When it comes to making money from my personal site, I generally shy away from the idea. I’ve been a banner-ad/popup/sidebar-ad hater since I first started using the web, so why would I EVER want to put such them on my own site. Well, for one, I’m curious. I’d like to know what the payout is on these things. While you’ll NEVER see a girating pig with state abbreviations on my site begging you to refinance now (who clicks on that crap?), I’ve thought a few times about adding Yahoo or Google ads that might be relevant to the content of a particular post.
How Not to Annoy Your Regulars
Personally, I don’t find Google AdSense style ads that annoying. Sometimes I even click through them if one of the links look interesting, but they usually blend into the site so well that I look right past them. However, I still don’t think bloggers should ever present ads to their regular users. Who is left, you ask? Search engine visitors. According to Google Analytics, over 87% of my visitors are first timers:
According to Mint (Yes, I’m a stats junkie…) Most of those people are coming in via searches for random things like popcorn ceiling, publix sushi, and my favorite, the blingo search for I want to win at blingo. Somehow I get top-ten plus search engine rankings for a lot of really random keywords.
While I don’t want to serve ads to anyone who reads my rss feed, or visits the site via links from my friends sites, I don’t feel bad about serving relevant text ads to the throngs of people who want to ask me all kinds of silly questions about getting rid of their popcorn ceiling. Don’t get my wrong, I appreciate those visitors, so I won’t go serving them girating pig refinance ads. However, if they came here via a search, maybe they’d get something out of some related AdSense links. My plan is to serve ads below my sidebar for anyone coming from a search engine. I’m not sure exactly how I’m going to do this yet but there are a lot of engines out there. I’ll probably look for query string clues like
&q= on the referrer url rather than going by domain. I’m open to suggestions though if anybody has a better idea.
So Which Service Should I Use?
I’ve applied for a beta membership for the Yahoo! Publisher network which Dustin Diaz says is far superior to the Google program, but then, Dustin works for the big Y! Anybody else have any experiences with AdSense they’d like to share to convince me one way or the other. Dustin, feel free to add your 2 cents as well, I was just pickin’ on ya. 🙂