You may have noticed a few additional elements around the blog here as I’ve begun experimenting with advertisements on both the sidebar and select blog content.
The key here is to understand that it’s truly an experiment – and it should be since maximizing your advertising spots and limited blog design real estate requires that you do robust experiments with varying providers, A/B split testing, pricing, location, and more.
It’s actually quite fun and it will provide some great lessons learned for myself (and for you guys) as I begin executing on generating direct advertising revenue for this blog. It’s pretty amazing to believe that only 10 months ago I had one single subscriber (check that image out!) and now I’ve got an entire community that I’m engaging with daily!
Two months after I first started TentBlogger I decided to put a BeaconAds test advertisement and shared candidly that I wouldn’t start advertising for some time and that I wasn’t even sure when that time would be (although I knew that it wouldn’t be “now”) – I purposely chose to wait and to build up the content and the community around this blog as my primary focus.
And it’s been quite a ride! 367 posts later with over 15,000+ comments and nearly half-a-million pageviews I think I’m ready to start experimenting with direct monetization and I couldn’t be more excited and thankful for you guys to allow me the opportunity to do it!
Locations and Stock:
In classic TentBlogger-style I’m going to explain my strategy and share my thoughts as the experiment progresses so that you can learn from my experience and take away a few tips for your own use.
You can see that my current sidebar has them spaced between links to existing content and pages with varying sizes:
As you can see there are 5 zones available on the homepage’s sidebar, 3 of which are through the advertising network and 2 of which are through Google Adsense:
- 300 x 250 pixels – 1 x Large Sidebar via BeaconAds for $500.00 per 30 days
- 300 x 125 pixels – 1 x Medium Sidebar via BeaconAds for $5.00 CPM
- 125 x 125 pixels – 2 x Small Sidebar Ads via BeaconAds for $250.00 per 30 days
- 300 x 250 pixels – 1 x Large Google Adsense for $CPC
- 160 x 600 pixels – 1 x Large Vertical Google Adsense for $CPC
I also have two advertisements specific to each blog post – a wide single post 570 x 125 pixel ad between the content and the comment layer and a 336 x 280 pixels via Google Adsense but only on blog posts that are older than 7 days:
I did this because I really do value my community – so much so that I want my content to be front-and-center for you guys when I first publish it with as little distraction as possible. Heck, I spend so much time on each blog post that I don’t want anything competing for your attention when you first read it!
But, if you’re headed back into the archives or want to review some old content and blog posts you’ll find an advertisement to greet you at the top of each blog post.
So that’s what I’m starting with and I’ll probably stick with it for the rest of the calendar year unless it really doesn’t make sense or something dramatic happens to my strategy that would require me to make some changes (like a redesign… … …).
Your Thoughts on the Advertisements?
My hope is that you guys will find my placements and strategy as unobtrusive and inoffensive as possible – and if you’ve been around here for some time I hope that the content that I’ve already created for you is so overwhelmingly positive, good, and beneficial that you won’t mind supporting my efforts in monetizing the blog!
Most bloggers though unapologetically put ads up and then let the community just “deal with it” but I’m really not like that nor do I want to be “just another blogger” who’s monetizing their blog.
As such, I’d love for your feedback! I’d love to hear your thoughts on advertising, timing, size, placements, and whatnot! I can’t guarantee that I’ll actually change anything but I can guarantee that I’ll listen to your opinion!
Thanks all and appreciate your support already! I hope that with these experiments I’ll be able to export some of the learnings in real-time to you so that you can take advantage of my work and monetization strategy as well!
Support Me (and the Community) and Purchase a Spot!
Of course, if you have any questions or want to talk about sponsorship and advertising you can always email me directly (see bottom of that page).
Give BeaconAds a few days to reconcile the traffic numbers but most of the other metrics are accurate.
Finally, please let me know if you see any advertisements that obviously should be banned – for example, there’s going to be a lot of advertisements (at least in the beginning) for “camping gear” as Google Adsense interprets “tent” in their queries. Just need to do some curation for a bit:
Go figure, right? Silly Google!