Thursday, August 27, 2009

Print versus online ad revenue: Guess who wins

For all those online gurus who want to dump the print product you might want to check this article in the Columbia Journalism Review.

Some of you have noticed I signed up for Google ads in May. I did it as an experiment to see even with my less than modest traffic how much money I could make off the blog.

Since May, I've had 43,000 hits and that translates into - ta da - $14.16 worth of revenue. Only 24 of you folks have bothered to click on the ads at all.

Google doesn't send you a check until you tally $100, so I'm looking for that first check sometime next year, late next year.


Anonymous said...

Oh so we'll base the industry's future on one article and the revenue that the famous Jim smith has raised. Whatever!

Anonymous said...

OK. How much revenue has your Web site raised?


It's an observation, not a prediction.

Unless you are on eyes-intensive site, with lots of click-throughs to RELEVANT advertisers ... fuggetaboutit.

Wife was trying to find something, anything on mlive last night:
"Why can't they just lay it out like the newspaper?!"

This is a woman who uses a computer every day, and goes on other sites.

But she recognizes poor design, and user-unfriendliness. And it makes her not want to go back ... which kinda impacts revenue. And, she's a lifelong newspaper reader who cut back to Sunday only because the other two days were basically bereft of news ...

double loss.

Unknown said...

Been reading your blog for a while now - I've never seen an ad on it, not once. FireFox + AdblockPlus

Yeah, I'm part of the problem, I know, but the ads are so intrusive on some sites, that without AdBlock you can't even find, let alone read, the content.

inky said...

Or, Anonymous 23:03, we could base it on all of the market research and evidence you've gathered. Oops, you didn't post any.

CJR isn't exactly a slacker in the knowledge-of-the-industry department. However, I suppose we'll know the money is flowing in when the Ann Arbor, Flint, Bay City and Saginaw staffs get bumped up to a living wage. I'm sure they're being fitted for their smoking jackets right now.

Anonymous said...

Wow, those are some interesting numbers in that story. Wonder if the powers-that-be will take notice? I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Mlive still sucks.. I replied to an early Jimmy Hoffa story and went back looking to see the other posts there and couldn't find it at all. I guess they replaced it with a newer version and the comments started over.

Who is in charge of the Flint Mlive anyways?

Gordon Young said...

A few thoughts...

1. I tried google ads and it would have taken me a decade to get my first $100 payment, and I've had more than 60,000 unique visitors in less than 2 years. (Not a huge sum, but you'd think it would be worth more than $72.)

2. The numbers in the CJR article indicate that newspapers were foolish to throw all their content on the web for free. But having said that, I think it's too late to shut the barn door. Newspapers blew it. The trend is not in their favor.

3. Unless they could somehow all get together, along with AP and a slew of magazines, and really stop releasing content and start suing the hell out of anyone that steals their content. If that happened, they might force google into making a deal with them and stave off total collapse until they can figure out how to make real money off the web. But that idea sounds a bit like hearding cats.

Jim of L-Town said...

Gordon, you are absolutely right. The horse is out of the barn and it would be a little like herding cats, or worse, a possible anti-trust action for all of the media to get together and lock everyone out.

Like others have said here, it was the cluelessness of management (sorry, that's where the buck stops) that put the newspaper business in the spot it's in.

Funny thing though, all those 'visionaries' who couldn't see the train coming in the tunnel are still in charge and everyone they led is now looking for work.

As for my ads, I did it as an experiment just to make a point. (Although today with all the hits and folks clicking on the ads, I made a cool $4.72 today - biggest ever).

I'm probably in trouble with Google because you aren't supposed to encourage folks to click on your ads (which I didn't) but they may wonder why all of a sudden I had so many people in one day checking out the ads.


Anonymous said...

What I been saying all along. It simply won't work in such a sparse area.
More people probably frequent this site than mlive. Frankly it's more informative.
I really don't think people are getting their news from the net. I think you will have a generation of uninformed people once the paper is gone. Next will be television news.
I think that people want it delivered. They don't want to search for it and the majority won't.