Cash is Good!

I have taken a part-time job, and it's definitely affecting my blogging time. I'll continue to post here as I am able.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Adgitize Me! - Part 1

Today I've added a two-ad block of Adgitize Ads, and an Affiliate banner to this blog. Also today I'll tell you why. Tomorrow I'll tell you how.

First, let me tell you why I won't tell you all the reasons that one web advertising tool is the best or worst. At least not yet. I don't think that any one tool is the best or worst for everyone. But I will tell you why Adgitize is working well for me at the present time.

As you can see from my daily income tables, most days it accounts for about half of my blog income. At this point in my blogging career there are three reasons why I blog.
  1. To provide quality content to a specific group of readers. All of my other blogs focus on this reason:
    • The longest running is Get Off The Couch News. It provides information about quiet, muscle-powered outdoor recreation in western Michigan. It is tied to a web site I designed about locations for those kinds of activities, Get Off The Couch. I do need to have that site make money, but it too was begun just to provide quality content.
    • The most recent, except for this one, is North Country Trail News. This blog is a continuation of a daily news feature that I used to do on the NCT Association web page. I simply love that trail, and if I make a little money it would be great, but I really just want people to learn more about the trail.
    • In the middle, I began My Quality Day. This is a more personal blog that grew out of a much more personal blog for family and close friends that grew out of a page on the almost blog site Xanga. So I've been doing this "public" writing thing for quite a long time. My Quality Day is an attempt to share with people the really interesting things that I find along the daily path when I take the time to look for them.
  2. To attract readers- If I provide content but no one reads it I get discouraged and it all seems rather pointless.
  3. To make money- Well, this all takes a ton of time. If I could monetize it that would be justifiable. We technically live below P-level. I don't care a fig for "rich," but I wouldn't mind not squeezing every nickle until it bleeds.

So, I want traffic to read my blogs, and traffic is key to advertising income. Enter the next problem. This is a topic that deserves its own post, but it has to be mentioned as part of the logic of using Adgitize. I write about topics that aren't even on the fringes of the categories of the lists in many social networking or blog listing sites: hiking, backpacking, nature study. I do add my blogs to a number of these lists, but sometimes Hobbies or Recreation is the best fit I can find. Not great for attracting readers.

I began on Adgitize as a Publisher. That means that I displayed other sites' ads on my blogs (I signed up with My Quality Day and Get Off The Couch News). To earn maximum points, and therefore cash, you need to find other Adgitize Publishers and click on the banners they display for Adgitize Advertisers. I discovered as I was doing this that I was reading a fair amount of material on those sites, since I needed to wait for the page to load completely for the click to be recorded.

After a few weeks of this I decided that if Adgitizers would be seeing my banner and clicking on it that they would be reading some of my content whether they initially wanted to or not. And I didn't have to find a category to shoehorn my blogs into.

Of course I agonized over the price. Adgitize costs $14 per month. In 30 days I had made $2.30 there. So if I did similarly in the next month I'd be about $10 in the hole, but would increase traffic to some unknown extent. I took a deep breath and bought an ad for My Quality Day.

Those 31 days of advertising are still running. In the first 15 days I have made $3.23, so it is conceivable that I could earn back half of what I spent. As for traffic increase, I am impressed. So far my banner has been displayed 114,738 times. Whether people clicked or not, they are seeing the name of my blog- creating brand recognition. So far my blog has received 856 clicks from those impressions of the banner. That's a 0.12% clickthrough rate. That's quite decent. Of course Adgitizers have an incentive... to earn their own twenty cents a day (it's a percentage thing- more on that tomorrow), nevertheless, they are clicking.

So for me, for now, that's why I am using Adgitize. Check them out!

web ad income today (4 blogs, 2 web sites):
Adsense $.39
Adgitize $.20
Project Wonderful $.04
Total: $.63
Total to date in March: $3.76