Looking for Feedback

By Harold Stearley

Good Day All !

I’m in a composition phase right now where I’m working on multiple posts – coming soon – I promise. And while I’m busy pecking away on the keyboard to do some old-fashioned storytelling, I thought I would solicit some feedback.

I’d really like to hear from you and get your insight on a couple of inter-related topics. I’ve been encouraged by a number of people to try marketing some of my photography in various forms, and I’m really not sure how viable that option is as I see tons of stuff on the Net and so many others trying to do the same.

So if you got a couple of minutes, I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Do you think blogs should try monetizing by either allowing advertising on their pages or by doing direct sales?

Do you like the concept of adding a “Donate” button to your blog?

Do you think writing really deserves a separate space, and that monetizing activities should be completely separate – thus, on a separate webpage?

Does this whole capitalistic idea of internet sales simply want to make you puke? 🙂

Let the comments begin! And thanks in advance!


Photo: I was attempting to take a photo of the florets of a Fennel plant, but the flowers were way above my head. So I held the camera up over my head and snapped, and I didn’t know until much later in the day that I had captured a Yellow Jacket. In that image I’ve posted here, I used a feature on the photo editor called “enamel” that sort of turns your pics into something looking more like a painting. Fun stuff 🙂

46 thoughts on “Looking for Feedback”

    1. Thanks so much for the honest feedback! I really don’t want to pollute my page with marketing stuff. I’m kind of a purest on my writing. And I remember one blog that had so many adds shooting in from the sidebars that it was crazy distracting and very annoying. I appreciate your comments – very helpful !

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The ads are super annoying for sure! I wish I could remember this blogger who had his own drawings of birds and such. he would tell a different pun using these characters. VERY clever. Long story, but I have lost touch with him. He is the one who monetized his stuff.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thanks for trying, maybe I’ll run across his page as I explore this further. I doubt I will change my blog, and if I do try to market anything, I could just put a link on my page to another web page 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Greetings Earthwalker! My personal opinion is that advertising and solicitation in media has become so overly invasive, its almost despised in the public eye. Even Tv subscribers are now cutting the cord in droves largely because of the increasingly long looping of commercials. Its why we use an Ad Block on our browsers and why I personally simply move on when asked to disable mine in order to view a site.

    Again, this is me, but I avoid sites using advertising like the plague. Even a simple non-evasive Donate button at the end of a well-written article somehow cheapens the experience for me. Advertising is everywhere, on everything and has become just another unwanted form of pollution that we are forced to endure. Lol, I guess you know where I stand on the issue my friend!

    My vote is to designate another site for your solicitation and to not diminish this, your storied nature blog, with un-nature-like self-advertising or monetary requests. It may not make me puke if you did, as you so blatantly put it, but it would leave a bad taste in my mouth I suppose? Lol! There you go buddy, a full two cents worth and as usual, much too much more! Happy decisions Harold!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thanks so much! You are affirming my own conclusions and I appreciate it. I really despise the targeted ads like you get on FB. I like getting the 360 feedback though, because I don’t really know what others think unless they tell me 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Hmmmm…. hard one. It’s a wild world out there and ads / sales and donations is becoming a one way street for independent artists, writers, etc to survive. So I have learned not to get annoyed by any of those. It’s good to keep them in a separate column so that you leave it to the readers to go or not. Not in a new site. There’s only one thing that really annoys me, that’s when they persist with multiple windows and then drop prices… “just for you” (and yes, I’ve fallen for that!).
    Also -as I’m also thinking about donations- I don’t really like the “save the artist” kind of plea. A simple straight forward ‘donate if you like’ or something like that, seems like an honest approach. But all this is mho and probably nothing to do with the’real world’! 🤣😂🤣😂🤣
    I think what it comes down to is being true to you and keeping it as sincere as possible. Hope that helps a little bit rather than confuse you!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for your insights ! Yeah, I find it annoying too so I’m leaning toward not changing my blog in anyway. As you say – being true to myself. And I don’t need saving – LOL ! We’ll see how this all shakes out 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. If I was on the road and in survival mode..I probably would make an attempt to sell my art & make chapbooks of my poetry to sell…as well as have a link to buy or make a donation…. unfortunately I have adapted to my comfortable life where I am not struggling to survive….but I am dying in this comfort…..I know I will have to be pushed into the deep dark unknown….I’m so afraid to take the leap….all I see is rust ahead…but if I had a strong foundation I would not hesitate….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Maybe that foundation will present itself. I’ve considered that too – selling my stuff along the road. And I certainly have seen many gypsies, for lack of better word, that travel from various trade shows and markets or just set up on the street corner to peddle their stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think writing and money gathering should be separate. I would love to make money off of blogging but can’t foresee myself ever putting up a donations page or the like. However, if someone were willing to sponsor me for including something in my posts about a product I know and like and use, I’d be ok with that. But I want editorial control

