Monetizing my blog...


In the last month or so I figured I would try to monetize some of the residual traffic that this blog gets. Far from the heady days of its peak when I was getting easily 10,000 page views a day, it's now down to a more leisurely 2k to 3k a day, which is much more reasonable from a mental health standpoint (less wacky emails and pseudo-Internet fame). Of course the days when I made $100 a day from my blog alone are gone as well.

So last month, I was thinking that since it was the holiday shopping season, I would add some Amazon affiliate stuff to the site. My archives get a lot of random Google traffic, so I figured once in a while I'd get a click or two and maybe someone would buy a Kindle or something and I'd make $30 extra... That didn't happen. Over the past couple months I've made exactly $17 - and generally pissed off a lot of people who have emailed to complain about all the javascript-added links all over the place. So I just got rid of that.

I also just got rid of Yahoo Publisher Network ads because they have become so insanely useless as to be an outright insult to anyone who comes to my site. Not to disparage my old company, but it's pretty well known that there's two parts of the company, and the the Yahoos brought in by the Overture acquisition are not the sharpest tacks in the box.

How bad are the YPN ads? Check out the last week's numbers:

Date Impressions Clicks CTR(%) Revenue
01/18/2008 2,978 13 0.4% $2.77
01/17/2008 2,998 11 0.4% $4.97
01/16/2008 3,071 7 0.2% $1.45
01/15/2008 3,179 9 0.3% $5.99
01/14/2008 3,295 7 0.2% $4.84
01/13/2008 2,724 12 0.4% $9.71
01/12/2008 2,729 7 0.3% $4.80

The click through rate was averaging 0.3%!!! I mean, it's absolutely insanely bad. And the earnings are all over the board. Generally the ads pay much higher than the equivalent AdSense ad, and at one point this evened out so that the earnings were the same but not any longer. Since I normally default to non-Google owned services if I can help it, I went with Yahoo! up until now, but it's just gotten so bad that since even just last September the average revenue per day has dropped down below $5, where it used to be around $12. I know for a fact that Google's ads return a much higher CTR, and though the pay per click isn't as high its consistent and averages near $10. And most importantly, for my readers the ads are at least somewhat helpful and I don't feel like the only reason people are clicking the ads are by accident.

All this stuff I'm talking about, btw, are on the archived pages of my old blog. I finally got tired of seeing the ads on my new stuff so I just stripped them out - they weren't really earning much anyways - same for the Amazon stuff. I may pop in some logic that after a certain amount of time (a week? a month?) I then activate the ads, but we'll see. I'd rather concentrate on optimizing Mowser instead (which gets from 3% to 5% CTR, believe it or not).

Anyways, in case you noticed the ads and links and wondering WTF was going on, now you know.



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