associates will allow you to slowly customize your ads. Overtime they’ll have a better idea of what gets clicked and the demographic so they’ll put up ads to support it. They want to make money too!
Well I guess the people have spoken! That was a great idea to just ask everyone what they would prefer by the way–so smart and straightforward.
Go for the ads—I like the Michael Moore bit about allowing the greed of Big Corp to help you out too. Screw it, we already ignore ads elsewhere. At least if I see them here, I know it’s going to a REALLY good cause.
But I am also sending a donation your way. Because if you were a magazine, you’d be my favorite magazine. I spend hours here learning from you and reaping the benefits of your hard work. It doesn’t feel right for me to just take, take, take from you. So I’d like to give something to you for once 😉
I replied to allow ads:
I read your blog (and all others that i read) in google reader, for the exact reason of avoiding ads. I was actually surprised to read that you had none. I am also surprised to hear that there arent any ways to have only ads you approve of…
Thanks for all the great recipes, ideas, inspiration & encouragement!
Elicia, thanks for mentioning google reader. I just set it up for myself and like it already!
I say put up the ads. I’m with everyone else…so many sites have ads these days that I don’t even really notice them anymore. You totally deserve to be compensated for your awesomeness, and if putting up a few ads allow you to pay the bills and buy even more crunchy ingredients (thus adding to the site’s awesomeness), I say go for it. It’s good to have standards and be idealistic, but sometimes that’s not always realistic, kwim? 🙂
Well, I voted that you have ads, but I don’t want lots of ads. That’s probably a given, but I just wanted to be safe. I hate sites that flood you with pointless ads.
I say go ahead and put corporate ads on your site up UNTIL you’re able to do it the way you want to. Temporarily. It’s not forever. I would rather put up with ads on your site than go online and not find you here!
Keep the donate button also though! I’m totally broke right now, but I KNOW I can scrape 15-bucks together even if it takes me a couple weeks to come up with it. Everything we do comes down to choices… especially how we spend our money.
My skin glows, my husband’s scalp doesn’t itch, I’ve made gifts for my friends and family, I’ve had fun and saved money making my own products… and I get to hang out (virtually) with a bunch of great people here. If that’s not worth a few bucks, I sure don’t know what is!
You KNOW you give me so much more than financial support, right? I mean, you KNOW you do.
I don’t know how I hit the jackpot like I did when I first started blogging, but holy moly am I so lucky that you were one of my first bloggy friends.
(And if it weren’t for you, how on earth would I have found 50 new readers this weekend? THAT is support. Even if unintentional. Heh.)
Oh my gosh! I have a great idea. You get some horrible, DISGUSTING, gross (not like porno – like you know, corporate nonsense kind of gross) ads and we’ll all get on here and snicker and make fun of them. It will be great. We’ll be like, “Did you see the one about…” We will have lots of fun. We all love you and want you to make some money. Please Ms. Crunchy, we want you to be able to make money and buy more raw honey and essential oils. We need you! Just promise us that the spotlight won’t taint you and you’ll step on all of our tiny heads on your way up the ladder to success. 🙂 <3 Now go out there and take their money and do good things with it!
Teehee! I want to put that on my wall. Yes! Maybe that’s what I’ve needed all along! A motivational writing on my wall.
“Go out there and make money and do good things with it!”
Ahh. I like the way that sounds.
Thanks for your contribution to making my life better in so many ways. I found your site about a week ago because I ran out of glass cleaner and was searching for a homemade version because I didn’t want to make a trip to the store. Your version cleans greasy fingerprints off my stainless refrigerator in a single squirt! Better than store bought! You had me there. But you weren’t satisfied.
Since then I’ve ground almonds and oats, used cinnamon in a way I never dreamed of, and restocked my oil stash. My face feels amazingly soft. And my lips: smooth, plump, soft, and pucker ready! Today I threw out all my store bought skin care. I had to throw it out. After a couple of days using non-chemical goodies on my face I opened one of the jars and was assaulted by the smell! How could I have never noticed how icky they smelled?
I haven’t even touched on the rest of your site!
