One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

ASK RONI Q&A

A Weight Loss Business in Disguise?

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I received a comment this morning that warrants a response in a post…

I have been reading your blog for a few months although I have looked forward to reading new ideas and such , lately I just feel your just trying to sell stuff. Are you here to help us stuggling with weight loss or is this a weight loss business in disguise?

My response…

Hi Liz – I’m glad you brought this up. As you may know by reading the blog regularly this is my full time job. So yes, I do try to make money with it although it is not my primary goal. If you read my about page I mention how I make money with the blog. I’ve never kept it a secret.

In the last week I mentioned MY t-shirts that, yes I am trying to sell them. They are products/designs that was inspired by my blog, my content and my son (who has been the inspiration for everything I’ve done.)

In the video you commented on I was asked (an no I didn’t make up the question) about vitatops. So I used the opportunity to mention the discount code I have with them.

In over 34 videos I have never tried to sell anything before. I’ve turned down countless ads from crap companies that want to use my blog to sell their products. I refuse to use pop-up ads. I refuse to use context ads (the kind where they highlight words in the posts.) I will never compromise my content, my thoughts and my beliefs for a dollar. This is also one of the reason I will not become a Weight Watchers leader. I don’t want to be forced to peddle their crap products.

My original goals for this blog has never changed and I never made that a secret either…

  1. To help ME lose/maintain my weight loss
  2. To share my experience/thoughts/insights to help others on their journey

In 3 years this blog (along with GreenLiteBites & BlogToLose) has turned into a business. I quit my full faculty position to make less money blogging because I love every minute of it. I love sharing my life and connecting with others. I love getting emails from people all over the world that say I helped them reach their goal. That I make a difference in their life. Honestly, it brings tears to my eyes every time I read thank you emails.

So no, my blog is not "a weight loss business in disguise", it is a business. And I don’t think there is any shame in that. I spend countless hours working on all my sites. It’s still just me, a girl, trying to maintain her loss, be the best she can be and carve her place on the planet. I have no employees, no help. I do it all. The programming, the design, the graphics, the writing, the ideas, the cooking, the video recording, the video editing, calculations for nutritional information, the accounting, EVERYTHING. I have never asked for a donation, a membership fee, I don’t even make you sign up to leave a comment. The only way for me to make any sort of compensation is through ads (and recently my t-shirts) and even then I’m selective as to how ads are placed.

Thank you again, Liz for the question and I hope this clarifies the situation for you. It’s 2 days before Christmas and I have some work to do before taking a few days off (something I rarely do now that I’m a blogger).

I welcome others opinions on the blog/making money conundrum. And if there are others pro-bloggers out their please chime in. As some of you may know blogging for a living is surprisingly a lonely gig as you make all these type of decisions alone.

As an attempt at a joke… I present to you my traditional end of post google ad… Click it and I make a whopping 2 cents! WHOO HOO! :~P



Leave a comment

I’d love to hear your story or thoughts on mine.

However, to prevent the massive amounts of spam I was receiving I have turned off comments on any post older than 5 days old. If you'd like to leave me a note regarding this post or anything really try me on twitter (@RoniNoone,) my Facebook page, or even IG (@RoniNoone) I'm so sorry for the inconvenience. I never thought I'd have to do this but it's gotten way out of hand and comment management has become simply too time consuming to manage.

Discussion

There are 74 comments so far.

    Sabrina

    December 23, 2008

    Girl I love your site!!! I for one don’t even think about the add’s. If something catches my eye I click on it…otherwise for me they’re just more decoration :)

    Keep it up you are truly an inspiration :)

    Lori

    December 23, 2008

    You go Roni!

    I truly love your site and anticipate your daily entries.

    You have inspired, helped, counseled, and cheered
    on the masses.

    I hope that you realize all the “GOOD” you do!

    For all that you do, I am eternally grateful.

    Rock on Sister!!!

    Mary

    December 23, 2008

    I have been reading your blogs for, gosh, a year now or so….and it has never occurred to me to even recognize your “peddling” as an attempt to run a business under the guise of a weight loss blog. I don’t feel like you are trying to sell us stuff, well, ME anyway. I think that there have only been two things that you have mentioned in regard to “selling” anything….and those are the tshirts which are new and a great idea…the other is the coupon code for vitamuffin stuff….and how is that selling us stuff? if we are going to buy some then why not save a little? anyway, i think you are doing great and am really greatful that you are willing to be a full time blogger!!

    bernie

    December 23, 2008

    oooh! the ad at the end of this post is selling a “sardine diet” to me. that sounds pretty good… or could it be my 5-month pregnant belly telling me that? anywho, happy holidays!

    Charlie Hills

    December 23, 2008

    Commerce is life. We all make money, we all spend money. And as much as we like to judge others on how they make and spend their money, the fact remains: we all do it in one form or another.

    It’s a bit unfair for us to collectively demand 24/7 diet support from her and then insist that she never earn a penny from it.

