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non vegan addvertisement on vbb forum


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I don't mind since this means non vegan companies are spending money advertising for a certain number of hits...if it hits us we don't buy...if it hits someone else they may buy...they are potentially loosing a ton of money on sites where people will never buy a product of theirs

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This is what I wrote previously. Note, an update an the end:


Thanks everyone for the feedback. I am making this a top priority because I know many people are bothered by the Google Ads. I am bothered by them as well, and it is something that needs to be addressed. I’m not content with how the Google Ads have worked out on our website forum and I’m working to create positive change.


Here is how it all began.


Every single aspect of Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness is funded by me. That includes keeping our 4 websites up and running, paying website designers to work on and maintain the websites, paying to host the websites, and other website related work. I also fund all the money/items given to athletes we sponsor, organize and pay for all of the events like the Vegan Vacation, the Vegan Holiday Festival and many other smaller events, buy all the t-shirts, ship things out, pay for all the advertising and marketing, and all the other things involved in Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness operations. And of course I should, it’s my company, my project, and my vision. I should be responsible for all the expenses involved. And I am.


Google Ads were brought to my attention by a friend of mine as a way to help pay for the website (hosting and website designer fees, etc.). They were an easy choice because it requires no work, time or energy from me, or from anyone else for that matter. They only generate or produce money for me (Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness) when they are clicked on, which requires pretty much no work from anyone else, just a simple click. If certain ads (like non-vegan ones) don’t get clicked on, there is a less likely chance they will show up again. No research for sponsors and trying to come up with agreed upon terms for cost of banner space, etc. was needed. That would require a ton of time and energy from someone, and I certainly don’t have the time, energy, or resources to pay someone who does have that time.


I was also under the impression that I could filter them to only be vegan-friendly ads, therefore actually helping to support our fellow vegan businesses, companies and organizations. The main attraction about the Google Ads for me was that it wouldn’t require any additional work, which many other methods would. I just don’t have the time anymore. Basically I signed up, filled out some sort of contract saying the Google Ads would be up there for X amount of time (a certain period required before I actually receive any funds from Google), and all the other work is taken care of by a computer system. At first, it seemed most ads were vegan related and I tried to filter out the non-vegan ones. Now, I realize it may be impossible to filter out all the non-vegan ads that show up.


Other methods such as asking for donations, won’t work for me. I’m not a 501 © (3) Non-Profit organization, and accepting donations from people can lead to problems, such as assumed ownership (“I donated X amount of money, therefore you should do things this way”).


I do really like the idea of putting up useful banners such as Vegan Essentials, Food Fight!, Moo Shoes, VegNews Magazine, and things like that along the forum sidebar, rather than the Google Ads. The problem is finding someone to create all the details including banner size, banner length of time being displayed, which pages it will be one, at what height of the page, how much the company will pay per click, or per month to be on our forum, etc. It can actually be a pretty big, detailed, and time-consuming project.


Could I put those banners up there for free? I don’t do website technical work. Therefore, I have to hire people to do all of these tasks for me. Some of my website designers have been with me since the beginning, so offering the job to a forum-member volunteer rather that those who helped create Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness and Robert Cheeke’s image, would be somewhat of a disrespectful move on my part.


I have also spent the last 5 years completely dedicated to promoting and growing Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness. I’ve spent all of my money, resources, time and energy on this, so to not put value on that, is unfair to me. I’m in a position now, where our reputation has grown so much because of an insane amount of work I put into it, that I can’t just give things out for free anymore. It is just unfair to me and totally overlooks what I’ve done over the past half decade, and even the 5 years before that leading up to starting my own company.


I am all about promoting other vegan companies, organizations, and individuals, and I do that everyday, for free. Google Ads were just a way to help me, as a struggling business owner, trying to make a difference and work for a worthy cause, make ends meet.


The ads didn’t turn out exactly as I had planned, but I’m not a bad guy, with bad motives. I’m just stuck at a crossroad and I’m working to resolve an issue that is a concern of many forum members, including myself. I do take your comments and feedback seriously. I understand that although I build the community, everyone here keeps it going and I want everyone here to be happy and trust that I will do what I can to work things out, the way they should be.


I am open to suggestions and more feedback. I’m sure after reading this many of you can understand where I’m coming from.


Thanks again for the continued support and understanding. I respect and value everyone's opinions.


Robert Cheeke




Now an Update:


I'm still making it a top priority, I just had to play a waiting game. I recieved my first check from Google on Monday. I planned on waiting until I actually recieved some money for having them up there for so long before removing them right away risking not getting paid at all.


I made about $200 which is very helpful for me. I struggle like everyone else, in fact probably more so. I owe a lot of money, I've collected beer and soda cans to turn in for 5 cents each. I go without buying food for a while to try to save money. I've had to ask for help from friends, family, etc. just to keep the website and myself going. Sure, I work full time (for a couple of jobs) and part-time doing additional jobs. I've produced a movie, a lot of clothing items, and have organized events (Vegan Holiday Festival was more than $11,000 to put on, and I'm still paying bills )


With the Google Ads I'm able to filter them, but I simply can't keep up. As I mentioned before, they are super sensitive to words. A funny example is in our recent relationship section about hairy or not. I opened up the thread and saw Google Ads for pubic hair removal So anytime milk or whey or eggs are mentioned, there is a chance an ad will come up.


Some can be quite helpful and that is how I learned about buy kind, and other vegan companies and organizations and products.


I don't want them here anymore than anyone else, but the fact is, this is a free site for everyone and everyone benefits from it. I have to pay to maintain it. I explained why I don't openly accept donations in my initial response above.


They only generate a bit of money per click, but monthly it adds up and helps me keep going.


Eventually I want to remove them and sell ad space on the forum. By frequency of posts, we are now currently the most popular vegan athlete forum in the world (as far as I know). This is the most active place online for vegan athletes and beleive me, I've spent countless hours over the past year and a half to build this place up. I'd like to sell ad space to vegan companies and but very tactful and nice looking ads and banners along the columns of the forum. The issue here is time. I don't have much of it. In my "down" time I post on the forum. I don't do anything else for fun. All other times, I'm busy and behind on projects (key examples; shape up challenge, my work with Vega, sponsoring athletes, etc.)


I'd like to write out all the contractual terms and conditions to sell banner space and remove the Google Ads program. Perhaps a lot more money can be made selling ads to Vegan Companies anyway.


If anyone would like to help with this process, please let me know.


I've exhausted myself over the past years trying to promote the Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness lifestyle and I don't have much left in me anymore. The Google Ads are just one way that helps me eat, train and try to support the bills that pile up, and the costs it takes to provide this amazing community to all of you for free.


I'll continue to do what I can to make progressive changes and I'll update the community.


I'm always open to suggestions and feedback. I never knew how hard it would be to filter ads to make them all appropriate. The nature of forums and the diversity of topics makes it impossible but I try to make it work the best I can.


Thanks for your concern. I share it as well.


All the best - Cheeke.

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