ad sense

I inquire whether there are any text ads out there which don’t need javascript, and the thread gets slammed shut with a threat that any blog displaying ads before they are officially introduced will be suspended.

Woah. I was only asking.

Well, ok, sometimes I feel that a couple of dollars here and there would be nice, by way of recompense for the time and effort I spend writing and researching and speculating wildly; and I might be tempted to shift over to proper wordpress were it not for the embargo upon domain names with (whisper it) ‘wordpress’ in the title. I mean, if they won’t tolerate it for community projects they sure as hell won’t allow it for snark.

And in any case I don’t believe there are any text ad providers out there which don’t use javascript, because how would the middleman be able to track the clicks without it? But if you know different, feel free to comment. I promise I won’t slam the thread shut.

Anyway, this is what advertising’s going to look like when it comes in: Adsense widgets for paid users. OK, that’s a sensible model, since the takings should cover the cost of their subscription, and after the initial payout to start things working they’ll essentially be getting their paid features free-at-the-cost-of-defacing-their-blog-with-ads. Kind of like what Livejournal are doing now, but more lucrative because wordpress.com will be demanding an upfront payment. You’d be very lucky to make any money on this, but if that bothered you you’d be self-hosting. Or on blogspot.

It goes without saying that free users will never be allowed ads, and paid customers won’t be able to use any ad providers other than whichever one’s officially supported, because a) this would be an invitation to splog and b) wordpress.com wouldn’t be getting a cut. Again, this is sensible, because why should people be able to make money out of something they’re getting for free? Restricting ad choice for paid users is a little dodgy, but could easily be passed off as a security measure. After all, these are people who don’t want to leave the walled garden of .com for the scary world of self-hosting, so they won’t inquire too deeply.

Now, getting VC funding pushed the timescale back for paid services a long way. And if they’re serious about charging they’re really going to have to rethink this policy of using us to test their alpha code (it treats .com users as subservient to the greater good of .org, which is fine if everyone’s getting this service for free but looks bizarre once you start getting money from us and none from them.) So none of this is in the immediate future. I probably wouldn’t go for it myself, since I already chuck away enough money on hosting thankyouverymuch and I can’t even see myself renewing my livejournal paid account at the moment. But if paid features are sufficiently attractive (at the moment I’m thinking domain forwarding, post-by-email, a couple of plugins, some exclusive themes and maybe the ability to edit or link to your own stylesheet) many people might find ads a good way of getting them.

ETA: wordpress is choking on the title and refusing to display it on the blog. For what it’s worth, this post is called ‘ad sense’, and the permalink is https://wank.wordpress.com/2006/06/18/ad-sense. (It censored that when I tried to make it a link: how fucked up is that?) Evidently we’re not allowed to mention the subject of advertising on our own blogs either.

EATA: deleted the offensive ‘a’ in the permalink, everything now works. Can we have a FAQ on which words are and are not allowed in post slugs, please?

8 Comments »

  1. Alan said

    Pay money to put ads on your blog. Right. I prefer the whole pay money, get your own hosting and have total control of what goes on, system. Even if I don’t get a proper import/export yet. But, of course, that’s just me.

  2. Tiara said

    Wouldn’t paying money to have ads on your blog be completely BACKWARDS from what everywhere else is doing? Usually it’s the free users that get stuck with ads (with the proceeds going to the head company), while paid users live ad-free.

    You don’t pay to display ads on LJ. It’s another tier (Sponsored+), which gives you paid account features (icons, phone posts, etc) in exchange for ads, which go back to LJ.

  3. wank said

    I know how Sponsored+ works, that’s why I referenced it; as I pointed out in the post, these users aren’t having to give LJ any money upfront, they’re ‘paying’ for extra features by having ads on their blog. Although ad users here will have to give money to wp.com initially, after that the cost of the paid features will be covered by ads, rather than coming out of their own pocket. The implementation is different, but the principle is not.

    Neither site is using the former Blogspot model of forcing everyone to have ads unless they pay. That doesn’t work, because people will either go to another free site which doesn’t have ads, or they will find ways of disabling them. In terms of maintaining user loyalty and goodwill, it’s more effective to give people the choice and bribe them to host ads by giving them extra features in return. That’s what Livejournal’s doing anyway. Here, I think the rationale is a little different; allowing ads will encourage more people to invest in paid accounts because they’ll be self-funding. You’re not paying to get ads, you’re getting ads in order to pay.

  4. Alan said

    The ads will only cover the cost if the blog gets decent traffic. If it doesn’t – like the majority of blogs at WP.com – they’d be lucky to make anything from them. I think, for the majority, it’s not gonna be pay once and ads cover the rest, it’s gonna be pay once and ads will cover a part of the rest but probably not a lot of it.

  5. Alan said

    The forum was spectacularly helpful to you, I noticed. lol

  6. 59ideas said

    There are other ways to seek revenue besides ads. How about Amazon which I believe is approved?
    If your blog is seriously popular, how about selling some links? (Not sure if this is allowed) I’m sure someone will pay to get on a popular blogroll.

    Just some ideas😉

  7. britgirl said

    Hmm, maybe I should be looking at hosting after all…

  8. […] Pretty much what I was predicting this time last year, then. […]

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