Ad-Free Zone

It’s been a while since I’ve updated my blog. About 3 weeks, to be exact. Once the dust settles from some recent crises, I *promise* you’ll get more funding posts, discussions of libraryland, etc. In the meantime, I had an interesting experience today that I wanted to share and get some feedback from my readers.

Someone (for courtesy’s sake, they will remain anonymous) e-mailed me today asking whether they could pay me to put ‘relevant’ links up in one of my funding posts and pay me to do so. I’ve never gotten any requests for anything like this before (honestly, I’ve never thought I had a big enough reader base for any advertiser to bug me), but it gave me a chance to put in writing why I don’t want advertising on my blog. I wanted to share the text of our exchange here to see if any of you have had a similar experience and how you responded? A couple things to note–the person who wrote the e-mail was very nice and respectful, and I’m sure just doing his/her job, and not at all pushy which I really appreciate. Also, when I say ‘online colleges’ in my response, I am referring to certain online schools that are very aggressive about advertising, not about all online education programs (I T.A. for online courses!) So, here’s the text:

Hi Julia,

I just finished reading your post , ‘Funding Opportunities, Week of November 27’ and really enjoyed it! I would like to offer to place a few relevant links into the post that would complement your original writing. For this, you’ll be paid via PayPal. These links would direct to resources on education and topics related to the theme of your site. If this sounds at all like something you might like to be a part of kindly let me know. I will be happy to answer any concerns you may have 🙂


Hi _____,

I’m glad you enjoyed my post! I appreciate your offer, but I don’t feel like it does any services to my readers to offer resources I’ve carefully selected and then provide them with other content that serves the purpose of making money for a textbook company/online college/etc. I’ve purposefully kept my blog free of all advertising particularly because I don’t agree with the idea of compromising the quality of content of the focus of my work in the interest of money. Thanks again for the offer, but my concerns with compromising quality far outweigh any benefits I might receive from sharing other links.
Did I handle this well? What would you have added? What are your thoughts about the impact of advertising on the content of a site?
I am very grateful that the writer was a very friendly person, and I’m also glad I got the chance to write down a few thoughts. I’d like to expand on them at some point, but however my ideas are refined I think it’s safe to say that I’ll never compromise the content of my site or mis-direct readers for the sake of a few advertising dollars.