The Schlog sells out

The Schlog sells out

If you’re getting The Schlog via RSS feed, you probably haven’t noticed anything different. But if you’ve been to www.theschlog.com (a.k.a. www.davidschrag.com/schlog), you’ve seen that there’s been a major makeover. The Schlog has been commercialized.

I’m not under the illusion that putting ads on my blog is going to let me quit my day job. I did it more as an experiment. And if I can make enough money to pay for an extra night at the movies every couple of months, why not?

If you want to follow in my footsteps and “monetize” your own blog, here’s what you have to do:

  1. Create a blog (or other web site) with plenty of content. You’ll have a hard time getting ads on a site that’s under construction.
  2. Sign up for an account at Google AdSense. There are other ways to place ads on your site, but AdSense is a pretty good way to get started.
  3. If you’re a blogger, find an AdSense-ready theme. There are dozens available for WordPress. I chose Ad Flex Blog, which was the first one mentioned on this list of AdSense Ready WordPress themes. As of this writing (August 9, 2008) I’m using mostly default settings, so my blog looks pretty generic. As I have time, I’ll fiddle with the 100+ options in the theme settings to personalize it.
  4. Figure out where in the theme you  have to insert the code that’s generated for the ad blocks you create in AdSense. (You don’t tell AdSense what ads to put on your site. You provide the equivalent of an empty billboard, and you let AdSense know that your space is available for rent.) For example, in the Ad Flex Blog settings within the WordPress admin console, there’s a field called “Ad Banner Link Unit Code.” That’s where I pasted the javascript code for my 728 x 15 pixel billboard. That’s the thin strip that says “Ads by Google” right above “The Schlog.” At the moment I have two other billboards, at the top and bottom of each page.

That’s pretty much it. After that, you just log into AdSense now and then to see how much money you’ve made. In the first week, I’ve made a whopping $5.67 from a total of 4 clicks on ads I’ve displayed. Like I said, I’m not quitting my day job.

Despite Google’s product name, some of the ads make no sense at all. For example, there are a lot of references in my blog to my own name, David Schrag. As a result, I’m seeing ads in the link for “David Hasselhoff,” “David Beckham Pictures,” and “David Bay” (whoever he is). And now that I’ve mentioned their names again, I’ll probably see even more ads. But I’m also seen an ad for a company that will be offering SharePoint training in Boston, and that’s something my readers might actually be interested in.

So what do you think? Are you impressed? Aghast? Dismayed but resigned to the creeping commercialization of the web? Have no problem with the ads but think the new theme is butt-ugly? Remember, feedback no longer requires registration, so let’s hear it.

Posted in About The Schlog, All, Business, Software, Technology, WordPress on Aug 9th, 2008, 8:20 am by David Schrag   

2 Responses

  1. Brian
    August 11th, 2008 | 9:54 am

    BUTT-UGLY!!!! Enjoy your blog, keep up the posting. I’m a one man shop too, just getting started over the past year or so. I like reading about how you do things. Enjoyed you on vladfire & Karl’s SMB conference call. keep up the great work!

  2. August 12th, 2008 | 11:19 pm

    Well at least now I’ve replaced all the random photos with photos I actually took myself. They have nothing to do with the content of the blog, but I hope they’re prettier.

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