Blog Sponsorship and Advertising

I’d like to talk to you about the monetization of blogs, and specifically of my blog, Making it Lovely. I announced a new sponsored project earlier this week and the responses were mixed. I feel that it’s important to address the negative sentiments that were expressed.

I am approached daily with offers of items for reviews and giveaways, free trips, sponsorships, and various advertising opportunities (such as text links). I politely decline nearly all of them. To imply that I am thoughtlessly and greedily accepting every freebie that comes my way is hurtful and insulting. I have always taken great care to be ethical, honest, true to myself, and true to my readers. I don’t publish anything that I’m not proud of, and I hold myself to a high degree of integrity and accountability. This blog would be very different if I were only in this to make money. I have always been very selective, choosing only to work with companies that I have used or would use personally regardless of compensation. And now that I’m able to work with a sponsor to share a new project with you that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise? I think that’s wonderful.

Many have lamented the fact that so many blogs are being monetized, and they would prefer to see them remain free of advertising. I respect those individuals that blog without any form of payment, but I also have respect for those that have been able to be fairly compensated for the lovely sites that they have created. It takes a considerable amount of time, effort, and money to keep a blog like Making it Lovely going. I pay for childcare so that I have time to write and edit original photos for the blog. I have upgraded my web hosting to ensure that the site loads quickly and without problems for every visitor. I am always taking time to file away ideas, thinking of new ways to share inspiration with you, and documenting projects for the blog. I’m honored and amazed everyday that Making it Lovely has taken off the way it has, but you must know that there is a lot of work involved.

I am lucky to be able to earn an income via my blog. I have been working toward it for years, and I’m proud of all that I have accomplished. I will continue to accept advertising and explore new sponsorship opportunities in a mindful and responsible way, and I thank you for your support.

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  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Some people are never happy! Your blog is great, keep doing what you’re doing. It’s very tasteful. However I’ve seen some blogs that are monetized and look so trashy that they’re eyesores. Big difference.

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Well said! Your blog is lovely (ha-ha) and deserves sponsorship. Bring on the ads, so you can afford to bring us all your delightful photos, your fabulous eye, and your amazing design skills.

    Why do we think all content on-line should be free?

    By the way, where did you get your nightstands? I am looking for two just like it!

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    hey it’s your blog baby, do what you want. Love your blog, and I’ll keep visiting!

  • Reply
    Jill Browning
    May 7, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    Right on. You are lord and emperor of this blog. You can do anything you want. Isn’t that the beauty of being your own boss? I think you are doing a great job.

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Hey – I’m so sorry you’re receiving negative feedback on the sponsorship opportunity. Until I started blogging, I had NO IDEA the tremendous amount of time and effort that goes into a post. If monetizing your blog allows you to continue devoting time to it, then as a reader, I am thrilled.

    I was just writing Jules yesterday that I think many would be shocked just how much advertising influences the editorial content of the magazines and NEWSPAPERS they read. And bloggers, on the whole, are much more transparent about how they make these distinctions and where they draw a line.

    And…it will be fun to see what you come up with with a looser budget! :)

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Keep blogging! I will keep visiting. Your ideas are inspiring.

  • Reply
    Jeanne W.
    May 7, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    I love your blog. Sponsorships (ads) do not bother me. I am bothered by blogs that go on and on about the bloggers’ children. Such details should be written in personal letters to the grandparents or scribbled in diaries.
    Keep up the good work.

  • Reply
    Not Stacy
    May 7, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    I visit every day and I’m always inspired. I was happy for you – and for me – when you announced your sponsorship. I need to makeover my own bedroom and I’m looking forward to following along. (Hurry up!)

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Don’t listen to the haters!!
    Blogging takes up a ton of time, energy & effort. Your blog has one of the most eye please advertising sections I’ve come across and there’s nothing wrong with accepting sponsorship for this project. You SHOULD be proud of what you’ve accomplished. If someone decides to stop reading it’s their loss.

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    I’ve been a longtime reader and admirer and support your sponsorship efforts 100%! It’s clear you work very hard on this site, and for me at least, the sponsorships don’t get in the way of the content.

