Epic Edits has shown ads for a loooong long time now — mostly AdSense, Chitika, and some affiliate programs. Those things were fine for the early days, but it's time for the site to grow up a little. From here out, I'll be working on bringing in real advertisers. What you see now are affiliate programs and house ads for my photoblog (plus a tiny bit of AdSense to fill in the gaps).
Over the last month, I've been busy getting setup with my own ad server, creating email accounts, adjusting the settings in my PayPal account, writing an “Advertise Here” page, getting rid of AdSense, and looking for advertisers to contact. One of these days, I'll actually find someone who's interested in putting a banner up.
WHAT WILL CHANGE?
photo credit: Stuck in Customs
Nothing much, other than the fact that you'll see some new and different banners on the site every once in a while. I won't be placing any additional ads above or inside of the content; it makes it too hard to read. Placements and sizes will remain constant for the time being.
Eventually, I might experiment with small half-banner ads at the bottom of the feed (similar to what you see at the Strobist and other popular publications). If that happens, I'm going to be extremely particular about who will be able to fill those spots — I'm not willing to lose subscribers because of cruddy ads in the feed.
In addition to the ad banners themselves, you can expect to see a small posting giving some background on new advertisers as they come on board. This will give them a little extra exposure, the feed hobbits will get to see what's happening, and I'll then have a nice little archive of past business partners.
HOW DOES THIS BENEFIT YOU?
Every new advertiser will be pre-approved by me personally. This means that their business needs to be of high quality and relevance to you guys. The goal is to provide the visitors of this site with useful information — not a bunch of useless crap.
So… once these advertisers start signing on, you might actually want to check them out and see what they have to offer. I'm going to try targeting a mixture of businesses that offer equipment, software, software add-ons, and services. In the end, I'd like to keep the ads inline with the content of the site.
HOW DOES THIS BENEFIT ME?
It's no secret, I'm trying to make a few bucks from the blog. Hey, why not? I put in plenty of hours to keep things going — it's just not feasible to work that hard for free. What I was making with the previous ads wasn't enough to even matter. My goal is to have some reasonable percentage of my income be from this website.
I'm not just greedy, I actually have a good reason for this. The more money I can make here, the less I need to make from my day job. If I need less money from my day job, I can work fewer hours. Fewer hours there equals more hours here. More hours here results in more content, projects, contests, and other fun stuff for all of us.
Plus I don't like working for somebody else.
So that's it; I just wanted to let everybody know what's happening. If any of you reading this have a lead on possible advertisers, let me know and I can follow up. And, certainly, if anyone out there IS an advertiser, now is a great time to get a campaign started while prices are still low.