View Full Version : Ads on blogs

Marilyn Braun
11-22-2005, 01:18 AM
I don't know whether discussing commerce and blogging is discouraged, but my thread on this subject seems to have left the building.

As I've mentioned I have ads on my blog - 2 - which have generated me, as of today, $4.82. I'm working my way up to a gingerbread latte - go $5.00!

Has anyone had any successful experience with ads on their blogs? Is there a way to benefit from putting ads up? Right now I feel as though I'm not benefiting in any way.

Although Ad Sense does seem to put appropriate ads up on each posting, I'm wondering if there's a better way, better ads..etc. I'd actually like to put ads up for make-up and jewellery - amazon sells these (although I don't think it allows Canadian people to do so), as I think it would be more successful than what I have up now. Putting ads for china would be nice too. But I have no idea how to do this. Any suggestions?

11-22-2005, 01:28 AM
I think if you weave the magic words into your blogs then you'll get the magic adverts appear.. like.. 'now isn't that a golden gift opportunity', 'her silver hair was like a bracelet around her head' and 'that's an interesting diamond-shaped cut you've got there' nothing obvious..

11-22-2005, 01:29 AM
Marilyn, asking for advice and talking generically about generating income on blogs is a topic that may be important to many bloggers, especially ones who have to pay for hosting. Our previous discussion about ads on blogs was excellent, I hope that people will come back and re-contribute.

Lyra Jean
11-22-2005, 02:38 AM
on blogger there is the option to do a pay per click thing. So when people click on the ads the blogger gets paid. I've been thinking about signing up because hey it's free money.

11-22-2005, 03:26 AM
That's the Ad Sense program, right? I think the challenge with those is to get people to click through - they need a motive. If you let them know that clicking helps support something they think is worthy, *maybe* they'll click. I know the ads here would help AW but I'd rather give a donation directly to AW than click through on those ads and endure whatever they're selling.

11-22-2005, 06:39 AM
I'm going to try tonight to sign up for Amazon's partner program. Be back when I post the results.

11-22-2005, 08:06 AM
Ok, I went and signed up for it. The link is a little more than halfway down Amazon's front page, where it says "Make Money." Click on the Associates link. The page you'll go to has a link where you can sign up. They've got something like three pages of forms to fill out.

I've completed that and sent it in. Right now I'm waiting for someone on their staff to take a look at the blog and see if my site meets their criteria. I've put together a draft page of a bookstore with three books. If they approve me (I'm pretty sure they will, since it's mostly to screen out hatemongers), I'll bring out the post and people will be able to buy books from it. I'll keep everyone posted.

11-22-2005, 09:25 AM
I thought about signing up to put ads on my blogs but in the end I just don't care for it. They're on a free hosting site and are available for anyone to view. So, I don't see the point in ti. I did put a "donate" button my ghost blog, if someone wants to be generous and donate a little money.

I have thought about maybe sometime in the future having contests on one or both of my blogs. Although I don't have much money right now, I would rather have a little more traffic on my blog before attempting that. Anyone else thought about doing contests on your blogs?

Lyra Jean
11-22-2005, 10:14 AM
Mostly I don't think it will work because I just don't have that much traffic. How can I get a traffic tracker thingy and is it hard to set up. I'm very computer illiterate.

11-22-2005, 02:56 PM
Are you talking about a stat counter? I'm assuming you are. There are several places where you can get one. Mine is from bravenet.com. You can get one there or at statscounter.com or blogpatrol.com (there are probably more but those are a few to choose from). After you register on one of those sites and choose the design of your counter, it will give you an html code to copy and paste into your blog template.

Now what you do is copy that code and sign into blogger. Then you go to the template of your blog. Now you can either place the counter in the side bar or towards the bottom of the blog.

