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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Blogging Ads

In my ongoing series-that's-not-a-series of posts on the Blog-o-sphere, I decided to look at advertising after seeing a glut of it on a blog that shall remain nameless. The below diagram is my overlay of four types of content on a single post from that blog (from dark to light): blog post, blog-related information (blog title, feeds, internal links), external links, and advertising (google ads, books, etc.). Without measuring the exact areas, and ignoring the white space, I'd guess the post itself is 10% of the content, blog-related is 20%, external links another 20%, and advertising the remaining 40%.

What makes the majority of a page advertising is not the fact that blogs are money-making undertakings -- as that fact is far from true, unless you're Treehugger -- but that advertising now is as easy as blogging itself. Google makes it especially easy to incorporate their AdSense into a page, be it in the sidebar, header, footer, or within a post itself. Amazon makes their Associates program easier and more varied all the time. These are two of just many ways people are advertising on their blogs.


Of course, I'm guessing that any revenue from ads is tied to traffic, though I would wonder if people really want to visit a site that's almost half advertising. Unfortunately, with this ease of advertising and a view of blogging as another way to make money, the glut of advertising is rather widespread. With the advent of DSL and cable modems, some advertising (most apparent on the sites of newspapers) now contains animation or video, making the content recede that much more into the background.

As my page contains advertising in the far-right sidebar, I'd be a hypocrite to push for removing ads entirely from blogs. Instead I'd recommend advertising that respects the content by not crowding it, not distracting from it via moving images, and not confusing readers as to what's content and what's a sales pitch. Of course, these recommendations go against the current trends of online advertising and in that case is a pipe-dream, though a somewhat realistic one at that.


  1. The animated ads are incredibly distracting. That damn dancing alien on is the worst of the bunch. A dancing alien (sometimes in drag) who wants to tell me my credit score? What?

    Lately, if there's a large article i want to read online, I've been loading it into Tofu. A nice little app that breaks things down into legible, ad-free columns.

  2. Thanks for the link to Tofu, jimmy. I'll have to check that out.

  3. couldn't agree more, making money out of blogging is acceptable to majority of the readers but to bombard a blog with ads is simply an eye sore...

    I used to have 3 ads in a single post but then decided to reduce it to 2. I might cut it down to 1 in the future. Well, i need the money to pay my hosting fees after all.


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