I’ve never been overly keen about showing ads alongside my blog content — either because I don’t want to dilute my portfolio, or because I don’t want to align myself with the raft of blogs where it’s hard to find content through the AdSense, banners, and pop-ups.
You might’ve noticed the AdPacks addition to my blog’s sidebar. AdPacks is a service from BuySellAds (BSA), a kind of middle-person between the advertiser and the publisher, that takes the hassle out of earning a little extra income (well, I say it takes the hassle away, but site traffic is still needed).
Update: March 2011
I’ve stopped my AdPacks partnership and I’m now serving banners from InfluAds. You can see how much money I get in return for how many Pageviews I serve here: Online advertising earnings.
What attracted me to AdPacks was how the banner is fairly unobtrusive. Rather than having nine or ten ads shown one above the other, the ad spot contains around 10 advertisers inside a single window, rotated upon refresh. It’s a tried-and-tested method brought to prominence by the original invite-only service The Deck, followed not too long after by Fusion Ads. I sent emails to both those other providers, and although Fusion took the time to reply, there was no room at the inn for additional blog publishers. I also chatted with Carbon and the newly-launched InfluAds, but in the end opted for AdPacks due to BSA’s stronger footing in the market.
After we agreed on a monthly payment rate, I became one of the first publishers for the AdPacks banners. As such, I wasn’t entirely sure what advertisers would be shown. So I placed my trust in BSA, and having tested the service for two months, here’s who you’ll see featured.
- Wistia — video tracking and video analytics
- Shutterstock — stock photography
- Loop11 — usability testing
- SiteGrinder3 — Photoshop to HTML
- Wix — free website builder
- Fotolia — stock photography
- Tabs — interface icons
- Bigstock — stock photography
- Site5 — web hosting
- Superhug — website templates
- Traction — WordPress theme
I recently asked if there’d be changes to the advertiser line-up (for what it’s worth, BSA have been a great bunch to deal with), and was pleased to know that the current “design/development” advertiser grouping is to be split into “design” and “development,” with my three put in the former category. I’m hoping that’ll help tailor the ads so they’re particularly relevant to graphic designers.
What are your thoughts on blog advertising? At what point does it become detrimental to a website’s content? Do you know of any sites getting the balance right/wrong?
Neon open sign photo credit.