You’re saving me money and giving me access to products that work better and are so much better for me (and for everything around me)! You’re also fun to read and thought provoking. And titillating! (What will we do with the honey?) I have a couple of magazine subscriptions that expire soon. I no longer need them so I’m not renewing them. I’m sending you the money instead. It’s a very fair trade in my book.
You say you’re doing this for me (all of us me’s) so I wanted to thank you for being who you are and doing what you do. Do what you need to do so we can all find out what’s on those 5 pages.
I have no idea how to respond to this in a way that’s not going to come across as just blowing smoke up ya’ stuff. Please understand that this is absolutely 100% genuine and heartfelt:
Sometimes I hate blogging so much, because it hurts. IT HURTS to read comments like this, because some person on the internet – who I’ve never met and never looked in the eyes – makes my heart feel like it’s going to explode with gratefulness.
I have NEVER felt gratitude like this. Ever. In my entire whole life. Ever.
The fact that the things I share, in the goofy, awkward way I share them, actually make a difference in someone’s life is just enormously overwhelming to me.
In a million years, I never would have expected all this.
Please, please share more about what you’ve tried and what you love and what hasn’t worked when it happens. Share here or share in the Crunchy Community. But share. We all have SO much to learn from each other … and the newbies (crunchbies?) have a lot to teach the oldies (croldies?) too.
Thank you. So much. Big love.
I think you should go with the ad one. I highly doubt that anyone reading your blog will be disappointed in you for doing that (judging by the polls). You’ve made a crazy impact on my beauty routines, and you’ve made me feel closer to nature. I think you deserve to get compensation for what you do here. And if that means having ads on your site that your blog posts disagree with, then so be it. I make a promise to ignore the ads, if you put them on your site :P. If I had money I’d donate some!
Oh, and I love you, you’re awesome!
Thank you for your support, Evie.
One thing I’m slowly shaping here is the insight that a) not all big companies are BAD BAD BAD (although most … ahem), b) some of them are trying to do good in the world (although most are just trying because they think it’ll make ’em money) and c) I don’t want to paint myself as a full-on hater of everything corporate. The world is a huge place with lots of things to experience, and I’m seeking out the things that are most nourishing, most spiritually gratifying, and most likely to encourage gratefulness.
And maybe … maybe one time one of those things comes from a “big company.”
I don’t want to shut the door on experiences. I just want to be able to consciously choose my experiences for the goodness they can do for my soul. (Ad networks … eh … how do they fit into all that?)
Thanks for letting me wax poetic. All these comments are making me feel all in tune with my emotions and desires.
Or, you could just sell our personal information to ad companies. I hear you can make a boatload that way 😉
I have an anarchist friend who describes his use of food stamps like this:
“Take from them with one hand, stab them in the back with the other.”
There is a really great pantomime of the action he does while he says it, and I wish I could express that via this comment because it really adds a lot.
But, yeah, if ad companies want to give you money so they can advertise to people who don’t pay attention to ads, TAKE IT!
And, while I would love to give you money if I had a dime to spare because you definitely deserve it, the money will do the same job whether it’s coming from a big advertising network or from your loyal readers. You may as well take it from the one who can certainly afford it. I think that because you honestly care about what your readers want to see, and because so many of us have given you permission to go on ahead and take money from those silly jerks, that you can do so without feeling guilty.
I hope this all came across properly. It’s supposed to be positive, but sometimes I have a hard time expressing that.
Heh. It was positive (except maybe the visual of stabbing … ha). More than anything (as scary as this was to post), I’m SO glad I chatted with you ALL about this. It’s helped me shape and refine my beliefs … and while I’m still not 100% decided on what I’m going to do, you know what I know? That everything will work out, no matter what. Because it always does.
Jen @ LitasWorld
My vote…put up the ads…that way you can keep bringing us all this crunchiness and get paid for it!! AND not have to go do something else and deprive of us of your talents and wisdom.
Heck, I ignore the ads on my own blog, so I can definitely ignore them here 🙂 and I actually got to have a bit of input into what type of ads are on my site…i.e. no fast food, money loans, etc.
