AdSense: nonsense or does it make sense?


Placing ads (advertisements) on a blog… there are people who encourage it, there are people who hate it. I also decided to place some ads on this blog and used Google AdSense for it since it is a huge network and it is easy to integrate. Some websites with ads can really annoy me, so why did I chose to show them myself, just to annoy you?

From the reader’s point of view every item on the page that is not relevant is a distracting obstacle, at least if the only thing he wants to do is read the text on the page. If the reader came across your article that contains certain keywords of a topic he is interested in while he was searching or just browsing around, he might like to see relevant ads. That’s why I like the way online advertising works these days: the ad platform gathers info about the viewer and the content he is currently viewing and places mostly relevant ads. That’s why I get ads about web companies and development tools and my girlfriend gets ads about girls in sexy lingerie (I keep telling that to my friends, my girlfriend also uses my laptop you know…). This selection method maximizes profit for the advertiser and doesn’t annoy the user as much as irrelevant ads. You, as a developer can choose where to place ads and where not. Always ask yourself: If I was the reader would I find an ad on this place really annoying or do i get subtracted from the page content by the ads?
From the blogger point of view you can generate some profit with the articles you wrote  and helped others with. Nothing wrong with that! Bloggers also put time into their blog, and do research to be able to write interesting stuff all for you, the lazy reader. To earn big money with it and make it your daily job you must generate a lot of good content, which requires about the time of a full time job. Blogs can get popular when they follow the hypes, but when the hype is over their readers disappear again. So please don’t blame bloggers that make a lot of money with their work!
‘If he can do it, I can do it!’ will some of you think right now. And the fact is: you probably can! Take into account that starting up a blog costs lots of time, and AdSense only pays when you have earned 70 euro… that will be a goal that most of us ‘occasionally-nerd-niche-bloggers’ only reach after a long time. Starting a blog this month and drinking a ‘free’ coffee from your earnings next month is not how it works!
You can also use AdSense for mobile ads or ads on your youtube videos. Same story there, I don’t mind small relevant ads being showed when I watch free tutorials or use free apps. What I do hate is free apps that are made only with the purpose of serving adds and do not solve a problem. Even big game developers use ads in their games to earn money, and nobody can forbid them! There are however people who think you created a nice, helpful app but hate the ads in it. My advise is to provide a free, maybe slightly limited ad-containing version of your app to the stores together with a fully ad-free paid app. This way you give people a ‘free’ trial version (on which you can still make money due to the inserted ads). Some people will say it is not professional to use ads, others will say that you are stupid if you don’t! I think you should combine best of both worlds and use only modern ad systems that both, the user and the developer, can benefit from.
Conclusion? Please never complain about ads in things you got for free… some people worked very hard to create it. It’s like the open source community, give and take. It’s like life and love: give…and take… and be happy while doing both!

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