How bad do the ads suck?

by Robin Harris on Monday, 10 November, 2008

I’ve been working with IDG to monetize StorageMojo through ad sales without much success. The latest iteration of the process you may have noticed: the ad that covers the page until you click “close.” They pay OK, but they aren’t the difference between hamburger and steak.

Which, BTW, you are welcome to do as soon as you like. Please don’t suffer through them on my account.

I think I was told that the ad would only appear like once a week per viewer, but I don’t know if that is correct or true.

Anyway, I invite StorageMojo readers to comment. What are the right limits for ads on StorageMojo?

Are the “roadblock” ads – I think that is what these coverall ads are called – too much? How much advertising is OK?

The StorageMojo take
I make no apologies for being a capitalist tool. But I also don’t want to drive off readers either. So let me know what you think.

If anyone has a line on a low-overhead ad network that pays reasonably well for a high-quality audience, I’d love to hear about it.

Courteous comments welcome, of course. Especially on this topic. Wes, thanks for the tickler and yes, I think I know where you are.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Nathan November 10, 2008 at 8:39 pm

I read this site in Google Reader except for the rare event that I come here to comment, so I see no ads. I would not complain in the slightest about seeing an ad at the top/bottom of the post–if my eyeballs can help pay for your hamburgers (or steaks, good luck with that), I’m glad to help.

Paul November 10, 2008 at 8:54 pm

The roadblock ads are pretty suckful. They seem somewhat abrupt and more intrusive than the others. I don’t know what kind of click thorough rates you are getting but it seems to me that you may get better click traffic if you played around a bit with the placement of the ads that you currently have before you add too many more. Ultimately its your choice.

The ads on a very topic specific blog like yours seem to be pretty well focused. I’m seeing one for 3PAR for instance. Having them better integrated into your site wouldn’t be too distracting.

I think the skyscraper on the right would be better off as a leaderboard or square ad halfway through the article or right at the end. As long as you give it a small visual break, people will understand it’s an ad and skip over it if they are really reading the article.

I’ll still read what you have to say either way.

Steve Shockley November 10, 2008 at 8:59 pm

Wow, I’ve been using FF with AdBlock and NoScript, and that’s excessively intrusive. (I even use GreaseMonkey to reformat your page and remove all the non-content, I hate scrolling needlessly.) Granted, HP does the same thing on their own web site (“Fill out this survey so we can mine your email address”). One thing that seems… “dirty” is that all the ads I’ve seen tonight are for HP storage products. I’m not making any accusations or innuendos, but I don’t trust magazines that have reviews next to the ad for the product either.

I also dislike ad companies because they’re easy targets to inject malware on otherwise trusted sites.

Unrelated: the last line of your page source is “Page not cached by WP Super Cache. No closing HTML tag. Check your theme.”, so you may want to check that.

noads November 10, 2008 at 9:10 pm

What ads? Thank you adblock plus and fireox, you are a great combo!

Bob Dobbs November 10, 2008 at 11:00 pm

I didn’t even know this site had ads. That might have to do with the Adblock Plus firefox extension. 🙂

Ewan November 11, 2008 at 2:59 am

I generally read through google reader, so I’d only see those ads when I come through to comment on something.

Personally I’ve not got an issue with click-throughs and stuff on a day to day basis, though when you’re busy hunting down a fact they can become a pain in the neck.

I think you’ll need to look at embedding something in the RSS feed to make me notice much of anything though.

Ryan Malayter November 11, 2008 at 8:50 pm

I’m perfectly happy with anyone who publishes content I value making money from advertising. That said, the pop-over ads are annoying, and I do duck sites that use them. Placing ads in-line, between paragraphs or with text “flowed”around them, is far less obtrusive. It’s also far better accepted form of ad placement by those of us who actually remeber reading print media.

Steven Schwartz November 12, 2008 at 7:52 am

Robin,

I value your opinions more then that ad type bothers me! If it helps keep you profitable keep it! I’d track the bounce rate and time on site stats to see if this ads lowers your numbers over the next month.

-Steven

Jeff Darcy November 18, 2008 at 11:29 am

I don’t see any ads, but on a typical day that might involve hitting hundreds of sites yours is likely to be the only one that times out while loading. The same was true long before the ad change, so I don’t think it’s a conflict between AdBlock and your new ads or anything like that. Do you actually re-generate the article list on the left, all the way back to 2004, for every visit? Maybe a better site design or hosting plan would be a good investment, even if it means hamburgers for a bit longer.

J November 19, 2008 at 4:47 pm

I’m with Steve, noads, Bob and Ewan…I use Firefox with AdBlock Plus, so I don’t even see your ads…on the rare occasion that I even visit the site. I read your posts mainly in Google Reader.

Ray Stahl November 23, 2008 at 5:15 am

Robin,

I agree with most of the earlier comments made about ads on your site. As a blogger of a narrow interest topic of enterprise data storage you really have a two strikes against monetizing your IP. First you do not get enough eye balls looking at your site that will take action to click one of the ads and second by using a blog/rss product many people ( me included) read your site through readers, get your content but not your adverting.

I think what you say is valuable but there must be a better way for you to monetizes it then with click through adverting. For example a subscription based newsletter might be a better way.

I want to echo others here on your site that I enjoy and value your articles and insights.

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