Though I’m definitely not trying to make a living off my site (which is kinda obvious due to my lack of posting daily) I think it’s more than reasonable that since you are trying to make a living off of this one, you should take advantage of the money raising opportunity ads afford you.
I’ll follow and love you no matter what!
Mwah! Thank you, lady. And I absolutely adore your new picture, by the way. You look so California fresh. Saucy.
Erin aka Conscious Shopper
I’m sure you’ve thought about the ads thing a lot, but here are a couple suggestions just in case…I think frugal bloggers are in a similar position to you since ads say “shop!” and their blogs are saying “don’t shop!” Many frugal bloggers I read started out using large ad networks, but then when they’d built up a large enough following, they could have more control over the ads that appeared on their site and switched to individual ads with companies they support. They also included a disclaimer on the site that they don’t necessarily support the ads that appear there.
Another option is to go the route of Soulemama, Progressive Pioneer, and other crafty bloggers – seek out sponsors from small artisans and indy businesses, keep your prices low, and make up for it by including a lot of ads. The advertisements on both of those sites are not distracting and are actually the types of businesses people who read those blogs would be interested in. There are plenty of companies like that out there, but you might have to initiate the contact rather than waiting for them to come to you.
I love that you don’t want to sell out to big corporations, but I think your readers realize that ads come with blogging and you’ve got to support yourself. Your blog is awesome. Do what you’ve got to do!
These are great ideas! One of my other favorite blogs does what you describe here. Sponsorship is available quarterly for handpicked grass-roots sponsors. Many of them are her own readers. It has a nice feel to it and there’s no conflict of interest for anyone.
See, you bring up some very good points and ideas. I’ve contacted a few small companies that do things I’m totally on board with, and I’ve gotten zilch responses. I think, ultimately, I’m just a very poor salesperson. I’m a great sharer of information, ideas, and feelings, I just can’t sell myself for crap.
It’s disheartening, because (good grief) this blog gets between 4000 and 9000 hits a day these days (with a pretty Alexa ranking). You’d think these companies would be thoroughly on board with it being a great opportunity for them, too. I just got so frustrated a couple of months ago, that I decided I was going to wait until THEY saw their own benefit in it and came to me, because writing up individual proposals is time consuming, and I’d MUCH rather be spending my time creating awesome stuff for myself and especially YOU GUYS.
Maybe if their customers emailed them and said, “Hey. Crunchy Betty is awesome and if you advertised on her site, you’d be getting all KINDS of great response from her readers” they’d listen a little more. But coming from me, it’s just another pitch from another blogger trying to make money. Ahh … in time. All good things in time.
I have recently discovered your amazing site and I’m in love! I even started a thread with a rave review and a link to CrunchyBetty for all of my online community to enjoy also.
I totally agree and respect your ideas and the pros and cons of running major ads.
Although, seeing ads from major corporations whom I do not buy from would not keep me from enjoying CBetty just as much. But, I think you may be pleasantly surprised with the number of we(your fans)who would be honored to give something back and on a regular basis.
From one penny pinching, earth mamma, Southern belle…. Thank you for giving to us! I am already a raving fan.
Keep your standards held high and don’t let naysayers slow you down. Your values and ideas shine through and really make your ideas even more appealing knowing they’re coming from a place of truth, generosity and a pure intent to do it for all the right reasons.
Keep it Crunchy!
I’m so glad you found us here, Lauralee! It’s your kind of positivity and sweetness that makes this place even better. Thank you so much for your thoughts. Ultimately, I’m trying to settle in to a place where I feel okay with making money here. And I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place: I feel guilty by encouraging support from you guys (because YOU make this place as awesome as it is) because I know we’re all here for two reasons – to be natural and to ALSO save money. But I also feel guilty about putting up ads, because the spirit of all this is so anti-advertising.
I’ll figure it out somewhere. I just know I do NOT want to run off and get another full-time job and watch this thriving, beautiful community get pushed aside for lack of time. Of THAT you can be sure.
You know, I have the same problem when it comes to charging my clients(I’m a hairdresser/esthitician)that are currently laid off or struggle financially for other reasons.
