I have never been against people attempting to make money online. On their blog, on their Twitter account, it really does not bother me. If I like their content and their way of thinking, I trust them to make interesting recommendations and to post ads that won’t make me run away.
The trouble begins when people are so wrapped up with making some money that they forget all about their brand in the process. All bloggers, business or not, work hard to promote their blog, to position it and build a brand for it. And then when they have enough traffic they want to have some income in exchange for their hard work. But why kill your blog’s brand for a few bucks when you could get said money without loosing trust and readers?
If you want to advertise, advertise something related to your blog or that might interest your readers. If you talk about web hosting, you can advertise designers, web copywriting services and other such services. But if you start promoting a teeth whitening formula, you’d lose. Why is it a bad decision? It makes you look easy to buy and a bit desperate. People who read about web hosting don’t care about teeth whitening in their web hosting dedicated time. They might want to read about it on the beauty/health/make your self pretty blog they read every day.
The purpose behind monetizing your blog or twitter stream is to actually make money! You need to find the products and services that would make your readers click. They have to think you had a great idea recommending something like that to them. They would have to trust you with that recommendation. Your expertise is part of what convinces them to give that ad/review or any other form of advertorial a second thought. That’s what brings you more money at the end of the day.
Yes, branding is tough. But the advertisements you choose actually help shape your brand. They position you in your niche to some extent. Choose to say your brand helps people and makes expert recommendations. Not that your brand couldn’t care less and would promote anything for the right price.