Open for business

I’m going to start taking ads on BuzzMachine. Two reasons: (1) I don’t make as much as I used to. (2) I want to learn how ads work and because I talk about the topic often, I realized it’s time to get my money where my mouth is. I’ve just created an ad strip on BlogAds and I’ll also be experimenting with the new Yahoo Publisher Network. I will also try ads on RSS, via Feedburner, because I do serve the full content there and because I want to learn about that as well. Ad strips will start appearing as soon as my son and webmaster can put them up.

My son disapproves of the aesthetics that will result from adding a column of ads on the right. I’m teaching him a bad lesson in greed v. art.

: I’m also going to try an A/B switch on Yahoo and AdSense, just to learn. I may not stick with Google but wanted to try it while I get Yahoo set up.

  • Jeff, Please post as many metrics as you feel comfortable with as this evolves. I’m trying to get actual numbers on click thru rates, average CPCs, etc. (for both feed ads and site ads) from real bloggers instead of just relying on the pheedo and other published numbers. People will devour this information.

  • MisterPundit

    “I’ll also be experimenting with the new Yahoo Publisher Network”

    So Yahoo has finally gone live with this now? I’d love to hear your experiences with it. I’m not impressed with Google AdWords, and I’m looking for alternatives.

  • Greg T

    Good luck on going ‘commercial’. You don’t need to apologize ad placements on Buzzmachine. Needing or wanting income doesn’t equate to greed (but, I guess, you could see it from there.)

    Aesthetics of the site are another issue… that’s a price we’ll have to bear. :)

  • You can still preserve the aesthetics of your site and have ads. It just requires a little creativity. Then again, it could be argued that I have no sense of aesthetics whatsoever. :)

  • Having just started my own experiment with Google’s Ad Sense program I have a couple of observations.

    It is possible to have modest ads displayed in a suitable area and not have it detract from the overall design.

    Companies that pick which ads to display do a poor job on pages that are not about “things”.

    Ad blocking software such as the adblock extension for Firefox do a pretty good job of making all these third party placements invisible anyway. I have to use IE to even see the Google ads on my own web site!

    Rather than letting some ad broker do it, it would be better if one could deal with the advertiser directly, then the ads would be relevant and they would be part of the base page not some easily defeated javascript thing.

    However, no one actually does anything themselves anymore, we just get middle men to do a poorer job for a slice of the action.

  • One of the many good things about Adsense is that there are tons of advertisers, and, other than the pressure to avoid certain words that will cause PSAs to appear, there’s no pressure to, for instance, avoid making fun of the carpet-humping guy.

    Also, to avoid future problems, I believe that you’re still only supposed to reveal your total monthly income from Adsense, not specifics like CTR. Where you’ve got the ads now is probably not the best location, but, that’s all I’m going to say.

  • Why not just set up a tip jar? MSM has already been reduced to playing the role of corporate lapdog, does the blogosphere really need to go this way too? You could even find one or two patrons to sponsor what you do. The problem is once you start accepting money from lots of sources, you become very limited in what you can and cannot say.

  • Ed Rusch

    I think you’ll be massively disappointed in Adsense — CPMs are about half what they were a year ago (yes, I’ve run the numbers) and clickthrough rates are dramatically down as well. I’m serving double the number of ads over a year ago and making about 20 percent less in revenues.

    Google stockholders should be a little worried about the company having a sustainable business model.

  • I loved the blog without the ads, but these days it seems that most people have some kind of them on their blogs. Money is money, right?

  • David Greene

    How did you run Advance.Net and not know anything about ads?

  • All the best with your ads – I think you can expect to do ok out of them – although because your blog is reasonably general in topic (ie you cover a reasonably wide range of topics) and because your readers are fairly web savy (they tend to click less than the average web surfer) you might find your Adsense ads are not as successful as blogs that are more tightly focused with less tech savy readers would do.

    Having said that – you have a high level of readership so should do ok out of it. Will be interested to see how it ends up.

    Also – Michael asks for metrics – be very careful about what you reveal. While you can reveal totals, dont reveal CTR, impressions or earnings per click or you’ll get yourself banned.

    Shout out if you need any help on optimising the ads. Happy to share what I know.

  • Great Jeff! We’re really interested in advertising with you. We’ll need to know a bit more about your audience/traffic though. Either email me or just publish them here, whatever makes you feel more comfortable.

  • I don’t make as much as I used to.

    LOL!! oh, please Jeff! Be the Big Whig you honestly are and just love it.

    you’re doing that Wizard Behind the Curtain thing again…it’s so beneath you.

    I’m with your son. The ads will ruin the aestheic of the blog.