Now if you want to place it after the Blogger graphic, scroll down in your template until you see:

< p id="powered-by"><a href="http://www.blogger.com"><img src="http://buttons.blogger.com/bloggerbutton1.gif" alt="Powered by Blogger" /></a></p >

And just paste code below that. If you want it at the bottom, scroll down to the very end of your template and past the code above where you see </html >

Theres also mybloglog.com that shows you how many readers and page views as well as where the visitors came from when they viewed your blog as well as shows you what links they click on. It has a free version but it doesn't exactly give you the complete list and it only shows you the list from the previous day. Meaning if you go to the site, it will only show you how many people visited yesterday and not today. You have to upgrade for that. After you sign up, it gives you a code to copy and paste in your blog.

I hope that is what you were looking for. If not, just disregard all that. ;)

11-22-2005, 07:32 PM
I've added a number of little tools to my blog. Scroll down through the sidebar to see. Some count links (blog log and TTLB) to your site, Site Meter tracks visits and can be set up so your own visits are ignored. My Blog Log has a fun feature that makes a little box pop up over a link if it's been clicked and you can see which are the 'favorite' click throughs. I just keep adding stuff to see how it works. :)

Marilyn Braun
11-26-2005, 02:56 AM
If I want to put ads on my blog (other than Adsense), does anyone know how I would go about that?

As I mentioned earlier, I think my blog could have ads for jewellery, cosmetics, but I think a really good ad would be for collectibles (i.e. Frankin Mint). The ads that I have, do gear themselves to what I write about - royal wedding dresses - ad for wedding dresses, profile on a royal photographer - ads for photographers.

Is it possible to approach these companies (Franklin Mint, Amazon has a area that sells cosmectics, and jewellery, directly)? I've never done it before but I'm wondering.

11-26-2005, 03:39 AM
There's a few ways, but primarily you'd be looking at an affiliate scheme. With these, you wouldn't get paid for impressions (people looking at the advert), but you would get a percentage of any orders that people made after clicking through from your blog (although not, importantly, any that they make after returning to the page later on, so it's usually best to stick with things that people are going to impulse buy)

A lot of companies run these - Amazon certainly does. You can pick the products you want to use, then just link to them. If you're in Canada, you'll find Amazon's details at http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/tg/browse/-/12931601/701-2455823-3017969

11-26-2005, 07:03 AM
Well, today I got the news from Amazon - I'm approved for their Affiliate Program. I've set up a post that includes links where people can buy books that I recommend. It's a bit of a simplistic setup right now, with a text link to each book, accompanied by a review. I may add something like a "My Recommended Book of the Month" link on the side column, too.

11-26-2005, 07:40 AM
Thank you Richard and Matt. Good luck with it, Matt, come back and tell us if it works out for you.

Mike Coombes
11-26-2005, 01:32 PM
I have a number of paid sites and administer 3 (soon to be 4) blogs, and I keep them all ad-free. I'd rather pay the pittance for hosting than promote goods and services I do not personally endorse.

11-26-2005, 10:43 PM
Some other income ideas just came to mind - you can set up a Cafe Press store for items you create yourself (tee shirts come to mind) that are related to your blog or site and put the link up or you can have a PayPal donation account set up. When people donate you can give them something that's inexpensive for you to give but of value for them - like a 'e-booklet' of some of your best past posts? Just brainstorming here...

08-20-2007, 04:06 AM
I think there are several conflicts here:

If we don't "monetize" our blogs, are we writing for $0? Well, there's one I don't monetize, that I hope will be a commercially viable memoir.
If we do "monetize" our blogs, does it pay a reasonable return? I post daily and well on the selfhelpforibs.com (http://www.selfhelpforibs.com/)(For My Tummy) which is monetized with Adsense ads that in my best month (July) have paid in the low two figures. Oh, and for the first time in 10 months, I earned $3.51 from Amazon referrals, on books for IBS, that I didn't actually advertise, but a person used the Amazon page on my blog to click through and order the books.
If we do "monetize" our blogs, does it diminish the value of unique "voice"? See my memoirista sites, for an--a bad--example of a monetized blog - done so for color and convenience, since I haven't made any money from splashing the book covers and Amazon name all over the 'reviews' (http://reviews.memoirista.com/) and 'process' (http://process.memoirista.com/) blogs.I think that adage "Do what you love and the money will follow," may apply to writing thematic blog. Only not very much money, not very soon, unless you are writing about horseracing and how to make money betting on horse races, or something.

