Sell Out – MyLifeOutdoors begins to Monetize

Example of an Affiliate Marketing Ad

If you are a regular reader of MyLifeOutdoors you may have begun noticing some differences lately. We have a new logo banner at the top of the page, the sidebar has been moved from the left to the right side, and advertisements have begun popping up in various places.

Two or so years ago when I created MyLifeOutdoors I decided not to place any ads within the blog in an attempt to keep things classy. Since that time I have continued to refrain because I believed the cost outweighed the reward. That is to say, I wouldn’t make enough money to justify the (sometimes) annoying ads. So why have I changed my mind?

The answer is simple. Thanks to you MyLifeOutdoors has grown out of its infancy. The subscribers, pageviews, pagerank, and other aspects have grown to the point that advertising has become a promising source of extra income. As a result I have opened up avenues for Adsense and Affiliate Marketing in hopes of earning a few extra bucks to support my many outdoor adventures.

Over the next few weeks I will experimenting with ads and ad placement in an attempt to get the most out of advertising without annoying my loyal readers. Please bare with me as these kinks are worked out.

You might also notice a couple of extra page tabs near the top. I have attempted to make it easier for individuals and companies who wish to contribute to the content being published on MyLifeOutdoors. There is a new Guest Posting page featuring guidelines for writers who wish to use MyLifeOutdoors as an voice and contribute to the content published here. I have also included new information under the Contact page for companies who wish to sponsor MyLifeOutdoors in a variety of ways. There is also a new Gear Coupons page made up of continuously update gear coupons from various retailers. If you are looking for new gear please consider looking through the coupons on this page. By shopping through those links you will help support MyLifeOutdoors.

Finally, I would like to hear your opinions about the new changes. Do they annoy you? Have you wondered why it has taken me so long? How do you feel about all of this?

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10 thoughts on “Sell Out – MyLifeOutdoors begins to Monetize”

  1. Your credibility is already established, so I don't see it as a sell out. I believe the outdoors community understands this sort of thing. We have a choice if we want to click on the links 🙂

  2. I suppose it's something we all wonder about from time to time. As long as you continue to compose the content for you, then I don't see a problem. If you begin to write with the thought of appealing to potential advertisers, then that is selling out.

    I've always enjoyed your trail and trip reports. I suspect I will continue to enjoy them. The best thing about blogging about hiking… is the hiking.

  3. We all go down that path eventually even if it is to just keep the lights on. No shame in having ads on your site and as Paul said your credibility is never question based upon the quality of information you post. Thank you for being open and honest with your readers. That my friend will gain you bonus points in many of our eyes. Have a great weekend.

  4. Hi Steven,

    I really like the new banner! I think the picture of the two of you definitely adds class, if the advertisements in fact take away from class (which I don't think they necessarily do). I think you're right too. You have an incredible following. Even during your slow months (last summer or so), I follow your hits on the Nature Blog Network (when I check mine…don't worry, I'm not stocking you!) and you stay consistent with high numbers. By not monetizing, you're cutting your nose off to spite your face! As far as the ad placements, you did a good job. It's not overwhelming at all to the reader. Keeping the ads in the margin and below the posts is a good choice. I think when ads are placed in the banner and on both sides of the posts, it starts getting too commercially…but that is just my opinion. Also, I must say, your choice of "Blogs I Follow" is great…especially that Live Free and Hike Blog…good choice 😉

    Karl

  5. Thanks Jeff,

    I pride myself on an open and honest approach to the blog, as evidenced by this post. I suspect I may try to benifit from affiliate marketing when the post lends itself, otherwise I will stay true to what MyLifeOutdoors has always been.

  6. Thanks Adam, I have noticed you have been selling t-shirts to help fund your upcoming trip. How's the success rate there? I have looked into some MyLifeOutdoors branded shirts, not necessary for a profit, but more as a promotional tool and giveaway item.

  7. Karl, Its funny you mention the Nature Blog Network, I too check its rankings periodically. When I first started MyLifeOutdoors I looked to The Smokey Mountain Hiking Blog as the prime example of successful outdoor blogging. I would always check his stats on Nature Blog Network, and try to mimic his content style. I remember thinking, if I can ever get to his level of followers, I will be successful. I am now where he was then. He, however, kept moving forward and has a very strong readership that continues to grow.

    Check him out at: http://hikinginthesmokys.blogspot.com/
    And at http://hikinginglacier.blogspot.com/

  8. Since I do not have the shirts in hand It has been a little low but I have not not been really pushing them also. Mine are also going to be for promotional purposes.

  9. I think ads that are relevant and timely don't take away anything and they might even add to the value of your site! If you were advertising for Mcdonalds or oriental rugs then I think that would be out of place. However if you are subtly introducing your readers to new outdoor gear companies and discounts then that is fine by me!

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