The day has finally arrived. I just finished removing all Google Adsense ads from StevePavlina.com. This includes the blog, the forums, and all other pages on the site. Unless I missed something, there should be no more Adsense ads showing anywhere on this website.
For long-term readers, this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. I mentioned previously that one of my goals was to remove all third-party ads from StevePavlina.com by the end of 2008. By “third-party” I’m referring to ads that advertisers have purchased for display on this website, advertisers that I have no direct relationship with and don’t personally recommend.
I’ve been making this transition over a period of several months, mainly because I wanted to wait until all my existing ad commitments had expired (i.e. if someone paid for 3 months of advertising up front). The only ads I sold direct (as opposed to using an advertising service like Adsense) were some text link ads, so I stopped accepting new advertisers and then waited for the existing ad terms to run out, declining all renewals after that.
I still have some image ads currently showing in the sidebar, but those are only for products I personally recommend. I also think they’re pretty unobtrusive, as none of them are embedded within the content portion of any articles. I may eliminate those ads too by replacing them with a recommended products page.
How will this affect my income?
The majority of my income currently comes from joint-venture promotions, which is a profit-splitting arrangement with people whose products I recommend. Adsense hasn’t been my top income generator for more than two years. However, up until today I was still earning many thousands of dollars a month from Adsense, so this income certainly wasn’t negligible. I could have lived comfortably off nothing but my Adsense income if I wanted to.
By dropping Adsense and text link ads with no immediate replacement, I’m giving up a good chunk of change. We’re talking in excess of $100,000 per year just from those two sources. And this is easy, fairly stable, passive income that goes straight into my bank account month after month.
I was originally planning to wait until closer to the end of the year to make this transition, mainly because I wanted to have a new income source to replace what I was losing. But then I had one of those “Ah, screw it” moments and realized that I was just procrastinating. I figured that if I dumped all the advertising income, my creativity and inspiration would come up with something new.
Another thing that pushed me over the edge was reading the Courage chapter of my own book. It became clear to me that the “path with a heart” was to drop the advertising income first and then have some fun being in that space of, “What am I going to do now?”
Why did I do this?
Maybe I’m doing this just to confuse the Internet marketers who still mistakenly assume I run my business with profit as my primary motive.
In truth there are a number of reasons I’m doing this, and they don’t have much to do with money.
One reason for this change is that generating income from selling advertising just doesn’t resonate with me anymore. I’m totally bored with it. I feel a strong desire to drop it and move on to something new.
I also felt that many of the ads being served up were a bit too Cro-Magnon relative to the ideas I’ve been blogging about. It seemed rather lame to write an article on Oneness and then see ads for money-making schemes next to it. Even worse was when fast food ads popped up next to an article about the raw food diet. I quickly banned the objectionable ads of course, but lately I found myself feeling increasingly disconnected from most of the ads that were being displayed. I don’t want to generate income in a manner that makes me feel disconnected.
Sucking the advertising teat has become too easy and comfortable for me. And being too comfortable makes me uncomfortable. It makes me restless for new challenges. I’m an Aries after all, not a Taurus.
This may sound a bit odd to you, but I think the biggest single factor in making this move was my shift to a 100% raw vegan diet earlier this year. Once I went 100% raw, the subtle signals from my intuition became louder and clearer. Acting on these intuitive sensations has been causing massive ripples of change throughout all parts of my life. Dropping advertising from my website is just one of many things I’m doing to bring my external reality into better alignment with the new person I’ve become on the inside.
I also think that nuking the advertising from this site improves the quality of the service I can deliver. The site is now less cluttered and more streamlined, and there are fewer distractions from the content. That feels good to me.
I’m not sure if these reasons make much sense to you, but this is the truth. Any other reasons you project onto this change in direction are likely coming from you, not from me.
This might sound a bit crazy, but I just want to enjoy this plunge in income for a while. I want to fully experience this time of having a site that better represents the real me. I want to see what new synchronicities flow into my life as a result of this change.
My intuition is just buzzing with the feeling that some amazing new opportunities are coming up (not necessarily financial ones), and I’m having so much fun listening out for the doorbell.
Sure, I have some ideas for what I might do next. I shared some of those plans and ideas in previous blog posts. But for now I want to remain open to what triggers my intuition and inspires my imagination.
Am I worried or stressed about dumping thousands of dollars in easy monthly income? Not a bit. I feel totally at peace with this new direction, even though I can’t quite see where it will lead.
Given the choice between having an extra $100K per year of free money vs. becoming the kind of person who can kill off that much income without fear or worry, I’m grateful that I can look in the mirror and see a guy that can make the latter choice, simply because he knows he’s following the path with a heart.