Heyyyy, an offer of $300 to write a post on my own site here at Get FIRE’d! And I’ve been doing this for nothing since the beginning. Now someone wants to pay me for my work. But hang on a minute, what’s the catch?
It’s true. The other day I received an email from a reputable marketing company asking me whether I’d write an article for my blog that could incorporate some mention of their client and how using their services could benefit my readers. Has anyone else heard of this?
It’s all quite legitimate as what it does is improve the client’s internet search engine ranking by providing backlinks from various blog articles to their site. This in turn is recognised by search engines, such as Google and Bing, as giving their site an improved level of credibility and thereby boosting them up the rankings.
So by employing a few bloggers to write about how using the type of service they offer can be of benefit, and happening to mention that, “oh, ABC Company is a great place to find out more”, the client’s website suddenly sees a jump in internet hits which in turn boosts their search engine rankings and therefore pushes them onto the first page you see when you do a search.
And for writing a suitable article and posting it here for you, dear readers, they will pay me $300. Now since it takes me around three or so hours to write and post an article, that’s a sweet 100-bucks an hour which seems like a pretty sweet rate for something I’m already doing, eh!
So did I take it? Nope. Their client turns out to be a company that specialises in providing online finance for suckers out there who feel the need to take out a loan to buy motor vehicles and other expensive leisure toys. And we should all know by now that if you have to finance anything, besides your home, you can’t really afford it. Just read Millennial Money Man’s latest article to understand why.
As tempting as it was to take their money, and quite possibly the opportunity for future assignments, I politely declined the offer.
And it’s not the first time I’ve limited the revenue-making opportunities for this site. If you look to the right of this article, you’ll see some ads that I’ve incorporated into the site to hopefully make a few bucks to help pay the running costs of my blog. I say hopefully because to date, I have made the sum total of AU$6.71. At this stage I’m not making any big plans to spend it.
Now one of the ads is an affiliate link which means that if you click on it and sign up for the services offered, I will collect a small commission for referring you to them (so don’t hold back).
The other is a Google AdSense ad which pays me a cent or two when you click on it. If you don’t know how AdSense works, the ads shown here are different for every user as they are selected by Google based on your browsing and searching history. For example, you begin researching airline fares for your upcoming trip to Hawaii and good old Google will start populating this space with ads for airlines, hotels, travel insurance and anything else that they consider may be helpful to your trip planning. And good old Google get paid a referral fee from the advertisers if you click through to their site and make a purchase.
Anyway, when setting up AdSense, you are given the option of excluding different categories of ads from being shown on your site. Since this blog is all about reaching financial independence, I made the decision to exclude categories that were aimed at giving you options to extend your working life by a few more years tempting you with more ways to throw your hard earned stash away on frivolous, wasteful spending.
So out went ‘Cosmetic Procedures and Body Modification’, ‘Get Rich Quick’ (yes, it is a category), ‘Online Gambling’, and several others that I fundamentally don’t believe in.
Have I thrown away the opportunity to make some easy extra bucks? Yes. Am I concerned? Definitely not. Perhaps if this little extra income was standing between me and poverty, I’d quite possibly throw my moral high-ground to the side and scream “sign me up”, but as you know from previous posts, making money is no longer one of my prime drivers since I became financially independent. Any extra money I earn now is what is sometimes referred to as ‘F%#k You’ money. Why? Because when you have enough money to call yourself financially independent, you are free to say ‘F%#k You’ to needing more money than you already have. Waving a few dollars under my nose to promote a service that I don’t agree with is not going to convince me to promote something that goes against the principals of my blog.
What could be a better use of Fuck You Money, then to actually say Fuck You (politely) in a situation where it counts so much? What better definition of the word “Badassity”, than the willingness to stand up and refuse to erase it from your own website, even in the face of mind-numbing financial consequences!? – Mr Money Mustache
It was never my intention to develop this blog as an income producing monster. I read around 20 other FI blogs regularly and comparing my modest income of $6.71 to the hundreds and sometime thousands of dollars a month their blogs are creating, I have certainly reached this goal. But in saying that, if I can create a little extra on the side, perhaps enough to cover my blogging costs I wouldn’t say no. But not if it conflicts with the underlying principals of why I write this blog in the first place.
What do you think, readers? Have I made the right decision? Honour before dollars. Or bugger it, just take the money? What would you have done? Don’t worry, your answers can be anonymous if you choose.