Saturday, January 10, 2009

How Much Is Too Much?


It is both a plus and a minus in the blog world today.

A plus in the sense that it can help you earn a few dollars to help defray the cost of whatever it is you need help in paying for. A minus in the sense that it earns you squat and can turn off your readers.

To clarify, I'm only talking about the regular advertising that you see from AdSense and other reputable companies, that are strategically placed around and about on one's blog. I'm not talking about the other bits and pieces of self-created advertising (some of which is very good) that you put into your blog, in order to drum up business for whatever it is that you do for a living or hobby (of which I am guilty of doing as well).

Those ads I have no issues with, as I find that sometimes it's the easiest way to keep your name out there among the public while you're in between projects. Matter of fact, I find those intriguing enough to actually go and check them out.

As a disclaimer: I was guilty of doing AdSesne for the first four or five months of my blog. But I decided that they were more of a nuisance (at least for the structure of my blog) than anything else. Plus, I wasn't earning anything from them either.

I follow with regularity, 40 blogs and 2 websites. Of those 40 blogs, about half have some form of advertising on them. Of those half, all but two keep their advertising tasteful and pleasing to the eyes. What I mean by that, is that the ads don't deter from the distinct pleasure of reading the blog.

Of the remaining two, one has a slew of them on his, which is due to the fact that he's doing a research piece for an upcoming article about advertising on blogs. For that, I wish him nothing but the best of luck, because he had stated at the outset of his project, that he is looking to expand his horizons (and publishing credits) as a writer. In this case, the ends justifies the means.

The last one, I'm trying really hard to keep following. While it was one of the first blogs that I got hooked into 8 months ago (due to the tips on writing, etc.), it has gotten reformatted at least a half dozen times and had nothing but wall to wall advertising put onto it. While this person has stated from the outset that they're looking to maximize the income from the blog, for the average reader like me, having to wade through gobs of ads splattered throughout the main body of the blog, is fast becoming a major turn-off.

In any event, while I don't mind advertising on blogs (and more power to the people who have them), there has to be a happy medium between having just the right mix/placement and having so many of them that it detracts from the beauty of your blog content.

For the record, I do enjoy tremendously all 40 blogs and 2 websites that I follow on a daily basis, and I will continue to support them the best that I know how.

Additional note: I just want to make it clear to everyone that in no way am I slamming people for having advertising on their blogs. If you want to get the most out of your blog, by all means you should try your very best in doing so. Just because it didn't work for me doesn't mean I don't think it can't work for you. Sometimes a good mixture of professional and personal advertising can add the right touch to a blog.


  1. I haven't tried the ad thing yet. It would be nice to make a little doing something I'm going to do anyway. But I've just never even looked into it.

  2. I avoid advertising. Maybe when my blog becomes DRUDGE like (yeah right) I will re-think it but I don't find the benefits of it now. I'm probably wrong--usually am.

  3. Charles: it would be nice to make a little something, I would admit. But unless your blog has a steady of visitors, the amount you would earns probably negliable at best.

    David: I don't think that you're wrong. I believe that advertising is simply a double edged sword, and it really boils down to personal preference in regards to using it.

    There are some tangible benefits to it. I'm finding that people who are visiting my blog will more often than not take a chance on visiting my book blog to check out what I got for sale.

  4. I look on ads on blogs as the blog equivalent of having your website on one of those free sites like Tripod. I was guilty of that for a couple of years because the cost of a website was prohibitive. Hopefully those who make money blogging are getting enough to pay for their efforts, but it's not really something I would want to continue forever--just because of the impression it gives the reader.

  5. Christine: My sentiments exactly. I did it on mine, only because it seemed like the thing to do (along with throwing a few wierd widgets on as well).

    After a while, it seemed like I wasn't getting anything out of it, and after I read a few interesting tidbits about AdSense, I decided to do away with it.

    But for the most part, the blogs that I currently follow that do carry advertising, do it in such a way that it doesn't turn me off as a reader.

    And considering where I came from (chat rooms), I'm a bit overly sensitive to gobs of advertising on blogs.

