Interested in Advertising on The Non-Consumer Advocate?

by Katy on January 25, 2013 · 27 comments

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting up with my friend Damaris, who after a zillion years in New York has moved back to Portland. As is our custom, our conversation was both loud and practically without pause for breath. It’s always been this way, even when we haven’t seen each other for years.

I love it.

She was asking about the blog, and I had to laugh, sharing that I seem to write the only well respected and successful blog that makes next to no money. Yes, I have the Blogher ads, but those companies have not specifically chosen to ply their wares with me. I have a sponsorship page that explains my rates and acceptance policy, but like the awkward girl from your high school, no one asks her to dance.

Even though The Non-Consumer Advocate receives between 71,000 and 162,000 hits per month, and will likely top 100,000 for the month of January.


Don’t get me wrong, I get tons of offers for guests posts; as well as companies and organizations that want me to plug their product or service. But no one ever wants to fork over any cash for the privilege.

I try not to care too much. My job as a labor and delivery nurse is both satisfying and well paying. But I admit to a hard knot of envy when I see the pretty and profitable ads on other people’s blogs. (Just take a quick look at all the ads on SouleMama!)

I enjoyed being able to give out free Etsy ads for the month of December, and I think 65 sellers took advantage of the offer. I asked for nothing in return, and although I meant to send out a follow-up e-mail with a special advertising rate, it somehow hasn’t happened yet.

So here I sit, the prettiest girl who never gets asked to dance.

Are you interested in advertising on The Non-Consumer Advocate? Do you have a product or service that would appeal to the conscious consumer crowd?

Click HERE to read about advertising on The Non-Consumer Advocate.

And make this wallflower a happy dancer.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Twitter.
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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Joy @ Joyfully Green January 25, 2013 at 10:09 am

Katy, I’m glad you brought up this topic, because I’ve been wondering about this very issue for my own blog. How do you reconcile advertising products on a blog that is about non-consumerism? (This is an honest question and has no snottiness factor about it–I deal with non-consumerism and minimalism–among other environmental topics–and I’m trying to figure it all out myself for the future of my blog.) I know that a lot of green bloggers will accept green product advertising (being careful not to accept the green-washed products, I would hope), but I’m just not so sure about the whole advertising thing, because I don’t want to send the message that the answer is to buy, buy, buy.


Katy January 25, 2013 at 10:47 am

I have turned down a number of advertising opportunities for credit cards, etc. And I just have to laugh about some of the Blogher ads that have shown up. (“V Talk” for douches?!)

However, I have put a huge amount of work into this blog, day in, day out for almost six years, and would like to have more money coming in.

I would love to have Goodwill or Value Village ads some similar. There are companies that would dovetail nicely with my message.



Joy @ Joyfully Green January 25, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Thanks very much for your thoughts on it. I completely understand that blogging is a ton of work, and I admire that you’ve been at it for six years running. I’ve only been at it for six months and know already what a big time commitment it is, especially with family and other commitments thrown into the mix. I’m just trying to figure out the monetization angle while keeping in line with my overall vision. (I’m hoping this is a topic that is heavily addressed at the upcoming BlogHer convention.)

A green blog that I love (LittleEcoFootprints) struggled with the same dilemma and finally decided to barter for goods that she needed and would be buying anyway (no cash, just the products). But everybody is in a different boat, so I’m not judging–just researching the available options.

I’m always on the lookout for good suggestions on monetizing a blog, so I appreciate this discussion very much. (Thanks, Rebecca and Maureen, for chiming in.)


AnnDenee January 25, 2013 at 11:42 am

Diva cups would be a good tie-in, as would GW and any other local thrift shops. I can even see how a specific item, like the keurig personal cup, which is reusable, would fit in.

If someone specialized in clothes lines and clothes pins, that would totally tie in too! Oh, and clothes drying racks!

It is definitely a niche market, but I suspect the loyalty would be nearly 100%!


Rebecca January 25, 2013 at 10:32 am

When I get my online store up and full of fair-trade, organic, handmade bow ties, I’ll let you know 😉

Joy–it’s about being thoughtful with your purchases, and if that’s what you say in your blog, and you choose advertisers who are ethical/local/whatever, I don’t think you’re sending conflicting messages.


Katy January 25, 2013 at 10:47 am

Sounds fun!



Maureen January 25, 2013 at 10:48 am

On the other hand, there are things we need and do buy. To be able to learn about & access sites that can help my family & I make better choices and find products that I need that combine quality, value & fair prices in a non-consumer conscious environment- I’m up for that! And there is the matter that your blog is valuable to me & many others. A workman is worthy of his wage and I would like to see this blog continue for us and for you to receive a fair compensation for your time and effort which are very valuable commodities.


AnnDenee January 25, 2013 at 11:43 am

You could even add one of those “if you want to continue seeing this blog, please donate” buttons.


violetcrone January 26, 2013 at 10:35 am

I would donate in a heartbeat to keep reading your blog. This is a great idea.


Katie January 26, 2013 at 8:53 pm

I’d donate, too. You could call it “Katy’s Tip Jar”. 🙂 I appreciate the service you provide in writing this blog and providing space for community discussion. Being able to donate something to you now and again is a way I could support what you do without buying “stuff” from a sponsored ad.

(I am seriously considering buying some La Vie en Orange underpants, though – they look a lot like the comfy kind I used to buy and can’t find any more. Expensive compared to store-bought underpants, yes, but a fun luxury that’s in line with my values!)


AFS January 25, 2013 at 3:55 pm

it might be a little hard to attract customers by advertising on a blog that advocated for non-consumerism, just saying…


Katy January 25, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Yup, that’s the point. 😉



Sam January 25, 2013 at 4:13 pm

I’d suggest you make direct contact with some of the progressive “lifestyle” publications, like you see near the check stand at the organic markets. I’m thinking of magazines like the Utne Reader, Mother Jones, various organic grow publications, etc. That’s my two cents!


