Deep Thought Thursday: Advertising on your site

Lolly
Lolly Owens writes:

Google offers an opportunity to earn some money if you allow relevant ads to be placed on your blog or web site. What do you think of this idea?

I’ll tell you what I think of this idea as soon as I hear from others. What do YOU think about accepting ads on your site?

Image (c) Lolly Owens, Holmes Beach Butterflies

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12 comments to Deep Thought Thursday: Advertising on your site

  • If we are just talking Google ads they are a bad idea. Pay attention to sites that have them. They often lead to the competition. And unless you have a ton of traffic going to your site you’ll be lucky to earn enough to buy lunch.

  • I think ads make a webpage look very cluttered & junky. Do you like seeing advertising for other vendors when you are surfing the web? How often do you “click through” from a website? Not worth the negative imagery in my opinion.

  • I think the ads look tacky and I never click on them. Although I browse the web with firefox with the adblock extension turned on so I usually don’t see most ads.

  • Besides the tacky-ness factor, anything that you have on your blog or Web site that you don’t have control over can really effect how you are perceived. Google ads, even those related to what you are blogging about can shift the focus from your primary message. Running ads of any kind also implies that you are endorsing what is being advertised. You never want to have that out of your control. I wrestle with the type of “ads” like the Amazon affiliate links like the ones you have on your site and blog, Alyson. I also have them on my blog, but am not sure they should stay. The issue is how I am defining the purpose of the blog site. If my blog is intended to invite conversation, do links that everyone knows I could benefit from detract from that focus? I don’t know. They are links to publications I do endorse. Perhaps if I better define the purpose of the blog the answer will be revealed.

  • I have to say that everytime I come across Google ads on another site, they seem to be advertising something that competes with the site. They also tend to seem like links to something else on that site or end up annoying me by being placed in the middle of an article. I like the idea of being paid when someone uses those links, but is that the image that I want potential customers to come away with? I want my work to be the attention getter. As far as the Amazon links go, if they are selling your books I think that they are fine. If they are on your blog and deal with your subject matter, they are ok. If they have nothing to do with your work or writing, then they are distracting just like the Google ads.

  • Weight the cost/benefit very carefully. Even very popular blogs seem to make very little money from AdSense ads.

  • Google Ads on website/blog? Not my fave. I never find myself using them on other sites anyway. Though I agree on the “tackiness factor” on websites, I see blogs as a little more casual and potentially acceptable. Besides, selfish as it may sound, my website is MY website and my blog is MY blog. Shouldn’t they be all about MY stuff? No distractions unless it’s something that I want to promote. I can $ee the po$$ible temptation$ though.

  • Ads can be disruptive of a website’s overall design and flow, and I prefer to not surrender control over that to Google or anyone else.

  • Hey. I’m still working on the idea of putting Amazon links on my blog. Maybe on a blog, but definitely not on the website.

  • Google Ads on your portfolio or art website? Really bad idea. Why are you going to fight to get people to your website or blog only to send them away through the ads? Besides the fact that you’re not likely to make much money unless you design your site so that people are likely to click on the ads, which will turn your website into something else completely. If you want to make money from your website, it’s a better idea to optimize it to sell your work or get better leads…not sell ads.

  • I hate ads on a website. Makes it feel cheesy and less personal. Also looks cluttered. I’d recommend staying away from that.

  • My apologies for this long comment… Unless an ad is directly advertising another of your products or ventures I do not think it belongs on your site. If I go to a site, I go to see the information on that site, not to have to focus out annoying and distracting ads. It’s hard enough selling art. Do you want to give people a chance to get distracted and go elsewhere? I believe advertising is unprofessional for an artist to display on his/her site. Most ads are tacky, and if used at all, should be reserved to one small area in an out of the way place, not up and down every side, the top, and bottom, and in between. I do not agree with those who feel it is more acceptable to advertise on a blog than a website. Your blog is still part of your identity and should be held to the same high standards, words and design. Everything you put your name on is branding you. Spend more time advertising and promoting yourself. Ignore advertising tools that you cannot control and do not offer much in return. Think smart and design smart. Offer resources for artists that have been beneficial to you. If you find a product you like, don’t be afraid to share it, and don’t be afraid to ask the maker of the product for compensation. You may not get anything in return, but some companies, like Blick Art Materials offer affiliate programs. Choose a small ad, text link if possible, and place it on a recommended resources page. But have some integrity. Only offer recommendations for those companies whose products you stand behind. By placing it on your website, you’re already giving it your stamp of approval, right? I feel it is more important to focus on getting website traffic than getting a few cents through overt affiliate–or wasting money on paid–advertising. If you are constantly looking for ways to improve and optimize your website, you are going to benefit from it. With banner/sponsor advertising, you may lose more than you gain. If you have to advertise, do it with style. A final note, the ads that pop out at you whether in another window or particularly in your same window are quite annoying. The only overt ads I find acceptable are for brief commercials to allow me to watch a free movie or tv show online. In search engines, I usually don’t even click on sponsored links, unless I know the site. They are paid links; that right there turns me off. This website, while a third-party site and filled with ads, also has well-written, informative articles. I just read this one, which offers an opinion on this very topic: http://emptyeasel.com/2008/05/12/should-artists-put-ads-on-their-websites-pros-and-cons/.