Open For Business

When I started blogging six years ago it was simply a personal journal to update far away relations about our family happenings. I did that for a few years until it became apparent to me that the internet was exploding with mama bloggers (among others) sharing tales of home life, mothering, and personal growth with the world at a large through their personal blogs.  

I was hooked. I felt less isolated as a homemaker and mama to young children. I felt like I belonged. This was good.

Then I noticed something else happening on these blogs - paid advertising. Sometimes it made sense, a link to a product or service that the blogger used and recommended. And other times it was downright dumb if not annoying or offensive.  

I steered clear of that path for a long time because... I had no choice. (You can find that story in Why I Blog). And even if I did have a choice I don't like to follow trends - clothing, blogging, decorating or otherwise. I want to do my own thing and I don't want to compromise my values.  

And so it was that FIMBY has remained paid advertising free. Until now.

I have thought long and hard about this decision.

I am decidedly anti-consumerism in mindset. Not that I don't consume, I do. We're all consumers, if even from a food chain perspective alone. Recall those little circle diagrams of the bug eating the microorganism, the frog eating the bug, the fox eating the frog - or something like that. Anything that eats energy, and doesn't make their own from the sun, is a consumer.

I'm happy eating plants but I don't want to be the kind of consumer who mindlessly purchases goods and services giving no thought to the condition of the person(s) who made that product, the environmental impact, and otherwise overall message of that item.

In other words, I want to be a mindful consumer. Not that everything we buy always meets the highest of standards but we are moving in that direction. 

I rail against being called a "consumer" instead of citizen, person, mother etc... Like somehow my personhood depends on my consumption of goods. And don't even get me started on issues like Gross Domestic Product or that the "good life" means unfettered growth and a host of other economic pills I refuse to swallow.  

So you can see how I don't want FIMBY to contribute to consumerism or be another blog overrun with ads, sponsorships and affiliate links.

This is not to say I haven't promoted things here before. I have.

I've promoted small businesses, published book reviews and given support for companies, causes, and ideas I value. I've linked to innumerable blogs which in turn have advertising that earns those bloggers money. I've shown my support in this way not because I was paid to, but because I believed in those things I was promoting.

We recommend products and services to people all the time. Friends who want to know what shoes to buy (this grew into Toe Salad), what type of pressure cooker I use, and where I buy my bulk beans.

And if the advertising I do on FIMBY reflects that type of exchange, I'm comfortable with that.

Because of our change of circumstance in moving back to Canada I can now reap a benefit from recommending a product or service that a) I endorse or b) think might be useful to my readers.

Tell it straight: I can make money from what I advertise here.

So I will.

Does this mean FIMBY will become a product orientated blog with a disproporiate amount of reviews, affliate links and obnoxious, in your face advertising? Over. My. Dead. Body.

I've done my time establishing myself a person you can trust, or at least a person whose opinion can't be bought. And I've laid out fairly clearly in this post and others like it that I'm not a money grabbing, values-bereft blogger who is trying to make a quick buck.

What does this all mean?

  • I am going to start using affiliate advertising with Amazon and other on-line retailers I use and recommend. What's affiliate advertising? Most simply explained, if I link to a retailer I'm affiliated with and you click there and purchase something I will make a pittance from that transaction. But a lot of pittance adds up. 
  • As the year progresses and more opportunities come available for our family (yay for moving!!) I may open up FIMBY to partnerships and other paid advertising.
  • Our goal is to eventually advertise our own products, services and resources that will contribute to our family's livelihood. 

If you are someone who might want to advertise here I should mention FIMBY readership is growing all the time and I think it will grow even more as I write about our move and new life adventure.

Thank you again so much for reading. FIMBY has been a place to watch little dreams come true and watch big dreams unfold. This change is part of that picture.

To read my complete advertising shpiel please see my page for Advertisting Partners.

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  • Wendy

    Wendy on Jan. 26, 2011, 5:12 a.m.

    So glad that you're able to help contribute to your family financially in this way now. I share many of your thoughts on advertising, consumerism, etc. But I definitely seek out and attempt to support blogs like yours through their affiliate links whenever I can because I feel it is a way to support small businesses, homeschooling families, etc. Congrats and best wishes!


  • SavvyChristine

    SavvyChristine on Jan. 26, 2011, 5:27 a.m.

    Hurray! This must have been a big decision for you and your family. I'm glad you decided to share your move and thoughts on consumerism with us! Now if you'll just let us know when you open your own hand lotion shop.... :)


  • tara

    tara on Jan. 26, 2011, 12:16 p.m.

