Oban’s Penseive

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Money For Nothing

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You’ll notice there’s no counter tracking the number of visitors to this site (at least, not yet). That’s because I’d be surprised if I get 10 in the next year. But, if I’m wrong, I’m sure going to want to make some money off the traffic.

If I’m going to allow advertising on this site, I have a few criteria that need to be met:

  1. It should be visually unobtrusive and not detract from the posts. Things like those horrendous key word links that add a double underline hyperlink and pop up balloon to every other word in a post are out! So is the type of stuff that’s just clutter like many pages have.
  2. Content should be at least loosely relevant to the posts. Otherwise, it’s just spam.
  3. Easy to use, customizable would be nice.

Since #3 said it should be easy, I chose Google AdSense as one possibility. You can define and place these adds from right within blogger. Similarly, I knew the url for Amazon’s Associates program, so I decided to check that one out as well.

As of this posting, Amazon Associates is the hands down winner. I spent about equal amounts of time with both services to check out basic offerings and try to add something here right away. My time with AdSense was spent mainly trying to register. You’re given the option to add AdSense to your existing blogger account. That worked great for me since it is also my Gmail/Google account. Instantly I was able to add the basic ad. Very easy! Too easy, I feared. I wasn’t even asked how I wanted to get paid. I clicked on over to the AdSense site to poke around, but could not log in. I tried creating a new account, but after the entire process was done, I was told my e-mail address was already associated with an account (duh, the one I was trying to access in the first place!). Meanwhile, I went back and tried to add a different shape ad box to my blog. No luck, kept getting a “client header” error. A search on that in help was no help at all.


Here’s what happened. When I created the AdSense account in blogspot, an email was sent to me with a link that would allow me to register my legal name, address for payments, etc. This is why I couldn’t add the account with my Gmail address. Unfortunately, no where in the process did it say I should be looking for that e-mail. Furthermore, the AdSense password requirements are stronger than the Google and Gmail ones, and instead of being given the option to strengthen it everywhere, I was asked to create a new one for AdSense. I’ve already forgotten what it was. Once I finally got registered I tried to update my blog ad again. Still no luck. Google has been nice enough to inform me that they’ll review my application and let me know within a week. Oh, and the ads, while they me be effective, look like crap. Plain text went out with pocket protectors.

Contrast that experience with Amazon Associates. I clicked to the site and was asked to create a new associates account by entering my amazon.com login. It recognized me and gathered additional information needed to pay me and had me acknowledge the TOS. Withing 5 minutes I was registered and ready to go. Now, how to add one of those professional looking banners to my site. I saw a link that said Build Links, followed it and viola, was given a easy to understand list of link options. I chose the Omakase because it reminded me of a terrific meal I once had at Nobu in NYC. Anyway, I then had a few choices of size/style which I picked and then was given the html code for the banner. Copied that to a widget in blogspot and I was set with my first real ad. Very easy. I still have some stuff to learn like how to tweak the dimensions and such, but the basic functionality was a breeze. I spent the rest of my equal-split time looking at other types of banners and playing around creating an aStore.

This round goes to Amazon.


Written by oban89

February 20, 2007 at 8:11