If you are writing a strictly personal blog, where posts happen because they are related to you, as the central theme, there's almost no chance of making more than one or low two figures a month, unless your name has value in the marketplace as a writer, a film star, the brother of a best selling memoirist, someone in the news, or a head-injured newscaster.

Oh, and the days I make good AdSense money are the days that people are voting to leave my blog for something more attractive, voting with their clicks. That's in marked contrast to the very little I did make from Amazon on the IBS blog, where the sales were to someone who was very much engaged in the approach and topics of the blog--I don't know who it was, but I do know what books were purchased.

One last note: if you tell people on your blog to click on your Adsense ads, Google, who runs AdSense, will eventually find out, and drop you from the program. It's in their infamous doubt-producing Terms of Service (TOS).

08-20-2007, 04:37 AM
Regarding Amazon, I've had very lousy luck with generating income from them -- to the point where I don't bother anymore.

Adsense can pay well depending on traffic and topic. I can't disclose my monthly revenue because of contractual agreements with Adsense, but suffice to say I'm happy enough to continue pursuing it.

To generate traffic to your blog, make sure your blog platform pings technorati (or ping it manually), and, if you are covering a topic that is at all news-related, contact Google News to see if you can get listed there. Gnews is picky and it took me a few tries to get listed but I did eventually get in for Firefox News. (We're a bit of a hybrid of a news source and blog -- our target audience is fandom, so opinionated, snarky articles are appropriate.) Also, a link to Digg, Fark, etc. at the bottom of articles is handy because this can/will get you more traffic -- look at Firefox News's layout at the bottom of an article for a list of everyone we link to.

Oh, if you have control over your Adsense layout, use 250X300 adblocks, preferably floated in the middle of a text block. These seem to be the most popular for video ads, which pay reasonably well. I suspect they pay over $1 a click and I'm noticing more and more movie trailers, which are actual ads people will look at.

I haven't had much luck with other advertisers other than Adsense. CJ absolutely sucks and Linkshare isn't much better. -- Amazon, at least, is honest. The problem with affiliate sales is that it's soooo easy for them to say, "Sale? What sale?"

I'm going to give Adbrite a try soon. Chiticka and Yahoo Overture are also popular for ppc (pay per click) networks.

Leva Cygnet

08-20-2007, 04:48 AM
Both adsense and amazon associate are very low yield. It might make more sense to contact affiliates directly--products that relate to the blog and that you genuinely endorse?

Generally i just plug my books intermittently. They only place I want my readers to go is to my publishers...

08-20-2007, 05:43 AM
Veinglory, Amazon is lower yield than Adsense by a factor of magnitude. Or two.

I get a monthly check from Adsense ... haven't made $10 yet from Amazon. FWIW. And for awhile I was religiously adding Amazon ads to anything even remotely related. And given FFnews's readership and target audience ... that says something.

Regarding affiliates, see above about 'honesty.'

I sent several thousand people to a couple computer companies' Web sites, several hundred to an anime distributor's web site, and several thousand more to various and assorted companies. I made ... $27. This was through Linkshare. I got $0 for roughly to same amount of traffic to a similar complement of vendors from Commission Junction.

When I got rid of the Linkshare ad panels I STILL made more because it was drawing attention away from the adsense ads, which proved to be more profitable.

I've learned that affiliate vendors are very commonly NOT HONEST. I had a friend make a purchase from one through my site that I was very suspicious of, and the sale didn't show up. I've been mulling over trying to find some honest ones again, but I've got other things to do and it doesn't appear to be currently worth the hassle.

Google is many things that irritate me -- but at least they're honest and do pay for clicks made.

Also, be aware that if you're running adsense you're not supposed to contact adsense advertisers directly to try to strike a deal. Adsense will ban you for doing that. For life. And the advertisers may, in fact, complain.