    I don’t expect Roni to spend ten or more hours a day working (and yes, it’s working) on this endeavor and just do it for fun. Unless she wins the lottery or comes into a ginormous inheritance, my guess is she still has bills to pay. So if she wants to talk about a weekend of uncontrolled eating one post and then show me new T-shirts for sale the next, I’m perfectly okay with that.

    rebekah

    December 23, 2008

    I rarely ever comment, but I have to say that I LOVE that you always address these snarky comments that people make. I have been reading for a pretty long time now and you always stand up for yourself and I totally dig that about you. I think sometimes because it’s the internet, people say things that are just rude. It’s one thing to think it, but to go leave a comment about it, seriously? You are not forcing her to read your site and if she finds she no longer relates then she should shut up and go do something else. I feel like as your blog has grown and ads have shown up, I’m almost proud of you because it means advertisers think your site gets enough traffic to warrant an ad – pretty cool to me. Just for that, I’ll click 100 times – there’s $2.00! You go Roni!

    MaryB

    December 23, 2008

    I love what you do, and I don’t expect you to do it for free! I don’t feel like the sites are ‘commercialized’ at all. I am always on the lookout for women/husbands/toddlers wearing your shirts! Hey you never know!

    Biz319

    December 23, 2008

    Great response Roni! Some people have no idea how much time and effort it takes to do what you do!

    Hope you have a great day!

    Aime

    December 23, 2008

    Isn’t it horrible how one negative comment can really get to you? So many of us love what you do and tell you so. Thank you for all you do.

    Super Healthy Kids

    December 23, 2008

    With so much great information, you deserve to make some money. Keep it up, and I Hope you become a millionaire blogger!!!! It will inspire all bloggers out there.

    Sheila | Live Well 360°

    December 23, 2008

    Roni,

    I absolutely feel for you and agree with what you say. It is almost as if you took the words right from my mouth. I also chose to leave my full-time corporate job, to pursue my passion in blogging and spreading the wisdom that I have learned (and am still learning!) along my own path to wellness. As Charlie mentioned above, we all have to earn a living, and I would much rather be doing it spending my time sharing information, products, etc that I feel have been valuable to me. I too chose to talk about only the products that I have found value in, while ignoring the countless emails and such, with offers to “make a quick buck.”

    I think it is evident to most when a blogger has genuine intentions, versus a blogger who is just out to sell stuff. I personally think your blog is fantastic, and any ads or items for sale are done tastefully. If a reader is interested, they can pursue, if a reader is not interested…they can read on. There is no pressure to buy.

    I love that you took this as an opportunity to address the issue, and bring light to it. Keep up the great work.

    Sheila
    http://livewell360.com

    Lanette Hopkins

    December 23, 2008

    Just for the record I’m a WW leader and I’ve never been forced to sell the product – thankfully because I love the program and LOVE being a leader (lost 65 lbs. kept it off for 2 1/2 years) but am not impressed with the products nutritional value. I was worried about it at first but I’ve had no discussions about my low sales in the 2 1/2 years I’ve worked for WW.

    Lola Fierce

    December 23, 2008

    Roni – I can’t even tell you how much you have been an inspiration to me! You have totally changed my attitude about myself, my body and how I view food. I have learned so much from your sites. I am so glad that you don’t take these comments to heart. You have a world of faithful readers :o)

    Elaine

    December 23, 2008

    I appreciate this post, Roni. However, never once have I thought “Ugh, Roni’s shoving another product down my throat.” To be perfectly honest, I look forward to this site everyday simply because it inspires to me to be the healthiest woman I can be. For those of us that truly, honestly get value out of this blog, there is no reason why we shouldn’t help you with your income by buying a product or something. Heck, if I paid you what a decent weight loss coach/personal trainer/psychiatrist would make, I would owe you $100K by now. Keep rocking it, girlfriend!

    Christine

    December 23, 2008

    This is ridiculous…anyone who has been reading this blog for a long time knows who you really are and how down to earth and hard working you are. Does anyone criticise this woman’s career choice? Who are we to question yours whn you are helping other people, doing something you love and supporting yourself. This doesnt even justify a reply on your part. For shame. Keep Rockin’, Roni, we love you and Merry Christmas to you!!!

    Christine

    December 23, 2008

    Oh, and one more thing…for the original poster….JEALOUS MUCH??????????

    sarahbb

    December 23, 2008

    I have been reading blogs (online journals) for at least 10 years now and have always loved it. Honestly, though, I’ve become increasingly turned off by some professional blogs lately and have gone back to reading just the ones I’ve been reading for years. It’s not just about the selling of stuff … it’s about the endless promotion of stuff. And sometimes it’s about the distinct impression I get that I’m nothing but a means to a paycheck. Which, hey … that’s what life is about, right? The thing is, I expect that when I walk in a mall. I don’t expect that when I read blogs. I think I’m just growing increasingly cynical because I have a hard time deciphering an honest opinion from a sales pitch.