  • It’s okay, but we’ll ostracize you if you put those annoying, flying pop up ads (intersticials) like the NEW YORK TIMES does.

    Good luck.

  • Tracy Norman



    I have a client that has a decent click tracking facility for their affiliate system. Can’t google make things more transparent for everyone which is truly justifable and necessity and call of the hour.

    Google also says they filter out fraudulent clicks automatically. Then how come they can take away all your hand earned money and pay you nothing? Is Google ending up as the biggest blunder on the worldwide scale playing with advertisers as well as with publishers?


    Isn’t google turning up to be an evil just for the sake of robbing month from millions of people on both the sides every day!?

    I wish you people should go for other good networks such as Yahoo/Overture and others. I’m sure only the one that will offer complete transparency in terms of traffic stats to the publishers as well as to the advertisers will survive at last. And until that, companies such as google would loose their precious trust that they’ve build with excellent performance in the pasts!

    You can fool a few people for some time, but you can not fool large number of people for a long time.

    Google might be happy to take away small money of thousands of people and thus powering up their balance sheets, but what they don’t know is that ONCE A WAVE STARTS WHERE PEOPLE STOP SUPPORTING THEM WITH ADSENSE AND MOVE TO OTHER PARTNER IN BUNCH, THEN THEY’LL HAVE ALL THEIR ADVERTISERS TURNING BACK TO THEM AND A BUNCH OF LAWSUITS BEING THROWN ON THEM!


    IS MSN LISTENING? I hope you people get back the heart of the world by offering a more transparent contextual advertising option such as MicroSense!

    Is Yahoo Listening? Best of luck for your new venture. But remember that the world keeps good hopes with you people and hope you won’t end up as another cheater!

    It’s the moral responsibility of the market leaders to protect, enhance and boost everyone’s morale and trust by providing true opportunities an options, not playing with other people’s money or hard efforts.

    “You’re actually blessed to have the trust of millions. You think you did it yourself? Wasn’t there the will of the almighty and your fate? You think you’re God? You think you can take away money of trueful people in this way and change their destiny? I’ve seen thousands of people keeping trust in you and start blogging for you so that YOU MAKE GOOD MONEY and throw a bit of it for them. Don’t you have a moral responsibility to pay them back in the form of your commitment for true judgement in the form of indentifying the real CULPRIT, the real cause of chaos for whose actions, you blindly punish the poor site owner dedicatedly working for you investing their huge life-time, money and energy for composing fantastic content so that YOU end up profitting ?”

    The solution :

    1. Give users an option to deliver adsense through server side scripting, such as asp, jsp, cf or php and provide them true legitimate option to track all adsense clickthroughs outgoing from their site.

    Mind you, though bad people are always everywhere, you should take care that you do not punish the true good one, or else you earn up a curse. Do you want to earn money by earning curses from people devoting their lifetime and carrier for YOU people? Have you ever told them how much YOU made from that click while paying them a bit? These good people don’t even ask for that. They just wish GOOD to happen to YOU as well as to themselves. Its your moral responsibility to safeguard them, or else I can foresee that within 6 months you should be ready to loose a lot of business to your new upcomig competitors and that’s how the world goes!

    So better understand it on time or get ready for a change! With internet, implementing a change is no big deal. Anyone hires a marketer with the thoughts of revenge and promotes your competitors just to take you down while earning up some real nice money from your competitors as leads based affiliate program!

    In lesser words, pay back the money you’ve wrongly acquired from thousands of individuals. Say a Gentleman’s “THANK YOU” to them for their support, and then close their account if you want. And then reinvite them with a more sound tracking facility so that all clicks are perfectly tracked!

    YOU WANT ME TO GIVE YOU A SOLUTION? OK HERE IT GOES. “Implement something similar to STOP-LOSS order system as in case of stock trading.
    Allow adsense publishers to adapt NULLIFY ALL CLICKS ORIGINATING FROM A SPECIFIC COMPUTER IF 4+ CLICKS OCCUR FROM THE SAME REMOTE_ADDR AND HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR in less than 15 seconds. This is something that doesn’t happen generally. Just nullify these clicks! That’s it. How come you can just BAN tha site owner for any mischief done by any site visitor from anywhere in the whole world! Is this the reward that you actually give to your dedicated partners,, your non-contracted team of supports that’s working more devotedly for you as compared to even a contracted team?

    I hope this will open up eyes of everyone including contextual advertising publishers, pay per click advertisers and pay per click search engines that take the help of true devoted partners for distributing contextual advertising from their clients in order to make money.

    For the sake of everyone, I’m distributing this message to a few web sites so that everyone gets woke up by the all of the hour.

    Thank you.
    Tracy Norman.

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