Monetizing this Site, Step 1

January 18, 2014

If you’re a regular visitor of the site, it’ll be hard to miss the single ad placed off in the right margin (this site is designed responsively, so if you’re viewing this on a smaller screen, it’ll be above the logo. Less-than-ideal placement, but it’ll have to do until I hack up a better way to do it.)

I’ve been a member of the invite-only Carbon Ad network for a while now, but took them off as I was redesigning my site and figuring out how I wanted my web presence to be laid out. I’m still figuring this out, of course, but I recently decided to once again start advertising on this site. This decision came to me for a few reasons:

  • First and foremost, I’m poor. I’m still in undergrad, currently enrolled in a 40 hours/week unpaid internship located in a very affluent neighborhood in New York City. We are restricted from having a separate job (read: income source). Since the move up here, I’ve had trouble finding enough to time to  exist, let alone pursue my freelance photography in an entirely new setting. Therefore, any way to start an income stream is better than none.
  • Since opening, my audience has grown tremendously. I write and publish a lot more often with this new site, and am able to connect with a lot more people in a lot more ways. I’m not quite willing to publish completely transparent metrics here; all I’m saying is that my newfound (and still growing audience) will make monetizing an ad (which is based on impressions/month) much more realistic.
  • Carbon Ads were made by geeks for geeks, designed very attractively, and feature content that I myself would approve of. I’m not ashamed of putting them on my site—indeed, their inclusion might actually benefit some of my viewers.

Of course, relying on ads for income ultimately means relying on page views for income, which is often frowned upon in the independent publishing realm. For good reason, mind you: most design- and content-driven changes made to optimize page views come at the expense of the comfort of your readership. I’m huge on a design, and have no plans on grossly changing anything about my workflows, content publications, or design fundamentals to compromise reader-focused design.

As a viewer, please just continue to visit and enjoy whatever content I publish. If you feel like clicking on an ad to support me, so be it. I will request that if you are an AdBlock user, please add to your whitelisted domains to help support me. Otherwise, keep calm and carry on.

Thanks for reading.