    I’m talking in general here and am NOT meaning to infer that I don’t enjoy reading your site, Roni. I do. Yours is one of the few professional blogs that I truly enjoy and I hope you have great success with it. Your honesty is what I appreciate … that, and the fact that you actually try to connect with your readers. I don’t get the impression that the number of comments you receive is some sort of holy grail that you’ll do anything to achieve. You seem to understand that there are real people out there, not just site traffic, and you acknowledge that. I know that stuff is important, but damn. I have so many minutes in a day. Do I choose to read a blog who is written by someone who tries to connect with their audience, or do I read a blog written by someone who is obviously doing nothing but trying to increase traffic?

    I’m obviously more opinionated about this than I thought! I spend a lot of time reading blogs and I have been doing it for a long time. I’ve seen the progression from personal online journal to professional paid bloggers and I think it boils down to this: I appreciate honesty. I don’t appreciate being told that something is the best product to ever be invented while NOT being told that a company paid for that opinion.

    Blogging seems to be increasingly about product and ad placement and less about writing, community and sharing and I’m a little sad about that.

    Rebecca

    December 23, 2008

    I read often but do not comment very often. That being said. I think it is great that you are able to do what you love full time. Most wealthy happy people started out by just doing what they love. If we don’t have passion for what we do, then it is just a bunch of crap. I hope your are able to make money blogging so that you can continue to devote as much time as you do to it.
    As for the poster, just like anything else, if you don’t like it. Read something else. No one is forcing us to read Roni’s site.
    Rebecca

    Caro

    December 23, 2008

    I think the original poster had a fair question and that you have provided a thoughtful and candid response. What I have always loved about this blog is that it encourages dialogue…a two way connection between you and your readers and through that we all learn a little more about each other and our different perspectives on every day issues. Thanks for being so candid and welcoming that dialogue. It provides a balanced perspective that is often absent from blogs. Keep it up!

    Krista S.

    December 23, 2008

    I love your sites, Roni. While I don’t always agree 100% with everything (I think vitatops are nasty, lol) I take what I like and leave the rest, ya know? Just like a one-size-fits-all t-shirt, some of us have to put our arms in it and stretch it out in places while others need to wash it in hot and put it in the dryer….your blog will fit everyone differently. I appreciate all the hard work that goes into your business/life and I thank my lucky stars every day that I stumbled upon you because you truly have made a HUGE impact, a very GREAT difference in my life. I couldn’t thank you enough. Keep up the fabulous work….it is much appreciated.

    Alisha

    December 23, 2008

    As I read this blog, I realize that is Roni’s opinion on her site…..and that is where this all leads back to. I just don’t understand in this blogging day and age why people just can’t leave a blog if they don’t agree with what is going on there. Roni gets too many rude comments about things like this one with selling things……if you don’t like it, Liz, find another blog to read instead of leaving rude comments that are not constructive.

    Oh and thank you Lanette! That line hooked me, too. I have never been forced at all to peddle the products for WW while working for them.

    Keep up the work Roni, as I understand it is work and is not always easy when you get these comments! I respect you and think you are doing what you can to make the journey easier for others! ;)

    Susan

    December 23, 2008

    Great response Roni – you are always so positive and diplomatic! I have been reading your blog since July – I love it!

    Shannon

    December 23, 2008

    Thanks Roni for courageously and honestly addressing the comment. Personally, it would never even occur to me that you were trying to sell me anything – I mean if I want something I’ll buy it and if not, I won’t – right?! I consider you to be a source of information (and inspiration) – keep on, keepin’ on!

    roni

    December 23, 2008

    Thank you GUYS! It warms my heart to know you get it! I really do try to make a connection with my readers. THAT’s why I LOVE to blog! If I didn’t I wouldn’t do what I’m doing!

    Also know that I read EVERY comment but it’s becoming impossible for me to answer each one. I think/hope most of you understand that.
    It’s getting harder and harder and sometimes I just have to purge my inbox as I can’t respond to each one.

    I also do try to be diplomatic, stand my ground and stay open to others perspectives. That’s just who I am.

    Ok, I’m off editing a video! :)

    roni

    December 23, 2008

    Oh! and thanks Lanette I thought it was a requirement to try to sell I didn’t realize it was just a commission thing.

    Maybe you can clarify for me as I thought I would also not be aloud to run my sites if I was a leader as well. The whole you can’t advise outside of Weight Watchers thing.

    I really would LOVE to be a leader. :)

    Mrs. Evil

    December 23, 2008

    Thanks responding in such a positive way. I’ve been reading your blog for a couple months now, and I tell EVERYONE about it! I have found so many ideas and inspiration from you! Keep up the invaluable work!!
    WE LOVE RONI!!!

    Nancy

    December 23, 2008

    WELL SAID, RONI! I love to read your blog! You are very generous with your valuable time to give us helpful tips, new foods, different ways to cook something, motivation, etc. I really appreciate everything you do for us. Heck, I hadn’t noticed that you sold that much stuff! I’d like to see you on television some day, Roni! Happy holidays to you and your family! Smooches!

