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. 🙂
I’ve been thinking about the exact same thing lately, and I too have a chart in Google Analytics that looks amazingly similar to yours (80-85% new visitors). I just started using Google’s stats service a few weeks ago and it was that very chart that got me thinking about serving ads to search engine referrals.
I wasn’t thinking of using anything but adsense, but what I was really questioning was *if* conditionally serving adsense is a violation of google’s terms. That could be a serious deal breaker for me, especially since it would be glaringly obvious what I was up to from google’s perspective (my stats).
At this point, I don’t think the Y! ads are worth it. The amount per click severely dropped and you won’t get more than pennies per day. Whereas when it was in early beta, I was able to pull down $300 a month. I used that money to pay for the 12 days of christmas books.
Wow, that’s a big difference. I wonder why they dropped it so much. I guess they were paying you for the beta-ness of it. Regardless, the 12 days of Christmas contests were fun, and I’ll definitely do something as impressively embarrasing next year should you decide to have it again…regardless of the prizes.
For anyone who read this blog post before..now. I just posted some revisions. My wife pointed out that I was being rude with my ranting about the search engine visitors and she was right. The truth is, I really do like those visitors. In fact, I love seeing random posts get ranked highly in the engines and I appreciate any traffic I get.
So, many thanks to my spell-checking, PR agent of a wife for protecting my public image yet again. I love you Ames.
That is a good idea, if it’s not against the Google TOS.
I might have to look into this, maybe I can start making some $$ off stop looking at me, swan! means searches. ;p
Sweet! It looks like I’m to blame for that one, Elliot! I took a quick spin the the Google AdSense TOS and didn’t see any clauses preventing conditionally showing ads. I’ll read it in more depth later…
I’ve thought about advertising. I figured it could at least help mitigate the hosting costs. I just don’t think I have many readers just yet, as I’ve just recently decided I need to try and post more regularly.
How’s this for a random question… 🙂
You mention the RSS feeds, which are great, saves me from typing in urls and visiting each site just to find out there’s nothing new, yet. In fact, I have started to use the Google Reader. My only complaint so far is that it doesn’t grab the comments. So the question is… Is there a good RSS reader that will grab the comments feeds as well?