Having spent a fair amount of time recently writing some somewhat prolific blog posts (considering they were only supposed to be short rants – can a rant be short?), the thought crossed my mind that it would be handy if someone actually paid me to write this drivel.  You may say that’s wishful thinking, and no one in their right mind would willingly give me money to sit at a computer and write nonsense all day, but after a little research it appears there may actually be some degree of possibility in this rouse, courtesy of AdSense.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “What’s for dinner tonight?”  Failing that, you might be thinking “oh no, not advertising?!  Please don’t inflict advertising on us!  Anything but that…”  Indeed, the latter of those two thoughts has been the main reason this blog has remained ad-free so far.  There is nothing quite as annoying and distracting than a glaring, animated obstruction at the top (or, heaven forbid, in the middle) of the page, trying to persuade you to buy something you don’t need, don’t want, and bares no relevance to what’s on the rest of the page, which is why you’re there in the first place.

However, as you’ll no doubt be aware, Google’s AdSense programme works slightly more intelligently than the traditional method of advertising, in that it takes note of what else is on the page and finds advertising solutions that roughly fit with the context.  For instance, if I was raving about my new mobile phone (which I don’t have, incidentally), AdSense would probably display links to web sites where you could buy similar phones.  They are also visually customisable, so that the ads don’t distract from the design of the web page but rather fit into it seamlessly.

On the money side of things, amounts are a little vague.  Sure, the more visitors you have the more likely it is that someone will click an advertising link, but there is more to it than that, which I won’t go into here since others have explained it far more adequately already.  At worst, I could earn nothing.  At best, I could be earning hundreds if not thousands of pounds through advertising, though this is somewhat unrealistic given the inconsistent nature of my blog posts – they may well be interesting to me, occasionally witty, sometimes useful, but rarely on one theme or topic.  I know this is deliberate, but it does mean that from an audience point of view I’m limiting things slightly.  If I were to specialise in a particular area, for instance, the blog might appeal to a specific target audience, and the blog’s power and influence would increase as a result.  However, that is not the purpose of this blog, and as far as I can tell never will be.

So, when it comes to the crux of the matter, whether I sign up for AdSense depends partly on my current faithful audience.  Would you mind seeing small adverts embedded somewhere on this page?  Or would that put you off coming back?  And from a monetary point of view, if you did see an advert here that was relevant would you ever bother clicking it?  Please do leave your comments, I would be interested to see what the general feeling is.  Monetarily I have nothing to lose, but that’s no good if I’m losing my regular blog readers.  It’s all about you, after all.  Well, partly about you.  It’s also partly about me ranting and wishing I got paid for it.

Categories: InternetTechnology


Phill · 3 October 2007 at 10:47 pm

I wouldn’t leave if you had Adsense… the text based ads don’t bother me. But to be honest, unless you have a *huge* readership, I wouldn’t bother – the amount you get is so minimal it’s only really worth it for large traffic websites. I know this from experience, I have Adsense and to be honest I’ve been thinking about removing it for quite a while!

Matthew · 4 October 2007 at 9:21 am

It’s a bit difficult really to say what a *huge* readership might be defined as. It’s also a little difficult to pin down exactly how many people find their way to my blog – I have stats for the server, but it would appear most of the visits were to a forum I had on the domain, and not the blog. The forum is now moved, so it’ll be interesting to see how things look in a couple of months.

Dad · 4 October 2007 at 1:36 pm

I’d still read your posts if little ads crept unobtrusively onto your blog pages. Somehow though it would take away the personal “this is just me waffling to my friends” aspect of this blog. Ads, from “the outside” (remember the ridiculous three-eyed prize toys in Toy Story?) would feel like interlopers from the commercial world.
But, if you think it will fill your piggybank with dosh, go for it!
Actually, you might be better off submitting your blog to the wider world of bloggers. It’s bizarre to think that people all over the world actually like reading about people they’ve never met. Some bloggers are famous, not because of who they are but because of what they’ve written. Your posts are well written and work on many levels. In a sense, they’re kind of wasted on such a small audience. You could get noticed by a publisher and end up being famous for writing drivel!

Matthew · 4 October 2007 at 1:39 pm

Latest update is that this blog is going to remain ad-free for now. I am, however, starting a new blog as part of my business web site, so that I can host useful web-related articles there to attract visitors and hopefully clients too. As a result, this site will end up seeing fewer of the internet related posts, and the other will be gradually filled with tips and hints, and will probably include some advertising. Seems like the best way forward for now. 🙂

Phill · 4 October 2007 at 4:58 pm

It’s a bit difficult really to say what a *huge* readership might be defined as

If you want to make any kind of decent money from ads, I reckon you’re talking tens of thousands of visitors. If only .01% of people click on ads (and that’s probably an overestimate) than you’re going to need those kind of numbers.

Needless to say, I don’t get anywhere near that… hmm, I’m just going to remove Adsense methinks!

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