a peek inside the fishbowl

29 Sep, 2008


Posted by andrea tomkins in: Publishing/writing/career stuff|technical stuff|The business of blogging

Once upon a time I said that I’d never run ads on the blog. I didn’t want to insult your intelligence, subject you to blinky annoying things, sell my soul to an affiliate that forced me to advertise for WalMart and McDonalds, encourage you to buy something you didn’t need, or clutter up my look. (LOTS of reasons, maybe more, but those are just a few off the top of my head.)

If you know me you can probably imagine how much I’ve been wrestling with this issue. In fact, I’m sitting here writing this with a healthy degree of uncertainty.

I do know this: I need this blog to be revenue-neutral for awhile. I need to cover some of the increasing costs associated with the hosting this website but I must do it in a way that suits me (and you!) best.

*deep breath*

So that’s why I am making this proposal.

I’m looking for a patron or two.* Ideally, they would be small, Ottawa-based entities. Maybe a fellow blogger, a store, an artist, a non-profit, a relevant service … ? And maybe I’m in living in bloggy la la land but it should be something I feel good about. After all, their logo will be posted on my front door.  

They would need to understand that I will always follow my own editorial policies because my readers are important to me. They would supply me with web-ready graphics and I’ll loan them a square up in the upper right-hand corner. Say, this big:


If they don’t have a graphic I can make one.

For what it’s worth, my numbers, for a local lass, ain’t nothin’ to sneeze at. Last week I had 4,725 visitors. That’s a lot of folks gathering around ye ol’ virtual water cooler. And my numbers keep going up. (I think that’s pretty good!)

I don’t know if this will even go anywhere, but tell me, what do you think? Friends, readers, lurkers, will you turn around and never come back? Or do you care? If you’re a blogger who sells her/his own space I would love to hear your experience too.

* Is this you? Are you interested? I am still tweaking and researching, but send me an email or leave a comment and let’s figure out if we can make this work.


10 Responses to "Patronatus"

1 | Miss Vicky

September 29th, 2008 at 12:23 pm


I am wrestling with this as well. Let me tell ya, the google ads are doing nothing for me (get clicking, folks!). So yeah, I continue to contemplate some form of sponsorship or revenue-generating aspect of the site

2 | BeachMama

September 29th, 2008 at 12:43 pm


I say go for it! If I made enough money on my side business I would put up an ad, but I am not at that point yet…. one day :).

4 | Chantal

September 29th, 2008 at 1:47 pm


I say sure, why not. You work hard on your blog. I will continue to visit.

5 | Robin

September 29th, 2008 at 2:47 pm


Do it. You provide us with a great blog, the least we can do is look at (or ignore) a few ads for you. I like the idea of using local businesses, but i’m from Ottawa too so maybe I have a bias here.

6 | porter

September 29th, 2008 at 3:19 pm


You know how I feel already. I say go for it. Why shouldn’t you at least cover your costs????? I would hope you could make a little too. After all, if you really only wanted to maintain the blog for your sake then you wouldn’t be willing to share with all of us lucky people! I think your idea of allowing local businesses space is a great idea, I think it’s true to who you are.

7 | Julie

September 29th, 2008 at 4:17 pm


Hmmm. I never thought of blogging as a business entity, but I guess now that you mention it….
I wouldn’t be turned away by an ad, but I suppose I would view it as a bit of a recommendation since blogs are so personal in nature. I would venture a guess that I’m not the only one who would view it that way?

8 | LO

September 29th, 2008 at 7:04 pm


I say go for it. I did it at one point and it worked but for the work involved the money wasn’t there enough but I would do it again. I have friend that have websites specifically geared at advertising and you need a good break down of your stats and your target groups etc (I’m sure you know all this) and then go after advertisers that want to reach your group of readers:)

9 | LO

September 29th, 2008 at 7:05 pm


sorry for typos above-doing 3 things at once but wanted to ‘voice’ my support:)

10 | Kim

September 30th, 2008 at 10:43 pm


I say go for it chikadee…

My wee little blog makes a big $100 or so a month from advertising and hey $100 is $100!

Good Luck!


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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (23) and Sarah (21). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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