WordPress.com has been changing a lot of things over the past few months and this has upset quite a few book bloggers. A lot of people think they’re at war with Book Bloggers! Here’s the deal straight from wordpress.com:
While most affiliate links and sponsored posts are allowed on WordPress.com, we do not allow image ads or third-party advertising networks like Google AdSense, OpenX, Lijit, BuySellAds, and Vibrant Media.
If you would like to run these types of ads on your blog, consider the following options:
• We have a feature called WordAds that lets WordPress.com bloggers with moderate to high traffic and appropriate content turn on ads and earn money from their blogs.
• You can run any ads you’d like if you manage your own WordPress installation. More info,including hosting recommendations, can be found at get.wp.com.
• WordPress.com VIP and Enterprise sites are permitted to run ads.
In addition to AdSense-type ads, please do not use promotions of the “I made a million on the internet and so can you” type of advertising, multi-level marketing, gambling, or pornography.
Please check our pages on types of blogs and affiliate links for more information about what content is and isn’t welcome on WordPress.com.
If you are in any doubt, please contact support for clarification.
Here’s a screenshot of that page:
So what does this mean? It means you can’t advertise on WordPress.com in these ways unless you either use WordAds or you pay for your blog. This makes perfect sense to me. WordPress.com is not Blogger. Blogger is owned by Google, the people who make AdSense. WordPress.com is competing with Blogger.
Ultimately I feel that Blogger is not as great as WordPress. It feels extremely limited but that’s just my own opinion.
So these bloggers and other people run around thinking you can’t use Amazon Affiliates or any of those other affiliate links on your blog because they want you to use their options. Even if they WERE, that’s totally within their right to do so. If you’re using their free blogging service, they are fitting your bill for your blog. To give you an idea of what that is, let’s look at The Top Shelf!
My hosting: $14.99 a month on Godaddy.
Domain: $14.99 a year on Godaddy.
Wordpress Software: Free
They are eating that $14.99 a month charge for you. That’s for a shared server. So I’m sharing that server with EVERYONE who is on it. Actually, they probably have servers of their own somewhere. There are many options for where to store a server that you’ve bought. There are companies that sell them like Godaddy. I think their dedicated servers are anywhere between $99 and $269.99 a month. So WordPress.com is paying that for multiple servers to put you guys on and you’re sharing it with other wordpress.com people. If they’re not storing those servers themselves or buying through a seller like Godaddy that stores these servers for them then they also have to pay for renting a storage area. That’s a lot of money! Paid customers are needed to pay for that. They put ads on your blogs and offer paid options to pay for that.
I feel making money on a free site is like kicking your gracious host in the balls. However, to quell all the cries of horror, if you click on the Affiliate Links hyperlink in that very section, you’ll find that you can post your affiliate links and they wish you well in making money on your blog… WHAT?! Yes it’s true!
Most affiliate links for reputable merchants are welcome on WordPress.com. Feel free to post relevant affiliate links when blogging about books you’re reading, music you love, clothes that strike your fancy, gadgets you’re drooling over, or whatever is of interest to you and your readers.
We hope affiliate programs help you earn a financial reward for all the hard work you’ve invested in your blog. However, because we’re dedicated to keeping unwanted commercial messages from cluttering the WordPress.com experience, there are some restrictions in place that you should be aware of.
• Sites whose primary purpose is to drive traffic to affiliate storefronts, rather than creating original content, will be banned as spam. Promoting affiliate links through comments or the support forums is also considered spam. Such activity is a violation of our Terms of Service.
• We do not allow any image with an affiliate link. If you’re interested in making money from this type of ad, check out our WordAds program. You can read more about our advertising policies here.
• Affiliate ads for gambling, get-rich-quick schemes, multi-level marketing programs, disreputable merchants, or pornography are prohibited.
Once again, here’s a screenshot of that page:
So what is it that WordPress.com is after? Who are they really at war with? To me it looks like spam sites! I don’t like spam! Do you? No! Of course you don’t!
Do you remember when you decided to become a blogger? You did it because you love books and want to talk about them right? So what happened to talking about them!? We’ve been reduced to being handed these pre-formatted posts that are on probably 50 other blogs. People don’t come to your blog to have books thrown at them that you’re not behind. People don’t come to The Top Shelf to see a bunch of book advertisements thrown at us by book tour companies. We’re supposed to be selective. If we agree to post content, it should be made for our sites and our sites only. The book tour companies don’t really care if we have fresh content, they don’t care if people get bored with everything we post. Their first and only care is the client who is paying them to coordinate this tour. The content problems are ours and ours alone. We have to make sure that a guest blog we agreed to, was not posted somewhere else six months ago. We have to make sure that we’re not subjected to the underhanded and somewhat sneaky stuff authors do to save time for themselves.
The times I get the largest amount of hits is when I blog. People love it when I talk. I don’t know why, but they do! This whole situation got me to thinking and I find I agree with it. The best way we can promote is not by throwing covers at people. It’s by taking a book blast and adding our own spin to it. Most of them have a snippet. Read the snippet and talk about WHY it makes you excited for the book. Maybe talk to the author about doing something for your blog. We have to just quit throwing books at people!
Everyone, I remind you that this is supposed to be a circular relationship. Bloggers promote your book because it looks great to us or it surprised us in some way. Authors are supposed to give us original content when they come to visit. We’re supposed to give our own original content too! Together that is supposed to bring visitors and attention to our work! We can’t lean on authors and authors can’t lean on us. We both have to promote. We want your readers and you want ours. Don’t abuse us by sending us spam or regurgitated content!
Bravo WordPress.com for helping us fight this!