Why Wouldn’t You Run Ads?

On any given day, you can run around the blogosphere and find someone who’s been blogging about the removal of ads from their site. Or why they won’t ever have ads on their sites. It always goes back to some moral stance that they are trying to make and how it supposedly adds more weight to what recommendations that they do make. This isn’t one of those posts.

I run ads. I most likely always will. I enjoy blogging. It’s a great outlet for me both creatively and professionally. But I can’t do it for free. There are expenses involved. Arguably, I make more than my expenses are in a year, in a month. But the extra profit from this particular outlet allows me to work on other outlets. Other websites and other business ventures. For instance: I sell on eBay. It’s a small scale operation, with dreams of being a bit bigger. The extra money from this and other sites has allowed me to buy larger amounts of inventory and as a result, make more money there as well. That same extra money has allowed me to buy more domains to develop. (never mind that I’ve been having a hard time getting the motivation to develop them.)

In nearly every facet of life, there are two sets of people. The professionals and the hobbyists. I make money from my work here. That makes me a professional. If you don’t make money from your work, I would argue that you are merely a hobbyist. If you see yourself as a professional, you should be getting paid for your work. And unless you’re blogging for your employer, you’ll have to pay yourself. How will you do that? Advertisement revenue. Jim at The Net Fool put it best in the title of his post today. Cash is King!

Advertisements don’t have to be intrusive. They don’t have to be deceiving. You can still hold your moral ground while getting paid for your work. Make the decision to clearly label all affiliate links (I don’t, but that’s another post) and advertisements. If you’ve disclosed that you may make money from the link or banner, how is that a bad thing? You can be a professional and moral at the same time. It sometimes seems rare, but it does happen.

One last bit to chew on. Abraham Lincoln once said (long before the time of blogs) that “that which we attain too cheaply, we esteem to lightly”. If you’re giving your content away for free with no visible means of revenue, what does that tell you about how your content will be esteemed?

Create (or Buy) Your Own Banner Ads

So, let’s say that you have a website or product that you want to purchase advertising for. Unless you really want to limit yourself to purchasing text link ads (which are being frowned upon more often) you need to get yourself some banner ads.

If you are artistically inclined, there are several ways to go about creating your banner ads. Some of my favorites are Photoshop (fairly expensive) and it’s open source alternative, Gimp (Free). I’ve even seen some people that have made pretty darn good banners with Paint. Another free alternative to check out is Paint.net. I’ve been told it’s a little bit like Paint on steroids. Either way, the bottom line is that you can make your own banners.

In many cases, the actual creation is easy. Simply open up your graphics editor of choice, create a new graphic of the correct size, and go to town creating the image. For me, it’s the image creation that is difficult. I don’t have the skill to make what I see as a professional image.

So, what do I do? I buy the talent of someone else. There are many, many places you can purchase a little graphics labor. My personal favorites are the forums at Digital Point and Sitepoint. Both have an abundance of talent and some of the work that comes out of there is of an elite quality. Of course, the more you pay the better the talent that tries to earn your money. A typical 125×125 ad of better than average quality will set you back at least $50. But it is certainly worth it to have a quality professional image to use in your advertising campaign.

New Advertisement Rates

I’ve gotten around to doing a little research on ad prices in the niche and surrounding areas of the blogosphere and as a result have decided to change the rates on my ad spots.

So here goes.

The 468×60 spot up and to the right that appears on every page is now only $20 a month. That’s top billing and I only sell one spot per month. Right now, I’ve got my affiliate banners rotating, but a paid advertiser gets exclusive rights to it.

The 125×125 spots on the right sidebar are now only $15 a month. This is actually a little lower than some of my competition, but is what I still see as a fair price. There are 4 spots to be had here. These are set up as rotating, and paid advertisers (or contest winners) get priority.

And finally, the 160×600 spot that is on every page except the home page is only $10 a month. This is still a very visible ad spot, but does only show on the sub pages and not the home page. This is also an exclusive spot. Only one gets sold per month.

If you are interested in a package deal, you can a spot on all three for $40 a month. Also, if you want to pay for more than one month at a time, the following discounts will apply. 20% for a 6 month purchase and 30% for a 12 month purchase.

If you are interested in purchasing a spot(s), drop me a line at admin [at] thatedeguy.com or through the Contact Form here on the site.

No Contest This Week

There really hasn’t been much of a response for the previous contests, so I’m gonna forgo the contest this week. I’m still planning on a month ending contest next week and may start it a bit early.

The ad that was won last week by Jim at The Net Fool is now up and appearing on the right hand side.