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    You go girl! I am jealous you have a sponsor. You can’t make good post appear out of nowhere. Blogs weren’t started as ways to make money, but Twitter wasn’t started for businesses either and now businesses are ALL OVER Twitter. It is a new media outlet. Guidelines are in place now to make sure no one is plugging a product or company in a discreet manner.

    When I grow up can I be you?

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Oh. My. GAWD!

    I can’t believe how many people on here honestly think that they’re your boss! Or that you have to conform to some imagined rules that they just set up for you.

    ‘You should have done this’ ‘You should have done that’ ‘My panties are in a bunch because you did this’ ‘I’m so disappointed that you like your Dyson vac’

    The freaks truly do come out at night.

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    honey, i wish i had a blog i could monetize! good for you. i didn’t even flinch when you mentioned the sponsored post, because i have already concluded what you say in your defense: you have great taste and a lot of integrity.

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    I think negativity is a bummer. I think your blog is great as is every original idea you have and put out there for us to absorb and enjoy, complimentary. Keep on doing what you’re doing. It’s fab and I am not going anywhere either!

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    You rock, Nicole. There are always some pissy pants in the bunch. No need to defend. You do what you want to do. It’s your blog, girlie! If they don’t like it then let them go read other blogs.

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    No matter what, it is your blog and your life you are sharing with the rest of us. Do whatever feels right for you. If people don’t agree, they really don’t have to read your blog. The rest of us will enjoy it nonetheless.

    Keep up the great work.

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    I have never commented before, but I have always loved reading your blog and find it a true source of inspiration. I think it is absolutely wonderful that you have the oppurtunity to create and design, and I would take it! kepp doing what your doing, because it is beautiful and inspiring to your readers.

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    I just want to say, that when I started blogging, you blog was something I looked to as an example of how wonderful a blog can be. A kind of how-to, if you will. I still feel that way. I don’t know why people would stop trusting you now, after all the amazing inspiration you have provided in such a ethical way. Please, keep up the lovely, lovely work. We will continue reading.

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    I haven’t read the original comments yet, but I wanted to say that I agree with a previous poster – I too like the ads since it gives me ideas on places to buy stuff and other blogs to look at. I love this blog. I have gotten so many good ideas here. Keep up the amazing work you do.

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    Wow, I didn’t read the comments on the other post and won’t now. Personally I don’t have a problem with it, I can only imagine how hard you work at MIL to keep it going. Although I admit I do get a bit tired of it on another blog that does it very often and I no longer subscribe because of it. I think if you’re selective and genuinely recommend the products then why not? It’s a matter of balance. MIL is full of inspiration, I can’t believe people can be so negative.

    Please keep up the fantastic work!

  • Reply
    Ashley Sawyer
    May 7, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Bravo Nicole. I love and support your blog. I think hard work deserves fair compensation. And your blog brings so much joy into my daily routine. Thank you.

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    I have no problem with people making money off their blogs. It’s a new day and blogging can become a person’s career. I personally am excited to see what you will be doing with your bedroom.

    I think a lot of people out there have something negative to say about bloggers accepting money because they’re jealous. They may see blogging as something that shouldn’t be taken seriously, so therefore when you are getting “freebies” it makes them mad. I say ignore them. You’ve built a very fine brand with your blog and store, if other small business can have sponsors and such, why can’t you.

    More power to you. I’m a loyal reader, I adore this blog and am in no way put off by any ads or sponsorships.

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Hi Nicole,
    I think that this is your place to do exactly as you please and I find it extraordinary that some readers feel that they have ownership over what you can and cannot do. If I am reading a blog and something doesn’t gel with me I just leave, I don’t condemn the blog author. I only have a small readership and haven’t experienced any nasty commentors as yet, so I am really shocked and feel for you. Don’t let the nasties get you down, this is your space Nicole and it really is lovely.

  • Reply
    Karina Bravo
    May 7, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    I discovered your blog through another blog and I love it. At first when I read about your decision I wasn’t sure how to feel but then I thought …why the heck not. We women need to support each other in the positive things we can accomplish. I applaud you and think its awesome that you can stay home, find enjoyment in your blogging and maybe even get compensated for your info! (what a novel idea.) You go girl!

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    So perfectly stated!

