Monday, August 06, 2012

Book Blogger Confessions #13

Book Blogger Confessions is a new meme hosted by All-Consuming Books and For What It's Worth. You can find out all about it here

Every second week there is one topic that has something to do with book-blogging that you can discuss on your blog.

This week's topic is: Almost all of us blog as a hobby in our spare time, usually for free but is there anything wrong with making money off your blog? Should bloggers charge for reviews? What about advertising on a blog? When a blogger does allow book related advertising does it turn you off? Make you wonder about the honesty of their reviews? Do you have a problem with purchase links (Amazon for example) that earn a blogger a small commission if a person purchases a book through that link?

I think there are two different types of making money off of your blog, and it's very important to distinguish between the two, because one is wrong and the other is perfectly fine.

The first one would be to charge for a review, or even a positive review. And that is wrong, definitely. The point of blogging or reviewing is to share your honest opinion, and I don't think you could do that if there's a possibility your opinion will be influenced by something the author or publisher can give you. It'd feel wrong, to me, to accept any kind of compensation for writing a review. Integrity is one of the most important things a blogger needs to have, and I wouldn't compromise it for anything. I would never charge anything for a review.

Blog advertising, though, is totally fine, to me. I don't do ads because my blog is way too small for that kind of thing, but I definitely don't mind when bigger bloggers put ads on their site. We all put a lot of work into this, so if we have the chance, why not make a little bit of money off of it? I just think it's important to make it clear what is an ad and what is your content - it needs to be stated somewhere that some things in your sidebar are ads; that just because the book cover is on your blog does not mean you liked this book. As long as it's not too much - preferaly sidebar only, definitely no pop-ups - I'm fine with blog advertising.

I'm fine with blogger affiliations and earning a commission, too. If you didn't have to be 18 for those programs, I would definitely do that, too! I put links to purchase the book in my review anyways, so why not make a little bit of money off of it if someone does decide to buy the book? I always try to remember to go through an affiliate link when I buy from the Book Depository - if you have the choice between 5% (or however much they get) going to the big company or that small blogger you like, I don't see why you wouldn't want the blogger to get that money.

And I think it's important to remember that even the bloggers that offer ad space and have affiliation links do not get rich off of this. They earn a few dollars that can be used to pay for giveaways, blog design, a domain name; there's lots of blog-related stuff that costs money. It's not like book bloggers can make thousands of dollars off of this.

So that's what I think - making a little bit of money off of your blog is fine, as long as you don't compromise your integrity for it. What do you think of book bloggers making money off of their blogs?


  1. I think charging for a review is most likely a symptom of a character flaw, but not a character flaw in and of itself. I would never do that, but I think people should be allowed to as long as it doesn't affect their review. I guess it's up to the person to make sure that doesn't happen-maybe they're just really good at being unbiased. It would be hard to trust their reviews though, because you would always have that nagging doubt that they were paid to say these things.
    As for ads and affiliations, I agree that those are fine. As long as they don't slow down the loading time, I'm olay with them.

  2. I agree with you - charging for reviews would bring lots of ethical questions in play and might put off blog followers.

    But having ads or commissioned purchase links are perfectly fine! It has nothing to do with your opinion and how it's influenced:)

  3. It' already questionable reviewing authors we interact with, it would be even more difficult if we're taking money from them too.
    I can't see how they wouldn't be mad if didn't like the book (not all authors of course but it's bound to happen at some point)
    The whole thing sounds like more trouble than it's worth.


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