When I started Positive Space I may have been a bit naïve, I thought that Adsense could result in some decent pocket change, if only I could get a couple hundred unique visitors a day. Boy was I wrong, but at that time I could really care less I was more interested in blogging for the sake of self-education and personal development. While my reasons for blogging haven’t changed much, my faith in online advertising has.
The truth is that as an online publisher, you can expect horrible pay unless you really have a lot of time and resources. While it is possible to “optimize” your ad placements to obtain better results, what this really boils down to is making them extremely intrusive and highly compromising good design sensibility. Earlier today I read an article entitled “On advertising” by Mandy Brown that really put it into perspective for me.
Mandy states that “any economy which charges ever less for ever more intrusive ads will eventually be successful not in creating wealth but in driving the readers away,” which I can’t help but agree with. As I approach what is inevitably the necessity for the 3rd design of Positive Space, I have seriously begun questioning what methods I will use to attempt to create some sort of revenue. This year’s tax return has made it painfully obvious that my current approach is nowhere near adequate.
WE NEED A STANDARD FOR EVALUATION
The truth is no matter what approach is taken, nothing will work until some sort of standard for measuring both the direct and indirect results on online advertising. I mean lets face it, PPC sucks and CPMs are way too low and only getting lower. Not to mention all the tricks that “savvy” individuals use to game these models in their favor, which only decrease the effectiveness of advertiser’s initiatives causing them to question their spending even more.
Then we have to think about the factors outside the control of the content publisher. Neither models take into consideration the effect that poorly designed ads have on the content providers themselves. Most online advertisements are comprised of a bunch of cheap gimmicks that ultimately only annoy rather than intrigue, as Mandy has stated.
The only thing that can be concretely drawn from this situation is that as it currently stands online advertising is in need of some desperate help. The market is primed to reward someone who can devise a solution that benefits both sides this dilemma.
I am not afraid to say that I am currently able to pay my hosting bills and that’s really about it, which is fine for a personal blog, but not encouraging. In fact, this site easily obtains more traffic and interaction than most sites, which to me paints a bleak future for the viability of online advertising as it currently stands.