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    I love when bloggers mix with sponsors that are applicable to the content, don’t we all end up buying great stuff that we see on blogs? We subscribe / read to blogs we love and it’s so easy to unsubscribe, not sure who has the time to make negative comments!

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    I’m sure many of us mommas feel the same, but if there is a way that you can stay home with your daughter, do what you love, provide a beautiful free blog to your readers, and still manage to be the coolest cat on the block – you’ve got every right to monetize. I’m sorry there are some cruddy people out there that have no idea how much work it is to put out great content, beautiful pictures, and wonderful ideas. Besides, if you aren’t making any money, how can you afford the DIY projects we love, the wonderful lists of great clothes and furniture, and all the great things we look for when we come to visit your blog? It wouldn’t be as much fun to visit your site if you were repapering your bedroom with old paper bags (although you of all people could make that look amazing) and let’s face it, it takes money to remodel a home, redecorate a space, and revamp a wardrobe. Keep it up for our sake. Keep it up for your daughter’s sake. You are amazing!

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    This is quite a discussion you’ve sparked. I appreciate that you’ve opened up to your readers about this. It’s your blog, your business, and your decision.

    I don’t usually refer to Bill Cosby, but this quote seems appropriate:

    “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody. ”

  • Reply
    Catherine @ waking up with you
    May 7, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Of all the bloggers I read who benefit from sponsorship, I feel that you manage it in with the most integrity. My biggest issues with sponsorship is when things that aren’t relevant to the blog are being peddled and when sponsorship is not declared in a transparent way. I really appreciate that you are dealing with the issue mindfully and I continue to love your blog.

  • Reply
    In Honor Of Design
    May 7, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    Being a mom, blogger, business owner, I know how hard it is to juggle and stay commited to blogging. I find your blog incredibly inspiring and you deserve some compensation to keep it going. Don’t pay attention to people who don’t have any idea of the work involved.
    Keep up the incredible work. You are one of my role models!

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    You do a wonderful job, and I really appreciate how much of your life you share with us, let’s face it, strangers in the interland. I personally have no problem with you accepting sponsership – you have worked hard to achieve all that you have, and to be recognized for it is an amazing opportunity. Plus, look at all that free advice on decorating and such that you give – we as readers should be greatful that someone is “paying” you for it so that you can continue to happily give it. Keep up the excellent work!

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    I think you’re great- you’ve clearly spent a lot of time and consideration into the ventures you choose to pursue and you deserve all the good that comes with it.
    Let the haters hate, the rest of us love you. Looking forward to your new project. P.S. I love your little E- she’s so precious!

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    I love your blog and appreciate all the time and energy you put into it. I totally respect your decision for sponsorship — good for you.

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 7:51 pm


    As a long time reader, I just wanted to say that it is obvious that you put a lot of time and hard work into this blog and you deserve whatever income you receive from it. You have great taste and wonderful ideas and no matter how many ads or sponsorships you have, I’ll be reading. Keep up the great work.

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    You should absolutely accept sponsorships! You are publicizing products and providing advertising for them! I don’t know why anyone would resent your getting an income for your work. Thank you for sharing your talent and creativity with us.

  • Reply
    A Balch Too
    May 7, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    After finding you through Adventures in Renovating a Brooklyn Limestone, I was immediately hooked on Making It Lovely. After I finally got around to reading your bio I jumped up when I read you married a Balch! We’re pretty damn special and if I say so myself.

    I’ve always been so impressed with how generous and positive the people who follow you and comment are. It is a testament to how well your lovely personality comes out in your posts. Just know that you are a true talent and that is why we all check in to read you every day.

    Oh and by the way …my gorgeous dining table and chairs? AmEx Rewards.

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    At the end of the day, aren’t you just finally achieving the Americal dream of being in the enviable position of being paid to do what you love?
    Ignore the knockers. They are envious that they haven’t got there yet.
    Your blog is fun and just what I like. And, obviously, just what a lot of others like too.
    Stick to your guns, girl, and go with your heart. It’s served you well thus far!

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    You go girl! You are such an inspiration to me, I would love to find a way to earn a living doing what I am passionate about!

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    I’m sure you will just use the American Express (does that say corprate greed or what?) to buy more stuff for your house, but if you happened to support some charities, or even once mention a good cause then I’ll be shocked.