However, we all do need money to live. And, we need money to be able to invest in helping other people.
It’s easy for me to be too generous which is not the best thing to be. I guess its all about balance and realizing that I HAVE to make money to be able to continue to help and hopefully help even more. Also, I never want to be a burden on my family financially so I think it’s even more reason to make a good living for yourself.
You need and deserve a solid income. I cant see any reasonable person faulting you for that.
Thanks again and keep doing what youre doing….just pay yourself for doing it!
PS ooo! ooo! I know! You can be all hipster and put the ads up IRONICALY, ahahahahahahhaha! Ok. Yeah. I think I’ve definitely been on the internet too long and need to go interact with someone in person….
Yes, I’m so with mumsyjr on this. You should get ads for things like Irish Spring, Comet bathroom cleaner, injecting high fructose corn syrup directly into your veins, coloring your hair with Kool-aid, eating bleach (er, wait.), etc. We will point and laugh and none will be the wiser. Silly ad companies, tricks are for…non-crunchies.
hahah awesome 😛
Crunchy Betty I have not voted because both the first two appeal to me. It will not bother me if there is are ads on here for things you might not neccessarily agree with. See, I was raised by an amazingly idealistic dreamer and a very down to earth excuse-me-that’s-awesome-but-how-will-we-feed-the-kids? type. I’ve watched them balance their principles with their practical needs my whole life. I think as long as you make it clear that the products in the ads are not personally endorsed by you, then they are fine. But I also think the donations are important. If donations grew, or you came up with enough things to sell- like the e-books you’re planning, or the consultation you offer at the highest membership level- you may not even need the adds anymore. Nothing’s permanent, whatever you choose to do you can always change it up if it doesn’t work for you!
AMEN. Nothing is permanent, and like I said in a comment before: I’m seeking out the things that are most nourishing, most spiritually gratifying, and most likely to encourage gratefulness. And maybe one of those things, surprisingly, could come from a “big corporation.” Who knows? I just know if you shut the door on something completely, you’re shutting yourself to a potential new incredible experience.
I just know I hesitate to open the door at all if I don’t see a consciously created benefit in it. Right now, it would be consciously created beneficial to pay the bills and have harmony with my man. So … there’s that, I guess.
Although your ironically put-up ads. Um. Yeah.
Do you have any idea how much I love you right now?
I agree with everyone who said that you TOTALLY deserve to get paid for what you do here! That said, I find it *very* tough to find room in my budget for much of anything fun, so it would be tough for me to commit to a donation at any given time. And *that* said, I would absolutely not mind ads on your site. Honestly, ads wouldn’t bug me even a tiny bit compared to if you got absorbed by some big site or some such, ykwim? I very much understand ideals but I think we all understand a paycheck is a good thing.
I really appreciate you chiming in here, Aimee. I can’t imagine letting Crunchy Betty be absorbed by a bigger site. Ever. If anything, I see Crunchy Betty taking on new aspects and growing itself … especially if I can ever get my sister on board with doing a Crunchy Kids regular contribution. She’s HILARIOUS – way funnier than I am. My dream is for her to help me grow this thing … but, alas, with three little kiddos and homeschooling on the horizon, she doesn’t see it happening. (Not everyone can be Pioneer Woman … heh.)
ANYWAY, rambling. No absorbing. At least until I totally flip and go completely chemically-covered glam, while riding around in baby-tear-powered limousines, drinking champagne made out of petroleum products. Ha.
Personally, I do not like ads on blogs. That said I completely understand why you would need to add ads to your blog to bring in money. You spend a lot of time and energy here and add value to our live, you deserve something in return.
In your response to SarahQ you mentioned watching The Corporation. I have watched The Corporation too. (I actually saw it when it was first released in theaters and I even read the book!) The nexus of corporation, government, society and personal space is a subject I am deeply concerned about. I think it is safe to say that your blog with ads would still be helping to fight that corporate power-grab for our souls. If they want to fund your revolution, let them! You can always add another disclaimer that you do not necessarily support all ads found on your site.
