Ad-Free Blog & Keep Your Day Job

Ad-Free BlogAd-Free Blog is a simple site that caused a lot of controversy. Two pages were set up about 2 years ago to supply a graphic for blogs declaring “This is an Ad-Free Blog.” The creators, Keri Smith and Jeff Pitcher, have popular blogs themselves and were receiving solicitations for advertising as well as “mentioning” products in their content. Being the upstanding folks that they are, and generally concerned about the proliferation of advertising in general, they created the Ad-Free Blog graphic and set up a site.

I met Keri and Jeff (my neighbors at the time) when they were amidst a backlash to Ad-Free Blog. There were being called unrealistic and ignorant. A counter site, called popped up encouraging bloggers to “Have Fun and Make Money!” Jeff and Keri are smart, thoughtful people and addressed legitimate criticisms on a very thorough FAQ. Buried among the “what planet are you from” comments, much of the criticism stems from an indignant opinion that “I have the right to sell advertising on my blog and make money!”

However, a recent Reuters story confirmed a suspicion of mine. Most people don’t make money advertising on their blogs. Check out these figures:

The catch, according to some, is that much of the money flowing toward the Internet is concentrated on a few dozen of the most popular sites. That has left smaller, less well-known sites at a severe disadvantage when it comes to attracting advertising money and surviving.

In the United States, the top 50 Web sites accounted for more than 90 percent of the revenue from online ads in the first half of 2007, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The top 10 sites accounted for 70 percent of the revenue.

All the while, the number of Web sites continues to grow, creating more competition for audiences…

All that bickering over the leftover 10 percent.

I know people that have Google Ads on their sites, and I have yet to meet anyone who has received a check from Google. Why? Your balance has to exceed $100 before they issue a check. And this can take years. There are so many sites that use Google Ads and are too small to get paid that, according to wikipedia, Google has a $370m balance of unpaid accounts. And Google is bringing in money every month from advertisers paying for that space. Is it clear who’s coming out ahead here?

The only way one can get paid from Google is to wait it out and break the $100 mark, or close your account. If you have Google Ads on your blog maybe it’s time to close the account, collect your $15, and post the Ad-Free Blog badge.

Related: In January 2006 I wrote about Ad-Free Blog on Stay Free.

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  1. nick
    Posted October 19, 2007 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    ah, yes, the blogging equivalent of the sanctimonious “please consider the environment – do you really need to print this email.”

    a good sentiment i guess, but a general rule is ad sense = traffic obsession = shite content.

    it seems hilarious and sad to think about the untold dollars google makes off ad sense–worse to think about people who believe the ability to put ads on their content makes it any good when in reality the program is totally unrelated to quality. sort of gives a false economy to people’s online lives, and, increasingly, their real lives.

    keep up the good work.

  2. B*******
    Posted October 19, 2007 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    What do you suggest we can do to help monetize with blogs effectively

    (note: links to online sales site removed by editor)

  3. Posted October 23, 2007 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    I think Project Wonderful is a pretty awesome model, tho I don’t use it myself (my blog is ad-free).

  4. jammu
    Posted June 24, 2008 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    if possible give some new blogs and give some more information

  5. Antonio Perales
    Posted May 9, 2011 at 4:35 am | Permalink

    I have a blog which is actually no more than a Picasa Web Album, which has a clunky feel on my moble computor, and I do not like its “user-friendliness quotient” very much, although it’s more “OK” on a pc. I do not like that my “splash page” postings and title seem irreversible, not changeable. And I do not know if I can remove some blogs that I previously elected to “feed” to mine, some of which turn out to open to nothing.I created a new blog (Blogger) and added Adsense “to make money”, but before I posted anything at all it had a military ad which I notified Adsense (or Blogger, whichever) to remove it. It seems they did, but I lost interest and the new blog xLowrider-Times / Hate Crime Review sits empty. I should care about “making money with ads”, perhaps, but I want my involvement to be simpler and free of a monetary relationship. Maybe I should not complain since Blogger is free, but I do want a real site and maybe I can get up the scratch someday… I found this site looking for “Free blog ads”…I like the idea of the banner for an ad free blog. Maybe I will go with that. Good luck to you with your site/blog.

2 Trackbacks

  • By Ad-Free Blog « The Chawed Rosin on April 7, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    […] Their blog points out that, aside from the visual and psychological clutter of advertising, the invasion by corporate power into our every millimeter of expressive space, and the dubious value or even destructiveness of what many advertisers are selling, the fact is that the vast majorities of bloggers who advertise don’t make any money at it: […]

  • By touch + sight | celebrate your senses on January 22, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    […] I have to agree with Keri Smith here, ADS influence CONTENT.  I am not neutral about advertising. (is anyone?) I’ve worked in the industry, I have read […]

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