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Final thought of the day.

Courtesy clicks what are they and are they a good idea?

What are they, well i hear a lot of people who are in this game say when they read someones work and enjoy it, they will click on an ad to show their appreciation. I know what a nice thing to do!

Well actually no not really, in fact quite the opposite. Let me make this clear courtesy clicks are a bad idea mainly because if everyone in this game done that we could jeopardise others accounts.

Why you ask, well AdSense in particular keep a very close watch for fraudulent clicks and one of the main indicators is an unusually high click through rate (CTR) that doesn't fit the normal trends. The usual page CTR for a non faked one is between 3-4% although it can be a little higher or lower than that. Getting an average of over 6% for a 30 day period is going to ring some alarm bells.

So don't give courtesy clicks and don't get friends to click either, remember per 1000 people is a big number and the trends wont differ that much.

That's not to say if you do have a good day and get a higher click through rate you should worry especially if you've only had 10 hits and one click. However if you have a high amount of traffic and get a CTR of above 20% for any day you may want to let Google or whoever know you have had it. It could be someone is deliberately clicking on your ads to get your account terminated. Who, the competing blogs of course!

You see this is one problem we face is those who wish to sabotage our accounts to thin out the competition. Best advice keep vigilant and if some thing seems out of place then you MUST inform your ad service provider or you could face a ban. Once e-mailing them they should be able to follow the trail the ip addresses have left, to determine if someone is trying to sabotage your account. It could be someone is deliberately clicking on your ads to get your account terminated

Sorry for scaring everyone before bed but i needed to make it very clear NO COURTESY CLICKS EVER and BE DECENT DON'T SABOTAGE OTHERS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Is Spott a goood marketing tool

Now i just received an interesting e-mail from Adbrite encouraging me to get more hits on my site, now this e-mail was great because it gave me a lot of handy tips (most of them i already knew but never mind). So i was reading through and they mentioned about getting listed on a site called Spott.

So i had a look and basically it is a link exchange site, you have a spot icon appear on your blog in a small square which features other peoples sites and then others would have yours. Oh did i mention this site is FREE!!!!!

The catch is though you have to have some incoming traffic to earn points, 4 points earns you an impression on another site. Where as you only get 3 points for every person who goes on your site.

If what i am writing is of interest to you you will need to create an account which can be found here, you type in your blog address they give you a code, which is easiest if you paste into a javascript window if your using blogger. If not paste it in between the < body > of your Html.

Remember if you want your request approved then it must feature in the top half of your blog/website.

So what are the benefits (like i need to tell you), right this is a direct quote from what i read from someone else and i think it sums it up perfectly. "In the Internet advertising game the objective is to create a network of paths, all of which lead back to you". Basically create as many avenues and possibilities that people will see your site. Spott does that very well. Next to getting indexed i would rate it a top priority.

However as briefly mentioned there is a downside, you need to earn points through traffic to get an impression on another page. Like i said the point ratio is 4:3, so you will always have to have more traffic than you will get impressions. Not good if you only have traffic for 500 people a week.

Anyway that's only a small gripe, i think its a great idea, so give it a go and let me know how you get on.

Good luck

Layout and format for optimising ads

So lets move on to layout and format.........

So what is a good format to have and where should i place my adverts?

The answer to this isn't as straight forward as you think. Most people go for striking and bright ads which overall in my opinion make your blog look tacky and if anything puts me off what i am trying to read. However to some this is the whole point. My view is don't make then too striking you may put people off.

However you do want to put them in a place where people will see them. Google has done a handy diagram showing the "hot spots" are for advertising. See below

I am not going to put a key as i think its self explanatory. Red is highest etc.

As you can see from this diagram the main spots that the adverts work best are above the posts and to the left. However this diagram does not unfortunately show what performance between the posts is like.

In my view if someone is just passing by the likely hood is that they are going to miss any adverts that they would have to scroll down and see, but on the other hand a serious reader is probably more likely to take notice of adverts between posts. So i guess its really a trial and error thing.

When it comes to the design of your ads look for ones that will have either a colourful and striking view to them them example red border on blue background; or a blended colour. Me personally would go fior the latter as bright and vibrant colours can look very tacky.

Have a go experimenting to see what yeilds the best results, you may find other ways that attract more attention to your adverts.

If Twitter's good enough for him?.......

So we have all heard of twitter haven't we? After all President Obama's a fan. Did you know that many other publishers are using Twitter as a way to direct traffic to their sites/blogs?

Yes its true twitter is one of the fastest social networking site on the planet. The best bit about it, unlike facebook everybody adds everyone else so you can get a very large following very very quickly. Also you can post things about your blog with direct lnks to it.

Think of it as a way to meet contacts, advertise your subject matter and gather a solid fan base. Really the opportunities are endless. Not only can you connect with any old person, you can get in touch with the right ones too. Think of it as an online directory and library.

You could even create a large linking network, why not try offering link trades when you get a high enough following.

One rule though dont just use it as an advertisimng tool. As i have stated many times the best way to go about your marketing is through general social interaction. Try taking an interest in their blogs or sites, offer advice, or even ask for it.

Dont just use it as a tool to market people will see through it much more easliy than you think.

Is Adbrite worth it? How's it compare to AdSense

So is it better well first of all Adbrite is similar to AdSense but in some ways it is better. Although like with most things AdSense does out perform it in other areas.

If you wish to read the post on AdSense pro's and cons please view . the review here

Adbrite ands AdSense isn't an either or situation since they can be used together. This is because Adbrite offers the option to replace your AdSense adverts with there own if an advert becomes available that will beat the price AdSense are offering for that space and when it cant it will show the AdSense instead.

If you do want to just go with one or the other then here are some important features of Adbrite.

