From the Blog

The Story of PDX Web Ads, Part One

We are super pleased to announce the rates for our little Portland blog advertising network.

But first. At the risk of making your eyes glaze over, let me give you a little overview of what we are doing here. I have explained our ad network concept to a few people, and if you don’t spend your every waking moment on the internet like I do, it sounds like “Internet, blah, blah, Blogs, blah blah, Advertise, blah blah, And then you get paid.” In the very least, you can bookmark this post when you need help with chronic insomnia, or when you need help lulling screaming children into boredom-induced comas.

As a blogger, I believe we are still in a frontier, wild west stage of creating content for the internet and hoping to somehow make money from it. There are a few different ways to “monetize content” (don’t worry, I am punching myself in the face as I write those words) but one conventional avenue is to place advertisements on your site.

There are various objections to putting advertising on a blog. Ads can be blinky or annoying or distracting. Some people don’t carry ads because they can carry a whiff of commercialized stink. Or it can feel like advertising erodes authenticity. Or ads can make it seem like you are “selling out.” These are legit concerns. As a creative person, I could write a whole separate post on the issue of creating something for its own sake, as opposed to creating something for money. But I’ll skip to the end of that discussion, and say that artists, writers, poets and bloggers all want to eat and pay the bills too.

Once you put advertisements on your site, usually supplied by Google or other ad networks, you need “impressions.” It means you need huge amounts of traffic. Huge. Enormous. To put things in perspective, let me completely fabricate some numbers for you. If I wanted to pay for groceries, I might need 1,000 unique visitors a day. If I wanted to pay for rent, I might need 10,000 unique visitors a day. If I wanted to buy a house, I’d probably need over 1,000,000 visiting my site every day. EVERY DAY.

Let’s be honest here, I’m not that interesting. Very few people get that kind of traffic, and reach that sort of rock star blogger level, where you could walk onto a stage at SXSW, and young virgins throw their panties at you.

I have been both flattered and flabbergasted when I meet someone who thinks I make a living from blogging. Many bloggers get pennies a day, usually for hours and hours of work. Granted, most people spend hours writing because it’s what they enjoy, but it’s disheartening to get a $50 check for what was 50 hours of work.

Being painfully aware of this, and being familiar with our city’s freakishly vibrant blogging scene, (it’s been called a “mafia” by one trendy memester) Dave and I wondered if there was a better way for local writers to make a little money from their efforts, while also having better control over the advertising that appears on their site. While also supporting local small businesses.

THERE HAD TO BE A WAY.

Ka-POW! PDX Web Ads.

Part Two of the Story of PDX Web Ads, soonish.

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