  6. I tend to think of a blog as designed by and reflective of its owner. It's nice to get an idea of the personality. Advertising is too pervasive everywhere else, I prefer blogs without it.

  7. Excellent point.

    Although that is my preference as well, most of the blogs I follow have what little advertising they carry, strategically placed so as not to interfere with the overall enjoyment of the blog.

  8. Very interesting post. I too find the ads a bit distractive, could be the ADD talking...but like you, if the content is still worthy, I stick around.

  9. I refuse to use ads because I hate them! And they add nothing at all to my site.
    My site costs about £30 a year to run. That includes hosting costs and the cost of the domain name. I would rather pay £30 and have people come to the site because there are no ads than not come because there is. I blog because I enjoy it. If someone wants to pay my hosting fee's....they are more than welcome! If they dont, it is £30. I spend more than that on take away food in one order!

  10. Rightonmom: No, I don't think it's the ADD talking. Ads done wrong can be distracting. Done right, they can enhance the blog to a certain degree.

    Sy: Interesting. Never knew that if you blog using a dot com website it costs money to maintain the website.

    But like you said, it's your money that you're investing into the website. And it's up to you whether or not you choose to have advertising on it. In any event, you really have to have a high traffic count in order to make it worth your while.

  11. I only have blogs, rather a lot maybe, and am prevaricating about getting my own website.

    Whatever, IMHO, blogs can have oddles of personal links to stuff the author has published (the lucky so and so's)or recommends.

    Otherwise, general ads are a greatly offputting distraction!

    So there.


  12. And lo and behold, what is the newblog listed on blogcatalog today but;

    which is so full of adverts both in the margins and hyperlinked in the text.

    Oh deary me?


  13. I started out thinking I would advertise too. I heard people were making money from blogging.

    Funny how a few months of blogging changes one's perspective...

    Making money off one's blog is a full time job and then some.

  14. Dave: I agree with you on the first point, in that having personal links to stuff that you created/trying to sell/or recommend is a plus.

    Otherwise, it's a very fine line between just enough and too much.

    As for your second post with the link, I find it interesting that it got accepted by BlogCatalog. When I went to list my other blog (has my book on it for purchase), the rules clearly state that no strictly commercial blogs can be listed.

    Go figure.

    Pink Ink: That is so true. You really have to be seriously into blogging 24/7/365 in order to make money off of it.

    I don't think that I made a plug nickel off of mine in the three or four months that I ads on mine.

    Live and learn.

  15. What a great post, Georgie.

    I know what you mean about ads getting in the way of the reading, especially if they are right in the post, kind of a nusiance to the eye, detracts from the whole.

    On my old blog without comments (I switched to my current one in Sept.) I once made $3.77 in one week off my Google ads when a lot of songwriters were coming to my blog -- I was writing songwriting tips adn visiting a lot of songwriting blogs. I noticed that most of the ads were for songwriting contests so I guess a lot of my readers liked those. Other than that, most weeks I don't even reach a buck total.

    Now that my traffic is growing I'm toying with the idea of letting other bloggers put a text ad on my blog for a monthly fee through AdBrite, which I may follow up on, but I will for sure keep the ads off to the side and unobtrusive.

    Good one!

  16. That sounds like an excellent idea!

    I may be the first one to take advantage of that.

    In any event, your blog is one that has ads tastefully placed and doesn't detract from the content.

    I do know with AdSense, they custom tailor the ads based on the daily content of your blog. So when I had them, depending on what I wrote for the week, is what I got for ads. Some of which were really peculiar for my blog.

  17. Hello, just browsing through some blogs - yours looks interesting!! Hope you don't mind!!

    I think ads on blogs are usually more distracting than anythig else.

    But I'm not concerned with making money from my blog - I just hope to one day have something interest to write about!!

  18. Amber: No I don't mind at all. As a matter of fact, that's how I've found most of the blogs I currently follow.

    Sometimes, yes ads (of any kind) can be distracting, especially if the blog is covered wall-to-wall. My personal feeling is if they're placed strategically, then I don't have a problem with them.

    Thanks for stopping by today.


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