    Do something good.

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    I can’t believe people would even think it were ok to criticise you on how you run YOUR blog! If they don’t like it, they don’t have to read it.

    I found your blog while you were doing the BHG porch makeover. I guess you could say that was sort of a sponsored project, but I don’t think anything was lost in your posts then, or now. I love your blog and if you can get some compensation or help so that you can do more projects around your home, then great! MOST of us will love seeing what you do, regardless of where you get the money to do it.

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    It’s your blog, you can do whatever you want with it.

    I think they’re just jealous that their blog isn’t awesome enough to earn a living with.


  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Keep up the great work, Nicole! I am thrilled that you are being recognized (and rewarded) with this opportunity to share your decorating talents. I appreciate that you called it a Sponsored Project (right in the headline), which aptly demonstrates your commitment to transparency that you described here. Your honesty and genuine enthusiasm for what you post has always been evident to this reader/fan, and I applaud you for standing up for your efforts!

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    i LOVE your blog.
    I’ve always found that negative comments challenge my thinking and make me a better person in the end. You handled this perfectly, and I hope that as a result you feel great inside!

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    i have been reading your blog for sometime but have never commented. i wanted to comment now and let you know how much i enjoy your creativity in your home in your clothes in your life. i have even more respect for you because you offer transparency. many blogs now have a commercial element and personally i think its fine, if the writer is transparent and sticks to the values they communicate through their blog. peace.

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    your blog is great, your ideas are great, you are great. keep it up- you always have a faithful reader in me!

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    Love you blog! I have to admit when I read about your dilemma it reminded me of the comedian Kat Williams bit about haters. If don’t mind some strong language search for haters on Youtube and prepare to laugh…

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    You have a great blog and yes, it does take A LOT of time to make it looks as effortless as you do.
    Plus-you’ve got bills to pay too!

    Re: above comment: Wow Ash – what’s with the venom? You don’t have to read the blog if you don’t want to!

    Keep up the good work, Nicole!

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    Love your blog! I was excited when I read about the sponsorship opportunity. You have a beautiful home and family, you work hard to keep it all together and share it w/ us, your “fans”. I respect that your voice is, and will remain, authentic. I would much rather read your blog than those of bloggers who purport to be one thing or another, yet never showcase what it is they claimed to have done in their “career”. The net makes it possible for everyone to be whatever fanciful claim they so desire. You, I find very genuine. So best of luck to you with this, and other wonderful things which come your way!

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    I agree with you 100% You do a lovely job in this blog and if you can have income thru it, is the best! I think choosing what you advertise is wise and it makes it still personal cause not it will still have your touch Thanks so much sharing!!

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    of course it is your decision if you want to accept freebies or ads but i wish you had declared more openly that in fact you were. for someone reading it quickly it was not not really clear which became obvious when several people asked you if you were working with a sponsor. i don’t mind blogs getting commercialized and i understand why you do it but i wish for complete transparency in the cases that you accept freebies or something else. i think that was what mostly irritated your readers that you didn’t declare that you were working with a sponsor but that your post sounded like an ad nontheless.

  • Reply
    Amanda Fuller | Calico and Co
    May 7, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    I think it is totally awesome that you are able to derive some sort of income from your blog – I’d love to be at that point someday. I know some people blog just for blogging sake, but if you have the opportunity to turn blogging into a business or to earn money from it then surely that can only be a good thing. To make money from doing something you love is the ultimate dream isn’t it? I don’t understand people who are against this. They wouldn’t have an issue with someone making money with any other kind of business I’m sure. This is just a sign of our times – the world is online and so new business opportunities are being created online everyday.

    Good on you!

  • Reply
    Amy Awesome
    May 7, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Okay, so despite the fact that I read that post the first time around, I managed to either forget or entirely miss that it’s a sponsored project. To me that shows that it didn’t sound like ad copy or forced, or anything else the negative voices said. Anyway, I think your blog is one of the best out there, if not THE best and you deserve any good stuff it brings your way. Plus, if I were in your shoes, you better believe I’d be all about the freebies. Do the naysayers not realize how hard you work?! Rock it, lady!

