October 24, 2007

Google AdSense vs PayPerPost vs BlogAds - One Blogger's Story

At a time when Google is sharing even less of the pie with adsense partners than ever, I thought it opportune to report that BlogAds is still the way to go for small and indie publishers (the artists formerly known as bloggers). This finding is not the result of a probing quarterly earnings review. It's personal experience from my experiments with Google AdSense, BlogAds, and PayPerPost, the first two of which I've used for the last few years on and off.

I tried PayPerPost recently, but honestly, the hoops you have to jump in order to perform like a trained circus monkey so that your post meets the criteria for approval makes it hard for me to use PayPerPost. I'm glad PPP is around though. It's a great opportunity for bloggers who know how to punk out a post without selling their soul. There is no reason bloggers should rely on someone to write their ad copy for them--writing is what we do. And PPP lets you do that and get paid for it.

I have no ethical problems with PPP and the way it works now, but still - it takes lots of work to develop posts that are both interesting enough not to bore your readers to tears or insult their intelligence while still meeting the criteria associated with each ad post. This is not so much a PPP deficit as it is a Jeneane deficit. I can barely tie my shoes on a good day.

In my PPP experiment, I had 2 posts out of 4 approved to the tune of $49.55. Two of the posts I submitted were rejected for not meeting the criteria specified. Still, four posts worth of work for $50 isn't going to make anyone rich, but it's not bad money for relatively easy work.

I'm not sure the percentage of the ad money PPP keeps. If I were BlogAds or PayPerPost I'd sure be boasting that it's a lot more than Google, who I think is actually taking our money at this point:
By reducing the percentage paid to publishing partners Google boosted its financial performance and exceeded analyst estimates. AdSense publishers lost $23.99m
I have been a Google Adsense partner for about four years now, although I just started using the ads again primarily because I am experimenting to see if anything's changed. Answer: not really. In my 4th year of partnering with Google, I'm just about due for my second $100 payment. You do the math: I average about $50 a year with Google. So $50 for 4 posts with PPP, or $50/year with Google.

With the price of gas, I'm not going far.

Enter BlogAds. Now, besides the fact that Henry is a smart and generally noble gentleman who invented the category, BlogAds is simply the best paying ad engine for the indie blogger. On the other side of the fence, it lets advertisers get very granular and targeted with their messages. Micro messages to micro markets. It works; that's why everyone else started to try to do it too.

The only criticism I have of blogads is that using the system to approve ads and set up hives is slow. It often seems bogged down, but patience wins out. Also, I wish there were a more interactive community of publishers sharing best practices for how to build hives and make your blog visible, about pricing, and about placement. But the bottom line is this: I make between $20 - $50 per ad with BlogAds.

So there you have it. On your average indie blog that's been around a few years and has a pretty good Google page rank and adequate Technorati rating and some loyal readers who aren't afraid to click, you can make the following (averages from personal experience):

$50 per year with Google AdSense
$50 per four ad posts with PPP
$50 per ad with BlogAds

Some people apparently have been able to sell links rather than ads. I don't know what the 'link for sale' process is like, but if someone had asked me if they could buy some HTML code from me for $50, I might have said yes. 'Cept nobody asked me. Probably a good thing. Apparently Google is further punishing publishers by slicing their Page Rank number for selling links. All this time I thought links were good. Dang.

You'll be happy to know that Allied is holding steady at a 6/10. But I was a 7/10. Do you know back in the early days of Page Rank, I actually hit a 9? How funny is that shit?