some thoughts in exile

I love the impermanence of WWdN: In Exile. It’s given me a lot of freedom to experiment with designs, content, and the Typepad experience.

So far, I really like all of it, and I’m even considering sticking with Typepad once I get WWdN up and running again. The WYSISYG editor is outstanding, and the most important factor for me in deciding what blogging tools to use is: how easy is it for me to get my ideas out of my head and onto the screen? I’ve noticed that since I moved to Exile, I’ve actually been able to blog a whole lot more than the last few weeks at WWdN: BE, just because it is so easy to use.

I also get to try things out here to see if I’m comfortable with them or not, before I integrate them into WWdN:2.0. That’s why there is that Google AdSense thing over on the right side of the screen. For a long time, I’ve resisted putting ads on WWdN, and I even scaled back, then ultimately took a hiatus from BlogAds (which are great, by the way. It wasn’t them, it was me. We’re still friends.)

But  the fact is, I love to write. I love to write for CardSquad, I love to write for The Onion, I love to write for Suicide Girls, and I love to write for WWdN:IE (yuck! IE! Gross! Maybe I should call it WWdN:ix) I would like to earn my primary living as a writer, and if AdSense means my blog helps pay some bills, I can put more time into writing good content, and publishing books. (This is especially important since O’Reilly sent me my "royalty" statement for the last quarter, which was all negative numbers. Thanks for all that great promotion and support, guys!)

I don’t know if I’m going to keep the AdSense around or not. I understand that Google is hardcore about the way bloggers talk about the ads, so all I will say is that if they don’t earn me a certain amount of revenue each month, I’ll get rid of them. Oh, and Mesothel — Ha. Just kidding.

I’m interested in knowing what you other bloggers think, especially bloggers who use AdSense, TextAds, BlogAds, IndieClicks, etc. Is it worth it? Do you have any trouble with content, sponsors, or readers?

20 thoughts on “some thoughts in exile”

  1. Wil, I’ve been using adsense over at MindFyre for a few months, now. While I have only earned around $25 from it (google allows disclosure of total amount earned, but not CPC/CTM), my earnings have increased, relative to my traffic. Overall, I’m fairly pleased.
    Google has recently unveiled some new features with it, including section targeting. That doesn’t seem to be working too well with me, but who knows, google may just be taking it’s good old sweet time indexing me. I’m still a very low-traffic site. (Not all of us are so well known when we start blogging, you lucky guy.)
    I’ve also recently added Chitika Mini-malls, in a non-contextual (keyword-triggered) sense.
    Personally, I say go for it. Adsense is a good, low-impact way of earning some extra cash with your blog. Unless your blog is highly specialized on one topic (or topic set), you’re not going to be sitting there going “WOW!” every month; but you will see some income as a result. It’s enough to make it worth keeping something in there.
    There are a ton of good articles writen on adsense and other programs. I’ll send you some via e-mail, here in the next day or so (simply too many to list in a comment).
    -Eric

  2. …Hmm, two additional things…
    First off, negative numbers? HOW?!
    Secondly, I’ve tried to trackback to some of your entries, using haloscsan, but have received weird errors from typepad (source url not within range of destination, or something of the sort). Since I’m not a typepad member, I can’t ask for support from the wonderful folks at Six Apart. *shrug* Just letting you know.

  3. I use Google AdSense. Even though my blog is Awesome with a capitol “A,” it doesn’t make me much money. My readership is…well…let’s just say, small. I also don’t think readers are inclined to click them. They’d rather be reading. If you want to make a living as a writer, you should pick up the 2006 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. It’s full of useful information. Plus, it’s a step in the right direction. Keep up the blogging.

  4. I really like Typepad. I have the super deluxe package and I can have as many blogs as I want so I can write about different topics. I had 7 in all but, decided to bag all but my main blog and go back to doing my own HTML/Flash site, steviemag.com, hosted on Earthlink. I love the flexibility to create anything I can dream of.
    People have told me that blogads.com works well for them. I’ve never had them however. They seem to integrate well on Typepad from what I’ve observed. Typepad also has their own version of “click for pay” ads, plus, auto links to amazon.com if you are an affiliate. I am and I get a few checks from them as an affiliate by using their links on my blog. But, I don’t get enough hits to retire.
    There are tons of affiliate programs out there like iTunes and stuff on cj.com and linkshare.com.
    Stay on Typepad.com! We want you with us!! Stevie.