  • Reply
    Monica A
    May 7, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    You’re doing good! I think is awesome that you have this sponsorship opportunity. You and your blog are very inspiring!

  • Reply
    Holly Marie Gibbs
    May 7, 2010 at 11:07 pm


    Your wonderful blog is both filled with original, carefully-chosen material and inspirational to those of us who would like our blogs to make a difference to our readers and have an impact on the lives of others. Those who criticize you and your decisions can’t possibly understand what it takes to work full time as both a mother & wife and (almost full time!) as a professional blogger, designer, web developer, creative maven, etc. You are an inspiration to me, and I am confident that you inspire thousands of readers on a daily basis. And you know what? Good for you. You should be doing nothing less than celebrating and enjoying every ounce of success and well-deserved support you’ve received.

  • Reply
    alexandra keller
    May 7, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    i started my blog because i opened a shop on etsy, and i read that it was the thing to do. before then, i never understood why people blogged and why would anyone want to read it? while i don’t ever see myself blogging on a daily basis or for an income, be proud of what you’ve accomplished (cheers for childcare!) and i can’t wait to see what you do with the bedroom!

  • Reply
    May 7, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    You go girl!

  • Reply
    Vicki @ Piccolo Takes All
    May 8, 2010 at 12:25 am

    The thing that bothers me eons more than ads or sponsorships, is when people write comments on other people’s blogs and at the end of it, they paste a “signature” with their own blog or shop address. Seriously tacky, people.

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 1:53 am

    I am a reader of your blog for about 1 year and I enjoy it immensely. Among the things I most admire is
    a. your writing style. One (quite popular) blog in particular makes me want to scream with the cutesy writing style.
    b. you only post when you have something meaningful to say. It may mean more than one post on a day or several days without posting. I stopped reading one blog because of frequent (2 daily minimum) postings that felt forced.
    c. you have very varied postings which keeps it fresh and interesting.

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 2:49 am

    Just wanted to write another note of support. You have an amazing blog. Keep it up and don’t let a few negative comments get you down.

  • Reply
    Paty fontes
    May 8, 2010 at 3:14 am

    People like freebies. I am a knitter, and lots of people want wonderful great patterns for free. They dont think in the amount of time spent by someone else in order to have that done. I believe people should be rewarded. you put so much effort on that, you deserve to have your compen$ation. Otherwise, I am sure you will be starting to focus on something else and we will be blogless here! you have totally my support!!!!!

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 3:58 am

    Dear Nicole,
    your blog is lovely and I will read it with or without advertising. I’ve been enjoying it for about two years, and I like your private stories but also all the links you kindly share with all your readers.
    I am happy you can get an income for your blog, it’s fair, as it’s obvious you spend lots of time making your “makingitlovely” as it is.
    Congratulations, you’re doing a great job.

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 4:47 am

    you go girl! the fact that you stated it honestly and clearly, and am only working with them because you stand by their products is good enough for me!

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 5:20 am

    Nicole I love your blog and I am fine with your being sponsored, ESPECIALLY if it means more content and that said content might be even more fabulous because it’s being subsidized.

    Especially since you have another little person in the house now I can’t believe there isn’t already more advertising here.

    I love your blog and will continue to read, regardless of who sponsors you. I appreciate your writing and I appreciate a company willing to foot the bill for you to do so, so that I don’t have to. :)

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 6:03 am

    Bravo for getting paid for what you love doing! It is what so many of us crave.

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 6:13 am

    All those people who are against what you are doing must not really comprehend the effort you put in to this blog. I love it and cant wait to see what you have posted. I only wish I could have sponsors asking me for my opinions and ideas. I think you are talented and deserve it. Don’t be offended by those purists. I have a young child who demands all of my time and I haven’t written on my blog for months so I understand how much time goes into putting it up there, regardless of if you get help or not. Keep at it :) cant wait to see how you decorate your room…my bedroom is the most neglected room of our house, so I hope you can inspire me.

