Last November, I made the decision to advertise this little blog a few places, hoping that I’d gain new readers and wider exposure. Six months was the internal deadline I set for myself when I started, knowing that at that point I’d reevaluate my financial situation, the blog’s statistical data and my ROI. Yeah, I can rock the financial lingo with the best of them.

Well, there I was at the six month mark last week. In the weeks leading up to it, I’d been thinking a lot about whether or not to pull the plug, and I went into a tailspin of self-doubt because that is part of my process. I’m trying to eliminate that step in my way of handling situations, but in the meantime it remains as absolutely necessary as fear and endless agonizing.

During this time, I made a list of reasons to continue advertising, and reasons to stop, because I like nothing more than to prolong the decision-making process.

The reasons to stop were numerous and weighty. First of all, it’s a butt-load of money that frankly I don’t have. I am nowhere near close to wealthy, more like clinging to the bottom rung of the dying middle class. Come on, I drive a thirteen-year-old Honda, and not out of principle; the money is obviously not a-flowing. This has been my Chanel purse for the decade – an unjustifiably expensive purchase not to be repeated. When I decided to do it in the first place, I tried to see it as a business expense, because I treat my writing as a career. Now though, it’s gotten to the point where I’ve reached my limit – the well’s gone dry, my luck at the table is cold, pick your metaphor, as long as it conveys the whole “financial hardship” aspect I’m trying to get across.

Secondly, my content has shifted since I started this blog. I started out advertising on well-known humor sites, most notably The Bloggess, and I attracted readers looking for more of the same. While I wrote solely silly, neurotic humor posts in the beginning, this is simply no longer the case.

Screen shot of my advertisement on The Bloggess' page. Yes, I'm very far down the list.

Screen shot of my advertisement on The Bloggess’ page. Yes, I’m very far down the list.

 

Growing and changing is healthy and inevitable when you work hard at something. I did not burst onto the college scene immediately writing well-constructed essays full of genius ideas; it was painfully time-consuming and took a lot of practice to get to that level. The same is true for blogging, and the same has been true for my fictional side-projects – I’ve grown, my writing is changing.

For a while, I found myself putting on unnecessary pressure to be funny, even when it felt forced or was just the cynical mask I sometimes don to hide whatever it is I’m going through. I started to feel like a phony, trapped in a creative prison of my own making. I HAD TO BE FUNNY ALL THE TIME. It was exhausting. So I’d squeeze in a serious post now and then, with a promise to “bring the funny” the next day. How lame is that, making excuses for my work? I felt like a dancing bear.

There were more reasons to stop advertising, but those were the biggies. My list of the pros was much shorter, with only one item on it, and it actually became a con on closer inspection. A good reason to keep advertising is it does bring in new readers – a significant number of new readers.

HOWEVER. I had started letting these numbers control me in ways I did not like. As I began understanding the financial hardship the advertising put on my budget, I would check the numbers and panicWho’s going to read my blog if I stop advertising? was a frightening plague of a question that kept me awake at nights, as I am prone to histrionics and unhealthy mental behavior. No one will read me and then I’ll be a loser and sink into internet blogging oblivion! Then everyone will hate me and my husband will leave because I’m such a failure! ad nauseam.

This fear became a much larger struggle than it deserved. You know how when you cling to something so tightly it slips away by virtue of the fact that you can’t let it go? You can’t cultivate anything worthwhile in an environment of desperation, and I was behaving like an addict again – I couldn’t let it go. 

So I had to let it go.

I believe that art is a spiritual practice. By letting the fear control me, I shut out any opportunity for God’s blessing and inspiration, and it affected my work.

Yes, I believe in God, and yes, I believe in external creative impulse. Call it what you will, my fear shut off the faucet of good ideas and inspired work. So I’m taking a leap of faith, that by confronting my fear, I will make room for bigger and better things that I couldn’t create with my control-freak nature.

I know I made a big deal about this announcement on Friday when it may not be a big deal to anyone but myself, but nevertheless, there are changes afoot here and I’m still scared of the outcome. Thank you all for your support, and more importantly, for being part of this community.

Let’s see where this takes us, shall we?

 


Comments

Why I Am No Longer Advertising — 58 Comments

  1. I applaud you for that decision. I was trying to make that decision myself…but at the end of the day, you have to do what is RIGHT for YOU. 🙂 Keep on being yourself!!!! No ads…do it for the love & spirit of you!

  2. That must have been a very hard thing to do, and a hard thing to tell everyone too.

    I admit – I initially came for the funny, because you are a funny woman. But I stayed because your writing drew me in. I love reading what you post. You are a talented, funny, amazing, smart woman. Keep doing whatever it is you feel to do!

  3. I enjoy reading your blog. I have been on the road you speak of too. I was sniveling at a meeting in 1980, a stranger pulled my arm, hard, asked me if I believed in God? I do… He told me to look up at God and tell Him what Christ did on the cross was not good enough for me; concerned, I listened. He told me not to worry about everything out there. The spot I needed to be working on was between my ears. He shared about filling my mind, with the focus of the meaning of the cross, and my life would change, in a great way, and it did. Everything for me is just great… didn’t use to be like that. Remember, you may only be stumbling forward to success. Keep onward… I can tell you are going in the right direction.