There is another blog I read regularly that has a similar problem. His content is all about going against conventional wisdom. The ads on his site are obviously contrary to what he believes, so much so that when you see them you laugh to yourself and wonder why they let their products be advertized there. I think the same will happen at your blog.
The only advertizing issues that I am not sure you will be able to avoid are political ads. During the last election I actually had to stop reading some blog because I could not stand the political ads following me even to the internet. I can see this next election cycle being even worse. If it is possible please try to limit those types of ads, because one way or another you are going to annoy someone.
Shoot that should be “lives” not “live”.
Haha. I want to know this other blog. I really, really do.
I am so freaking glad I decided to have this conversation with you guys. This has been eating at me for MONTHS and MONTHS (and probably eating at my relationship, too). I’ve been so worried about how everyone would take it (and what would any newcomers think about my dedication to the crunchy revolution) if I put up ads? Instead of laying awake in bed at night, fretting, until 4:00 a.m., I could’ve just done this weeks and weeks ago. AHHHHHH!
Also, I’m sure I can avoid political ads. Most of the ad networks allow you to opt out of political or controversial ads – and that’s definitely one thing I would do. (My dislike for the corporate agenda is only exceeded by my exasperation with and disbelief in politics.)
If you really want to know the blog is: http://www.fathead-movie.com/
And, no, I do not actually eat low-carb.
Let me tell you. I LOVE this blog and I LOVE and APPRECIATE all the information you give us. Like most of the other commenters here I must say that this blog has also changed my life in that I see things in a totally different way when it comes to chemicals and things. I have 3 kids and a husband and I promise you that I have learned so many things just from this blog that I have incorporated into our lives. It’s amazing. Your knowledge will go on and on generation to generation because my kids learn from me and will hopefully continue the practices.
You deserve to get paid for what you do and I will definitely be sending in a donation and buying the ebook. I know how those discussions about finances can be between spouses so go ahead and do what it takes to make them go away. Give the ads a try! and just know that no matter what I will support this blog when I can and with as much as I can. You are GREAT AND WONDERFUL!
Shonneky. You just made me cry. Seriously.
“Your knowledge will go on and on generation to generation” was maybe the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard in my life.
Life would be so incredible if we could live on thoughts and feelings like that … instead of money.
In SO much gratitude. Thank you.
I know having ads on here feels hypocritical, but honestly, I think you deserve every penny you make from this blog – no matter how you do it. I totally agree with others that ads are easy to ignore (just don’t allow pop-ups or automatic playing videos – I HATE those ones!!). I’d also leave up the donate button for those who want to donate still. But I think relying on donations alone, especially in these economic times, might not be very financially forthcoming. (I’d love to donate, but with my husband’s teacher salary the only income for our family and him having pay cuts pretty much every year, I just don’t have the extra $$$ to spare. 🙁 ) It’s a tough decision, especially when one answer is against what you stand for. But like I said, I think you deserve every penny you make, no matter how you decide to do it. I will gladly ignore ads if I have to. 🙂
I CANNOT WAIT for the blackhead post! I was actually considering asking you what to do for blackheads. 🙂 And I will definitely buy your ebook – me and my “adult acne” NEED it!!!
THANK YOU for this blog! You are amazing for sharing your ideas, experiments, and talents with us!
Thank you so much for all your thoughts here. Every little bit of insight helps me so much. And I’ve been promising that gosh danged post on blackheads for, like, two months. New, exciting stuff just keeps happening and popping up that it’s pushed back. Well, no longer! (Hopefully.)
Actually, I change my mind. I’m definitely repeating something that’s already been said, but if you’re working 12 a day to run this blog, then you DEFINITELY deserve to get paid for it, whether it be through ads or donations or both. The ads are not hard to dismiss (after all, we still spend hours on Facebook, which is crawling with ads!) and I have complete and utter faith that a few ads on the side will not jeopardize the quality of your blog. And I do agree immensely with the commenter who suggested donating “a bottle of coconut oil” or whatnot. That sounds like a great idea!
Haha! Changing your mind is a sign of flexible maturity, you know that, right? I appreciate you popping back in to tell me that. Mwah!
