The Bean Blog (currently on hiatus)

Sunday, August 29, 2004

To Advertise or Not to Advertise, That Is the Question

Normally when I log onto Blogger, I go straight to my dashboard and start blogging. This morning, I decided to take a look at the "Blogs of Note" to see if there was anything interesting. After scrolling down the list, my eye was drawn to the left, and I saw this sentence: "Read There's AdSense in My Blog! to find out more about how to start blogging for dollars." Like a dutiful child, I did what I was told.

I found out a couple of things. For one, when I first started blogging (way back in May), there were Google driven ads at the top of my blog. I was amused by these content derived ads, and even mentioned the ads in a blog entry. Then I noticed a couple of weeks ago that the ads were gone and seemed to have been replaced by the Blogger NavBar, although how Blogger was making money off of that, I had no idea. On top of noticing that the ads were gone, I then noticed that they seemed to have re-appeared (in a new format) on one of my favorite blogs. I wasn't really sure why that blog had them and others did not. Well, the above mentioned article explained all.

We bloggers are now welcomed and encouraged to authorize the use of ads on our blogs. Blogger.com has done the good deed of offering to share the profits from our blogging with us, the bloggers. If we want ads in our blogs, we set up an AdSense account, and I guess every time someone clicks on an ad from our blog, we get some money (as does blogger.com). How much, I haven't bothered to find out yet, but I can't imagine that it's more than a few cents. However, to increase how many cents you make, blogger.com offers some helpful hints from someone named Haughey:

Haughey's Hints for AdSense Bloggers

1. Focus, and be as specific as you can.
2. Write content related to real products.
3. Don't start a blog just for money.
4. Use a professionally designed template.

I find these hints distrubing. The idea that some of my favorite bloggers might start writing about Diet Coke in order to be product specific and thereby make some money is upsetting. I kind of thought of blogging as a way to just speak what was on your mind--a utopian state of free speech. I thought of blogging as something simple and pure. Maybe I'm being too melodramatic here, but I think you know what I mean. Can it be that this is behind us now? Can it be that my favorite bloggers will just start doing it for the money? They will no longer write what is in their heads and hearts but about Nike shoes instead because that might lead to extra change in their pockets? And even if they did do so, could I blame someone who was just trying to make an extra buck? And most terrifying of all, is this in my future? Like everyone else, I could use more money.

The blog I mentioned earlier that already seems to have enlisted in AdSense does not appear to be influenced by Haughey's Hints. I hope that she does not become so....

12 Comments:

  • You know I was recently thinking about the same thing as well. I mean, I'll be the first to admit that I am a whore for money and it wouldnt hurt if I had a few extra dollars in my back pocket. But I decided that since I hate having to have ads block my viewing, I'm not gonna do that to my readers. It only makes sense.

    By Blogger D.T., at 7:01 PM, August 29, 2004  

  • You raise an interesting - and highly valid - point about the commercialization of what has thus far been a relatively non-commercial medium.

    This weighed heavily on my mind as I read your post. Then I threw caution to the wind to a certain extent and submitted my AdSense application. I did so because at some point, we've all got to put food on the table. And any opportunity to increase our ability to do so without compromising our fundamental ideals is worth pursuing. I figure if I totally prostitute myself in the process, I can always start anew.

    You prompted me to ruminate further on this issue. Here's the direct link to the post:

    http://writteninc.blogspot.com/2004/08/blogging-for-dollars.html

    Thanks again for questioning what would otherwise be assumed without question.

    By Blogger Carmi, at 8:27 PM, August 29, 2004  

  • I don't like this for a couple of reasons. 1) I think ads throw off the look of blogs. They tend to stand out in an obnoxious kind of way. 2) If people start taking the advice you cited and writing about specific products, that will ruin the individuality that blogs and make them incredibly boring in the process. I know all I need to about most products I use. I prefer Pepsi to Coke and no blog is going to change that, no matter what magic powers it claims Coke has. When it comes to shoes, I like to be cheap ones. No brand name, no problem. That's just less I have to pay. If I do need information about certain products I'm going to do research. Actual factual stuff, not opninionated crap on a blog that's just an attempt to make a buck.

    By Blogger Newell, at 9:37 PM, August 29, 2004  

  • Great post, Oz. I understand the initial draw of placing ads on your, or anyone else's, blog... and that's easy money. When people say, "I could use a few extra bucks" I don't think they realize how literal they're being. Huge, gigantic bloggers like InstaPundit, Davenetics, and the Gawker gang (fleshbot, wonkette, gizmodo, defamer) can make money off of well-placed, well-integrated advertising, but for the other 99.98% of us, it's just not worth it. Besides, Google ads look like shit.

    By Blogger Dan, at 10:30 AM, August 30, 2004  

  • Good post. Those tips for bloggers were quite strange.

    Dont blog for money? hrmmmm. Never even thought about that one.

    By Blogger Vadergrrrl, at 1:37 PM, August 30, 2004  

  • Well, I sure don't want to add ads to my blog. I don't know if I'm a favorite or not, but I can at least say that it's 'pure.' You go to the dashboard to 'blog?' I only go there to post my entry. I really need to get to know what I'm doing. Young sonny set me up but I'm not sure yet how to add links. I'm gonna learn though. But I can't get my mind around the idea of 'advertising for dollars (well, pennies probably). There's so darn much crass commercialism out there... Dang!

    By Blogger foxymama, at 4:20 PM, August 30, 2004  

  • It looks like we're mostly of the same mind with the exception of Carmi (you go, you rebel soul!) I've really decided that AdSense is the devil. Seems like a scheme cooked up to get us all to write copy for the product manufacturers. I have to admit that seeing those ads makes me inherently suspicious of that blogger's intentions. I would even question my own if I did it. For instance, in my other blog I mention specific photography equipment for the sole purpose of letting other photographers (or just the curious) know what I'm using. But if I had AdSense ads on that blog, it could easily look like I was just doing that to try to make money--and who knows, maybe I would be. Anyway, after briefly considering it, I'm firmly against it. I would rather that blogger just put the ads up like they used to instead of giving us a piece of the action. That piece can warp the entire community. Thanks for your comments all. I'm glad that I'm in good company. :)

    By Blogger Oz, at 8:35 PM, August 30, 2004  

  • I have been to your site and I too am working very hard at adsense asbestos to increase my revenue. I am also looking into many NEW ways to utilize the design to further direct people to follow my ads.
    adsense asbestos

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:48 PM, October 01, 2005  

  • I am looking everywhere for bowling shoes and bowling shoes, while doing so I somehow stumbled onto your bowling shoes blog. I am happy to say I learned something and will look into this further...

    Thanks for the great posts...

    jon

    By Blogger jon, at 11:27 PM, October 01, 2005  

  • Hey maybe you can help me out, I'm looking for hits.
    Any ideas?

    By Blogger 性爱, at 12:38 AM, October 04, 2005  

  • Sweet blog you got here! kudos, have u thought of putting Google's AdSense on it? You'de make a bunch of extra change specially when you use adsense money making tips and get the top paying keywords

    By Blogger adsense_cash, at 2:40 AM, October 09, 2005  

  • Great info about the definitive guide to google adsense I have a lage interest also and have a site about the definitive guide to google adsense please feel free to check it out.

    By Blogger blaze, at 1:35 AM, October 11, 2005  

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