  5. Wil, if you love to write, go with whatever makes it easiest. I go with LiveJournal, personally, because they set it all up for me. I tried the “install it yourself” stuff, and I tried squeezing blogger into my domain, but blogger (at the time, I don’t know if it’s still the case) was lacking comments, and I could never get the other stuff to install. And frankly, I hated spending the time screwing with it all when I had way better things to do (like, uh, work, and play video games, and read, and write, and…..).
    As for ads, I don’t mind them. If they help to bring in come cash, go with it. You’re not selling out because you put a pair of Google text ads on your site. I’ll keep reading until the flashing YOU’VE WON! CLICK HERE! ads show up.
    The only thing I hate is having to create an account and logging in to add comments. I hope whatever you do, you can get rid of forced accounts for comments.
    Hope to see WWDN2.0 back online soon!

  6. rac00nx:
    Blogger has comments now. It also has anonymous comments. It also – thankfully – has word verification, which, while apparently cake to crack, has cut down on the comment spam I received by 100.0%.
    I’m glad that you’re happy with LJ, but I wanted to let you know that blogger cleared up most of your beefs a lo-ooo-ng time ago, and you should take another look just to update your assessment of it.
    Keep writing.

  7. Stick with what works best for you…I code things myself (since Blogger doesn’t work with Apple’s .mac service (no WebDAV uploads)).
    Plus, I am a geeky developer so it’s fun to tweak my site every so often. I use a local app (Thingamablog) to control the blog part of my site, and use Haloscan for comments.

  8. Ads on blogs don’t bother me as long as they don’t interfere with the reading experience. I did move the Google ads off my index page because I thought they were slowing load times.
    I’ve received a couple of product placement pitches recently. A blog PR agency asked me if I’d write about a product if they sent me a sample. I had some fun with it, see http://www.odonnellweb.com/mtarchives/001988.php although I can’t imagine that my blog traffic makes this a worthwhile effort in the long run. It takes just as much time to pitch me and to pitch you – and a hell of a lot more people will see it if you write about something! The writing will also be a lot better here.

  9. I’m afraid of blog ad services. I have my own business on my blog and the services will probably post ads from my competitors.
    I’m toying with the idea, since mine is a housewife blog, of putting up the ads of other at home business housewives. I don’t even like the idea of them having to pay for this service.

  10. I ran AdSense for 4-6 months and generated a whopping 12 dollars. Of course, I only have 500-800 visits to my website a day, mostly by friends, and they’re not keen on clicking on the ads.
    I think AdSense’ll work better here.
    I did like the idea that you can choose how much room the ads take up on your site.
    I use GreyMatter as my blogging software, mainly ’cause I can do whatever I want with it.

  11. Here’s a perspective from the other side. I was just reviewing the advertising I do for my online business. I recently experimented with running ads through AdSense, and found it didn’t help much. When a person is searching for something on Google, and an ad comes up, there’s a nice mental connection, and a good likelihood they’ll click (and maybe buy). But when they see an ad when they are reading someone’s blog (for example), the connection is much less strong. For my business, it just generated too much noise.
    Traditional content ads (like in a magazine) are usually about brand building anyway, and it is almost impossible to build a brand with a tiny text ad, which is in a box that shouts “here be some ads, gar!”.

  12. Oh, and i really like the clean format of WWdN:In Exile (sounds like a Def Leppard tour, doesn’t it? Hey, I’d buy the T-shirt). As an artist, I have to agree — keep the clutter down, and just give yourself the space and energy to create. I tried keeping up a photoblog of my photography, but quickly found that the maintenance took up too much time from the actual creation of new photos.