I’m so excited about the upcoming posts, and I love that you are concerned about taking money from the very companies you fight against with your crunchiness, but I agree with other people too that I hardly notice ads. I thought your comment about what Michael Moore said about his documentaries was interesting too. I don’t feel like I can say what I think you should do; I think you have a tough decision to make. The only thing I’m kind of against is making the blog available only by subscription (which I know wasn’t one of your choices above anyway, but I think it was a suggestion by someone). I so appreciate that this information is available out here for free and I am planning to make a donation to show my support as soon as I can, but I think if I *had* to pay for the information I would hesitate a little and wonder if I should really spend my money on it (I’m on kind of a tight budget).
Oh, don’t worry. I will never make the blog subscription. I’ve had some ideas thrown at me to do “mini classes” online where I charge for them, but even there I feel a little sad. I really, really, really want everything I learn, and everything we all come across that’s enriching our lives so much, to just be free. Ah, maybe somewhere deep inside I am just an old-fashioned hippie.
Do like Wardeh at GNOWFGLINS does. She did a bunch of video classes, and has them on her website for the price of whatever you can afford. Lots of times, that works better than a set fee.
OH MY GOSH. Love, love, love! I had no idea she was doing that. Clearly I need to be better about garnering ideas from other awesome bloggers.
THIS is what I’m into. THIS makes sense to me.
In fact, I was contemplating offering the ebooks – at least for the first week that they’re released – at a “whatever you can afford” price. Or a “pay what you think it’s worth” price. Something like that.
Gosh. Thank you for reminding me and pulling me back into that thinking. While I still would love to run ads for companies I whole-heartedly support, THIS was the evolution of thinking I needed help getting back to.
I will be contemplating this and how to make it work in depth over the next week or so. THANK YOU again.
My two cents is that I would definitely donate to receive ebooks and video demonstrations. I wouldn’t be offended by ads either, but I like the other idea better.
Dang girl, if you’re using 12 hours a day to run this blog, then you need to get paid for it. If you’re comfortable putting ads up, then go with it. If you’re comfortable with donations, go with that – or do a combo of both. I’m pretty sure none of your readers want to see you get burn out for scrambling around trying to make ends meet. I know I don’t.. 🙂
Thank you. This blog went from being just something I was going to try to my driving passion. It’s funny, because when I first started, when I’d spend 4 or 5 hours on it a day, I’d get cranky and think that it was HARD WORK.
Now it’s just … lovely. It hardly feels like work most of the time. They say that’s what it’s about, right? Finding a passion that doesn’t feel like work and then … then … making money off of it. I’ve got most of that down now. Yay!
I’m wondering if your blog wouldn’t fit well into the Real Food Media network. Those are mostly traditional foods blogs.
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. It’s not just chemical-happy corporations who run ads. 🙂
I LOVE everyone in Real Food Media. My only hold up on that is that I’m not … I’m not completely WAP. I mean, I LOVE WAP. And I believe wholeheartedly in almost everything they espouse. But I’ve never been to a meeting (and some day I’d kinda like to see what going vegetarian would be like for a few months or a year or so). Although, goodness gracious, it WOULD be an honor to be amongst Real Food Media’s ranks. To be sure.
Not all those ladies are WAPF members, either. For that matter, I’m not, although it’s mostly from not having a spare $50 anytime in the past few years. I try to feed us that way, but we’re not perfect, and if you read their blogs, neither are some of the Real Food Media ladies. BUT they do seem to have taken their blogs to the next, more financially stable, level that you want to go to. And what do you have to lose? The worst thing they could do is tell you no–which doesn’t leave you any worse off than you are now.
I live in the SF Bay Area, just outside of San Jose, and am on the WAPF yahoo group here–which is big and busy. Some of the people on there are vegetarians (this is Silicon Valley–lots of East Indian folks, some of which are vegetarian for religious reasons). Veganism and WAPF are mutually exclusive, but vegetarianism isn’t necessarily. Tough, but not impossible.
