This is a real question. Anyone reading this weblog knows that I'm notoriously bad with money and pretty much hate the topic with a passion, so I'm asking for real, what would you personally do if you had an extra $100 a day? I'm asking because that's how much my Yahoo! Publisher Network's text ads are earning me now, and it's gone past the point of being my "gadget budget" to real cash: an average or $3k a month, not including the inevitable taxes.
First, just to do a little promotion for my employer, I put a pic of my YPN earnings for the last week above. I didn't ask anyone about publishing this post, so I greyed out the details, though I have actually asked being more specific on the numbers and they asked me to wait until YPN was out of beta). But I will say this though: I used to use AdSense earlier in the year with the same amount of traffic, and I'm now earning three times as much as I did then. Your results of course will vary, and they may be still tweaking the rev-share stuff down in Pasadena, but I'm pretty positive that if you're not using Yahoo! advertising, you're losing money.
While I'm on the topic, let me talk about what I do with advertising on this site since a few people have emailed me and asked. I think I'm very aggressive with my ads, but also very fair:
- There are no ads on the front page of my site
- I provide full posts in my ad-free RSS feed
- I only put ads on individual posts
- I only show ads if you clicked from another site
- You get only one ad per visit to my site, not per page
Now, the placement of my ads is obnoxious, I admit. They're smack in the middle of the post, below the title, above the content, it's not called out in any real way so it could be confused with real links, and on most monitors it's the only thing you see "above the fold" so you have to scroll to get to the actual stuff I wrote. But considering the amount of free content I give away, I don't have any reservations about where my ads are. They work perfectly that way, since I get a ton of traffic from search engines, and what I call "jumpers" (people who found another blog through a search engine and then clicked-through to my site). To these people searching for something, the links in the ads are relevant and probably exactly what they're looking for, and in reality they are a service to them. This is why the work so well.
To my regular readers who have to deal with them once in a while, I'm sorry. If I could find a more accurate way of making sure that only people who were new to my site or just passing through saw the ads, and everyone else never did, I would. Not really because I'm nice, simply because you regular readers (who I adore and love and who are normally bloggers who link to me and give me traffic, which drives this whole process) never click ads anyways. I don't when I'm visiting your site either normally. :-)
Okay, back to the question at hand. What would you do with $100 a day? Would you save it? Invest it? Buy some stock? Short Google (since after 4 days I could buy.. one share)? Pay off all your debts first? How about something more creative - I really would love minions to work on all my crazy ideas for world domination - How much outsourced work could I buy for that much? Could I hire a bunch of people in the third world to play World of Warcraft for me and eBay the magical items? What about quick arbitrage opportunities? Should I buy as many XBox 360s as possible, and wait until Christmas Eve to unload them? Load up on cherries at a distant farmer's market and then drive into SF and sell them for some obscene amount per pound?
Come on, give me some neat ideas... Imagine my blog as a business (it's not really, but think of it that way for a sec), what would you do to take the profits from the business and grow them? I mean, I'm not rich at all, have little savings and I've got real bills (ugh, tons of them) and debts, but it seems like such an opportunity, no?
If you had an extra $100 a day, what would you do as an entrepeneur to grow it into a living wage?
P.S. I have a feeling this post will get viewed from more than few SEM and SEO folk. I'm not going to "review" YPN more as there's no possible way I could be objective nor provide more details as I haven't asked anyone about it, so if you have questions (like how to get on the beta), please send them to the official site. Thanks.
P.P.S. I added a closing question and a comment below to help frame this post a bit better because reactions were all over the board. My bad, I conflated a couple different topics together (blog ads and startup thoughts).