Stop making (ad)sense?

(Guess which Talking Heads album I’m listening to? 🙂

Since setting up Adsense on my site two years ago, I’ve hit the magical minimum about every nine months. The cool hundred United States Dollars partially offsets my web hosting fees. The real amusement has been what kind of organizations would pay for keywords pointing here. So far, my favoriate has been Fat Witch brownies, just on name alone.

In June, I thought it might be an interesting experiment to ratchet up the number of ads on the five most frequently viewed pages:

  • Gas versus Electric Dryers and
    the Redux — these pages account for nearly 10% of the page views on my site. I had a lot of fun writing this, so it makes me happy that people have found it useful and have taken the time to comment.
  • Final passage of my Ryobi trimmer – I hated that (bad word) trimmer and wrote this (obviously) quickly. This weekend, I edged with its replacement, a Black+Decker single-string electric trimmer that not only starts right away, it also doesn’t jam. Or stall. Or deafen. Or spew oily grime. Or vibrate horribly. Or weigh 20 pounds. My yard is petite enough that a 100′ foot cord offers me good coverage.
    What surprises me about this blog entry is the frequent comments. People are going back and forth with each other! Someone even sent me a scanned in version of the Ryobi manual to share with others.
  • Why you won’t lose 95 pounds by September. Unlike the previous piece, I put *a lot* of time into researching and writing this. I was driven partly by curiosity of the physiological components and partly by contempt for miracle weight loss elixirs and the sellers racking up titanium status on eBay. This gets a lot of hits, but very few comments. Perhaps the message isn’t what people want to hear?
  • Bicycle Apparel — this was a semiserious article prompted by my friend Fran’s post of the obnoxious-smelling two-wheelers on one of her bike rides.
  • Schedule Chicken — This piece has had an interesting history, and was something I was proud of putting into dipole format. It sat in obscurity for eighteen months when a couple of people with expertise in project management stumbled upon and linked to it. Most flattering was its inclusion in a reading list for a big-school’s MBA program.

After six weeks, the experiment has proven a success. My adsense revenue has tripled, covering my web hosting and pays for an iced tea (summer/fall) or mediumgrande mocha (winter/spring) from the coffee shop across the street. (Though a mere sliver of Ted’s idea.

I was initially uncomfortable about this, not so much for interference for artistic credibiltiy (that would presume I had artistic credibility). However, Woodstock summed it up nicely: the ads make a blog look sort of cheesy, but as long as I don’t start taking the seizure inducing “You have won an iPod/PS2/Timeshare/Sponsorship of a Nigerian Spammer” ads — which I wouldn’t consciously inflict upon anyone — then it’s probably okay.

Most of the ads are filtered with Firefox’s AdBlock plugin.

4 thoughts on “Stop making (ad)sense?”

  1. I love the way the ad being served up with this entry reads:

    “AdSense Ready Site Scams
    Can you really make a lot of money with AdSense. See what we found.”

    Jim, I think they’re on to you 😉

  2. Congrats, oh internet mogul! I on the other hand had revenue so paultry, so meager, to be absolutely laughable. The time it took me to log in and check it seemed to be better spent scrubbing grout. In a single night of html-carnage, I purged all my googleboxes and threw in the towel (for the moment, anyway).

  3. Sellout 🙂

    I should experiment with more than one ad, too. Just remember the ‘first’ ad encountered in HTML will get the best/high-priority ads. That isn’t necessarily the ad that *should* have the best ads.


  4. So the experiment worked, then? Definitely food for thought. Now, if I can just keep from having that ad-induced seizure, I should be OK. 😉

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