  13. Wil, I have used AdSense for a year on my poker site. While I don’t get the hits that you do I still made $120 from it. Now while that may not be much cash, what I did notice was that my hits went up. I have heard that since the Google Bot has to spider the site to figure out what ads to run it somehow helps your rankings on Google. Of course no one really knows because they don’t tell you exactly how their algorithm works. But I certainly noticed more hits from Google soon after I put their ads up. So to answer your question, I would keep AdSense on your site.

  14. I’ve had Google ads on two of my own sites– microwaves101.com is geared toward microwave engineers. The pages on the site are very focused, so the Google ads are very focused –for example, a page for wave-guides gets only wave-guide vendors on it. I can’t retire yet, but it is very good money considering the amount of effort involved. The other site is more a hobby site–harryafranck.com is a tribute to (you guessed it) Harry A. Franck, a travel writer from the first part of last century. I had ads on there, but the traffic was too low to justify them and I ended up taking them down.
    I’m new to blogging– my blog at vagabond.blogsome.com has only been up for a few months now, and I still use the WordPress free version. I like it alot , it’s easy to use, and they put Google ads on it for me (how nice!) I don’t get any money from them, but when I’m ready to go ahead and pay for the software and domain, I’ll probably keep the ads for a while.

  15. Also sent via email, but just in case I ended up in the spam folder… :)
    I have been using the amazon affiliate program since its inception, and
    have been using adsense for a couple of years. I know of several people
    who make thousands of dollars on each, but everybody’s situation is
    different.
    For instance, I ran a bunch of official web sites for actors. With those sites I had a central message board where I put adsense ads on the header (in those days you couldn’t have two of the same size on a page) . While I did great in impressions, nobody clicked! The same was true for Amazon.com ads.
    What I finally concluded was: My site’s audience did not facilitate making
    extra money this way. My visitors didn’t HAVE any disposable income to spend. So, they didn’t buy anything on Amazon, and they didn’t have any reason to click on the Adsense ads, because after all – they were selling something.
    Now, in my case, I dont get nearly the amount of traffic you have (my feedbruner still shows 0) but I made ok money in amazon earning last quarter. I used something called the Amazon Web Services with a
    mod-rewrite hack that makes it look like the entire Amazon site is on my
    page. I do NOT recommend this for you.
    I don’t recommend adsense for a site like yours, except to maybe play
    around with them. Even on my blog, it always shows up with “Blogging
    Evolved” ad of some sort. There are many problems with adsense on a site
    like yours. One, it will show Poker ads almost 99% of the time – mainly
    for compeditors for PokerStars (which may not make them happy) and then
    Two, it sends visitors away from your site and requires people to click on
    them.
    What I would suggest is continuing what you have been doing on WWdN but
    expand on it – namely your “Read, Listen, Watch” section. You have a
    great readership, loyal visitors, and a recognizable name – use it.
    Instead of having the books on there with links to Amazon with your
    affiliate ID, take each of those (and more) and write a 200-250 word
    review of the book and why you think others would like it. Time and Time
    again when I talk to succesful Amazon affiliates, they tell me the secret
    is to sell the book based on your own, PERSONAL, reccomendation. A link
    to amazon without a recommendation is very cold, but if you tell WHY you
    like it, suddenly its like giving a referral to the book.
    In addition to a personal referral to the book on Amazon, you will also be
    generating the almighty “C” – content. Now WWdN is not short on content
    since its a blog, but if you do a review of a book, the book might get
    ranked high on google, so people will come to your site and buy it from
    Amazon… it goes on and on.
    So, I would personally do more with the “Read, Listen, Watch” sections
    than go all-out with Adwords. Just my opinion.
    YMMV.

  16. I am using the latest Movable Type interface. Couldn’t tell you if it is anything like typepad. But they are both SixApart. But if you decide to go with TP instead of MT, have fun.
    However, I have to say the improvement with MT is outstanding. With Jay Allen heading the crew, they did an excellent job of stopping all the spam, both comment and trackback.
    And the interface is so much better then the old version.
    As far as I know, the templates for MT are almost interchangable with TP. But don’t quote me on that.

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