Sunni: I take it you'd disagree with my current position of not trying to make money from my blog. But surely you aren't wanting every corner of the web to be filled with Google ads and obnoxious banners, are you?
Bacchus: Better to say "I don't understand" than that I disagree. Being a lazy man, I like making money with my brain. And I've long felt that the best measure of a thing's worth is what someone will pay for it. "Money is the sincerest form of flattery" and all that. I don't think profits are bad, and thus I don't think any enterprise is tainted by the hope of making money with it.
However, I am highly prejudiced against obnoxious ads. That's how the recent wave of commercial porn blogging has gotten such a bad reputation. People don't understand that you have to create or assemble quality content first, and then find a way to pass the hat without crapping all over the pretty thing you've made. On ErosBlog, I didn't run a single ad for the first year. There was no point; I hadn't generated value for advertisers yet. There's a flaw in condemning obnoxious advertising, though, which is that everybody has a different view about what's obnoxious. Some bloggers have sneered at ErosBlog because of the ads I have, calling it an "ugly commercial porn site" and such. I try to keep the ads low key and inoffensive, and I often decide not to link to sites where the ads are so thick it's hard to find the editorial content. But I've never apologized for my advertising. People who think "commercial" is an insult don't get much respect from me.
I think there's a sort of ecosystem to obnoxious ads, anyway. People will go to ugly, ad-infested pages sometimes, just like they'll go to the dangerous but exciting club district downtown. But they return day after day to sites that feel welcoming and comfortable. My gut sense has always been that keeping ads to a discreet minimum is an important part of creating that welcoming atmosphere.
Sunni: Hmm. Very interesting. Well, you've persuaded me to reconsider my position regarding my blog. Watch out, you 20 regular readers! [laughs]
Bacchus: Don't laugh too hard, they might surprise you ...
Sunni: Do you support yourself with income from ErosBlog, or do you have a day job?
Bacchus: I don't support myself with ErosBlog alone. But I do make a very good living as an adult webmaster and sex blogger. No day job. Yippee!
Sunni: Yippee indeed! And congratulations on accomplishing something many dream of.
Bacchus: Thank you. There are days I can't believe my good fortune, and other days when I can't figure out why everyone isn't doing it. As it happens, ErosBlog itself has never generated very much cash. My readers seem to be a smart, well-educated, web-savvy bunch, and if they buy porn online, they don't seem to buy a lot of it. When I put an affiliate link on ErosBlog, the sales ratios are very low. Sometimes tens of thousands of people click for every small sale I make. I do sell an advertisement from time to time, and I manage to cover my hosting costs and support my passion for peaty Islay single malts -- but I'm sure the profits measure out to pennies an hour when all is said and done. ErosBlog will never make me rich. I wouldn't want to pretend that ErosBlog isn't important to my adult business, even though it doesn't generate much revenue. I've got a lot of other adult web sites, and sometimes linking to those from ErosBlog can give them a much-needed boost of traffic or search engine mojo. The visibility also helps a lot. When I link to something on ErosBlog, lots of people see it. Word gets around, I get more links, it's good for business. I see ErosBlog as my flagship site, and one of the ones I'm most proud of. It's an important part of my enterprise.