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 6:50 am

    Amen, good for you, i’m really jelous and happy for you!!!!Being a (good) blogger takes A LOT of time and we read it for free, so you have the right to paid for this job, because, in case anybody havent realise this, this is a job. And I completly trust your criterion to choose or reject an sponsor, so good for you. All my support

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 6:51 am

    Amen, good for you, i’m really jelous and happy for you!!!!Being a (good) blogger takes A LOT of time and we read it for free, so you have the right to get paid for this job, because, in case anybody havent realise this, this is a job. And I completly trust your criterion to choose or reject an sponsor, so good for you. All my support

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 7:10 am

    Tell it like it is :). I was actually crushing on your bedroom. I think it’s lovely. I can’t wait to see the room transformed!

  • Reply
    Stacy/InkSpot Workshop
    May 8, 2010 at 7:12 am

    Well Said! By the way…. NOBODY works for FREE! in order to keep this wonderful blog afloat and allow you to give us the content we ♥ it is necessary, end of story!

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 7:28 am

    I just want to give you props for the classy way you handle things here.

    Blogging takes a lot of time and energy and with the quality and frequency of content you put out, you deserve to be reimbursed for it.

    I don’t think any of the posts you’ve written that have mentioned a product/company (either paid or not) has ever been done in a way that comes across as pushy or tacky. Sadly, I can’t say the same about a lot of other blogs.

    I think you’ve been done a fine job and it shows. Keep up the good work!

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 8:26 am

    You do a great job! If you recommend a company or product, I’m sure it’s great so thank you for being selective in who you choose. Your home and blog are beautiful, and I always look forward to your posts and design insight. Really, one of my favorite blogs.

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 8:29 am

    What is wrong with people? I love this blog and get a lot of inspiration from it. I also find it a beautiful, calming oasis in my crazy, busy world. I’m SO happy that you are able to earn income from it. Some people have no idea how much work something like this takes or for that matter how long one has to work at something like this BEFORE they begin to earn some sort of compensation.
    Please do not let the naysayers steal your fabulous and creative energy. It’s beautiful here and I sincerely appreciate each day the effort it takes to create “making it lovely.” Many thanks.


  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 8:30 am

    ohhhh blog away and get as many sponsors as you can. you deserve it! you should also feel honored that people want to advertise with you, it is their way of telling you how much they value what you do!

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Regular reader, rare commenter here….I love that blogs are like magazines…except that I don’t have to buy them and then look through page after page (after page) of advertisement to get to the paltry content. Your blog is wonderful, and your advertising is subtle and never gets in the way of the (wonderful) content. Thank you for all the hard work you do for ME. I hope you make a freaking fortune!

  • Reply
    Melissa Allam
    May 8, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Oh my goodness, I didn’t know there was such controversy about blog adds. I say if you are fortunate enough to have people who want to advertise on your blog then by all means you should. I know blogging takes alot of time and alot of work and if you can get a little compensation for all that hard work the better. Good for you and I love your blog.

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 10:04 am

    You shouldn’t have to justify what you do – you have a beautiful blog that is earning you income – good for you! its time people realize this is a very, very tough economy- many, many people are still out of work. So, if you can be creative and find avenues of income, it really is no different than say, Avon or Mary Kay or something of that nature. I love my blog and I would love to create an avenue of income if I am to devote the time to it that you mention. It is work coming up with ideas and posts…be true to yourself…you know why you do what you do…xx

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 10:05 am

    PS: I wholeheartedly agree with Melissa’s comment above mine!!

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 10:31 am

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with turning all the hard work of blogging into a career. And, typically, that means accepting advertising dollars. Advertisements like the ones confined in banners along the top or margins of a blog are fine. Their purpose is clear and the reader has the option of ignoring or clicking as she/he wishes.

    I am, however, troubled by advertisements disguised as posts. And that’s exactly what started this controversy. I had to do a double-take as I read the previous post. At first I thought, ‘oh, cool. PinkLovesBrown is redoing her bedroom. Can’t wait to see what she comes up with.’ And then I realized, ‘oh, PinkLovesBrown is redoing her bedroom at the behest of a company and will be cherry-picking the items she features in a blatant and cynical attempt to get me to spend my money to enrich said corporation.’ Please excuse me for stating the obvious, but that *is* going to alter the voice of this blog. And it *is* a qualitatively different transaction from a simple exchange of money for ad space confined to the ad banner.

