The majority of the content on my website is free. However, this is also a business and I do make money here. This can be a bit of a problem if handled poorly. You know what I mean. Sometimes websites have ads everywhere! You cannot even highlight text without an advertisement popping up! This led me to spend time thinking about how I want to make money through this blog while staying true to you.
There are thousands of opportunities for bloggers like me. Some are great and some are downright horrible. To counter any temptation greed may send my way, I have created this disclosure policy. This keeps me honest and keeps me in line with FTC Regulations for blog advertising. My goal is always to be transparent with how I make money on this site. I would rather make ten dollars getting you something you need than ten million ripping you off. At the end of the day, this whole site is for you.
What you will see.
Free Stuff. As this blog grows (thanks to you) I will likely be given free stuff. I am not sure what this will be, but people like to giver bloggers free stuff in the hopes that we will talk favorably about it. I will always let you know if I am reviewing something that was given to me for free. Also, if there is ever a stipulation that I speak favorably about an item I will turn it down. I am not here to get free stuff; I am here to show you how to put your life together. The added bonus of free stuff is (if it’s cool) I can give it away in a contest!
Affiliates. There are hundreds of organizations on the web with resources helpful to you. These include everything from individual bloggers to massive organizations like Amazon. They offer things like books, movies, seminars, and so much more. To achieve your goals and change your perspective you are going to need more than what I alone can give you. To do this I am teaming up with organizations I agree with by becoming an affiliate. When you purchase something from them I get a percentage of the sale. The beauty of affiliate programs is I have complete control of who I endorse. There will be things on the site I endorse without any sort of monetary kick-back, but some of the items I promote will make me money.
My current affiliates are:
E-books. Periodically I come out with an e-book. E-books are, as the name suggests, electronic books. Some of these e-books are free but others cost a small fee. These are an additional resource to my blog. Many times they will be a more in-depth look at a subject I have already covered but sometimes they will be completely new content. E-book prices vary wildly across the web and I promise to keep my books reasonably priced.
Physical items. When I find an item (like a book or software) that I believe will be beneficial to you I will include it on my site. I can do this through a variety of means but the most common one will be to purchase a certain number of the product and personally ship them to you. These books will always be a supplement to the information you get on my website. I am constantly on the search for a deal and will work hard to get you these products at the best possible price.
Direct Advertisements (sidebar). Eventually I will offer advertising in the sidebar. This will be a section clearly marked. All advertisers will be approved by me and will be given the scrutiny they deserve. As with my other advertising streams, I will only allow for products and organizations that I believe will help you.
Direct advertisements (blog posts). From time to time I may choose to directly advertise for a business. This may be a website, a seminar, or something else. When I do this, I will make it known to you that I am being paid for the endorsement. However, I will never endorse anything I do not personally agree with. If I wouldn’t tell you about a product without the money I won’t tell you about it when I am getting paid.
What are you safe from?
Google Adsense. Although the most common way bloggers monetize, it is also one of the worst. Why? It gives me no control over the kinds of advertisements visitors see. That isn’t too big of a deal except that most of Google’s ads go to lead generation sites that gather email data and litter inboxes with all sorts of garbage. Also, competitors can check out my site and purchase keywords from my pages to create Google AdSense advertisements that will show up on my site! Do you know that the company Google AdSense is sending your users to is legitimate? And even if it is, are you sure it is something that is helping those users? If you do, that is cool, however, I do not and so I won’t be using Google AdSense.
(Full Disclosure: When I first started the blog I signed up for Google AdSense. I was rejected because I had no content. I could easily be approved for the program now but for the above mentioned reasons I have not reapplied.)
You will never have your email sold to third parties. This is a big one. With my (upcoming) newsletter and open-email policy it would be easy for me to sell emails to third parties. The more I have the more profitable it is. But the people who buy up email addresses are scum. Any information you give me will be safe. I will never sell your email to third parties.
You will never see an advertisement I do not personally agree with. If I would not offer it to my family, I will not offer it to you. You are not just readers of my blog, you are also my friends. I mean it when I say I want to see you achieve your goals. If I endorse something I do not agree with I am failing us both and breaking the trust you deserve.
As I said at the beginning, the majority of my content is free. If you never buy a single thing from me you are just as welcome as those who purchase everything I sell. If you have any questions or comments let me know at my contact page.