    Congratulations on another big move that will help your family. Your integrity and belief system comes through in your words, something I've come to expect from you even as a fairly new reader.


  • Penny

    Penny on Jan. 26, 2011, 1:39 p.m.

    Anything that helps you be independent is a good thing (at least in my humble opinion) so best of luck with this plan, I will definitely use your links when I can.

    (also, ever thought of opening an Etsy shop with all those yummy lotions and potions? Just sayin')


    • renee

      renee on Jan. 26, 2011, 2:14 p.m.

      You know, I have given a lot of thought to if and when I will open up a body care shop, though it would be my own, here at FIMBY since my husband Damien is an internet programmer and can do all that for me.

      But... I've been giving a lot of thought to who I am and what makes me happy, in anticipation of the life we hope to create with this move, and have determined I am not a manufacturer. I am an artisan. Sometimes I like to make things and so I do. Part of the joy for me is in the creative, inventive process. I wouldn't want the pressure of always having to produce a product that other people rely on.

      Having said that I am not closed entirely to the idea of selling what I make. But it will be on my terms - if and when the products are available. If I make a batch of soap for my family and friends and have some left I think I will sell it here.

      One more thing I've realized. I love to teach people how to do things. I always knew I was a teacher but how I see this playing out with soap/lotion etc.. is that I'd rather teach people how to make their own then become their supplier. Bad business model perhaps but more in line with who I am and what makes me happy. So... that is an idea I am planning to develop. Likewise, I'd rather teach and encourage other parents to homeschool than I would teach their children.

      That was sure a long answer to your question wasn't it. But I am just so excited about all the new potential in our lives and what I've been learning about myself I can't help it. I want to blab. 


      • Kika

        Kika on Jan. 26, 2011, 4:46 p.m.

        That is interesting to know - that, for instance, you prefer to teach others how to do for themselves rather than actually do the work for them. I like that you seem to always put so much thought into your actions so that you know WHY you are doing something rather than jumping in blindly. You explained yourself very clearly in this post and I respect your stance. I always enjoy seeing the products that "trusted bloggers" honestly use in their own lives and recommend.


  • Naomi Kilbreth

    Naomi Kilbreth on Jan. 26, 2011, 4:54 p.m.

    I can't imagine how happy you must be to finally be able to contribute to your family's income, especially through things you enjoy doing! Yay! But I'll also be watching to see how it all turns out, since I'm also looking for ideas on how to make our family's blog work for our family. Here's to opportunities!


  • Hillary

    Hillary on Jan. 26, 2011, 9:11 p.m.

    Nice Renee. I think you'll be seeing a similar post from me in the upcoming year. I've been thinking almost your identical thoughts (surprised?) for the past six months or so. I'm very supportive and look forward to seeing how it evolves.


    • renee

      renee on Jan. 26, 2011, 9:15 p.m.

      Not surprised! I too am watching your fam to see how everything evolves with life, work and family. We're experiments in process aren't we?


  • Erika

    Erika on Jan. 28, 2011, 4:05 a.m.

    Wow! That is so great, Renee! What a challenging and yet exciting new chapter in your life you are about to take on, moving back to Canada, to Quebec, learning French, starting a new business. I'm sure you will be very successful. I just love your blog so much, and even though I rarely get a chance to comment, every time I read something I always think to myself, Remember to go comment later. Oops. I usually forget.

    The thing I really love about your blog is how open and honest you are about sharing your life, your feelings and your journey. It is rare thing to find someone who is willing to be so vulnerable over the internet like you and by you doing it, it helps all of the rest of us to tap into that deep spiritual part of our lives. You are a real inspiration and from you I have learned so much. I also have you to truly thank for helping me to make the decision to homeschool when I was at that very difficult decision making time. You gave me so much great advice and took the time to write to me individually. It was such a great help.

    I think the advertising on your blog is a great idea. While I feel the same way as you about advertising, I think it is also a great way for you to support your family and I'm sure you'll be very successful. I've thought about doing the same thing, but realized that it is definitely not that season of life for me right now. Perhaps when my kids are older, like yours, the doors will open up for me to do more things like that, but even know with my blog I have to leave it wide open for me to take long long blog breaks and only do it when I'm inspired and having fun with it.

    Good luck with all of your new plans! Warmly, Erika


  • Francesca

    Francesca on Jan. 30, 2011, 4:37 p.m.

    I totally agree with you on your views on being called a "consumer". I also see why you (or anyone else) would want to look into advertising on the blog, and frankly, I don't think you even need to justify it!


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