    BarbK

    December 23, 2008

    Just wanted to chime in that anything you make from this site is well-earned! Thank you for all you do. And I clicked on your ad…Merry Christmas. ;-)

    fitforfree

    December 23, 2008

    Roni, I think it’s pretty clear that you are not trying to “sell” us anything—this is an amazing, supportive space!

    alessandra

    December 23, 2008

    This is how I see it:
    As a reader do you visit this site regularly? do you get a ton of recipes, advice, ideas? Do you enjoy yourself when you read this blog and/or watch the videos? The answer to all of these is YES!!
    And finally, do you pay a cent for any of it?? NO!!!
    Well, Roni HAS to make a living SOMEWHERE!!
    So read the blog, write down the recipes that apply to your life, take the advice or ideas you want to, and enjoy yourself while you are here! If you want to click on the ads, do so. If not, don’t. Either way, sit down, shut up, and enjoy the ride! If at any point you no longer want to read, do us all a favor and move on!!

    happy holidays ya’ll!!

    Aimee

    December 23, 2008

    Hey Roni,
    I’ve been asked the same question in the past (not for my blog, but for my website because I sell my cookbooks there). Even though I’ve since gotten a full time job outside of the house, and I don’t put as much time into my website, people don’t understand that we pay to maintain these sites with our own money and that it isn’t cheap, not to mention the amount of hours that go into all of it. I’ve also turned down advertisers over the years. Sure, I could use the extra money to help pay for the site, but I won’t advertise something I don’t personally use or believe in. I think if you want to place advertisements on your site, or sell t-shirts, then go for it. It doesn’t take away from the service you are providing to others.

    Valerie

    December 23, 2008

    When I first saw that you are selling t-shirts now, I had 2 thoughts… 1)Roni has ARRIVED!!!!! and 2)I have to wait until Christmas is over to get me one of those!!!!
    It only makes sense that you get paid for this… the amount of time, effort, and energy you put into it is insane. My husband would kick my butt (figuratively, NOT literally) for spending so much time on the computer without compensation. And… you get to spend your days with The Toddler!
    I’ve always taken your new food finds as “hey girlfriends, look what I found at the store!!!” You give us great info that we can do with as we please. Keep up the great work!!!

    Jamie

    December 23, 2008

    I check your website everyday for new inspiration and a laugh, and it’s never once crossed my mind that this was a hidden attempt at selling stuff. Your site is great, and deserves every penny it gets and more!!! Personally I appreciate the great food finds and seeing the cute shirts! What you’re doing is amazing and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

    Mari

    December 23, 2008

    Your site is great!!!!!!!!!! I even LOVE when you recommend a product becuase I have discovered great ones through your site and I really appreciate that!!! After all is OUR desicion to buy them or not. As for what that “LIZ” told you I think that it was very rude from her to tell you that. If there is something that she doesn’t agree or like with your site, well why is she reading it in the fist place?!!!
    You are an inspiration to all of US!!!!! Thanks from the bottom of my heart!!!

    Bonnie

    December 23, 2008

    This is to the person who wrote that comment to you…….”Lead, follow, or get the heck out of the way!”

    You keep doing what you’re doing, Roni. We all love you!

    Ellen

    December 23, 2008

    Ooh, an affordable eliptical! I need one of those to stick in my garage so I can stack stuff on it and forget it’s there! I’m so happy this Google ad was at the bottom of the page for me to click on! (MY attempt at a silly joke!)

    Roni, you are providing an amazing service to the world, please don’t ever forget that. For every one comment you get that is slightly irked by mention of a product or discount, there are hundreds of us who think, “Oh, sweet, I was going to get some more vitatops and I couldn’t remember the discount code.”

    Seeing you fulfilling a life-long dream many of us have (to have our own businesses, control our time, be with our children, do things we love that help others, etc., etc.), is quite frankly one of the reasons we read your blog. Not only are you plowing a great path for others to learn from when it comes to business and family, but you’ve healthified (I know, not a word!) yourself down 70 pounds and buffed your bod!!!!

    Honestly, if you started telling me how the acai berry was going to whittle my waistline I would roll my eyes and click away. But, you give HONEST product reviews (telling us what you don’t like, too), and occasionally pimp some of your own products, which is what business is about! When your cookbook makes it to print we all fully expect you to blog about it consistently to promote. And we want you to! This is how people who have succeeded in certain areas of their lives help others succeed. By telling them: What I did, How I did it, Why I did it, How I Overcame Issues, Some Helpful Tips. If you comment that you have found Kellog’s kettle corn to satiate that late night sweet treat I think, “Awesome, maybe that will help me,” not, “How much is she getting paid to say that to us?” Maybe that’s just my positive attitude and optimism. Or, maybe it is because I’ve been reading your blog for almost 2 years and feel like I have a basic feeling for the bent of your heart. Perhaps seeing you cry on Ask Roni videos over the months has helped me see you as “you,” not just a blog personality. Also, if you are truly giving your own opinion (ie., the kettle corn example), then I hope you are getting paid a boatload of money by the company you happen to promote of your own free will. I know that is typically not the case, unfortunately.