08-20-2007, 06:01 AM
I use adsense on my blog for one reason only: it's the easiest and worry-free-est method of tracking approximate pageviews without loading my webpage with a bunch of crud. By golly, if I'm going to put something that will never work right on my blog, I want it to be the one that might buy me a gingerbread latte. All the other ones don't offer me money to put their barely-functional software on my page.

Adsense keeps track of pageviews. That's useful, to me, even if it might not be 100% accurate. I don't need perfection. I need approximate. And, it's not like any other software will be 100%.

Also I use Amazon. Haven't seen a dime from them, but it's the easiest way to put up a nice little box with a direct link to my item of merit. Whether people click on it is not a big deal to me. I just think the box is pretty, and pretty easy.

But, I'm still not quite over the five dollar hurdle with adsense, and Amazon probably doesn't work right since I changed blogs. They don't even recognize pageviews anymore.


08-20-2007, 06:06 AM
I had in mind affiliates that one knows. I have discussed deals with people I have met over the years who offer a flat rate for referals in the range if dollars, not cents. But in the end I didn't go down that route.

08-20-2007, 07:35 AM
I have a few ways on my blogs. On one I used Ad Sense (I'll be deleting that blog soon because my main audience (China) can't view it). On my other blog I have the paid review posts to generate a few dollars. I've also started putting in Amazon links to movies/books that I review at the end of each review post. I think if you target the Amazon links right, you might have slightly better luck. And that reminds me, I haven't put in an Amazon link in a while... I should probably go back and add a couple.

08-20-2007, 09:06 AM
Yes, I have had success as I define it, so go for it. The key is to provide value for your reader. Sometimes you may discuss a product and the ad happens to show it, but most of the time you might discuss an idea and ads for people who are interested in these ideas will surface.

Do not believe the get rich quick schemes on the internet, however, that only want you to buy their software to publish a better website. I bought many software packages with a student discount (I am in grad school), and comparing Dreamweaver, FrontPage, and xsitepro, my most successful websites are done with Wordpress. I am in the process of changing all of them over to Wordpress because they are so easily indexed in the search engines and I can copy the designs of the websites almost exactly with Wordpress (free download at Wordpress.org).

Are you using Wordpress? If so, with your own domain, you can easily add adsense through the widgets, place a textbox where you want it, and paste the code in, and you have it. The best click through ads, however, are those placed in line with the text of your article at the beginning imo (and according to many other websites). Also, a horizontal bar below each post works great too. I removed my ads in the sidebar itself because they were not clicked on, and easily pasted them into the posts by changing the Presentation and theme file with some code. If you or anyone is interested, I would be happy to paste it here. I found it online, and it works great. Tamba2 is a great help for how to insert code.

I have several websites that I converted to blogs because the google search engine likes the blog format (Wordpress at least). Memorista is right that it is contrary to instinct since you earn more if people leave your site, however, I find that those who would stay anyway stay, and those who are just browsing, click. My Awstats show more people stay on my most successful site from 15 min to 1 hour than stay only 30 seconds to 2 minutes, and they click through many pages if they stay.

This blog also gives me the most clicks and money from Adsense. I make sure it looks tasteful and not "gimmicky", and I get a regular check from Google too-not a full time income, but it keeps growing. BTW, you have to earn $100 before they issue a check, otherwise the money carries over to the next month.

Speaking of money, while I get a monthly check from Google, I have yet to earn a penny from Amazon. I keep a few book images in my sidebar because they recommend books I believe help my readers, but no one has ever made a purchase (you only get paid if they click and then purchase). Amazon does have a new Beta program that has contextual ads, similar to Kontera.com. These pay just for clicks, but I do not feel right putting them on my best sites because they highlight words in your paragraphs, and if people hover over them, a box appears with the ad. This can look too gimmicky. I think it fits for a few of my sites, and I am trying now to decide which program to use to try it out, but imo Adsense alone is a great start. If you use Amazon contextual links, you can select a category such as jewelry to focus for the ads, so you might like it.

