Peter has been digging around the Feedster Top 500 list (a list of ‘top blogs’ that was going to be updated monthly but hasn’t changed since August) again and has an interesting statistic – 12.2% Of the List have RSS Advertising in their feeds. This is in contrast to the 65% of this same list that Peter previously found to have some sort of Advertising on their blogs.
I’m not convinced by RSS Ads to this point. I have them operating on a few of my blogs (including ProBlogger) but I find that in comparison to other forms of advertising they are pretty low on the conversion front.
I’m interested to hear how others find them though.
update: RSS talk must be in the air because no sooner had I published this that I found Nick’s post exploring the age old question of whether to post full or partial RSS feeds.
I don’t believe in feed advertising, at least for as long as it is not the norm. While casual site visitors who click onsite ads are your income, RSS subscribers are your infrastructure.
Many of them are bloggers themselfes, and if they subscribe to your blog, they are highly likely to provide some incoming to your site some day. If you annoy a casual site visitor, worst that can happen is they go back to where they came from. If you annoy a subscriber, they will unsubscribe your blog and won’t send any visitors your way anymore. In the long run, you loose visibility and thus your income too.
Its quite hard to get advertising if you are here in the UK as YPN and Pheedo only want US publishers.
Everones probably waiting on Goole going mainstream.
I’ve been using the “ad space” in my feeds for cross promotion and license information instead of advertising. The bottom of every item has something like this (pulled from my latest posting):
© 2005 J Wynia – This posting is licensed for further use according to the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.
If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy another of my sites:
OpenFiction.org, a blog about writing, reading and publishing open source fiction.
The last line is randomized from a list of links to my other blogs. Because subscribers are more likely to become loyal readers, my pitch to them is different. Darren, you’ve talked about how some traffic is more valuable than others and this fits in. Most subscribers and regular viewers just don’t click nearly as much as first time readers and Google traffic does (at least in my experience). BUT (big but), they are far more likely to write up their own post linking in, to subscribe to another of my sites, to tell their friends, etc. In other words, I don’t try to get my regular readers to click on ads. I try to get them to read more of my stuff.
For that goal, something like what I’m doing on my feeds makes more sense.
And, for the record, I run full feeds for the same reason and like my little blurbs in there on that account as well. Lots of folks don’t want to run full feeds because they don’t want their content dumped onto spammy blogs outright. However, if you’ve got a blurb about reuse (mine is wide open, but it could easily be an indication that licensing is required and licensed users get a feed without the blurb, hence if you’re seeing it on a site, it isn’t licensed), they’re likely to just move on because they’d have to set up a special rule to filter out your footer.
Darren von problogger hat bei Feedster in der TOP 500 Liste recherchieren lassen und herausgefunden, daß RSS-Werbung, also Werbung innerhalb des RSS-Feeds weiter verbreitet ist, als ich bisher annahm. Dagegen hält Darren, daß in der selben Top 500-Liste 65% der Blogs Werbung auf der eigentlichen Seite haben. Das widerum überrascht mich auch, denn hier hätte ich bei der Top-Liste mehr erwartet. Immerhin sind das zum größten Teil Blogs, die mehrere Stunden Arbeit pro Tag finanzieren müssen.
Darren selbst ist nicht von RSS-Werbung überzeugt, da diese eine noch geringere Conversion Rate hätten als On Site Anzeigen.
On the other side of the coin, I think Darren’s feed is the only one (of about 30 or 40 that I subscribe to) that has a truncated feed. While I understand the theory that people don’t want to give away content, I long ago realized that there was always going to be more content out there than I can possibly read, and I was getting so tired of firing up a newsreader then having to open up a browser too, that I cut every feed that wasn’t a full feed. I would much rather get a full feed, even if it contains advertising, that have to endure an ad free. partial feed.
I haven’t yet put ads in my feed as the circulation for each one is only a few hundred and it hardly seems worth it. But once they pass the 1k sunscriber mark, I plan to monetize them some way.
The idea of using a feed to direct traffic to OTHER sites in your “network”, though, is a good one.
My theory on RSS feeds has remained steady for some time: no RSS advertising but partial feed only. If people are interested enough they will click through to the site and read the full post, and that’s your opportunity to be exposed to advertising.
My blog features a haiku each day about beer. Since haiku are very short three line poems, I don’t really have the option of truncating my feed.
In case any of you are wondering, haiku aren’t money makers. Beer sites are prohibited by Google and Yahoo TOS. Whether monetized or not, it is annoying to find my posts and feeds all over the internet without proper attribution.
I like J.Wynia’s idea of using adding cross promotion and licensing info directly into the feed. It is probably something I should have done earlier, but I started doing this just for fun. I will continue to experiment with ways to monetize it, but that is not the main point.
Personally, I completely overlook any ads in feeds. I go through feeds so fast that I don’t really take the time to read any of the ads. Even so, AdSense in feeds is currently by invite only and Chitika has nothing released yet so I so no reason to pursue that venture at the moment. Of course, I doubt anyone reads my feeds so it wouldn’t matter anyway! :)
OFFTOPIC: Anyone else notice that Chitika Minimall Ads are not working at the moment (11:30pm est)?
The Ins and Outs of Blogs and Blogging
These are the materials that accompanied our telephone seminar, The Ins and Outs of Blogs and Blogging, held November 10, 2005. An Audio CD is available. The faculty member for this course was Jeff Faria, of Jeff Faria Communications, Hoboken,…
[…] Meanwhile, Peter Brady says 12.2% of the Feedster 500 have RSS ads. If I fix this, it’ll make for 12.4%, I think. (via Darren Rowse) Posted: November 18, 2005 by Nathan Weinberg in: […]
I don’t put content in rss, but not because of fear of losing ad revenue: it’s the bandwidth cost from moronic rss readers that are checking my feed constantly. It’s ridiculous, especiall when you TELL the stupid reader how often the feed is updated and they STILL come back every fifteen minutes.
Funny thing. I actually write about RSS (three e-books in the works) and have an RSS Cases blog over at MarketingStudies.net that’s about to launch, but I don’t put ads in my RSS/Atom feeds.
Why? Mainly because inserting ads generally requires you to publish “full post”. I prefer that my feeds are excerpted so that interested readers come to my blogs for the full piece. (As for bandwidth, ad content doesn’t steal throughput from your server.)