That’s a tough one. It’s easy for me to say “stay strong, Crunchy Betty, hold true to your morals and flip a big, fat bird to the corporate bastards!”, but I’m not the one who is working for nothing. In the long term, I reckon you’d feel better with yourself if you didn’t take the advertising path, but it’s definitely the hard road.
Selling stuff is probably not the way to go, particularly as you’ve said you just plain don’t enjoy it. What about selling online classes? Or (as controversial as this may be) selling subscriptions? I guess the problem with that would be the extra pressure on yourself to do a good job (because people have paid for it).
To make donations appealing and fun, you could have a selection of ‘shopping items’ for donors to select from. Such as, if I’d read a blog about how great coconut oil was for my hair, I could go to the donations page and ‘buy you some coconut oil’, which would actually be me donating the value of a jar of oil. That way the real value of what you do for us could be translated into donations. You could update the list of items as you discover and test new things, and link to the donation page from the post. It sounds kind of silly now that I’ve written it out, I guess I’m just thinking of a way to make the donation thing more tangible, instead of average Joe just thinking ‘why would I give my money to this random Betty character…?’.
I wish I had more advice. I’m just a boring, 9-5’er, working the easy way, here because I have no crunchy friends to share this stuff with (except boyfriend and brother who are a little tired of me saying “smell my hair!!”, “touch my face” and “I did it with an egg!!”).
I LOVE your idea! And I can totally see how to tweak it and make it accessible. Only I think it would take an enormous amount of work on my part. That’s another ish I have. It seriously takes me 12 hours a day (I am not even kidding) to run this blog right now. And then I’m also trying to write this book. And SO many other things. It’s just so hard for me to figure out how to fit one more thing in, right now, to make money … in the short-term, especially.
The easiest, by far, way to do it is to pop up some ads.
Thank you so very very much for your ideas and the wonderful thought you put into this comment.
The fact of the matter is, if I could do this for FREE – if I could LIVE on incredible comments and emails – I would do it in a heartbeat.
And, by money standards, I’d be a gazillionaire.
Maybe accepting advertising could be a short term solution? You accept the money so you have the time to work out how to run the website on readers donations? It just sounds like life is forcing you to doing something that makes you morally uncomfortable. I just think its understandable that you don’t want to have ads on your site that suggest you are endorsing products that you object to.
Or maybe Micheal Moore had a point?
The important thing is spread the crunchy word and if advertising enables that, then so be it.
Sarah, The Petite Gourmet
Honestly, ads are easy to ignore and you are missing out on a lot of revenue by not having them. I would not mind at all having ads for anything on your site if I knew that it was helping you out. If I was able to donate, I would. However, if having a few ads here and there would help you, I think that you should allow them.
It’s so true, you know. I’ve been paying much more attention lately to the sites I love to read and whether or not they have ads. I mean, sites that promote the EXACT same thing that I do here.
And they do have ads. (Which I had never even noticed before!)
So what’s up with me thinking it’s such a great, big, giant sell-out deal for me to do it? WHAT IS UP WITH THAT?
In my opinion, advertisement on Crunchy Betty would be hypocritical. But that means that those of us who agree with that need to be willing to make donations to promote this amazing website (something I’m completely down for). Who’s with me?
This website has, and I’m being completely honest here, been my inspiration to become a Crunchy Betty. Your humorous, friendly and inclusive writing style had me hooked after the first paragraph. Because of you, I’ve not only incorporated Crunchiness into MY lifestyle, but in the lives of the many, many people I share it with, as well. So, thank you so much for making Crunchiness so fun and exciting 🙂
Aw! I agree, you’ve been putting so much effort for our benefit, and you deserve some support. This website has, and I’m being completely honest here, been my inspiration to become a Crunchy Betty. Your humorous, friendly and inclusive writing style had me hooked after the first paragraph. Because of you, I’ve not only incorporated Crunchiness into MY lifestyle, but in the lives of the many, many people I share it with, as well. So, thank you so much for making Crunchiness so fun and exciting 🙂
Aw. THANK YOU. As always. It looks, though, like the overwhelming majority – thus far – is in favor of just wading through ads. You can bet your tushie, though, that if I DO put ads up on the site, it will absolutely not, even the tiniest bit, change the way I promote the crunchy, homemade lifestyle.
