Saturday, March 28, 2009


So, I was playing around on Blogger for a bit tonight, looking whether there were any new comments to unmoderate... and I noticed that there was a link that was titled "Monetize".

Which basically, once I had clicked the link and read all the relevant information, offered to put Google AdSense on my blog.

I have deep misgivings over doing this. I get enough readers that I would, in all honesty, probably earn a couple of dollars a month. Hell, maybe I'd earn $100 and get paid something decent for ads. But the least invasive options says that "ads are placed below each post", and that just feels so totally invasive to me.

I don't like the idea of making my readers look at random ads; I've always been sort of proud that this blog has been relatively ad-free, with the exception of the Amazon affiliate links that I put in when I feel like it. (LibraryThing generates auto-Amazon links for the LibrayThing founder guy, unless you have your own Amazon account, so I created one in order to put the widget up. I think I earned $5 last year.) I know that ads are ever-present in the internet, and I've gotten to the point with the ones on Gmail that I just ignore them totally.

And as far as I know, the Google AdSense ones are just as innocuous as the ones in Gmail. But it just feels... not right.

What are your thoughts, guys? Opinions of any kind are welcome!

ETA: I have experimented with putting them in a tiny horizontal row at the very bottom of the page. Do they look horrible? Have I sold out? Maybe I should take them off again..


Kristin Laughtin said...

Ads wouldn't bother me too much since I get your posts through Google Reader, but I understand your hesitation. I have a personal blog over on LiveJournal, and when my paid account expired, it was either downgrade to a free account and lose a bunch of cool features and icons, or go to a Plus account, keep some of the features and icons, and get banner ads under my posts. It wasn't too bad, because the ads weren't huge and at least they didn't flash

Personal preference, and some people might whine at first, but I think eventually they'd become transparent to readers, or readers will at least get used to them.

Martha Flynn said...

Generating blog content takes time and effort for which I think posters should be compensated. Whether non-monetary compensation (publicity, networking) is worth the effort is up to the poster. I'd never begrudge someone making a buck off their own sweat.

Janeal C. Falor said...

I get your post through Google Reader as well, so I wouldn't notice the ads most of the time. For those not using some type of reader may feel differently.

With ads being so commonplace, it is easy to tune them out. At the same time, it's always refreshing to go to a site that isn't littered with them.

Jenny Rae Rappaport said...

If I could just stick the ads at the bottom of the page, I don't think I'd mind them that much. But that doesn't seem to be an automatic option using Blogger.

Anonymous said...

Whether or not it's worthwhile depends on your traffic. (My day job is working as a web programmer & designer, and a lot of my clients have muddy expectations of the revenue ads will bring in.)

It all depends on the topic (some keywords pay better than others) but I would say that a page that gets around 5000 impressions a day might earn around 50c/day.

So, to earn $100 in a month, you would probably need to have around a million impressions.

I have no idea what kind of traffic you get... you could very well be exceeding that million impression mark, being a public figure, so to speak.

These estimates I've given are based on a quick glance at a client's adsense account, and might not be directly applicable to your site, but it may give you an idea of what you could expect. (?)

With google, you usually get paid per CLICK, not per impression, so the more prominent the google ads are, the more likely you are to make money. If you ditch them at the bottom of the blog where no one will see them, no one will click them and they'll not do as well. If you put them in a top banner, you'll get more click-throughs.

Another option might be an amazon affiliate account where you could select books, dvds or anything that interests you. This way you can also control exactly what is advertised on your site. The downside to amazon is that you get paid on PURCHASE, not per click or impression.

Regarding how your readership would feel about it, I would suggest that everyone is so used to google ads they probably wouldn't notice or be annoyed by seeing them.

You might also consider I use them on some of my websites (I own an embarrassing number of websites.) The way they work is people pay you a monthly fee to have a link on your sidebar. It's a simple text link, and not an image. You have a decent page-rank (4), so you might do well with that. Not sure how it would work with a blogger blog, but it's worth checking out. I made $15 through them last month on a blog I haven't updated in 6 months. =)

Feel free to email me if you have any specific questions. Happy to help.

Tez Miller said...

I read this blog via GoogleReader, so I didn't see the ads at the bottom until I came here to comment. And it really is a small line, so I'd be fine with you keeping it.

Jenny Rae Rappaport said...

Nixy, you rock with your very detailed explanation. =)

I sort of meant make $100/year... not month.

Stace said...

I discovered the same monetize thingee this morning. I've decided not to do the ads thing. Ads change the feel of a blog if not the look. But ads don't usually bother me too much - like you, I don't notice the gmail ones at all...

green_knight said...

Firstly, I am much more drawn to social blogs than to people who blog in order to make money - I want to be welcomed for my contributions, not beause I bring ad revenue, and equally, I contribute because I have something to say and I like to hang out with bloggers, not to promote myself and gain an advantage.

I think particularly for an agent earning money from writers is a topic that needs to be navigated very carefully.

Amanda said...

One of the blogs I read has ads posted all over the place, and it really slows her page down. Then again, she has tons of pictures loading as well, and maybe the combination of the two didn't work well. Personally, I read your blog through a google reader, so I wouldn't see the ads, and I also have an ad-blocker so that even when I come to ad-riddled sites, I can't see them for the most part. I don't like ads in general, especially on webpages - I don't trust them, having worked in computers, I've seen too many people accidentally download spyware that way. Not saying these ads would be like that, but I avoid all instances of clicking on ads because of that.

Jeremy D Brooks said...

I say go for it. I think sending ads as a part of your RSS steam would be intrusive (to say the least), but having a two-ad deep block on the left nav of your site is definitely acceptable for the reader, particularly when you provide such a great service here. You deserve the extra scratch for your efforts.

Travis Erwin said...

I put Google ads on my blog as research for an article and in 3 months I have made $85. Not quite a hundred yet but I don't seem to have lost any reader and have had no complaints.

Jenny Rae Rappaport said...

green_knight, the point is NOT to make money from writers. Never, ever, would I do that against AAR ethics.

And because I am not charging you a fee to read your work or taking a commission on your work before I sell it... I don't see how ads on a blog are making money off writers.

There's a LOT more people than just writers who read this blog. I have Google Analytics; I read the numbers. Trust me, more than just writers. A good portion of you come here based on the keyword "the snow dance".

Anonymous said...

Jenny, that adline is so innocuous it wouldn't matter if it was at the top or the bottom. I never click on those things anyway, so for me it matters not.

ddpattison said...

You might be interested to see the funding sources for Harold Underdown's Purple Crayon site. He posts the info every year, so here's 2008:


Elissa M said...

If the ads don't flash or pop up in the middle of the screen, I don't mind them at all. Your ads at the bottom of the page are invisible to me because I've already read those posts and have no reason to scroll down there. Even if they were at the top or on the side bar, I could easily ignore them.

I honestly don't mind ads for things I might be interested in. Much better than ads aimed at just anyone. I don't know how well they work for the advertisers though. I've never bought anything from an internet ad yet.