    PinkLovesBrown– It’s obvious from the relentlessly rosy comments contained in this thread that you’ll be deleting this post as soon as your eyes fall on it. So, I’ll just say directly to you that I’m offended by the advertisement-in-disguise and I’m even more offended by your refusal to allow dissenting opinions to remain in what should be a forum for open discussion. I was about to place an order for the cat-eye glasses stationery for my sister’s birthday. But I’m no longer willing to do business with someone who has so little respect for her buyers and readers. You just lost a fan and a customer.

    • Reply
      May 8, 2010 at 11:23 am

      That’s it. Nicole is too gracious to respond to this sort of comment, and I told myself I wouldn’t get involved, but Nicole is my friend and the assumptions need to stop.

      Never, not once, has Nicole deleted a comment on this post or any other. People have assumed that she has and (based on an assumption made by a random comment on this post!) have already found her guilty without the benefit of anything like, you know, facts. What, are we in a Kafka novel now?

      Those of you convinced of Nicole’s tyrannical comment policy have failed to consider the obvious. Perhaps there is a relentless number of rosy comments because the majority agrees with Nicole. It’s called Occam’s Razor. Read up on it.

    • Reply
      May 9, 2010 at 9:32 pm

      Just have to mention that bloggers are now (or will soon be) bound by FTC guidelines/regulations which require them to disclose any sponsorships, gifts, freebies and the like when it is mingling with content. I’m pretty sure that Nicole did just that when she said that “announcing a new sponsored project.” So if you think that she “disguised this as a post” then maybe you shouldn’t be buying cat-eye glasses stationery but rather glasses for yourself.

      Nicole. Rock on!

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 10:39 am

    good for you on two counts. one – it’s great that you’re able to make the blog pay. and two – it’s even greater that you took a crummy reaction to a sponsored project (i didn’t notice a different ‘tone’ in your post) and elegantly addressed the underlying issue of the ethics behind monetizing a blog. that’s why you have such a large and loyal following.

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 10:50 am

    I found the negative comments intriguing. I was hearing a lot of “I am a victim” in them. Be an adult – if you don’t like a sponsored blog post, don’t read it.

    from a fellow blogger – who is working hard on becoming more emotionally mature.

  • Reply
    Marmalade House
    May 8, 2010 at 10:57 am

    i think there is definitely a difference between random ugly ads for toilet paper/life insurance/aesthetically displeasing junk and the adorable companies you prefer advertising for. many of them sell such lovely things and i never would have discovered them without your blog! what is wrong with people? you are not a nonprofit charity and reading your blog ad free is not their god given right. if they want your blog to be ad free, how about they pay your utilities or come babysit for you? >:(

  • Reply
    Marmalade House
    May 8, 2010 at 10:58 am

    that being said, please don’t ever turn out like YHL. :x

    • Reply
      May 10, 2010 at 9:15 am

      I agree! Way overboard at YHL. Please don’t turn out like them. I actually encouraged my friends to read your blog and vote for you on the BHG porch project last year because I respected your responsible use of advertising over theirs.

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 11:45 am

    I love your blog, and can see how much time, care, discrimination goes into each post. Some people just have to “steal your joy”. Can’t wait to see your next project from start to finish. Press on, Nicole.

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 11:55 am

    you DO NOT have to apologise or even clarify. i love your blog and many do too. As long as you do not make readers pay, i will continue to come. i might still come if i need to pay though :)

    i love your advertisers, links, recommendations etc and if anyone thinks that you shouldn’t get rewarded for blogging, they shouldn’t visit!

    don’t let these ‘sour grapes’ get to you!

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    It is called business, people. If you came to this site thinking that it wasn’t, you’re not very bright. I knew from the lucky moment I found this blog that it was attached to her business site. What is the big deal? If you don’t want to read something you feel may be “tainted” by commercialism, then just move on. You don’t have to be negative, you just have to be a grown-up. I’m pretty sure that Nicole is a mature and smart-enough woman to not allow a corporation to fill her home with ceramic elephants or turn her living room into an Edith Wharton nightmare. She is very clear about what is sponsored and what isn’t. In the current economy, I feel that negativity surrounding any ability to make money to support one’s family is selfish and petty.

  • Reply
    Mary G
    May 8, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    I think its clear that you have more supporters than naysayers. I for one, think that you have found a wonderful and creative way to make a living. Good for you…and good for you for standing up for yourself. Woohoo!!!