You can specify what ads you want much easier than with AdSense.

It has 4 possible options rolled into 1. For example you can choose to feature page adverts which pop up between loading pages and a similar program to AdWords.

These are just a few of the many benefits of adbrite, check out their website for more and decide for yourself.

Like many things in life one you’ll have to test for yourself. I certainly like it better than programs like Kontera where they underline your text.

I guess the main thing is what niche your going for and what sort of eCPM you get on your site.

Like i explained on the last post AdSense is better if you have a good CTR (Click Through Rate) since it is shows more of the PPC (Pay Per Click) adverts, whereas, Adbrite serves more CPM ads. So if you have high traffic but a low CTR then Adbrite's the one for you.

The one slight issue is Adbrite's targeting leaves a lot to be desired compared with others on the market.

Even though AdBrite’s targeting needs work it’s not going to cost you a thing to try them out.

For me, it is worth having them both because I like having a 3rd party manage my flat-rate ads. So if you’re looking to sell ad space from your site, you may want to look into AdBrite.

And if you’re searching for a new monetization option or perhaps you’ve been booted from AdSense and you’re looking for other CPC programs — give AdBrite a try to see how it works with your site or blog.

Like i said there is no reason you cant use these together and in fact does it not make more sense to do so.

Also Adbrite is compatible with Blogger. Check my post on Java scripting for more information.

Once again i hope this is helpful and please any requests or questions add a comment, it is open to all users not just members. Please don't advertise your blogs on here though, if you want to link exchange instead i am more than happy too.

Adsense V's the rest. How does it compare!

So you've read all about AdSense but here another quick recapped review of it along with a brief selected list of its competitors.

Ok well lets start with AdSense:
As you may well already know AdSense is one of, if not the most, popular Internet advertising network sites. It offers publishers of websites and blogs to advertise on them and receive a small portion of the profits made on those adverts.

Through AdSense the type of ads displayed are usually directly related to the subject matter of your blog/website. Which in turn means it is in keeping with what you write and targeting the right audience for their clients.

AdSense works by auctioning off the available advertising space on a site to various advertising companies.

The default form of advertisement available from AdSense is CPC, but CPM may also appear on sites if the ad agency chooses the site and wins the auction, but these types of ads cannot be specifically requested by an AdSense user.

The main benefits from AdSense are

it is 100% compatible with blogger and other google products.
it is without a doubt the largest organisation in the business.
It has far better publisher support than other networks.
It shows PCC and PCM ads
it has links adverts options
You can advertise through video's with the aid of Youtube
Far more support forums.
Allows you to hand target your adverts
Make money from RSS feeds.

The disadvantages are

Google does not disclose how much you will receive for an impression/click on ads.
AdSense is mainly a pay per click advertiser and you cannot specify which one you can have.
Video units don't always work for some users.
AdSense is far more strict than many other providers.
Is far more strict on having other competitors ads showing on the same page.
It is far more picky on what it cosiders a quality impression, for example a page visit may not count in certain countries/domains.

You may find using AdSense not to your liking especially if you have high traffic to your site but a very low click through rate (CTR) since, as previously explained with AdSense you are more likely to get PPC ads them. Here are some of the other options.

Valueclick Media

There are many many more but these are the ones i intend on reviewing over the next few weeks. Finally one of these Adbrite is known for having a higher rate of CPM ads and not to mention you can apparently run them along side your google ads. I will explain how this works in another post. Although at the moment i am slightly dubious of Adbrites claim and am waiting for a reply from Google.

Getting to grips with Html codes

The most essential part of improving revenue with AdSense is getting to grips with the XML/Html codes. I will not go into detail why in this post but will post the reasons after finishing this.

just trust me it is essential to learn at least the basics.

Remember not all sites use the same format and the ones i am giving are compatible with Blogger. For Wordpress and others you may have to do the research yourself.

Anyway without further delay here is basic Html jargon busting guide. Click on picture below to get the list.

Remember these are designed to be placed in the body of your post and not into your template. Remember to close off codes otherwise they wont work.

Try to copy codes or web addresses into note pad so you don't have to keep rewriting them.

Have you started marketing yet, not sure where to begin?

So you've got your blogs up and running but still your site traffic barely hits 100. So what are you going to do? I have briefly mentioned networking which is a long and slow process which will slowly boost your visitors. Basically the name of the game is to get your blog over the Internet.

I'm not going to give away any secrets but think what is of interest to people, where can i engage them personally.

Look to generate hits through high traffic sites (as long as it is within their rules).

Remember what ever you do you are a salesman, your selling your product. (your blog)

However that doesn't mean go for the hard sell. Why not check out Digitalpointforums and see how they do it.

And mainly you need a product that is worthy of the interest.

Don't ever mislead others. ie if you have a site about chocolate don't tell people get free car by clicking on your link.

Don't use third party sites to encourage visitors to your site to click on ads. Google aren't stupid.

If your going to put links on posts in a forum at least take the effort to create a well thought out post and not just spam junk. Firstly you are more likely to get visitors and you wont irritate people who genuinely are looking for information.

Remember your conduct reflects on all AdSense users as a whole.

Other general tips are to always update your blogs.

Googlebot loves words, this effectively makes blogs ideal food for him/her/it. Don't fill your blog with pictures not the best way to get page rank. Aim for at least 300 per night

Secondly get link exchanges boosts rank.

Also look at adding obscure words, or search the Internet see where there are a lack of pages containing certain phrases.

This is why an antiques blog is so ideal because for one i can link it to my e-bay but often looking for the exact product is like looking for a needle in a hay stack.

For example, when looking for a 1910 royal Daulton vase i would only come up with a handful of results.

Once again good luck, and if anyone has any problems, queries or just thinks I'm talking rubbish leave a comment.