How intrusive are with-post ads?

I’ve received some clarification on matters hinted at earlier (not the two books: those are jes’ fine), and am now looking into what I should do about Walt at Random and Cites & Insights. Those are two very different topics, to be sure.

This post is about the former. Namely, what I might do to generate a little revenue from this here blog.

I could sign up for AdWords again, and might do so, but I’m a little chary of the “only pay for actual clickthroughs” model, particularly for a blog that reaches mostly library people. So I’m also thinking about some other ad model (via Google? Dunno: haven’t investigated that yet), including models that pay for exposure and those where ads are actually fed along with individual posts in RSS feeds, not just on the sidebar here.

Example within the library field: David Lee King’s blog–not every post, but at least some of them. There are others.

So the questions are:

  • How intrusive do you find such ads? Are they likely to make you unsubscribe?
  • For that matter, how intrusive do you find banner ads and “in-stream” ads (ones that appear between or within posts on the site itself)?
  • Any other suggestions as to how to make this blog a source of income?
  • Can you suggest any reputable ad networks that might work for this blog, and that pay based on views, not just clickthroughs?


8 Responses to “How intrusive are with-post ads?”

  1. Angel says:

    For what little my two cents may be worth:

    1. By now I usually don’t worry about ads on a site too much. As long as they are not too flashy or intrusive (I loathe those pop-up things that start an ad right as you start to read an article. And don’t get me started on autoplay stuff. Not that I think you’d do that), I can usually deal.

    2. Banners if they are on the top of the site, by now, I have learned to ignore (though I will admit, something catches my eye, I may click, but rarely). The in-text ads, if they sort of blend in, I just tune out.

    For 3 & 4, I don’t have anything, sorry. Not that knowledgeable on the subject myself. I will ad that more recently I have learned to use ad blocker apps on my Firefox, to cut down on the most egregious things. Given how savvy librarians are, I would not be surprised if more of them do it too.

    Best, and keep on blogging.

  2. GeekChic says:

    I don’t find ads intrusive because I use NoScript and AdBlock in Firefox so I never see them. 😉 That said, I will turn both off on sites that I like that rely on ad-based funding with the proviso that the site owner needs to be judicious about the ad content since ads can be a vehicle of malicious code.

    Several of the blogs that I read have ads in their feeds. I don’t find these intrusive either so that might be another alternative.

    As for ad networks… several online comics I read use Project Wonderful. I’m not aware of any others that I find acceptable (DoubleClick has been used as a vehicle for malicious code so I won’t unblock it).

  3. Another AdBlock user here. Anyway, ads tend to be chump-change for bloggers who aren’t in high-demand niches (maybe do posts about p_o-k.e+r). Granted, it could be argued that something is better than nothing. But I can say I was very disappointed with Google’s ads on my blog.

    > Any other suggestions as to how to make this blog a source of income?

    Some sort of sponsorship comes to mind, but I assume you’ve thought of that.

    Blog-evangelism is a con game. Outside narrow exceptions, the people who make money from blogs are the ones selling the bloggers, in one way or another 🙁 .

  4. I started using ads as more of an experiment than anything – it was a part of the whole web thing that I wasn’t familiar with. I still need to do more tweaking and playing with it!

    But that said, here’s what I do right now:
    – google adsense in posts (after a few days), and in my rss feed. I’m using a plugin for those.
    – amazon affiliate ads – I put those in my most popular posts, or when I’m talking about something that’s sold on amazon, like a book or a microphone.

    Combined, I’m making around $5-600 a year off those. Not much, but then again, it pays for my website and for pro accounts on services like Flickr.

    Problogger will have a ton of info about ad services you might think about.

    And – I have yet to have anyone complain, or even mention the ads on my website (well, other than this post :-). People don’t seem to mind them much, I guess.

  5. walt says:

    (Sigh: WordPress suddenly decided I wasn’t logged in…after I’d written a careful response. So here goes a shorter one. Thanks, WordPress!)

    David: I’m not complaining; I mention your ads only because in-feed ads are unusual among libloggers. Thanks for the helpful information on where to go for ads & info and the reality check about income levels (which is about what I was anticipating, actually–I made $20 in four months the last time I tried AdWords, but I’m hoping I can do better this time around, but “do better” would presumably be in the hundreds of dollars per year).

    Seth: I thought I had a possibility of direct sponsorship, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. At this point, I’m still seeking sponsorship for Cites & Insights, a more predictable outlet where sponsorship may make more sense–and where I had a sponsor for several years. Everything else you say is sort of what I thought, and I’m not about to either use SEO or start tailoring posts to increase ad penetration–and I don’t believe David has ever tailored posts in that manner.

    Angel, GeekChic: Thanks for your helpful comments.

    I’ll leave this open a little longer, but so far it sounds as though nobody objects to most ads.

  6. Just looking at, while posts aren’t necessarily tailored to increase ad penetration, I do see a focus that I’d guess would have a higher ad yield (no offense meant, just description). I see posts on the front page now which include “Basics of Podcasting Presentation” and “Livestreaming is Easy”. Those are good ad topics. So I’d take his figures as an upper limit for what you can expect.

  7. Bobbi says:

    Walt I suggest you take a look at the comments on the post on my blog where I announced my donate button. People were very much against ads, though one commenter did suggest an option that is literature related ads, so well, perhaps more acceptable. I will say that the donate button has been a success, which I’m sure is a disappointment to some.

    personally I don’t like ads, but I do a good job of ignoring them and I completely understand the desire to at lease recoup costs on all the hard work that goes into a blog.

  8. walt says:

    Bobbi: Interesting. I have a Donate button at Cites & Insights. Since I’ve had it, I haven’t had enough donations to pay for hosting over that period. That may say something about relative value…