Ads and blogs

After 8 years, I figured I’d give it a shot.

I never really felt compelled to put ads on Sketchbook B, but this week, I added a couple of ads to my site — one in the sidebar and one that should show up at the bottom of the page on mobile. Some thoughts:

  • I’m using Google Adsense. I looked at various options, but Adsense provided the best option for my site. Most other options weren’t available for a site without massive traffic numbers.
  • Keep it simple. I always admired the simplicity of ad networks like The Deck. (If you aren’t familiar with The Deck, check it out on sites like Daring Fireball.) So I added a single ad in the sidebar of my site. I also added a single mobile ad that will show up at the bottom of a mobile device. The designer in me doesn’t want to cover my site in ads.
  • Pocket change. Here’s the thing about “monetizing” your blog… it’s not a lot of money. I think that’s why I’ve resisted it for so long. I just wasn’t sure it was worth it. But over a year, it may add up. We’ll see. Any money that I make will just help pay for hosting through Squarespace.
  • Putting the ads on a Squarespace site is easy. Once you are approved through AdSense, you get a block of code to add to your site. Squarespace has a code content block that you can add pretty much anywhere. You can also use the page level or site level code injection feature to insert ads for mobile.
  • Be patient. Once you place your first ad, your site has blank ads until they confirm the ad unit has been placed correctly. All of this makes sense, but it feels odd to have a big empty space on your site for a few days. You begin to wonder if you messed something up. After all, adding the code block was easy. Maybe too easy. And then the ads start running…
  • Optimization. Google offers a bunch of hooks into Google Analytics to maximize conversion rates. It's going to take me a little while to figure it all out.
  • Other sites. I've started here on Sketchbook B, but I'll probably add them to In Store Columbia as well.

I don't intend to cover my site in ads, though, like so many blogs out there. I'm going to give it a few months before I decide whether or not to keep the ads. It's an experiment and I'll continue to post about the experience here.

Bob Wertz writes about design, technology and pop culture at Sketchbook B. Bob is a Columbia, South Carolina-based designer, creative director, college instructor, husband and dad. He’s particularly obsessed with typography, the creative process and the tools we use to create. In his spare time, he moves things around on his blog. Follow Bob on Twitter and Instagram.