Monday 15 Oct 2007
Greetings from inside the SEOigloo!
I’ve been looking forward to October 15th for weeks now. Today is Blog Action Day, and as I posted some weeks back, we joined up and promised to post something helpful about protecting the environment on our green blog Tangergreen.com about the toxicity of the world’s most widely used herbicide, Roundup. Tangergreen is our place to share our hopes and cares about our planet, and having it is the preventative measure my husband decided we should take so I don’t come to the SEOigloo blog raving about Global Warming!
Our business plan behind this hobby blog was to share what we know about green living, organic farming and other environmental concerns while monetizing our efforts with Google Adsense. For beginners, Adsense is an advertising program in which you agree to have other businesses’ advertisements appear on your blog or website. It is a nice way to earn a little extra income if you love to write.
However, having launched this blog several months ago, we’ve come to the unfortunate conclusion that Adsense really stinks for green blogs. I write about dangerous cleaning products and get served up ads for the dangerous cleaning product companies. I write about toxic toothpaste and get toxic toothpaste ads. And, as you can see if you click on my Tangergreen link above, I write about a dangerous herbicide, and get tons of ads selling toxic herbicides! This is, to put it mildly, lame.
Within your Google Adsense account, there is a place for you to block specific URLs. The main object of this is to enable companies to block their competitors’ advertisements from appearing on the site. We have attempted to use this feature to block unwanted ads from environmental enemies’ websites, but it’s a bit of a hopeless effort. I’ll block 10 URLs, refresh my screen, and see 10 more undesirable ads appear. I could spend all day doing this and not get rid of the offenders. The result is that the efforts I’m making to publish helpful reading materials for green folks are looking like hypocritical hogwash. It’s sending an absurd message when I say “Don’t buy from Arm & Hammer; they test on animals” and my article is covered with ads for Arm & Hammer.
I am not an Adsense expert. I appreciate the little stream of income my Adsense sites bring in, and I enjoy using my skills as a copywriter to create articles I feel are of genuine use to people. My other hobby sites serve up great ads which are normally quite relevant to the subject, but this situation with the green blog is leaving me scratching my little green head.
1) Forget about earning money and publish the content without ads? The humanitarian in me would like to say yes. The overworked business person in me says, “are you nuts, Miriam?”
2) Structure my posts in some other way so that when I am trying to do an expose on a harmful product or company, I hardly mention the product? Somehow, I feel that my post titles and content will lack snap and clarity if instead of writing “Arm & Hammer Tests on Animals”, I say, “Some companies which produce white products in small orange boxes do animal testing”. That seems like bending over backward in an attempt to avoid triggering unwanted ads.
3) Is there some other way for me to get relevant, subject appropriate ads going? Again, I just play around with Adsense. I’m not an expert. Is there any chance I’ve missed some type of channel specific option in Adsense that would enable me to get a certain category of ads showing on my blog…such as Environmental Ads, as opposed to anything goes?
Are green companies not spending enough on advertising to make running a green blog profitable for the blogger? Are green companies spending their advertising dollars someplace other than Adsense, so that my hope would have to be to get ‘real’ ads on Tangergreen.com, rather than Adsense program ads? Is there something bright I can do to continue to publish this blog and make a bit of money for my efforts? As you can imagine, I’m not earning a penny on it the way things are, and I would be most interested in my readers’ suggestions, particularly if you have had an experience like this with Google Adsense.
In the meantime, Happy Blog Action Day!