Should I Monetize My Blog?

     With a recent and persistent increase in the popularity of my blog, I find myself wondering whether I should "monetize," or add paid advertisements.

      I have been blogging as a personal hobby since college - I'm not prepared to do the math on how many years it has been.  I had launched a new personal blog in about 2008 that really cinched my addiction to blogging.  Then, a year or two ago, I converted from a personal blog to more of a "cause blog," and started writing mainly about Ethical Eating and Everyday Sustainability (check it out!).

      Over the last several months, that blog, Urban Earthworm, has grown exponentially in readership and based on a new opportunity I have been given I have reason to believe that growth might continue.  Instead of readers in the hundreds, I now have readers in the thousands.  Which means monetization might actually be worth something on my little blog now.

       Up to this point, I have kept my blog ad free.  I write my blog for me and to spread information I find useful, not to make money.  Maybe I should stick with that model.  Then again, if I can make a few bucks while promoting products or companies I believe in, why not?

      So I'd love to hear your opinions and stories.  Do you have ad space or other monetization features on your blog?  Why or why not?  If you do, has your experience been positive or negetive?

      I'm wondering:

1) How monetization might affect my readers.

2)  Whether it is worth it.

3) What the best monetization methods are if I want some level of control over the ads (No factory farmed dairy adds on my blog!!!).

4) Whether there is a non-ad monetization I should consider.

5)  What are all my options?

and

6) What am I overlooking?

Thanks in advance for your opinions!

Urban Earthworm
Marine. Lawyer. Mommy. Wife.
Making Sustainability Work in Busy Everyday Life.

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