    I’m sorry this turned into a rant. It just gets my hackles up when I hear people insinuating that it is somehow wrong for you to make money on a service you are providing. If you didn’t make money on this there is no way you would have the time to do everything you do on all of your blogs because you’d be working somewhere else! We would miss out on all of this wonderfulness. So, here’s to hoping your collection of blogs and blog communities (and associated REVENUE) grow and grow and grow and allow you to continue as you see fit :)

    Patty

    December 23, 2008

    Your blog is a wonderful source of inspiration and info for so many, there is never any salesmanship, even your product reviews are clearly your honest opinion, there are times you’ve said how you didn’t like this or that.

    Don’t let anyone spoil your efforts, and yes you do earn every nickel that comes your way, a great deal of time and energy goes into this blog, the problem is you make it seem so easy from the outside!

    More importantly Have a Merry Christmas! Enjoy time with the husband and the toddler, trust me they grow up too fast (except for my husband LOL!).

    KK (Running Through Life)

    December 23, 2008

    I love reading your site because of YOU and your honest posts about the ups and downs of weight loss. I have never thought you were forcing products on us. I actually like learning about new food products and such. Some things I can’t wait to try. Others I pass on by. But guess what? It is my choice. For those that don’t like it, don’t read THAT post or perhaps this community is not right for you.

    All in all, thanks Roni for your inspiration. It is because of people like you that have helped me lose 50 pounds in 8 months on my own with proper diet and exercise and not any diet program (ie: no WW, Jenny Craig, South Beach, etc—rather, just healthy living the “Running Through Life” Way!).

    Lorrie

    December 23, 2008

    Hey Roni, Just wanted to leave a comment of support. I too am a “professional blogger” and have done many things to make extra money from my blog by providing (or at least trying to) a decent blog to read :)

    You are successful at doing so. I think internet marketing is a very new way to make money and soo many people do not understand what it is to make money online. it is easy for people to think “why should i listen to you when you are selling stuff” but its not really like that.

    Do we stop reading magazines, just because they create ad revenue? no! or at least most of us don’t.

    Your blog is your “magazine” in a way and you have every right to try to pay yourself for your hard work.

    You should congratulate yourself for finding a way to make money from home doing something you love! :) which I think you do, but just sayin’

    Pubsgal

    December 23, 2008

    Reminds me of a quote I saw the other day: “Anyone can make a buck. Not everyone can make a difference.” I, for one, am delighted that you’re doing both!

    liz

    December 23, 2008

    Thanks Roni for responding to my question. That being said I dont think it was really necesary to go on a defensive mode. I simply asked a question and you chose to answer . I dont think it is fair for your readers to attack me for my opinion..it is a public forum no? It was like being in High school today on here..with the person who dared to have a different view and the bullies coming out in full force to attack and protect their leader. There were many comments that I was jealous of you…come on really? Rude? how ? I asked a question I did not make a comment. By you responding to those attacks against me as warming your heart and support is just something I cant even understand. Way to be diplomatic. I warn my kids against cyber bullies and look here is a whole group off them!

    Fitness Surfer

    December 23, 2008

    If I like something enough, and especially if it make my life or fitness goals any easier I’ll share. I haven’t monetized my blog yet. I try to link to things because people keep asking where I get stuff.

    I’m finding that the more I just share my real life stories and experiences on my fitness journey the more people can relate and share their experiences too.

    Many other areas of my life have been blessed from sharing my journey with others. Weather it’s directly or indirectly.

    Thanks for sharing your life with us.

    Jackie

    December 23, 2008

    wow liz. i don’t think roni was defensive at all. she explained her position and thanked you. some of the readers may have been defensive but i thought roni was very fair and respectful.

    Lyn

    December 23, 2008

    Roni, I just love your sites, all of them. And having met you I think you are an amazing person. I enjoy reading your reviews for products (like the Mary Lou scale, which is brightening my mornings *cough* with lots of applause and cheer… anyway, you’re doing a great service with your blogging, helping lots of people and I appreciate it lots :)

    Merry Christmas!

    Barb

    December 23, 2008

    Roni,
    I LOVE your site and read it daily. I have never felt like you were trying to sell me anything- it is my choice to check out your site and I guess if some people feel like you are trying to sell them something……… NEWSFLASH……………… don’t view Roni’s websites- DUH!. Their loss! Merry Christmas Roni!

    pam

    December 23, 2008

    Just a quick thought….as I check in daily as well…..I love the fact that since you have quit your faculty position that you post more frequently and have more time for “US”. How selfish is that????? (That will be the next post) ha ha ha “Selfish Readers want MORE!!!!!” Honestly, I love this site ……the funny, humanistic, wife, mother, chaotic moments, tears, laughter, caring, compation and real life moments…… Keep up the hard work. You are appreciated!

    roni

    December 23, 2008

    Liz – You asked and I gave an honest answer. Defensive? maybe, it is my blog and you did pose a simply question quite “offensively.” I’m not trying to be snarky here, just trying to have a conversation.