All said, I’m not looking to make a billion dollars off of what I’m doing. I’m just looking to be able to support the site itself so I can afford to buy ingredients and the other things that go along with doing this blog … as well as pay the bills.
So, yeah. I’m just exhausted with the disagreements that Skip and I have about money, because I’m being so hesitant to put up ads – or to ask for support.
He said the other day, “I don’t see how what you’re doing is much different from an RPG or video game. Us guys pay for those things all the time. Heck, we pay for magazines and movies and cable and all the stuff that we use to make our lives the way we want it. I don’t see how reading your blog is different.”
Ah. Maybe HE’S the one with his head in the clouds. 🙂
“if I do put ads up on the site it will not change the way I promote the crunchy, homemade lifestyle.” Other sites have added ads and soon the ads take over the blog. I would hate to see that happen here. If you are able to separate the ads from the blog, do it. You should be paid for all your work. Alas, the economy stops many of us from donating to others when we barely have enough for ourselves. Don’t give up your dream!
That IS true – I really don’t even see ads online anymore, but I’m still an idealist. Of course, thousands of dollars from a company that you’re basically talking smack about, in such a subtle way, they’d have to actually read your blog (and not just the stats on how many of us love you and visit you regularly) to understand how silly they are for investing in a movement that not only doesn’t NEED them, but doesn’t WANT them. Damn the man, save the Crunchy? 🙂 I’m unemployed, but may have something by the end of the month (things may be looking up for me finally in that arena) and if so? I will happily put my money where my mouth is – all…over your…blog? Wait. That sounded weird. And I’m one of the quiet people – rarely, if ever, comment. To be honest, I don’t even always make it over to the actual site, but you can bet your sweet buns I read every single post, through my email. 🙂 I would NOT be offended if you took the ad money, as long as your delightful blog maintained its delightful Crunchy vibe and the content (your awesome writing voice) wasn’t watered down by any ad sponsors.
I hate it when I type and submit, prior to proofing. I wrote perhaps theee longest sentence fragment EVER up there. Second sentence should start as “Of course, it wouldn’t suck to get thousands of dollars……” I think you got the point anyway, but that massive typo is already bothering me to no end.
Y’know, I was watching the documentary called The Corporation the other night, and on it Michael Moore was talking about the fact that all these huge corporations fund his documentaries – even though all his documentaries are ever about is how terrible corporations are.
He said something to the effect that: Their downfall is their greed – a greed that is so all-consuming that it will support that which aims to take it down, if they can make a little money in the process.
Maybe I should take some consolation in that thought. 🙂
I’m with Jody. Ads have become such a common thing on a lot of sites that I barely notice them anymore (sad but true). I’ll try to donate when I can! As a college student, I have to be a bit selfish with my money.
Thanks, lady. I know it’s true about ads, but … I just thought magically things would fall into my bank account WITHOUT my having to jeopardize my high ideals. Maybe they’re just too high. 🙂
(Up next, the fall of Betty’s high standards.)
You’re so sweet. Thanks again for the support!
This is the first time I’ve commented, and I want to say that I think you should do both. Ads are easy to ignore and your losing lots of money by not having them on your site. But youve literally changed my life and the way I do things in my house and I would be happy to support you anyway. $15 sent your way. Cant wait for the ebook!
Thanks, Jody, for the support! This ad stuff has been the bane of my bloggy existence, especially because Skip gets so frustrated that I won’t just put ads on the site (because I’m making so little money and he’s all “You should either just do it, or cut way back on blogging and go back to work.”). He thinks my ideals are a bit too high, and that if I want to play the game, I have to make a few concessions.
Every month, I say, “I’ll figure it out.” And then I just hope magically it will all work out.
Given that the votes so far are overwhelmingly for ads … I dunno. Maybe all along I was just too pie in the sky to think I could do this without “playing the game.” It’s not a bad quandary to be in … but it’s this weird learning experience for me that I don’t know how to make right.
ANYWAY, sorry for the rambling. Thank you again!