In January, I began the great advertising experiment at WWdN. Back then, I wrote:
Google AdSense is a complete joke and colossal waste of time and space, so I have begun working with Federated Media (mostly because my friend Xeni is involved with the company and I trust her, but also because it's almost like "Federation" which invokes a Pavlovian response from my Star Trek brain) and I'm trying it out for three to five months. The guys at FMP tell me that it takes about three months for the campaigns to hit their stride, and around that time I'll know if it's been worth it to me to sell out, as it were. I have no idea how well this will work; it could bring in a substantial amount of cash, or it could take up a bunch of space on my blog and end up being a big waste of time, but it seems silly to me to not even try.
It's been five months, so it's time to see how it's going: It's been a complete joke and colossal waste of time and space. FM didn't sell a single ad for me, (apparently, I'm not the only person to have this problem, so caveat emptor, bloggers) and while I've been running Google ads where the FM ads should have been, that was more trouble than it was worth. It's just not worth less than $200 a month to deal with Bill O'Reilly and John McCain ads sitting there neo-conning the place up. I tried to take a hands off approach to advertising, but it left a really bad taste in my mouth, and since my blog is sort of an extension of me, what I still believe is a good business decision (content agnostic advertising) just isn't right for me personally.
I spoke with some people at FM, and while they tried to come up with some creative ways to possibly make it worth my while maybe if I wait it out for another three to five months and wish real hard for a pony, I decided over the weekend that it's just not right for me. My focus here needs to be on enjoying writing in my blog (the whole reason I started it) instead of worrying whether the ads are running and earning and not being lame. While I feel like I may be leaving a bit of money on the table, a cost/benefit analysis says it's not worth the constant headaches to try and make it work.
I'm very happy with the RSS advertising that Feedburner puts into my RSS stream, and those are actually returning a meaningful amount of college fund revenue, so that's going to stick around, but for the foreseeable future, there won't be any actual advertising on my blog.