Advertise on

To launch off the new year, I'm introducing an advertising program for

The program is designed to offer a great deal of flexibility for advertisers to target a particular audience in a practical and effective way. My goal is to ensure that the ads are relevant to the site while not detracting from the usefulness of the site.

Why ads and why now?

This was not an easy decision to come by. One of the key things that I wanted to do when I went freelance was to establish more revenue streams that meant I wasn't having to work as hard and could spend time working on the type of sites and applications I enjoy.

This is also related to the failed adoptions. The two opportunities that we went after in 2006 has cost us well in excess of $15,000. That's money we will never get back. I mentioned the possibility of doing a micropatronage thing as a way to raise money but even now, I still don't feel comfortable with that. Asking for money without giving anything in return just didn't sit right. (I have nothing against micropatronage, by the way, but simply feel that you should receive some value for your money!)

And that's where the advertising comes in. It allows me to raise money to support myself and my family while still offering something of value to advertisers. Hopefully, those ads will also offer something of value to you. As you can see, I really think this turns into a win-win situation for everybody.

Why your own program?

I have long had a love/hate relationship with systems like Google Adsense. On most sites, I simply find them obtrusive. If they're not obtrusive then they're not very effective. I've tried them on this site for the past month or so and have found the results to be only mediocre. I also had to sacrifice a fair amount of screen real estate to get even mediocre results.

By developing a custom ad program, it simply gives me more control over the design and implementation.

For 2007

This will serve as somewhat of an experiment. Long term, I'd even like to offer it as a service to other bloggers as an alternative to Adsense. Success or fail, I'll be sure to blog about it!

Published December 30, 2006
Categorized as Business
Short URL:


9 Comments · RSS feed
Sam said on December 31, 2006

I'll be very interested in how you get on with this. I have been looking for a good alternative to Adsense / Text Link Ads for some time.

Ben Hirsch said on December 31, 2006

Good for you and good luck.

Kilian Valkhof said on December 31, 2006

I'm wondering if you chose now because it took you time to actually finish the backend for this, or now because you climbed up to a "usable" amount of visitors?

I hope this experiment will pay off (pun intended, I guess) !

Jonathan Snook said on December 31, 2006

Kilian: It's more the latter than the former. But neither really. I think advertising is one of those things that people add even on lower traffic sites.

I definitely feel that I have more of an opportunity now to leverage the audience that I have. Whether I'll end up turning people off as a result remains to be seen.

Having a custom backend was just a bonus. Putting the ad system together took longer to write the copy for the ad page than it did to build the backend.

Walker Hamilton said on December 31, 2006

Well, my firm decided to take Jonathan up on his call for advertisers.

We're all recent college graduates. (I'm actually still in college, I decided to go for a grad degree. I'm in my second year.)

We do development work in php (using cakephp if we can help it), flash, and a combination thereof thanks to gwoo's excellent work on providing a nice cakePHP/AMFPHP gateway. We also provide top-notch XHTML/CSS services.

So, any readers who are designers, let us help you turn your designs into code. (If it matters to you: we're in Chicago, IL.)

Jem said on January 03, 2007

"I think advertising is one of those things that people add even on lower traffic sites." - a great shame, if you ask me (which nobody ever does) but I suppose you do what you have to. Best of luck getting in that bit of extra cash.

I do wonder if by the end of 2007 advertising on blogs and personal websites will become so commonplace that even grumpy ad-hating cynics like me will be able to deal with them..

Jonathan Snook said on January 03, 2007

Jem: "I do wonder if [...] advertising on blogs [...] will become so commonplace"

Odd, I thought they already were pretty commonplace. I suspect things like Google Ads just begin to blend into the background to the point where you don't notice them.

My desire to do custom ads instead of Google Ads and the like, is because I wanted to find advertisers that had more of a synergy with the readers. And from the current advertisers to those who've expressed an interest, I think that's looking to be true.

Lance Fisher said on January 03, 2007

Good luck with the ads. I won't mind so long as they aren't flashing and distracting which I'm sure they won't be.

Jem said on January 04, 2007

@Jonathan: Perhaps they are more common than I realise. I wouldn't know, I browse with a lot of things turned off (including JavaScript) so I don't see most people's adverts. ;)

Or maybe I'm just reading the wrong blogs!

Sorry, comments are closed for this post. If you have any further questions or comments, feel free to send them to me directly.