Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Why Adsense

Around 2009 I remember seeing stories about how innovative teachers asked students to write public blogs instead of private essays for homework and how some of the more enterprising students put advertising on their blogs and earned money for their homework. I found this intriguing and had been meaning to experiment with this myself - trying to earn some money from my blog writing that is ... not the homework :)

Putting ads on my blogs - there was a part of me that didn't want to - thinking about the purity of just writing without any association with commerce - the displayed ads and earning money from it.  In the end I thought - why not ... here are my reasons.

I'm OK with ad supported free content. I like free things but appreciate that there is a cost somewhere. In pure forms of free people generously and voluntarily give their time and resources - otherwise free is supported for commercial benefits - by such things as sponsorship and advertising. We are familiar with free media supported by ads - this is the basis of traditional commercial radio and TV as well as the Web. Ad supported free media is a mutually beneficial arrangement - people get stuff for free and commercial interests get an audience ... this is of course while there is a balance in the arrangement - if commercial interests get too heavy then the attraction goes and people will turn away ... this of course damages the commercial side as the audience will decline. We see this happening at the moment with the great debate over Ad blockers .. which came about due to excessive advertising.

I'm not a fan of paywalls - I like content to be freely accessible so that everyone can benefit - there is something elitist about paywalls - only those who can afford to pay can gain access and the writers behind the paywalls have the kudos of being on a restricted platform. Paywalls are part of the whole value through scarcity paradigm - in this case it's about artificially created scarcity. Free ... is part of the value through abundance paradigm. With free - everyone can benefit - there is value for everyone and anyone and with ad supported free there is value for commercial interests as well. Could we really live in a world where everything is behind a paywall? Could business and commerce really exist without advertising in abundance free spaces.

It's an exploration  - I'll just see what happens and where I end up ... I'll try to map the way as I Go. Adding Adsense to Blogger and Youtube was easy enough ..with blogger your account has to be live for 6 months before the adsense button is live and lets you join. I then just clicked the earnings and adsense button, filled in a few bits of information and accepted all the default settings ... although I did find the settings to exclude certain types of adds like gambling, pharmaceuticals and religions and that was it. At first there was a blank panel beside my blogs and then after a few days I saw the adds appear. Youtube seemed to be easier and faster and with more options so that you could treat videos individually. I'm not sure if your Youtube account needs to be live for 6 months before you can add Ads.

The other thing I am interested in is how the Google bots judge my different blogs and Youtube channels - since there is slightly different stuff on each I can get a feel for what they are judging them to be ... for some reason I noticed a batch of tech\electronics ads on this blog yesterday evening - I haven't been blogging about tech stuff ... I guess this must have been an analysis of the whole blog which has tech stuff from when I started it - such as "Mobile learning - the end of the beginning" from 2009 when I wrote about Netbooks and mobile eBoards. Today there an Ad about some sort of plagiarism detection software LOL :) In fact its fascinating to see the ads that pop up - on one of my other blogs for example I see ads for learning stuff e.g. "Learn To Code" while on the Youtube channel I see Ads for a wide variety of stuff from Chromecast, ,Gmail, Wix to Ads to study for an MSC in Nuclear engineering and for beauty product samples!

So, after a few days - how much have I earned .... its hard to say - The Google Adsense dashboard gives lots and lots of information that I can't make head nor tail of and I don't want to spend ages working it all out - there are statistics for clicks, impressions and something called "Page RPM" there are figures for all of these and totals - nothing seems to match up so I'll wait and see. Youtube earnings are treated differently on the Adsense Dashboard 

"YouTube earnings will be added to your AdSense payments page before the 15th of the month and included in your payment if your total earnings exceed the payment threshold. Estimated earnings will not be updated to include your YouTube earnings."

As far as I can see - after three days of carrying ads from free beauty samples to courses for nuclear engineering I might have earned a grand total of perhaps between 1p and 25p ... and I'm not sure if this is before or after Google takes 31% LOL :)

Still .. even a penny a day is a penny a day.

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