Hello, readers. First, I want to say a quick ‘Thank You!’ to my regular readers – you know who you are. I started this blog in November of 2010 as a way to document my journey; learning about Scotch (and later, bourbon and world whiskey) and sharing my opinions with the Web. I honestly thought I’d get a few dozen visitors and I could largely spend my blogging time ranting to nobody about blends and how bourbon isn’t as cheap as everyone says. Amazingly, my traffic has grown substantially. I’m still small by blogging standards: around 500 unique visitors daily, which peaked up around 800 a day during the holiday season, but thanks to you all I can now think about ways to – what an evil word – monetize the site. Don’t worry, I’m not out to quit my day job and start shilling for Crown Royal. I’d just like to see a small percentage of the whisky I buy paid for by revenue from a little advertising. Oh yeah, and my hosting bills. 🙂
I’ve already rejected a few opportunities to host so-called “sponsored posts” on my site. I decided that by hosting such posts I would be damaging the trustworthiness of my reviews. Even if I marked such posts carefully to disclose their sponsored nature, it could be rightfully argued that the brands paying for such coverage would be capable of biasing my opinions in the rest of my writing. I’m not willing to risk that for the sake of a few dollars. I do accept whisky samples for review, but I reserve the right to shamelessly bash any product, regardless of how I acquire it. 🙂 (See my Sample Policy.)
Instead, I’m investigating opportunities to host a few banner ads. I know this will somewhat hurt my viewership, as you all are used to an ad-free experience on this site, but I believe I can do it in a tasteful, non-intrusive way. Obviously, no full-screen ads, popup or pop-unders, or any other underhanded marketing tactics will be allowed. I will also strive to prevent ads about pharmaceuticals, adult content, scams, and anything that flashes. I have to look at the site too. 🙂
Feel free to express any opinions about this plan in the comments below. I am interested in your thoughts.