OK, well the title of this post is a bit cheesy, but what I have discovered in recent blog surfing is the increased trend of selling advertising on your blog, and people trying to ‘monetise’ their blogs. The options for blog owners seems to be either;
- Put third party served text or graphic ads on their blog (think Google Adsense or Text Link Ads)
- Try to sell their own text or graphic ads (very time intensive)
- Ask for tips or donations, or (gasp!) subscriptions (see kottke.org)
- Place affiliate links within their content
Now, I’m as keen as the next person to start seeing a six figure salary from this blog (think problogger.com), however I think it is a bit more realistic to expect to be able to perhaps buy lunch for myself once a month instead. In fact, I am considering trying the first point above, and see how I get on – I’ll let you know when I can afford my first lunch!
However, saying all of that, it seems most people I have spoken to recently claim they rarely ever click on text ads, even in Google’s search results. Strange, since I have run campaigns for clients and they’ve done well, but I think it may be because the market research I have done to date is amongst other web professionals, who maybe just don’t even notice text ads anymore (there used to be a term in the 90’s called ‘banner blindness’ for advanced web surfers).
Me, I love text ads. They help pay people to create the content I absorb. If I am browsing a website or looking through search results, and see a text ad that I think may be of interest to what I am reading or searching for, I jump right in and click – hell, it doesn’t cost me a cent to click that hyperlink, does it?
I am even known to read other peoples blogs, and if I like the blog post, and I do see a relevant ad on the side, I’ll go look at the advertisers offerings for two reasons; firstly, because they’ve advertised a service or product I may be interested in, and secondly because it is a way of ‘micro tipping’ for the blogger who displayed the ad – that’s right, they’ll get a cent or two, I’ll get some reading, and I may even end up a customer of that advertiser.
Now, I am really not suggesting for a moment that you should just go read someone’s blog, and click on all of their advertiser links, and try to clock up a 50 cent donation for them (thats just wasting advertisers budgets!), but if you are reading a blog of quality, and you see a banner or text ad that has some relevance to you, take 30 seconds and visit the advertiser.