My 2 websites for my book are blogs also, but again, I design them so they look like a regular website and I do not include ads on those sites (although I may some day, who knows). There are other areas and niches that I want to write on, however, so for those I created blogs and it is fun to write articles about totally different areas, and to earn money as I do it.

I just started a year ago, and I am hoping to build the sites into a nice passive income base. My earnings steadily increase proportionate to my number of quality posts (note I said quality, not just "here's the weather :) How-to subjects get the most response. Several plugins for Wordpress are the best at helping you get noticed and get thousands of visitors a month, such as SEO Title Tag, Evermore, Related Posts, Jerome's Keywords, and a few others I cannot remember unless I look up what I use- again, if anyone is interested I can list them. I think I also use Subscribe Me for social bookmarking. UTW is great but I do not use it- it conflicted with another plugin.

It is possible to earn money, but again, it depends. If you write quality posts, my experience agrees with the research (Problogger.net, WebmasterWorldForum, etc.) that shows for example a blog with 6000 unique visitors a month might earn 50-700 a month on adsense depending on ad placement, topic, etc., so if you have several blogs, you could build your income to a nice bonus just from blogging. For a fun personal blog, this may not be realistic, but for a focused blog, it is not that difficult to get this type of traffic. For example, if you like to write about topic A, then why not start a blog that answers questions about different aspects of this topic, and that are not found elsewhere? I find it is fun to vary my writing, and as I write more I improve my writing skills. The key is to get people to want to come back, and if you build this following, word spreads. You do not have to be famous. The blog I consider my success listed above is written under a pseudonym, but I have a large reader base that likes the writing. The encouraging comments also feel great and motivate me past writer's block! :)

Hope this helps...

08-20-2007, 09:54 PM
I almost find Amazon to be more successful than Adsense. Although, I have a pop culture, film/TV/DVD review site and usually link to what I'm reviewing. I've been using both for the same amount of time and have earned almost equal amounts with them.

Neither is really all that much, and I've earned much more from other ads on my blog than either of them.

I just find it amazing that you read all these sites, like problogger and others, that say that you can earn thousands of dollars a month with Adsense. At only a few cents per click or per page view, they must be either cheating or getting A LOT of traffic.

08-20-2007, 10:34 PM
I almost find Amazon to be more successful than Adsense. Although, I have a pop culture, film/TV/DVD review site and usually link to what I'm reviewing. I've been using both for the same amount of time and have earned almost equal amounts with them.

Neither is really all that much, and I've earned much more from other ads on my blog than either of them.

I just find it amazing that you read all these sites, like problogger and others, that say that you can earn thousands of dollars a month with Adsense. At only a few cents per click or per page view, they must be either cheating or getting A LOT of traffic.

Getting a lot of traffic, mostly, and running multiple sites. And some topics monetize better than others. And design is critical also. People DO make a living at it, but it's not easy money.

Weird that Amazon would do better for you. I've had such lousy luck with them ... it's funny sometimes how something will work for one person and not for another. Sometimes it's sooo site specific.

(A classic example of this is the Adsense text links -- the little boxes of keywords -- that do really well on a lot of sites. Google's actually suggested to me that I use them, even. The problem is that all they show is Firefox! Get Firefox! Mozilla! Download Firefox! on Firefox News ... which doesn't monetize well.)


08-27-2007, 04:44 PM
I don't know if this has been mentioned yet but Bidvertise is an alternative to Google Adsense. The minimum Bidvertise payout is $10.00 while Google Adsense is $100.00 so a blog with less traffic might prefer the faster payout of Bidvertise.

I make 99% of my blogging income off of paid reviews but google adsense isn't too bad once you have some traffic. The key to making money with adsense is to have super relevant content so that the ads are interesting (and relevant) to your readers.

08-27-2007, 05:56 PM
...The key to making money with adsense is to have super relevant content so that the ads are interesting (and relevant) to your readers.

This is exactly why I switched from AdSense to Amazon: If you hand-pick what you advertise, the advertisements are automatically relevant. I haven't made a damned thing (at least not a payable amount) through either program, but the click-through rate on the Amazon ads is much, much higher than on AdSense.