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Mark Gisleson is Getting Up in My Face

Norwegianity LogoMark raised an interesting point over at Norwegianity about my recent rant about truncated feeds by putting into perspective with an open ended post I recently ran:

Media and other stuff

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.

12 thoughts on “Mark Gisleson is Getting Up in My Face”

  1. As my career rides on figuring a way to make some money off of providing information via the internet, I think ads on RSS feeds are a brilliant idea. You still serve your content in a way your users want it, and also have the opportunity to make some money.

  2. It’s a well and good point, except that by simply subscribing to either your site’s entire comments feed or the comments feed for this post (default in WordPress), Mark could easily follow responses without ever visiting the site. I’m not sure how else he would have you make comments available to feed readers.

  3. For the sake of discussion, I gotta say I just don’t see ads. Am I an anomaly or am I the future?

    I come here a couple times a week but the only “ad” I remember is for Aaron’s s4xton blog and that’s just because I recognize the image. I looked now and saw you have an ad for Kiva. That’s cool.

    Gmail – never glance at ads and those are probably the most entertaining.

    I know there’s some money out there for ads and Google is making a bundle but every day I think there are more and more eyeballs mentally turning off ads and it becomes more and more an inside pyramid game where the revenue never circles back to purchase the product or service.

    The web just gives us too many real options to learn about products. As our networks expand (hello, Twitter) it’s just easier to ask around for recommendations as to what to buy. Then read the user reviews.

    The ads I want to see – like the OfficeMax weeklies – I have them delivered via email. (Wish they had a feed.) I go and get them in other words.

    RSS ads are interesting and I think I could live with them as long as clearly marked so I can turn them off mentally.

  4. Moe, Valleywag has an option for full feeds with ads or truncated without ads, but you’re going to have to dig hard to find truncated with.

    Mark, just riffing off your comment. I saw the jest in your post and went a different angle.

    It looks like creating content that people are inspired to comment on gets people out of their readers as well. I imagine all of you read this site through RSS primarily. That didn’t stop you from commenting, and you may even come back to read follow-up comments, generating more than one page view per story.

    Peter, I think we will start to see more advertising that actually is an RSS feed. For example, I could syndicate in the most recent headlines to a sidebar from a local business’ blog. This is probably limited to a few local bloggers today since few other local businesses maintain blogs.

  5. Ed, what’s the ad/business model? Do I have to click on the ad for you to get paid or does it just have to be embedded in the page when I request it?

  6. So…what was the electric cord on the Vegas toilet for? Inquiring minds want to know?

    –was it for powering a turbo turbine-like flush that would ensure even Britney’s period would disappear in an instance…hey, will you get some clicks outta that?
    –if not, how about if it was for special snowboard package heater from The House! $199 will get it for you today! 😉 Does that include the boot dryer?

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