Monday, September 14, 2009

Monetizing my blog

Or not. It's mostly an experiment. I'm working on the second edition of my Blogger book, and I'm trying to figure out how to help people make their blogs a money-making proposition. Of course, Google/Blogger have this AdSense program that places supposedly-relevant ads on a blog, but every time I see a page filled with those ads, I automatically think they're trying to scam me. So, I'm wondering a couple of things. Are there real blogs with useful content that include Google AdSense ads? And do the ads generate income for these folks? If you know the answer, I'd sure love to hear it.

Back in February, I wrote a Web site documenting every possible layout of an iPhoto Book.  At one point, it got mentioned in TidBITS, and I was getting several hundred hits a day, quite a lot more than normal. It's leveled off quite a
bit, but it's still not bad. I mostly wrote the Web site as a tool for myself but I was not averse to generating a good reputation (and good karma!) by sharing it, or even to generating income by selling it. So, for a few days I put up a Google ad on the site. And there were thousands of impressions but not a single click. This didn't surprise me, as I rarely click Google ads myself. But I worried that not only was the ad not producing any income, but it might be adversely affecting my other goals.

Seems like people are automatically suspicious (me included) when you put ads up on your site. Whatever your content, if you offer it for free, you somehow are seen as having no ulterior motives, while if you serve up some ads, all of a sudden you're suspect. Of course, everyone has ulterior motives. I'll tell you mine, from most accepted to most ulterior: I love writing and want to share my thoughts. I want you to read them. In addition, if you remember that you learned some great tech tip from me and the next time you're in a bookstore, you buy my book, that'd be great. And well, if I could get paid for writing these tips, that'd be pretty nice, too.

I decided to remove the ad from the iPhoto Book Themes site, but I remain curious. So, I'm going to experiment with a few ads on this site. My own blog. It makes me nervous.

I'll let you know how it goes.

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