making money from blogs: what’s with the ads mate?!

You might have noticed that over the past few weeks I’ve been experimenting with placing a few ads on this blog. This post both explains why these ads are appearing and provides links that other bloggers might find useful if they’re thinking of trying to use advertising to pay for their blog host fees.

I’m currently paying £75 a year in typepad fees and £144 in hosting fees with Demon (that’s about US $390 a year total). Regardless of the fact that I think that this is a small price to pay to be able to reach so many people with my work, I’m looking for ways to make this site pay for itself. I reckon I might just about be able to recoup 50% of my annual outlay…

I look set to make US $15 from Google’s Adsense programme this month [Yahoo entered the market in August]. When you use the search box at the top of this page it takes you through to google’s results and, if you click on one of their sponsored links, I get a percentage of their advertising revenue. The google links to the right work in the same way although clicking on them will take you straight to the site of the advertiser.  I don’t necessarily endorse any of the sites listed by the search results or in the googe ad space.

I’ve also got some books advertised using Amazon’s Associates. I’ve personally read each one of these and really do recommend them. I’ve also advertised ipods, powerbooks and other geek kit that I personally own and use. When you click through and buy something I get a small percentage of the sale revenue from Amazon.

Finally, you may, from time to time, notice links to various other products and services. At present those include Vbulletin, which is message board software I have used and recommend although I’d suggest potential purchasers also have a look at the very similar UBB. Vbulletin is a member of Commission Junction programme. I’m also advertising, via a service called Linkshare, two dating services at the top of the right side of the page, primarily because I still get a large number of site visits from people searching google using search terms like online dating, cybersex, online flirting etc. These visitors don’t necessarily find anything of value here so I might as well point them in the direction of what they are looking for. I was once a member of lavalife, one of the two dating sites, and think it’s the perfect place for visitors who want to chat, flirt and have some fun.

So that’s the scoop on the ads appearing on this site. If you see an ad that looks interesting please do click on it as your doing so helps me pay the costs of running this site (I doubt I’ll ever break even though!). As always, there may very well be other products and services that suit your needs just as well as those advertised here and, if you’re really put off by the ads, you can avoid them altogether by subscribing to my RSS feed.


  1. Hello!
    I feel that you are exploiting well the various possibilities to partake a bit in the huge Web cake. I know that Google has some pretty valuable and efficient tools with respect to this. However, there is one Google application you are using here that really doesn’t work and I doubt it will ever: the automatic translation. I have had countless confirmations of this. If you can read any of the languages listed there, then you’ll note that the translation performed by this piece of software are simply crappy! They are actually so bad that the original version makes more sense even to someone not mastering English. The reason for these bad results is simple: Google translates word by word, without taking into account the syntatic gap between two languages and the grammatical differences that derive from it. Try Google translation from a German text into English and you’ll see very clearly what I mean. In German, the word order is very different to that of English (e.g., the verb at the end of the subordinating complement). I think that the best is either you do the translation yourself or delegate it to someone who can do it, or you keep the website in one language, which is perfectly fine. But these automatic translations are so bad that it can actually hurt the credibility of your blog.
    Other than that, I really like your blog and wish it a long and successful life!

  2. Thanks for the kind comments Hitomi :-) I realise the google translations aren’t so good – I’ve been told that they turn sites into complete non-sense! The only reason I keep the links to the google translations available is so that users searching in languages other than English can find the blog. So, for example, someone in Germany looking for content about “Virtuelle Gruppen” will stumble upon the translated version of this site and, if they read English, can click there way into the English language version. About 5% of visitors to this site seem to do this.
    You make a good point though – I sure hope no one finds this blog via one of the translations and thinks that the articles don’t make any sense at all!

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