Blog Monetization Question For You

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So, with my spankin’ fresh new theme, I have a little space to play with in the far right side. I know it’s not the best place for anything prominent, which is why I bring up this question…. again.

You read my blog. You care what I have to say (at least I think you do). I understand that. I thank you for caring. I don’t want to ruin my reputation with you folks, so I do want your honest feedback.

It seems every year or so i get all nutty about trying to make a few more bucks off this blog. This year, I still haven’t found another path other than ads. So, I’ve put adsense in that spot on the right that doesn’t seem to have a purpose. I can easily take it down if it offends people or turns them off from visiting this site.

Last, I also added a new Amazon.com affiliate linkage into the site as well. You’ll notice that those links are underlined, while my inline links that I’m referring to in my actual post are not. I left that subtle distinction just for fun, to see what you folks say, and because even though I’m hoping the referrals for amazon products are actually of use to those who read my blog, I also want to leave a slight distinction between referral links and my links so those who are frequenters can know the difference, if they/you care to.

Thoughts? Questions? Comments? Snide remarks?

[tags]blog, monetize, ads, adsense[/tags]

Nate Ritter lives in the Pacific Northwest (U.S.), popularized the #hashtag and creates web applications for a living. He also does miles and point hacking to enable cheap travel for his family. More here →

6 Comments on "Blog Monetization Question For You"

  1. Nate,

    I think you have every right to make money off your blog. I mean you spend hours writing thoughtful content you should get some reward for that. However, it all depends on what you are trying to achieve. Like I personally don’t put ads on my blogs just because they are on my business’ websites and that just seems unprofessional to me.

    But on a blog that’s personal or meant to make money by all means make as much as you can with it.

    TLA, Adsense, the occasional review me post etc….

  2. nate says:

    Aaron,

    Thanks. I appreciate your reply and your thoughts on the subject. I want to make sure I’m not pissing off my readers/friends.

  3. I understand. Basically, it wouldn’t piss me off. That’s my vote.

    Best of luck.

  4. We talked about this in person, but I’ll add my thoughts here in case anyone else cares.

    I personally don’t put other people’s advertising on my blog. To me, anything that’s outside the main message(s) of the blog should be small and unobtrusive if included at all. The goal of most advertising is to be as obvious and intrusive as possible, so it doesn’t seem like a good fit.

    That said, I think that there are other ways to monetize if it’s important to do so. I don’t consider all commercial messages advertising; you could recommend a book and link to a place to purchase it; you could produce a funny shirt and link to a way to buy it; if you are a rabid fan of some item or service, you could negotiate an ad for it… you see what I mean. All of these are part of the conversation, not separate from it.

    Examples? My favorite is Homestar Runner, though it’s not a blog. They provide regular content of high quality and creativity; they monetize that by offering shirts and such of the same quality. Jonathan Coulton is another good example; he gives it all away but asks for payment if you can pay. He ends up making more than many signed musicians do.

    The downside of this approach is that it requires more time and effort from you. It’s much harder to hand-pick the items you’re advertising than to allow someone else to generate them algorithmically. Then again, where there’s a lot of work, there might also be an opportunity. What about an adblog? Something that allows you to pick items of interest and handles the affiliateness for you. Hmm…

  5. JMS says:

    Here’s another great monetization option that doesn’t use sidebar space:

    http://www.thenewsroom.com/get_paid

  6. nate says:

    Thanks JMS. I’ll took a quick peek and it looks ok. Considering Adsense has been stupid on my site lately, I’m considering trying something new. I get too many visits on this site not to try something else that may work better.

    Thanks for the suggestion.

 
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