Who Clicks On Ads Anyway?

grandma looking at lesbian magazine
photo courtesy dgphilli

Apophenia recently posted a great article about some studies on who clicks on ads. I know, most of you folks NEVER click on ads. That’s why I don’t make much off my 80k visits to this blog and in turn why I have to talk about this kind of stuff all the time since I’m completely obsessed with making money to support my addictions.

I do respect you more for it, but before we get all snooty about… hahah… I couldn’t finish that sentence. Snooty geeks. That’s funny stuff, I don’t care who ya are. That’s funny stuff.

Here’s the rundown of who actually clicks on ads (vs. who we think clicks on ads):

  • They are predominantly female, indexing at a rate almost double the male population (hooray for celebrity websites)
  • They are older (hooray for old celebrity websites)
  • They are predominantly Midwesterners (hooray for old conservative celebrity websites)
  • Not surprisingly, they look at sweepstakes far more than any other kind of content (hooray for old conservative celebrity websites that offer prizes).
  • Yes, these are the same people that tend to open direct mail and love to talk to telemarketers.

So, what’s the end result?

Sorry, I have to go build an old person’s celebrity website to capitalize on a certain hush hush demographic. I’ll be releasing the beta tomorrow after 14 cans of my favorite energy drinks (aff).

Figure it out for yourself. You’re an adult now. All you middle america women out there…. start clicking!

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 "Who Clicks On Ads Anyway?"

  1. Roebot says:

    Note to self: click on all of Nate’s ads every time I visit his blog.

  2. ThePete says:

    Even before I saw Roebot’s comment I made sure to click on a couple ads. ^_^

    And I’m not in the midwest, old, or looking for contests.

    Man, what does that say about how our culture treats old people?

    “Oh, maybe someone will pay attention to me if I win a Ferrari! But I’d settle for a phone call from a telemarketer…”

    Awwww. :(

    Man, that’s a tough demo to aim for. I think I’ll just go on occasionally posting about mortgages and loans and such and then IM my friends to go click on the ads that show up on those posts ;)

    Of course, that still doesn’t pay the rent.

  3. nate says:

    Hah! Make a note about the sarcasm because Google’s spying on me. I know big brother wouldn’t condone me telling anyone to click on my ads… but if you did, hey, whatever. thanks. :)

    BTW ThePete, where do you live? When I get up to that $1/day I was hoping for, I can finally buy my family a new moped AND a new house.

  4. ThePete says:

    I’ve been there, too–when I got an email from Adsense telling me I was too aggressive with letting my visitors know where my ads were, the email was written with such stilted language, I ignored it–I thought it was just some sales pitch for another service. Two emails later and they were about to yank the ads from my site entirely. Stupid me! And stupid Google for not injecting some humanity in their form emails.

    And I think the policy says *you* can’t *ask* people on your site to click on your ads, but I think it’s legal to just talk about clicking on ads with your site visitors ;)

    Yeah, I’m *lucky* to pull down enough for a month’s rent in three years. My site isn’t super-high traffic–I get a few hundred hits a day without advertising (aside from me being a loud mouth on sites like yours and Twitter) and with that I make about $150 every six or seven months. It’s kind of pitiful.

    I listen to a podcast of this radio column a TV writer called Rob Long does every week. He admitted recently that the deep dark secret of web advertising is that there’s not a lot of profit to made in it. I wanted to comment on his blog: You’re just figuring this out? ;)

    I think it makes huge websites with loads of traffic decent money, but unless you’re getting hundreds of thousands of hits, I don’t know how you’re going to pay the bills. :\

  5. nate says:

    Yup, that’s why I’m always testing out alternatives. I hope the CrispAds I just put up gets rolling, because they seem like they have a lot of promise.

    But yea, I don’t make a ton off Adsense. I’m always looking for sponsors, which probably pay better and convert better anyway. It works well for both sides.

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