Be that as it may, like I said, I didn’t hassle Garrick about his post on this ages ago, and wasn’t planning on getting up into Ed’s face. Then I read this post a few screens down about the mysterious electrical cord plugged into Ed’s Vegas hotel suite toilet. Well, I get to the end and Ed still doesn’t know wtf the electrical cord is about and asks his readers to help out. I look and see that four people have responded, but to read the rest of the story . . . I had to go to Ed’s blog and wait for the page to load.
Was that post link bait? Nope,but I could see how it may look that way.
Here’s how I think ads work best for local sites. I could be wrong about this, and my opinions may change, but here’s what I figure off the cuff right now:
Regular readers of a site are responsive to branding. Give them ads for related services that may interest them. In the case of local flavor blogs like this one, businesses targeting a local audience such as restaurants, theaters, Realtors, lawyers, car dealers, and other local businesses would all benefit from associating their businesses with local sites.
Businesses interested in this can buy traffic on this site and other sites in the Twin Cities self-serve through a little project I have called Deets Media. Also, if you’re a local blogger interested in making a few bucks by running ads from local advertisers, send me an email.
Drive by traffic is another factor. I get a lot of traffic passing through the archives from Google and other search sites where there is little chance that they’ll become a regular reader. With that in mind, I hit them a little harder with ads, and with different types of ads. I use a script on this site that automatically inserts more intrusive ads on posts more than a week old. I’ve found that this brings in a significant increase in revenue from the archives without regular readers even noticing.
Mark brings up a good point about driving traffic to a site from RSS readers. There are certain post types that could encourage this, such as polls or asking questions of readers. Basically, anything that encourages comments will draw people from their RSS readers back to the actual site. A site that generates a significant number of comments per post can generate a LOT more page views per visitor, which translates into more ad impressions.
Another option is RSS-feed advertising. I actually added a script to the feed earlier today to test Pheedo’s ad network. We’ll see how that works. It’s set up to run an ad in every 3rd post from the site that’s viewed via RSS. Depending on feedback, revenue, intrusiveness, and performance, it may not be around long. Time will tell.
I’m not particularly interested in monetizing the crap out of this site. It’s more of an experiment to find out whether money can be made in local blogging with a community of friends. If that can be done, I think a lot of people would be interested in the results.