This has been a long time coming, but Some Random Dude is now running advertisements. I am pleased to write that I have joined the InfluAds network as one of their community members. You have probably already noticed the difference on the site in the promotional area. I am still working out some details on the placement, but this is pretty much how the site will look for a while. I have written about my concerns with online advertising, even though I acknowledge its necessity. That said, I have been wanting to be a part of an ad network for almost the same amount of time. I feel I will have a much better understanding of advertising if I actually advertised on my site. Up until this point however, there wasn’t a sweet enough of a deal to get me to actually bite. I think this will actually be the one that works though.
I have held off on advertising because when I would put the advertisements on my site, I always felt a little dirty. My thinking was, if I felt dirty, I can only imagine how first time users with no emotional investment in my site would feel. From a user-experience perspective, this just did not feel right. I genuinely do not feel this way with the InfluAds system. I would love to get your feedback on how you think the advertisement alters the experience here, but I also want to open up a discussion on the larger impact advertising (and the revenue that goes along with it) will bring.
To be honest, I have never really been interested in actually making money from advertising. The notion was that given the amount of time and effort I put into this project, I felt that there had to be some return on investment. Call me crazy, but just knowing that the site is finally generating some revenue highly reassures me to continue pumping blood, sweat and tears into it. Considering how much money I spend just keeping the blog online, it did not seem appropriate to spend even more money on things that may improve the site. That is why I am so excited to get some money coming in, because I am going to be able to start paying for some potentially interesting things.
Almost all of the ideas that I am going to invest in are going to make you (the reader) better off. Here are some of the I will be tossing some money towards:
- Commissioning Web Projects
- This, above all things, really excites me. My plan is to commission open-source/creative-commons projects that will benefit the web design/development community as a whole. I have already begun doing this as a trial run on a certain project, but with the added revenue, my hope is to fund 10 to 15 of these types of projects a year if enough money comes in. I already have a couple projects in mind. All the details around this idea really deserve a dedicated blog post, so I will hold off until then.
- Supporting Web-Oriented Charities
- Another idea I have kicking around is to use the money from advertising to help support worthwhile causes focusing on the internet. Obviously, organizations like the EFF come to mind, but there are plenty other organizations doing worthwhile work.
- OK, this probably will not make your life better off, but it will potentially bring more eyeballs to this site which, in the long run, should mean greater ad revenue. I personally do not think that my current traffic is large enough to support some of the things I would like to do, so in the short term, I am going to have to invest some money to get this site visited more often.
- Recouping Costs Associated With the Blog
- This blog costs way too much to host considering the amount of traffic it gets. I will be working in the coming weeks to lower the amount of money I pay monthly, but no matter how low I get the number, it will always cost something. At the very least, I would like this blog to no longer pull money out of my own wallet — that will make future work on it much easier to swallow.
What you can do to help
As long as I am pulling in money from advertising, this plan in one shape or form is definitely going to happen. The big variable at this point is just how much I will be able to generate on a monthly basis. If you like this idea and would like to see it happen in a meaningful way, here are a few things you can do to help this thing along:
- If you are someone who already pays for advertising, consider buying some ads from InfluAds. The more ad revenue InfluAds pulls in, the more revenue all the advertisers receive.
- Subscribe to my RSS feed if you are not a subscriber yet. More traffic should mean more revenue.
- I will be spending some time in the coming weeks researching each service/product advertised on this site and post my findings for full transparency. If a service advertised on this site seems interesting to you, by all means, click the advertisement and consider purchasing it.
- In the coming weeks, as more details get hammered out, make sure to participate in the discussion and give me your feedback. I want to get this right, and the best way to ensure that is to get other minds thinking about it as well
I am very excited about the next few months and what could be possible to accomplish during that time. My biggest goal on this site was to help make the web the smallest bit better through what was written/published/released from here. I feel as though that small bit could become significantly larger.