    I thought you brought up a very good topic, so good that I figured others probably shared your thoughts. That’s why I responded the way I did.

    Yes I thought some were a bit harsh on you as well. It’s the support that does warm my heart as it I think it should. You are right, I should have called out the negatives comments towards you. I am sorry about that. Sometimes I really don’t think people realize that the bloggers and commenters are REAL people too.

    Just as they shouldn’t have called you jealous maybe you shouldn’t have labeled them all “cyber bullies” some of them didn’t even mention you in their comment they were just adding their experiences. I think we are all taking this simple topic way to far. It doesn’t need to get so personal, and, well, defensive. :)

    Again, thank you for your question as I thought it was something that warranted some attention. Not negative attention, just a response.

    -Roni

    Michelle

    December 23, 2008

    I have recently found myself the recipient of a “cyber bully” and believe me it is not fun. To think that every comment made on the web can be anonamous is a little scary. I think Liz asked a question she was curious about and I think Roni answered it in a great way. Having a group of readers that are loyal is a must in this business. Yes, a business. That said, I don’t feel that Roni runs the site(s) like a business and that is what I enjoy about reading her blogs. She is human and treats us like humans also. Who else gets teary eyed when they talk about their inspiration as much as Roni? I love this site and it has been so inspirational for me that I have achieved a 35 lb weight loss and have maintained for 3 months so far. Keep doing what you are doing and being honest. Thanks!

    Liz

    December 23, 2008

    When Roni post food finds or other things, I just look at them as an opportunity to find new food that i might not have seen myself. And i love the shirts, so i’m glad she sells them! i can’t wait for more Roni clothes! Keep doing what your doing because you obviously have a lot of fans!

    Heather

    December 24, 2008

    Hmmm in response to Liz, not to be mean but I think this has more to do with her than you…what is really going on inside, she should maybe ask herself and be thankful there are people out there that take the time to support us and be inspirations.

    M

    December 24, 2008

    Roni, I am a long time reader and I love your blog. You have helped me more on my weight loss journey than I could begin to tell you. However, the other night I stopped by your site and there was an ad for some funky weight loss pills. I thought that was odd as I know that is NOT what your site is about. I wondered how that got there but didn’t feel it warranted a comment. I don’t in any way feel that you are trying to sell us anything or pushing anything on us. Anyway, that’s all I have to say about that.

    I would also like to add to those people calling Liz jealous, etc…well, that is just uncalled for. I will never get why women do that to each other. It’s really just silly. Can’t women debate or have a discussion without throwing the jealousy thing out there? That really annoys me.

    roni

    December 24, 2008

    M – I’m glad you brought that up as well! I should have mentioned it in response. The google ads are context ads (the ones below the posts) so google selects what to put there based on the content on the page. I don’t customize it at all.

    I hope one day to be able to pull the google ads from the site but for now they are a big chunk of the income.

    As for your other comment I TOTALLY agree. I try to stay even toned in my response. Stand up for myself and give my side of a discussion and I try very hard not to offend or put the other person down. I don’t think Liz’s comment was about jealousy at all. I think she was just honestly curios. However her original question could have been posed a bit more nicely.

    Like..

    Roni? Just curious, do you make money from the site?

    Instead of

    Are you here to help us stuggling with weight loss or is this a weight loss business in disguise?

    Tone is sometimes interpreted incorrectly online so I think people have to be very careful how they phrase things.

    Thanks again guys!

    Jill

    December 24, 2008

    Wahoo! I just made you two cents! I would have clicked those before if I had known!

    Louis

    December 24, 2008

    Hi Roni,

    First, I think you would make a great leader. I work for WW myself as well now and I am working to be a meeting leader by sometime next year. There are other things that WW sells besides candy with fiber added. Books, scales, water bottles and such. I also think WW is going to be selling better food products in the future as well. I do understand the WW business aspect of it and it has taken WW a long time to understand that if they want people to be successful at the plan (which I feel they do now more than ever) they have to sell better food choices as well. Not to mention Momentum is a huge step in the right direction. David Kirchhoff gets it, IMHO. I just hope it trickles down through the rest of management as well.

    Before I started working for WW, I owned my own business and have since sold my share of my business to my brother. So I completely understand that the blog is a business and should be. I personally feel that you making money with the blog is essential to being able to do it unless you were independantly wealthy. I don’t feel that you have compromised any of your values to make money. Anyone who thinks that is not reading your blog long or well enough.

    The joy and hope you bring to the overwhelming majority of your readers with your sincerity and honesty is a debt we in our lifetime can not repay back to you in any monetary way. I am glad you can sustain yourself with the blog. Most of us know time is money and if you are doing this you can’t be making a living in other traditional occupations. I have no problem with what you do or how you do it. Anyone who thinks you are in this for the money is just not paying attention, again IMHO.