  • Reply
    Mary G
    May 8, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Man…some people are just angry…I just read more of these…the hell with ‘m. People lash out when they are jealous. Just wish them the best and move on.

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    First of all, it is YOUR blog and you can do whatever you want with it…and if you can make some money from it, you should. Second, I love your blog…I am so inspired, I love the visual presentation, and I’ve even shown it to friends when they have been looking for ideas. Please, keep up the good work and have fun with your new project. I can’t wait to see it!

  • Reply
    Marie Pier
    May 8, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Don’t EVER be ashame to make money out of your blog. You work for it girl and it works!

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Keep doing what you’re doing, so many people love your blog, and I hope you don’t listen to the people that are putting negative comments up!

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    Just wanted to add my full support Nicole.

    There is nothing wrong with what you’re doing and people who don’t like it should just move on and get a life.

    Lots of love,

    Keep it up girl, we’re behind you all the way :)

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    I have been a long time reader and usually just stand back on the sidelines reading. But I feel compelled to tell you that I love your blog and you have a long established reputation of well curated posts that you write because you believe in their content. I would never have thought twice about any sponsorship you receive, but of course… there are silly people out there. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I appreciate what you take the time to write and how you stay true to yourself.

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    I have never commented on any of your posts, although since being on maternity leave 8 months ago I have followed all of your postings! I do not think that you should apologize or hesitate in any way for accepting sponsorship of your blog. You are lucky to have found a way to make a living from something that you love and that should be commended!

  • Reply
    Liz @ Violet Posy
    May 8, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Someone just shared your post on my google reader and it made me so sad I had to comment. It’s your blog to do with as you wish and no one has the right to tell you what to do with it. You have bills to pay and unless they want to pay them for you, then they have no say.

    I look forward now to reading more of your blog and adding it to my reader. Good luck with your new sponsor x

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    I love your site and your wonderful sense of style. This post was well put, keep up the great work!

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Clearly you deserve to make money writing your blog! The amount of original content and design you develop is breathtaking to anyone with a clue. Most people have no idea how much work this all is. It is a job. One that you enjoy- but isn’t that the point of life?

    I do think it was good that you wrote this post. After I read the American Express post the other day, I did think to myself, “wow, she’s got big time sponsorship”. It definitely stood out from your regular posts. It didn’t turn me off, but I can see how it might for some people. So, I think it’s good you took the time to share with readers your approach to the behind the scenes aspect of how you run your blog.

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    I read your blog every week and I’m a huge fan. I think it’s amazing that you can make a living off your blog and I have a ton of respect for what you’ve done. It’s inspiring! Keep it up!
    For every negative comment, I’m sure you have tons more positive ones. If you can make money off of the blog that you work so hard to maintain, then GO FOR IT! Why shouldn’t you jump on those opportunities? You deserve them. Thanks for brightening up my weeks with your awesome blog!

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    I’m really bothered by the tone of the comments on this post.

    I was mildly put off by the Amex post because it felt too much like reading an ad. I didn’t bother to post on that thread because it is Nicole’s choice what she posts and how she uses advertising. But if the voice of the blog shifted into that of the Amex post, I’d probably stop reading.

    The handful of people who have posted that they didn’t like the Amex post are really being attacked as ungrateful haters. I would bet that a lot of people who didn’t like the Amex post aren’t commenting because they don’t want to be attacked. Which I think creates a missed opportunity. This could be a chance for Nicole to think about the best way to integrate advertising while keeping readers happy. Increasing advertising won’t increase profits if readers go way down.

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    I really enjoy your website. I see a variety of companies mentioned on here and I don’t feel that I am required to patronize those vendors. I simply enjoy your blog for the ideas it represents. I would not change a thing. I look forward to checking in daily and am disappointed when there is not a new post!!! Keep doing what you do so well!

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Nicole, I have followed your site for some time now and it always brings me such joy. I don’t think you need to explain yourself at all or second guess your decision to monetize your blog. You put such hard work into this blog and it shows. Keep up the amazing job, and don’t listen to the criticism. Thanks for bringing a bit of eye candy to my day each time I check in here.

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