Monday, December 6, 2010

Re: Ads

So I said I would have a decision about whether the ads would stay or not after they'd been up for a week, and that means today. I'm going to punt, though. As I write this (Saturday night), it's unclear where the total is going to be after a month, or what I could normally expect for a month's worth of ads. I had a specific dollar amount in mind that I felt would make having the ads worthwhile, and right now I'm thinking there's only a 50-50 chance of reaching that number, so there's a 50-50 chance that the ads will remain after 29 December. I probably won't announce it then. They'll either still be there on 30 December, or they won't.

Probably doesn't affect you one way or the other, unless you had really strong feelings about whether someone else's blog should have ads on it or not (and why would you?). But I said I'd let you know what the decision was, so I am. As you were.


Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

They are not bothersome, so I'd give it a little more time. Maybe a little time is what is needed. Just my two cents...

Autumn Belle said...

I notice that you have inserted the ads as a skyscrapper on the sidebar only. I think the earnings will be too little to notice anything. Try to place ads at 2 more places, i.e.
a) below each post, and
b) directly below or above your header - this large horizontal rectangle is called a leatherboard

I read somewhere that option (b) earns the most money. I tried this method and saw my earnings increase from a few cents a month to about USD 25.00 per month.

As you can see from my blog, I place ads at 3 different places.

It takes a while before you can see any results, therefore you need to extend the period of your experiment to 1 year, otherwise it won't be a 'fair' conclusion. Pro bloggers have also remarked that putting Google Ads will drive more traffic to your blog. I find this to be true in my case but I do not know how it is so.

Kenneth Moore said...

I didn't notice the ad placement, but I must admit I read your posts on my phone, now, and seem to miss some. I intentionally don't click on ads--overly aded blogs are unvisited by me. You get special consideration, but I would much rather earn you money by paying a subscription fee to your amazing blog. I would not say I'm the exception, but I wouldn't think that to be a common opinion, either.

mr_subjunctive said...

Autumn Belle:

The thing of it is, I'm still kind of conflicted about having ads at all, so adding of them isn't really an option. Or, I mean, it's an option, but it's an option I've decided I don't want to take, because I get annoyed by ads on other people's sites. There seems to be reader agreement, more or less, that the one skyscraper in the sidebar is not overly intrusive, and I'm not bothered by it either, so I'm willing to see how that works out for me and take my chances.

It's sort of a win-win situation for me, really. Either I make enough money to be worthwhile, in which case yay, money, or I don't, in which case I can justify getting rid of them to myself: see, they don't even give you a worthwhile amount of money anyway.

Kenneth Moore:

Understood. I sort of make a point of not clicking on ads too, and had been using AdBlock Plus until I started thinking about putting advertisements on the blog, just to see what it was like out there for blog-readers.

I am intending to get a PayPal donation button up at some point soonish, but it's a surprisingly involved process, and I simply haven't had time. Sunday was a terrible, terrible day when nothing I tried to do worked properly, so Monday's been mostly about trying to catch up from Sunday, and . . . on it goes.

Donate buttons are problematic too, of course. I've seen sites that got just as annoying about having a donate button as any ad-filled site could ever be.

In any case, I'm still trying to come up with a solution that makes as many people happy as possible. Presumably we'll find out what that is at some point within the next few months, and then order will be restored and I can stop angsting about money in public.

Autumn Belle said...

Mr Sub, I must admit that what you say "see, they don't even give you a worthwhile amount of money anyway" is very true. We won't be able to earn enough unless we put all the popups, bling-blings and what nots that annoy even myself. Perhaps our aims are different. For me, it is to keep up with technology and I do feel very nice to earn something, even a few cents, like kind of self-worth. I only use Google Ads for Content. I felt very happy donating the meagre proceeds I got to a worthwhile cause of my own choosing.

Regarding Paypal, I feel that the blogger is asking for money from readers, eventhough it says, 'donation'. I guess I need a paradigm shift.

mr_subjunctive said...

Autumn Belle:

Well, the blogger is asking for money from readers. But apparently some people prefer that to ads.

Part of what I'd liked about the ads idea is that the money wouldn't be coming from my readers, that I wouldn't feel like I was begging or taking money away from people who might need it just as much, or whatever. But then at least one commenter (Ginny Burton, IIRC) said that ads were even worse, because what's the point in pretending to be interested in some company's stuff just so a blogger gets a little bit of change? It doesn't benefit the company doing the advertising, it doesn't benefit the reader, it only barely benefits the blogger. Which is all true. (Though in theory, the ads wouldn't have to result in sales all that often in order to make them worthwhile to the businesses. I have no way of knowing whether the ads have resulted in sales unless a reader tells me they bought something.)

Because people have asked (no, really: they have), I'll get a donate button up at some point, but this doesn't mean that I want anyone to feel obligated to donate any more than having the ads on the site means that I want anyone to feel obligated to click on them.


I'm going to have to agree with AB here. I say go big or go home for this experiment.

One way to minimize their annoyance in spaces outside of the sidebar is to blend them in with the side. Same background color, text color and link color for the ad below the header and below the post. You could even elect to have those two ad blocks be text links only so they don't have annoying images.

If you do keep the one in the sidebar, at least ad it to the top of the fold (above your current archive) just to see how that changes things. If people who are all like "Tl;DR" see that your posts usually have more words than pics they may never scroll down lower than the first paragraph or two.

After a while your regular readers will develop a blindness for the ads and the only people who spot them, will be those people who just come for the info and never leave money on the nightstand.

Also, I'm kind waiting for your final decision to point out one option you may have with the ads where you and a lot of your readers will never see them. ;0)

Daphne said...

Have you ever looked at It's a more "casual" alternative to paypal. One of my local clubs started using it because:
a) It doesn't require a SSN.
b) It doesn't have paypal's history of contributing to conservative political causes.

We've only used it to collect monthly dues, but I think you can also set up a "donate" button.

Until you can get an awsome t-shirt together,

CelticRose said...

I agree with MRBROWNTHUMB that you need to relocate the sidebar ad above the archive. Where it is now, I don't even see it. In fact, I wouldn't even have realized that you started putting ads on the site if you hadn't told us.

"But then at least one commenter (Ginny Burton, IIRC) said that ads were even worse, because what's the point in pretending to be interested in some company's stuff just so a blogger gets a little bit of change? It doesn't benefit the company doing the advertising, it doesn't benefit the reader, it only barely benefits the blogger."
Just seeing the ads does benefit the company in one way: name recognition.