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Weblogs Inc: $2,000 a day on Google Adsense – But Could it be More?

Posted By Darren Rowse 27th of May 2005 Adsense 0 Comments

Jason Calacanis announces that Weblogs Inc has reached his target of $2,000 a day on Google Adsense:

‘It took us just over seven months (from September 2004 to April 2005) to go from $0 to $1,000, and about six weeks to go from $1,000 to $2,000. The increase was based on traffic gains and adding Google Adsense for RSS. We’re also involved in one other unannounced Google Adsense program that makes our sites a little more targeted (I can’t go into details on it, but it’s not having a huge impact).’

It’s interesting to watch him debating himself on whether to include ads inside content though.

‘Now, we didn’t do any more shifting of the ad position. I’m not willing—at least at this time—to wrap our content around the ad box…. it just looks really cheap (no offense to my friends who are doing it).

We spend a decent amount making out sites look good (we did a bad job and the start, now we’re kicking butt with things like and, and I just don’t want to destroy that for an extra $200-300 a day. Yes, I know that’s $6,000 to $9,000 a month and $72,000 to $108k a year, and that is a lot of of money, but you have to draw the line at some point. Actually, I think I may have just convinced myself to do it. :-)’

The emphasis is mine. I can’t find the post in his archives but I seem to remember a previous post that was a lot more adamant that they’d never consider such an approach – maybe it was in an interview or article.

I wonder if we should start a book on when they’ll start experimenting with in content ads for a bit of fun.

You see I think it could be more lucrative than the $200-$300 per day that Jason mentions it could be worth (which in itself would be a handy $108,000 per year). As I say in comments to Jason – my experience on ads inside content that are well positioned is that they can increase CTR by as much as 100%. There is not too many moves you can make that double your income in one move. Of course the 100% factor might be an overestimation in Weblogs Inc’s case as they have some well positioned ads already – but I’d guess it’ll go up by more than 10% – 15%.

Of course there is the ‘ugliness’ factor which I do agree with. However as I look at my stats – I can’t see any of my blogs that decreased their traffic since turning ‘ugly’. Maybe readers don’t mind so much as we might think? Interesting debate.

What do you think? What would you do if you were Jason?

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
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  • There certainly is a fine line between having well positioned ads and creating spaces for ads that just make an ugly or hard to manage site. I personally don’t like the ads that run in the middle of the comments section. It’s a little distracting as a reader and in my opinion it’s almost as bad as asking for clicks. (which you can’t do) But I certainly don’t stay away from nor does it discourage me as a reader, I have no problem skimming by. So I say, whatever works. Like everything, trial and error will produce a good working model for a Bloggers particular audience.


  • I’ve been seing ads in between content for some time now in other websites. Most of it have been picture ads like those in Cnet. But having adsense text ads in between content should be ok for smaller sites and not big ones like Jason’s. Just my 2 cents.

  • It’s a shame I’m so late to the party, I have some thoughts on this. Considering the state of Weblogs Inc. around the time this post was made, I would have reminded Calacanis that he’s not building now, so much as growing, which means he has more to lose than he did five months ago (circa ’05.) That ought to weigh heavily on decisions like this. The last thing you want to do is stunt your growth with such great potential.

    The network, even at its size in 2005, had leverage that smaller networks and individual sites do not: the availability of sites on which to trial new ideas. What were the numbers back then, 70 or so blogs? There must have been a few that would have stood to benefit greatly from the potential gain in ad clicks while having the least amount to lose inside the network from upsetting users.

    It’s still a good theory today, too. So long as you mitigate your risks, anything is worth trying at least once.

    I wonder what Weblogs pulls in today from ads..