Some of you may have noticed toward the middle of 2017, I started displaying advertising on this site. I started by signing up for Google Ads to test the waters. I didn't like it and I removed the ads after a few weeks. With Google Ads, I could cover expenses for running the site like my hosting, domain registration and the cost of my site's certificate but not much else. To get the most from Google Ads, you need to place many ads and you need to be open to allowing different types of ads, ads that may not be related to the content on your site. While I was fine with ads appearing for products like those from Turbonomics, I wasn't happy with random ads for travel sites and frozen pizzas appearing. Google Ads also often get blocked by AdBlock plugins, which makes the rest of the site look like crap.
A couple of months after removing Google Ads, I decided to entertain placing ads for vendors I know and trust. Ads I could publish and maintain directly on my site. Ads which are more static and slicker looking. Ads which don't get blocked by AdBlock and make the site look bad.
Getting sponsors was relatively easy. I am really happy with the quality of sponsors I have got. They make great products and they support others in the community too. Having great sponsors certainly eases what guilt I did feel when deciding to display ads. For years, vendors have offered to sponsor my site through banner ads or sponsored posts. I always turned down these offers. I once tweeted asking followers if they thought advertising was a good idea and based on the feedback, I decided not to do it.
That was then and this is now! I still won't feature sponsored content and will continue to only post what I feel like posting but I will be displaying ads.
I now have a wife and kid. Finding the time to maintain this site and post new content has become much, much more difficult as my free time has become more scarce. Before my son was born, I could let my wife know I would need some time to work on something in my home lab or work on a blog post with little guilt. She would just go out and do her own thing. No big deal! Now, at times, working on content for this site means her taking care of our son by herself. It became harder and harder to justify.
Honestly, I still try to work on this site late at night when everybody else is in bed. On days like today, I duck out of going to the Zoo with family friends to work on my podcast, work in my home lab and post this. No matter how I come up with the time, juggling the work I put into the content for this site and everything else going on in my life has become extra taxing.
For a while, I wasn't sure if I wanted to keep doing it. I love being a Citrix CTP, Microsoft MVP and VMware EUC Champion. Those have been incredible achievements that would not have been possible without this site but blogging was getting a little repetitive and I grew bored of my own site.
I don't work for a vendor. I am not self-employed. I have a regular day job which also takes up most of my time. The only tech conferences I have ever attended are those I was lucky enough to be chosen or invited to speak at. When I speak at a conference, I spend a significant amount of time working on and worrying about my own session. It's a lot of work. Due to the time cost, even the speaking engagements have become a pretty hefty burden for my work-life balance.
That's where this advertising comes in. It's not a huge amount of money by any means but I can use this money on things like improving my home lab, contracting a web developer to improve my site (how do you like it!?), buy some tech books and probably most importantly for me, pay towards expenses for training and development. I can now go to conferences as an attendee and when I do speak any expenses I incur which is not covered by the conference can be paid through this advertising money. Before selling advertising I went out of pocket for all of this. I haven't been fortunate enough to work for organizations with a training and development program. Now, I don't have to go out of pocket and I know the time I put into this site is not only getting me vendor and community recognition, it is also contributing toward my own personal and career development. Which helps me and ultimately helps my family.
Ok, I'm calling it! The survey is now closed. The winner of the https://t.co/qwYDmmHttK Fantasy Premier League spot prize for best team name is @AppDNAGuy with the name Brexit1776 FC. @tio_dom88 & @LarryLarmeu were tied for close second place with Dyslexia United & Expat FC
— Rory Monaghan (@Rorymon) February 7, 2018
I now have a renewed enthusiasm for creating content. I'm going to continue working with Algiz Technology to produce unique content , as well as post here. I have already started a podcast which is something I have thought about for years and I setup a Fantasy Football competition with actual prizes. I'm looking forward to growing this site and I am determined to provide even more content going forward.
Thank you all for your continued support!
Images courtesy of: Eirik Skarstein