Monday, November 21, 2016

Commercialize Your Blog?

Should you put ads in your blog, or more precisely, allow others to put ads in your blog?

I have resisted putting or allowing advertising on my blog for a number of reasons.  First of all, ads suck.  Everyone hates them.  No one professes to love ads.  They clutter up your blog and make it look junky.   They are distracting and annoying.   When I read a blog with ads on it, I get turned off.

Second of all, ads are often for crap, and on the Internet, usually always for crap.   Even on holier-than-thou outlets like National People's Radio, most of the sponsorships (advertisements) are for crap, such as Angie's List, the Lemelson foundation or the Koch brothers.

Third, the point of this blog was to discuss financial pitfalls and how to avoid them.   And if you discuss how shitty reverse mortgages are, guess what will appear in the advertisements accompanying the blog posting?   Reverse mortgages, of course!

You can bet than if I sign up for this, the sidebar ads will be for all sorts of shitty financial deals, such as payday loans, credit card consolidation, and whatnot.

Recently, I received this pitch from AdSense:

Good news! Your account qualifies for AdSense fast-tracking
We estimate you could make up to $87.04 per month*. Join millions of other bloggers making money through AdSense. Sign up now
*Revenue figures are estimates only, based on your most recent traffic, and are not guaranteed. AdSense accounts and earnings are also subject to continued compliance with AdSense Program Policies and Terms and Conditions. 

Turn your passion into profit.

You could earn up to $87.04 per month by placing ads on your blog using AdSense*. Since you've been selected for fast-tracking, you'll be able to start serving ads and earning money shortly after signing up.

* Revenue figures are estimates only, based on your most recent traffic, and are not guaranteed. AdSense accounts and earnings are also subject to continued compliance with AdSense Program Policies and Terms and Conditions.

How it works.

It's easy placing ads on your site. Pick a template. Customize it. That's it. We show high-quality ads. You earn money.

You're in control.

Block ads you don't like, customize where ads appear, and choose which types fit your site best.

Frequently asked questions

Will showing ads affect the user experience of my blog's readers?
How much control will I have over the ads being served on my blog?
How often will I get paid?
Can I leave AdSense at any time?
More questions? Visit the AdSense Help Center
Fascinating.   Searching about AdSense produces some interesting hits.  One fellow laments that he signed up for AdSense and got a check for $106! - after 15 months.   As you can see, unless you have a lot of site traffic, it makes little or no sense.  And this fellow had a number of blogs that he tended and then put AdSense on all of them.
Of course, his English was horrible, so I am wondering what his blog content was like.
Over the years, I have found my content cut-and-pasted into other people's blogs.  I could never figure out why this was, but it makes sense now.  If you can set up 10, 20, 50, or 100 blogs and then fill them with other people's content, sign up for AdSense or some other advertising service, you can then rake in some good money - at least good money by 3rd world standards.
If you can set up a popular blog and get tens of thousands of hits a month (This blog clocked 150,000 page hits last month, but that may have been an anomaly) you might make a few dollars, but certainly not enough to live on.  To do that, you'd have to get millions of hits per month and presumably some click-through revenue as well.
For most other folks.... well forgetaboutit.   You'll never make a living blogging.
But as an experiment, let's sign up for this nonsense and see whether AdSense comes through.  We'll track and report how much money they pay, if any, and also what ads they post and whether it is really true that I can control which ads appear.
Who knows?  Maybe I'll just sell out to the man like Sooze Orman!

UPDATE:  I am not seeing ads on my blog just yet (I may have to log in under another account to see them).   But one additional thing troubles me.   If you make money from ads in a blog, then you have an incentive to up your page hit count.   This may encourage one to write things based on what generates page hits, instead of writing what one wants to write.

So, for example, a blogger may be encouraged to write sensational things, as they will generate more page hits.   Or for example, allowing comments (which I do not presently do) as it encourages people to get into flame wars or whatever, which in turn generates more page hits.

In other words, you end up tending a garden of users, rather than just writing what you want to write.

Like I said, it is an experiment.  We'll see where this goes and report regularly.   I strongly suspect my experience will be like the fellow I linked to above - after months there will be a paltry check and it won't amount to bubkis.