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 thats 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 youre thinking – Whats for dinner tonight? Failing that, you might be thinking oh no, not advertising?! Please dont 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 dont need, dont want, and bares no relevance to whats on the rest of the page, which is why youre there in the first place.
However, as youll no doubt be aware, Googles 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 dont 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 dont 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 wont 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 Im 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 blogs 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 thats no good if Im losing my regular blog readers. Its all about you, after all. Well, partly about you. Its also partly about me ranting and wishing I got paid for it.