Switching from NBC to PBS, in a manner of speaking

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve turned off the ads on my blog.

They had become more trouble than they were worth. Ad placements I didn’t authorize kept appearing, ruining the look and feel of the blog. Many times I heard from readers that ads were auto-playing videos or, worse, automatically redirecting to junky and scammy sites. I’ve spent a lot of time chatting with WordPress.com support, getting them to turn off the unauthorized placements and squash the bad ad actors.

I made only about 50 cents a day from ads here. That paltry income wasn’t worth the hassle and, more importantly, the risk of alienating you. Nobody wants to keep visiting a site where videos automatically play or the page suddenly redirects to “Your computer is suffering from 23 viruses!!!!!”

The small stream of income was nice, as it covered this blog’s annual hosting costs with a little left over. But it’s not like I can’t afford this blog. Down the Road will live on without ad revenue.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Perhaps, however, you’d like to partner with me to fund more film, cameras, and adventures. If you do, you can click this “Buy me a coffee” button to send me $3. My favorite color film costs about $3 a roll, so it’s perfect.

I’ll quietly drop that button into posts from here on out. Clicking that button can be your way of saying you appreciate my work and want me to keep at it. But no pressure or stress — you’re welcome and wanted here even if you never click the button.


18 responses to “Switching from NBC to PBS, in a manner of speaking”

  1. Chris and Carol Avatar

    Well done and good for you. I average about 15 cents per day and so far, the ads have been relatively benign. My goal was to cover the annual fee (like you)… but at 15 cents per day, it will fall way short of my goal. That doesn’t mean I don’t fret about what’s being advertised. I guess I’ll continue to monitor the situation as time moves along.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      That’s all you can do!

  2. Big sem Avatar

    God is great the ads that has always been my dream to have on my site even though my site is yet to come up to that strength just to sustain my family no matter how small it is.

    And is what you are complaining about God is great once AGAIN.

    I don’t even know what to do to generate traffic to my site just to have this kind of opportunities.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Unless your site commands millions of views a day, you’ll never make real money off it. Getting to millions of views a day takes hard, hard, hard work choosing your audience (and it has to be a large one) and super-serving them! Good luck.

      1. Big sem Avatar

        Oh my gosh😳🙄, mehn! Honestly I don’t know it’s da serious before ads comes in. Seriously! Anyway thanks for the response I really appreciate you Jim Grey🙏.

        I’m only looking for any legit ways no matter how small it is just to put daily food on a table for my family. Honestly this your comment on “millions of views” just put more headache in to my head. Thank for your time once again God bless you more

  3. bodegabayf2 Avatar

    Hooray for this!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      No more ad woes. What a disappointment that was.

  4. Michael Avatar

    Isn’t buying you coffee now almost as bad as offering a hefeweizen? Maybe it should read, “Buy me a roll”?

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      The service I’m using, Ko-Fi, provides the button and that’s what it’s called!

    2. Jim Grey Avatar

      p.s., I’m gingerly trying alcohol again. The couple months I took off seem to have pressed the reset button on my bad behavior with the stuff.

      1. J P Avatar

        I turned ads on recently. I have not had them on long enough to gauge reaction or revenue. Have you noticed anything odd?

        And if you are going the way of PBS I’d say to skip the Buy Coffee button and just have a twice annual share-a-thon. If you need someone to work the phones let me know.

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          You’ll be the operator standing by!

          WordAds was a pain in my neck on a couple of fronts. First, ads appearing in places on the blog that I hadn’t authorized. Second, ads driving pop ups, redirects, and videos that played with sound automatically. Feh.

      2. Michael Avatar

        My joke was that I’d expect a hefeweizen to trigger your gluten reaction. Friends don’t let Jim drink wheat beer anymore. ;)

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          Aha, good point!

  5. Dan James Avatar

    Well done Jim, I think this is a great move. I’ve been pretty vocal about not having ads on blogs, both on my own, and in comments here and elsewhere before.

    As bloggers we have the opportunity to create our own little friendly nooks, away from the bright lights and flashing signs and homogenous feel of social media, places people know they can come to for intelligent and welcoming discussion around common passions.

    It’s just not worth the intrusion on that environment that ads create, for the sake of a few pounds.

    It amazes me that people with photography sites with far fewer readers than you Jim still have ads on their site. They must barely be making pennies, so what’s the point? I’ve not followed many sites, simply because the ads were too intrusive, and my favourite blogs are ad free (yours now joins that list!).

    I think the “buy me a coffee” idea is a step in the right direction. What would be really good is to have instead a “buy me a roll of film” icon, with perhaps a simple PayPal donation button behind it. I just think because most of your posts here are around photography (and film photography at that), people are much more likely to donate in a way that directly supports that passion, because they can connect with it. A cup of coffee seems too generic, and doesn’t relate to photography or supporting the blog.

    Just my thoughts!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I still think that having a couple quiet, unobtrusive ads on a Web site is not a big deal. If someone wants to make a few pennies on their content without it becoming an ad free-for-all, I say more power to them.

      A couple blogs I follow have really laid on the ads thick lately. I had to turn my ad blocker back on to tame the madness.

      The trouble with the ads on my blog is that sometimes they behaved badly, and that was alienating readers. I was growing weary of the support chats with WordPress.

      As for the coffee button: I’m using a service called Ko-Fi and this is the button they provide. I went with them because it was easy. I agree, it would be better if the button said “buy me a roll of film.” If I pay $6/mo I can customize that button. As I figure I will make $6/mo if I’m lucky through that button, I’m not inclined to pay it. Also, the Ko-Fi model defaults to $3 (or £3, or €3) donations, or multiples of 3. I considered doing PayPal Donations but people can put in any amount they want, even 28 cents, and I liked the ease of a couple clicks to $3. I suppose I could create my own custom button in Photoshop if I want and link it to my Ko-Fi donations page and I might do that someday.

      1. Dan James Avatar

        Yeh the relevance of the ads is a massive factor. I don’t object to more commercial photo blogs having ads in the sidebar to buy film or photo gear, it’s perfectly within keeping of the subject matter.

        What unfortunately I was getting with your site more often than not was ads with headlines like “hot mom makes £3456 an hour staying at home” with a picture of a suitably “hot” woman looking very pleased with herself, or “2 Germans are changing the hearing aid industry”, just totally unconnected to either your site or my interests. I guess it’s the online equivalent of cold calling, if you call enough people, eventually you might get someone who’s interested in rich hot mums’ income secrets and German hearing aids…

        Yes with the coffee button I’m sure you have the know how to come up with a little banner that has a film canister and “help me shoot more film” next to it etc.

        I think with PayPal you can set a button to have fixed amounts (or just one fixed amount), though it’s been a while since I set one up, I confess.

        Anyway, well done, a very welcome step.

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          On my own site I got a lot of ads for shoes, as I have a bad foot and am constantly looking at shoes I can walk comfortably in. And ads for cars, since I like cars and visit car sites a lot.

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