A New Type of Blog Advertisement

Blue flame thrower

Photo credit: -sel-

First, I’m sorry for not writing a bunch lately. I’ve been crazy busy with a few clients. Anyway, whatever. It’s life. You understand, I’m sure. Oh, and Happy Turkey Day! I hope you had a great one.

Second, I need to apologize to those of you who have non-IE browsers. You might have noticed the Google ads on the right side are back again. I really am sorry, but lately those ads haven’t been paying jack. I’d love to replace them all with TLA since just the two I do have here pay more than big amount of space that Adwords take up.

Anyway, I apologize. My ad revenue has been significantly lower lately, so I’m going to have to leave those up for a bit until I can find a better way to monetize the traffic that comes (and goes) from here. Oh, and if anyone wants to pay to fill that space with something more relevant and better than ads, feel free to send me about $100/mo and I’ll be more than happy to remove those Google ads.

Third, the point of this post ….

I’ve run across a pretty interesting new little item. I have a hope that perhaps while people are on this blog that some day I might simply be able to remove the ads all together. Maybe someday when I have more money than I need.

In the meantime, I ran across UserCash.com. They create a nice little javascript snippit for your site which converts any outgoing links into possible paid links. This might sound a little dubious, but instead of putting ads on your own site, the outgoing links automatically get a frame on the top which contains advertisements. It doesn’t matter what the site is, and I’m not sure exactly if you get paid for clicking on the outgoing link or on the advertisements (I would assume the ads), but it’s definitely interesting.

It’s certainly sneaky, and could most assuredly be considered poor form to force ads onto a site which you don’t own. It’s almost like those guys who steal blog content and put their own ads up, except easier.

Right now, I’m feeling pretty bad about putting up this script on this site. But, I’m also an experimenter. So, we’ll see where this goes.

I’d love your thoughts on the subject. Have you used UserCash? Has it been a good experience? If you’re completely appalled right now, shoot me those thoughts too (just don’t call names, that’s not nice).

Update: Based on the wonderful comments below (see, I do care about you guys), my own hesitations about UserCash’s system, and the fact they make almost no money for me (it takes about 10,000 link clicks to make $1!), I’ve decided to cut the program. Interesting idea, even if sleazy. Too bad (or good thing depending on your view) it makes very little cash for the publisher.

[tags]usercash, blogging for money, monetization, ads, google ads, adwords, tla, text link ads[/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 →

11 Comments on "A New Type of Blog Advertisement"

  1. Honest opinion, Nate? I feel it’s slightly sleazy.

    Let’s say that someone clicks on an outgoing link to WidgetCorp, and the UserCash ads display over the WidgetCorp content. In essence, this means that you are making money off of WidgetCorp’s content, and WidgetCorp isn’t getting any of the money from this.

    One could argue that you’re driving traffic to WidgetCorp, and that it’s up to WidgetCorp to monetize the incoming traffic once it gets there. But it’s still a little dubious, at least in my eyes. (I personally don’t mind if YOU derive money from links to MY site, but I may mind if some strange site were using UserCash to make money off of my content.)

    At lest with Google AdSense, people are on your page when they click the ads, so the fact that you get the revenue from the clicks is justifiable.

  2. nate says:

    Well said, and I can’t say I disagree with any of your points. I’m still going to test this out for a while, just for fun. But I’ll most likely take it down in a little while.

    I would really love it if advertising in the traditional sense went away altogether, honestly. I’ve mentioned that in prior blog posts before.

  3. Someone, I forget who, said that when advertising is perfectly synchronized to our desires, it won’t be advertising any more – it will just be information.

  4. Jeff_ says:

    Nate,

    Don’t give in to the dark side!

    Calling UserCash “sleazy” is a gross understatement.

    I take great pleasure in providing ad-free content at my site. I pay for everything out of my own pocket. In my opinion, people who resort to tactics such as UserCash are stealing from others and are no different than spammers, scrappers, scrapers, and other worthless scumbags.

    I will definitely be implementing countermeasures to prevent such lunacy from affecting my site.

    If you insist on advertising, fine. Just keep it at your own site.

    Yeeeesh.

  5. nate says:

    Ontario, I fully agree. I think that might have been either Om or Guy Kawasaki who said that. I remember seeing that quote too.

    Jeff, I hear ya. I would love to have the privilege of providing ad-free content at my site. But, I have goals that I am trying to reach. If I find a way to reach those goals which doesn’t necessitate advertising I’d be more than happy to remove them all from my site completely.

    I fully hear you, and as I mentioned, I’m going to try this out for a few days to see how it works out, just like I tried the Pay Per Post stuff out for a few days. PPP probably made me more money than this will, but the sleaziness factor is pretty high on both, so I have a very good feeling I won’t be using it for long. Don’t fear. As a side note, if I had a place to test these things out which wasn’t this blog (but still received some kind of traffic), then I’d be happy to do them there. My apologies. This is my only testing ground right now. Bear with me for a few more days.

    Thanks folks. You are confirming my own thoughts about the service.

    Cheers.

  6. Jeff_ says:

    I totally understand where you are coming from. Thank you for considering your readers when it comes to such important decisions. Your openness and sincerety are appreciated :)

    Keep up the great work!

  7. nate says:

    Thanks for your understanding Jeff. And thanks for the kudos. They are appreciated more than you know. I love it when people actually participate and verbalize stuff on my site. It’s an interaction that I long for and I try to find ways to include folks. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

    Anyway, thanks for commenting and for your opinions. I appreciate the conversation.

  8. nate says:

    FYI, I’ve updated this post and also removed the program. It makes barely any money for the publisher, is definitely sleazy, and I actually heard voices from people who care about what I write.

    Thanks to everyone who chimed in. See, I do listen, and I do want to hear you.

    Cheers!

  9. Ryan says:

    Nate,

    I was going to recommend Ucash.in as a Usercash alternative, but I guess you made up your mind already =P

    Btw, not sure why its sleazy — its just a way to monetize outgoing links. Similar to Adbrite Interstitial pages.

    Anyway take it easy man,

    Ryan

  10. Jeff_ says:

    Here is an article that may shed some light on the utterly pathetic nature of SleazyCash (for those of us who still don’t “get it”)..

  11. nate says:

    Ryan,

    The problem is that I really don’t want to be an advertisement whore. I mean really? 4000 clicks for $1 (for UCash.in) or 9999 clicks for $1 (for Usercash). Either way that’s the crappiest payment for a click I’ve ever seen. Plus, add in all the other ugliness. I just can’t pimp out my visitors/readers that much.

    Jeff,
    Great article. Thanks man.

 
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