    I hope you know this and you don’t think Liz is, by any means, a representation of any minority that reads your blog. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I am sure you know that this is most definitely an isolated or miss guided one. Not to mention you have handled the comment really well with a dignified and rational response.

    YOU are one of the BEST! Don’t think for one second you are not.

    Erin

    December 24, 2008

    Now that this has become a business for you, how you respond to critics (however mild) is going to be incredibly important. What I think would have been the most diplomatic response from you would have been to not include Liz’s original post, but to describe what she asked and to answer it like you have.

    You have put a potential customer, and others who might share her thoughts, in an uncomfortable position – as the outsider. And opened her up to any negativity that the rest of your readers might feel she deserves.

    Your explanation was clear, but could have been made without pointing anyone out as the cause for your making it. As you said, you assumed if one reader was curious – other were as well. No need to single her out. If you wanted to reach her directly you had the option of sending her a private email. What you ended up with was an unprofessional public conversation in your comment section.

    You are now a business. Keep in mind all of your potential customers – not just the ones who already love you. There are new people (like me) coming to your site all the time and you want to draw them to you, not create a line in the sand for them to choose sides.

    If you are a supporter of this blog – keep this in mind too. If you want to help Roni’s business then don’t attack critics. Convince them to see your side, but not with anger or negativity, but with a welcoming heart.
    (okay – that was a dollar’s worth of “2 cents”)

    I hope you enjoy great success, Roni!

    roni

    December 24, 2008

    Erin – Thank you for your opinion. I would have never thought of it that way!

    Jackie

    December 24, 2008

    Hi Roni! I dont comment a lot, but wanted to say I totally agree with what everyone else has written! I think you are great and your site is great!

    Jennscookin

    December 24, 2008

    Roni,

    I feel the conviction to use this occasion to take action with this documentation.
    Not that you need confirmation, validation and affirmation, but you need to know that you have my appreciation. Along with the rest of your Bloggin’ population (Blog = contraction for web log).

    The birth of your son led to a nutrition investigation which led to weight reduction and eventual physical transformation. You made an invitation to the nation as you shared your new information, where you to made the proclamation that you received satisfaction from your Bloggin’ population. We have watched your progression and are in awe of your motivation.

    With an obsession for food and a passion for computers, you laid the foundation for an amazing profession. What gumption! You even took a demotion with your newly chosen vocation. My impression is that your decision came with some hesitation, but your little addition (“The Toddler”) helped the decision. Now he gets more of your devotion, admiration and attention.

    Upon my own reflection, I received a sudden intuition (epiphany by definition). I shared with you my ideation about set-point and my own complication with weight reduction. Although you receive an inundation of e-mails from across the nation, you gave personal recognition through communication and more inspiration.

    Now, I wait in anticipation for the next installation of your latest invention from your imagination, which you add to your blogging collection. Plus, a photo composition of your food creation creates the causation of salivation. I can see the caramelization now. With your recipe directions, I seek transportation to purchase the grocery acquisitions although some require refrigeration. Your creations put an end to starvation.
    However, you do caution about portion and moderation, yet without deprivation. Hmm… What was that last beverage concoction? Oh yes, it was mint tea and chocolate syrup – what a combination! You add a whole new dimension to digestion (or is it ingestion? I know it’s not indigestion).

    You never use fiction or fabrication, but you do have conviction. You were even honest when you had an operation. Upon closer examination during my retrospection – I have no objection, nor do I need justification when you receive restitution for the addition of a new fashion dimension.

    It would take a stretch of the imagination to think your intention would be to create a false impression. Solicitation is not a violation (well, in some States it is!). But, you get my intention. Move ahead with your vision of expansion, you’re in a great position. You will be met with a warm reception.

    And you do this all from the location of not a mansion, but your little workstation? Without charging monetary admission? Did I mention that you are an inspiration and deserve a standing ovation?

    I do have one final important question – Are you in this for the duration? Because if not, I have a confession – I will experience an emotional reaction, maybe even hyperventilation. In addition, my family will make the observation at the depletion of nutrition provision through meal stagnation. I would be in a state of confusion and discombobulation.

    Roni, in my opinion – You are a champion! One in a million. No – one in a billion, one in a trillion, one in a zillion (and that’s no exaggeration!).

    With Gratification,
    Jenn

    Erin

    December 24, 2008

    Roni – Absolutely! I’ve read through more of your blog. You are doing great things here. Keep it up!

    Ericka

    December 24, 2008

    Hi Roni. You are great at what you do.. and also lucky to get paid for something you love to do. This blog has educated me in nutrition in many ways! i love them all. (blogs)..

    lorraine

    December 25, 2008

    I would pay to come here and get my daily fix. You are the only blog I can realy relate to .You have the same problems and issues as me and a big inspiration.
    I did in the past use paypal to help pay to keep another weight loss site open and it was worth it. Bandwith isant free.
    You rock and I will support you as I need you.