Kris-ND January 25, 2013 at 6:18 pm

I wonder if Mother Earth Magazine would be interested? They seem like they might be a good fit and they have online only subscriptions (along with print only and both) for those who don’t find purchasing a print subscription something they can/want to do.

Seems that the overall nature of your blog would mesh well with that family of magazines(they have several) and you would probably fit with them 😉


Barb January 25, 2013 at 8:26 pm

I liked the Etsy ads and I looked at the products but now I know that you didn’t charge for the ads. I shop on Etsy and try to support artists but the Etsy website can be overwhelming. The blog philosophy of “making do” should be attractive to a number of advertisers who sell products to DIY type folks. There is nothing wrong with wanting to get paid for your work!


Meaghan January 25, 2013 at 8:33 pm


If i had something to advertise I would definitely do it here!


Laure January 26, 2013 at 6:19 am

A plug for one of your advertisers — I have a pair of underwear from La Vie en Orange and they are top-notch! It’s an etsy store that upcycles to make underwear from t-shirts (I believe they are new t-shirts so no ick factor, but we probably all have had the scores of free t-shirts somehow make it into our homes). They are perhaps a bit pricier than a clearance pair you could buy, and I admit I was a bit skeptical initially, but I’ve had them quite a while and the quality is just as awesome as the day I got them.
Incidentally, this is the PERFECT non-consumer product to buy — both upcycled and top quality so no need to quickly replace.

I don’t necessarily think products and non-consumerism are at odds — for example, yesterday I was searching the internet for small-sized popsicle molds, and many advertised had it in the description that purchasing them would eliminate the need to buy pre-made popsicles with all the accompanying packaging. Good point for a lot of things…


Laure January 26, 2013 at 6:25 am

One other idea — if you are a member of Swagbucks, if you add the swidget to your website, people would sign up through you — they’d get free $ for their internet searches — and the way it’s set up, when a referral signs up through you, you get points when they do (I believe up to $10 per referral). You can cash out through paypal, so it’s not “things” at all.


Katy January 26, 2013 at 9:04 am

I do already have a Swagbucks referral button. But I don’t get money for referrals, I get matched swag bucks for the first 1000 that the person earns. It’s not much.



Roberta January 26, 2013 at 8:11 am

Is there a seller of new harmonicas out there? Because none of us would buy a used harmonica? 😉


Adrienne January 26, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Hey Katy,

Please take this advice with a grain of salt as I have no direct experience with blog revenue but it sounds like this work (making the blog profitable) is something you should consider having someone else manage. I remember reading an article on Get Rich Slowly a while back about a woman who did this as her business (handle the revenue side for several blogs). I believe she took a % of the revenue so it sounded like a pretty low risk situation. Just my 2 cents (love the blog and want you to make more $$ from it).


Oma January 26, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Lots and lots of intricate odd photographs seems to be the norm of the more lucrative blogs.
Really enjoy your wit! Cant put that in a picture.


Katy January 26, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Not necessarily. Look at and



Mama Minou January 26, 2013 at 5:25 pm

What about GladRags? They are a Portland-based, woman-owned, awesome natural cloth menstrual pad company.


Diane January 27, 2013 at 11:12 am

I wonder if it is because advertisers may feel that audience you reach would not be apt to be buyers. I think your approach is different from SouleMama. Your focus is specifically on non consumerism. SouleMama blogs about her simple family life on the farm with an emphasis on living close to the earth, yet in the modern world. She also has several books and a magazine now.


Julie February 6, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Hey Katie!

I find your blog VERY inspirational – especially the thrift store makeover projects. Seems to me that a paint company sponsorship would be a natural fit for you. Yeah, I know you tell us you have a basement full of odds n ends of paint that you are thriftily using up…but I’m guessing most of us don’t have said basement full of treasures. Am I right, people? My experience with paint has been, uh, pretty awful. I’m colour challenged (remembering the deep yellow staircase that turned out tangerine…) and frankly, don’t want to spend time researching coverage etc. There are so many brands, and product lines within those brands, it has become very confusing out there. If a trusted, experienced makeover maven like you could recommend awesome quality paint and name the paint colours, and demonstrate what they can be used for, I, for one, would be totally appreciative! And I’ll bet others would be too!


Crystal February 7, 2013 at 5:08 am

1) Seek a sponsorship from Goodwill, Ace Hardware and any national companies you frequent fairly regularly in the form of $500 in giftcards (in $20 increments) every year in exchange for a perpetual ad on the blog and a guarantee of a twice a month mention with a link in the blog posts. If you don’t use all the credit, sell the giftcards on eBay.

2) Contact companies in advance of posting about them and ask if they would be willing to provide you with products to “raffle” off. At the end of the post, include a raffle with a PayPal link. A $1 donation from blog readers gets them entered into the raffle. Readers can donate more for more chances.

3) Accept “ads” in the form of giveaways from like-minded organizations and businesses in exchange for a duplicate of the giveaway item to keep for yourself. For example, Ball canning jars, Krylon spray paint, etc. (My non-profit, Flint Handmade, would be willing to do this.)

4) When you recommend a product, see if you can include a link to that product on If a reader clicks on the link and buys the product, see if Amazon will give you a % of the purchase price in the form of gift cards.

5) Do a monthly “Katy’s Top Five Tips for [Fill In the Blank]” post. Pick a different topic each month (e.g. drying clothes outside, selling your volunteer plants, posting on craigslist, etc.) At the end of the post, ask for “tips” (in the form of a donate button) in exchange for your tips.


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