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Absolutely want editorial control, and I think ad space really takes away from the appearance and feel of a blog. Some I’ve seen have so many ads that I left them immediately. And I’m not looking at selling any writing unless I get a book together. I need to explore some of the business pages on WordPress to see what they look like for selling other products. I’ve explored a few of the pages that sell photography and I’ve come to no conclusion about them yet. Their individual listing prices seem small, but suddenly if you add them all up they are taking a pretty big chunk of the earnings.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Not a big fan of adverts on blogs, esp. pop-ups, the ‘free’ WP blogs can be distracting enough. I think a sidebar with a link to Fine Art America or similar is fine, along with occasional words mentioning you sell your work there. Donation buttons make me feel like I’m freeloading (or the author is starving to death) and if I don’t donate, I feel guilty. My problem, I know.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree totally. I feel the same way about donation buttons. Yeah, I’m a bit torn on the whole concept of selling anything, but I also hate it when I find out folks are stealing your stuff for their market 🙂


      1. Oh, yeah, I’ve heard of that and have seen my work on pinterest, which I guess is a compliment! I have a Creative Commons blurb on my sidebar allowing non-commercial use, but who knows? The world is vast, I can’t be sure others are honoring it. For the most part, I like WP blogs, because they remain relatively ad-free. I come here to escape and be enlightened. 😉

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Hello H, there is no science to my perspective, just gut feeling and experience. I run two completely separate blogs. One is for all things writing and a pop-up, ad-free zone. The other does not have ads either (there’s no editorial control over the blessed things!), it’s my creative site with links and buying options. Your photographs are beautiful and uniquely yours, so no comparison can be made as you will create your own niche. There is a purist view that to make money from creativity somehow diminishes it, yet that’s at odds with all the artists, musicians and creatives who make a living from it. My ‘halfpenny-worth’ is if you feel led to have a go, then do. Who knows where it may lead you, what possibilities it may open up and what you will experience from it. ❤ for you H, always. x

    Liked by 2 people

  7. The individual decides what’s best for them. It’s that simple because we all have different backgrounds, different needs, different purposes. The ads are annoying but may be useful and some of us need that. Donations I think is asking too much of people but that’s just me. Do the powers that are take too much of the profit? I will get back to you when I start earning. Do people steal your work? It’s the chance you take. We all take the chance. Keep us posted.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Some fascinating responses here, Harold. A useful post for the rest of us. I was recently informed by WordPress that my site now has enough exposure to attract advertisers. Apparently, I didn’t need to do anything, as they would place the adverts. I’ve left this as an experiment for a short period, but I’m not keen on some of the stuff advertised, so I’m considering ending it (If I can find out how to do that!).
    Re your photography, I have placed close to 1200 photographs with a company called Picfair. They provide buyers with digital files and also produce prints buyers can use for decorative purposes. So far, I’ve sold one picture, which was used as a book cover. If you want to look over the site, you can find it here: https://www.picfair.com/users/StuartAken

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ve discovered how to pause the ads, but had to ask for advice on how to stop them completely. I think WordPress gains a portion of the small income generated, so they won’t make it easy to withdraw!
        I like the idea of Picfair, as it allows people who enjoy your photographs to obtain excellent quality prints and canvasses to display in their homes/businesses. And the company allows contributors to set their own prices.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. There are some good blogs here on WordPress that may provide good information for you, Two that follow and find helpful – in many areas regarding blogging are Mental Health at Home and Renard’s World. Both have consistently good insight and both author’s have experience in blogging. You may find solid information here. It seems it would be a tough decision. I hope you find what you need to sort it all out.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. To be honest I hate the make a donation button but I think there is nothing wrong to try to sell your art.
    Do you already have a IG page? That is great channel for photographer and I’ll be happy to advert your work on mine too😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much ! I appreciate your feedback and your offer! I do have an Instagram page. I’ve taken down my pics and rebuilt that page a couple of times now. I do think any sales attempts should be on a separate page. I like having my blog clean from all of that, and I don’t like the donation button either. I’ll keep you posted on how this develops and maybe we can promote each other on our pages 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I recently started allowing ads on my site, but they’re not very intrusive from what I’ve seen so far. They also don’t seem to be effective at bringing in any income. I would love to make writing a full-time job, but can’t do it yet. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with displaying a donate button. It’s not like you’d be forcing anyone to pay you.

    Liked by 2 people

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