A Blogger’s Dilemma: To Monetize Or Not To Monetize?

Simply put, I love blogging.

Three years ago, I began this blog not knowing what to expect. It’s connected me with new friends and writing opportunities, but most importantly, it’s confirmed that my passion is really in writing.
All of the adventures on this blog are 100% self-funded, though I have been paid for my freelance writing work by other publications. I do not write sponsored posts and have not accepted or sought offers to advertise on my blog for compensation. 
Not monetizing my blog has given me the freedom to write my opinions freely and honestly. If I’ve ever plugged a product, it’s one with which we’ve bought with our own money and use because we genuinely like it. This won’t change. 
The only downside to not monetizing a blog is that it’s less sustainable when it’s not earning any income. As a compromise, I have joined the Amazon Associates program which allows bloggers to earn a very small percentage of products they list if visitors purchase them.

You may notice a couple changes:

First, I have created the Stuff & Things (We Like) page at the top of my blog. One can choose to click on this page, but it won’t create ads that disrupt my posts or show up as banners. I am only listing products that Jake and I have been given by family or friends, purchase with our own money, and use regularly. 
Second, when I mention a product that I am excited about, I may link it to Amazon in the blog post. Again, these will only be products I freely choose to use in my daily life. 
As always, thank you for your readership and support through the years as I strive to write the type of blog I want to read. Your thoughts are always welcome. 


  1. bethannchiles.com

    I think that this is a perfect fit for you! You may change your mind down the road and add other things but it seems like you have found what is the best fit for you and that is a good thing. I think your blog is filled with integrity and good content and I love reading heartfelt recommendations which are what you do! Great job, Jeni. Looking forward to clicking on that Stuff and Things We Like tab!!!

  2. Jeni Flaa

    Thanks Beth! I appreciate the kind words.

  3. Katie Olthoff

    I agree – I think this is a good start. I tried putting ads on my blog and writing a couple of sponsored posts but I didn’t like it. I have been making money writing (and doing social media work) for others and that’s a much better fit for me.

    Katie @ On the Banks of Squaw Creek

  4. Val

    I’m with you Jeni. I too have an Amazon Associate program and plan on incorporating that into things I already do. I did start become a Nuby Mommy Blogger this year which gives me free products to review but I feel like this is a good fit for my blog. I can do as little or as many reviews as I want. I personally don’t follow very many blogs that in my opinion are full of sponsored posts.

  5. Jeni Flaa

    Those seem like good fits and ways to monetize without being too pushy-it’s nice that Nuby lets you have a lot of discretion about how you publish your reviews.

  6. KirkK

    Hi Jeni – I enjoy that the blog reflects you. I do link to Amazon and have an Associates account, though because we live in Ca is totally useless. Still, when I enjoy a recipe from a specific cookbook, I like to be able to link to that in case someone is interested. As for monetization, I don’t really do that and have been able to sustain a blog since 2005…..

  7. Jeni Flaa

    Thanks Kirk. I like the idea of being able to link to cookbooks as well. I don’t think I’ll monetize any further at this point so it’s not distracting. I completely understand why bloggers monetize, but also appreciate ones that don’t fill up their pages with too much clutter or too many sponsored posts. I always enjoy reading yours-one of my all time favorites.

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