    Vicki

    December 27, 2008

    I think that since you do this full time and by yourself you’d have to be stupid not so smart to not make some money doing it. And we all know how smart you are.

    You’re amazing and we all love you and your t-shirts!! Some of us even love Vitatops!!

    I sure wish I could find a way to make money doing something I love, but I don’t think anyone would pay me to go to the beach everyday.

    R

    December 28, 2008

    To be perfectly honest….I never even thought of this site as a business…..must be because my focus has been on the REAL purpose.

    Tanya

    December 28, 2008

    Roni – I have read through each comment and agree with two things –
    1) You are inspirational, down to earth and creative
    2) Perhaps responding to Liz in a personal e-mail might have been helpful only based on what someone said above – you don’t want to draw lines in the sand. However, this is something new for you – running a business and this tip is helpful for next time.

    I think that you are an amazing person and that it is terrific that you took a chance and started your own business doing something that you love. Too many people spend their days in a job that they don’t even like a little bit…this is unfortunate because we only live once and we need to make the most of it. I know that I comment often and that I have asked questions about things. You have answered me when you were able and appreciate that I feel as though (even though I am one of many fans) like I know you as a friend. Roni, keep doing what you are doing. It is an amazing service that you provide to those of us who struggle every day with their relationship with food and body image. You have never hid behind your web site…you have been honest and up front. There is nothing that proves that more than your tummy tuck section. Thanks for being who you are and for all that you do. I know that there are many of us who appreciate it whether you are making money or not. Happy New Year.

    Jessica

    December 28, 2008

    YEAH! I’ve been “lurking” for a few years now, tried the blogging thing,(never could keep a diary) but this really got my attention. I have never felt as if you were trying to peddle things. More like a friend who suggests ideas out of genuine concern. If I had known you make 2cents whenever we click on an ad, I would have been clicking ages ago. ( is that really how it works? I’m serious! Thats cool!!) I’ll click just in case!You really have a site to be proud of. Not that it was bad before. I was reading before the “crash” and must say its a whole new world you’ve created here! It’s great! Be proud! I’m a fan! (not in a stalkery way either:))

    victoria

    December 29, 2008

    I have been reading your blog for months, but until recently have never posted a comment. I wanted to take this time to say that you have helped me more times than I can count. Whether it be your daily words, all the information available about nutrition, links to others, or your personal story, I always find something at your site that makes the day better. So, thanks. I’m glad you are here.

    Michelle

    December 30, 2008

    Roni aside, that Jennscookin comment was AMAZING! The rhyming and the tone was sensational. I just had to write about it. And I do love Roni.

    roni

    December 30, 2008

    I KNOW! I’m going to post it when I get a chance. So talented right?!?

    -Roni

    Sheri

    January 2, 2009

    Ronie,

    OMG! Where do I start? Let me sum it up-you are an INSPIRATION and a smart business woman. We should all tap into what our contributions are in life and if you follow your passion, you will automatically help others and yourself. Kudos to you for the kind clarification to Liz. It was profound, honest and extremely respectful. You are amazing and I look forward to reading your blog for years to come!

    Sheri

    Sheila | Live Well 360°

    January 7, 2009

    Hey Roni,

    Thought I would share. Got my first ANGRY flame. ;-) http://livewell360.com/2009/01/my-first-flame/

    Sheila

    Alana @ Gray Matters

    December 29, 2009

    Roni,

    I’m in total awe of ALL you have accomplished. I came across your site in this month’s Womans Day magazine and it’s an answer to a prayer. I’ve just spent over 2 hours on your blogs and am only stopping now because my eyes may be permanently damaged :-) Truly, thank you for this inspiration – I’ve been a blogger for a few years and tomorrow I’ll be starting one for my weight loss journey – only wish I could make mine as functional and lovely as yours. Take good care and I look forward to reading more – once I can blink again!

    Jenn (GH)

    December 23, 2010

    I’m glad you linked to this post today. I think about this from time to time and this helped me to sort of my feelings. I found your honesty refreshing and I couldn’t agree more.

    Zahra Brown

    December 24, 2010

    My Weight Maintenance blog has adverts too, and there’s no shame in that. Why should Google and whoever else make money from our hard work? Writers get so little pay as it is, so why not boost our income. At the end of the day, we couldn’t maintain our blogs unless we loved what we do. Readers get passion and we get paid. How many lucky people love their day job?

    Renee

    May 25, 2015

    Actually I think you have a good blog here. I commend you. I’m going to have to do some blogging myself (I don’t really like writing) but it kinda comes with the territory. I’m working on my weight also and I’ve found some good products that I sell, but I started using them first. So I know they work. So I’m pretty sure I’ll have some of my products on my blog also. One more thing. Most blogs that I have seen always have something on the side that a person is suggesting to you that can possibly “help” you, some free, but some things just cannot be given to everyone “free” because there is a cost associated with offering that product.
    If that product is something that you believe is worth it to you, you will purchase it. And if you don’t think so then you won’t. I think it’s great to have a choice.