  4. I was always attracted to your blog for the writing. COngratulations on the next step in the journey. Be confident you already have the “be bold” part down pat!

  5. I’ve never advertised and wasn’t sure how beneficial it was. I’m pretty cheap and frugal, so I never really gave it much consideration. I may have found you through The Bloggess. How long ago did you advertise with her? I’ve been reading your blog since last summer, if I recall correctly.

    It’s hard to bring the funny every day. Sometimes I find myself just writing and then throwing in a simile to try to make it funnier. Bleh.
    Kate Hall recently posted…10 TV Characters from the 80s(ish) I Loved to HateMy Profile

    • Yeah, and what’s more, I have a feeling I’d be funnier if I didn’t pressure myself so much.
      I didn’t start advertising with her until November, and I’m still up through the end of the month, when my contract expires, so we probably found each other through some other means…

    • Ce qui me choque le plus c’est que ce garçon n’ai pas eu son bac et qu’il ne soit pas capable de travailler à l’usine Que va-t-il devenir ?Mon travail est très difficile également, je n’ai pas le temps de penser aux dioiirmcnatisns…

  6. I found you through the bloggess, but I’m staying for the writing. As long as you keep posting a link on Facebook (until my lazy self has time to update the links on my blog) I’ll keep clicking on over. Enjoy your new freedom. You’ve earned it!

  7. Your description of the struggle to upkeep “the funny” is so accurate, I never thought about it from a critical point of view until now, but it is so true. I’ve done all of the above – panicked when I had to force the funny out of nowhere, apologized when I didn’t and promised to bring funny back next time. I’m glad you’ve made your decision (totally identify with prolonging the process as much as possible) and I wish you the best of luck. I believe that great writing will get you further than advertising in the right places.
    Katia recently posted…On the Fragility of Life and TeethMy Profile

  8. That’s why I ended up doing different things on my blog; it’s hard to be funny all the time and there are days when you’re just not gonna feel it. And there’s more I want to say. I want to do poetry and talk about depression. I worry sometimes that I’m too all over the place, but I guess that’s just my personality. My band does that musically too. All over the place. I personally appreciate variety. I applaud your decision. You’re an excellent writer and I think your blog will only grow and grow.
    Mod Mom Beyond IndieDom recently posted…The I Don’t Like Mondays Blog HopMy Profile

  9. I found you through Yeah Write, and I really enjoy reading your blog (the humor as well as the serious stuff) Enjoy your ad free creative life!

    Write on.

  10. You’ll be fine without an ad. I seek out your blog to read it; I don’t even need a notification. The people following you now will continue to follow you, and just immersing yourself in the blogging community will help get your name out there. I think you made the best choice.
    Ericamos recently posted…Cold ShowersMy Profile

  11. Let me tell you, I totally know where you are coming from. I recently changed my URL and name of my blog because I no longer fit my old one. Dude, that stress was way more than I ever thought it would be. I went through all of the doubt you did about not having any readers, sinking into oblivion. But instead I got a lot of support, support I was not expecting from people who actually *liked* me! Who knew? I applaud your decision, I think you made the right one, it’s no good if you are writing for someone else, and what’s the use if you are driving people to your blog only to have them find something they were not looking for. Keep doing Yeah Write, and awesome hops like this one, you will have readers. Readers who like what the real you wants to write!
    Jen recently posted…Twisted MixTape Tuesday 8My Profile

  12. I read once (i don’t remember what) who reasoned that EVERY decision we make is out of either love or fear, and that every damn choice made out of love of self- others- ice cream) is the correct one. Sounds like you’ve developed a sweet tooth- for yourself. Bravo!
    Cheryl Nicholl recently posted…Dancing Around LoveMy Profile

  13. Good for you! I know it is tough to let go of the “possibilities” that advertising seems to represent, but I have a feeling that you will be just fine. I think God has as even great possibilities for you.
    Tamara T. recently posted…Sing a new songMy Profile

  14. “You know how when you cling to something so tightly it slips away by virtue of the fact that you can’t let it go?”
    This is so true and you put it beautifully. By letting go we free up energy for new experiences. I have to remind myself of this sooooo much!
    PS. I think I found your blog by clicking on a comment you made on another blog, then kept coming back because I loved your voice, and now you are on my blogroll. I don’t think I even noticed your advertisement on The Bloggess until after I had been following you for quite a while. So an awesome community will still come to you without adverting! Because I am awesome. And I am part of your community. Yay!
    Punky Coletta recently posted…Going Cold TurkeyMy Profile

  15. Good for you for making the decision that’s best for your blog. I found you on bloggess too, and I love what you write about. My blog has evolved in theme and writing style too and it’s only been 6 months. You gotta write what you know, and write because you love it.

    I’ve also followed you on twitter. Hoping to get your blog updates through there. Would love it if you returned the follow 🙂

    Happy blogging!
    Joanne recently posted…Annoying things people do in restaurantsMy Profile

  16. I have no idea how I found you. But I’ve been reading for a while, and enjoying it. Especially the more serious stuff, so keep it up. I will try to lurk less and comment more =)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers:

%d bloggers like this: