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Money 4 Mom: Google Ads

by Freebies4Mom on August 25, 2008 2:22 pm

This weekly feature is for my readers who have their own blogs are are thinking about starting one. This week I have a blogging tip I want to share along with a discussion that relates to making money blogging. Today let’s talk about Google Ads, but first I’ve got a quick tip for bloggers (and a question for you).

Do you want your links to open in a new window?

I was getting really tired of modifying my html for each and every link I posted and thought that there must be a better solution to accomplish the same thing. I know that this is not something that every blogger may want, but I think it makes sense to do it. It helps readers from getting “link lost” and not returning to your blog to read further. If you click on any link in my blog it will open the URL in a new window. The reason it does this is because on every post I write I go to my “Edit Html” tab and type in: target=”_blank” after each and every URL. This can get time-consuming but I still do it because from my own blog browsing experience I like to be able to easily get back to the blog I was reading no matter how many links I’ve clicked on.

Well, Angie at BlogCoach just made my day by linking me to this tip. But guess what? It didn’t work when I tried it. But then I looked at the rest of the html in my template and tried some minor changes and found the html that did work. Here are my notes on the html that worked for me, I wrote them in a text program to link to rather than posting an image of the code, another trick I also learned from Angie. The downside to applying this tip is that every single link on your blog will open in a new window. But maybe there is some html you can apply that overrides this for a specific link? Tell me if you know!

Question: Any tips on getting labels to appear below my posts?
My labels are missing and I don’t know what to do to get them back! When I go to “Layout” and click on “Edit” for my Blog Posts element I see that I can check or uncheck the box that says “Labels” but they never appear beneath my posts. Do you have any tricks for me to try to convince those labels to start appearing?

My Experience with Google Ads
The first advertisements I had on my blog were Google Ads. I still have Google Ads because they are a good source of ad revenue, and because for the most part I feel the ads are resources that may be useful to my readers. Google Ads are everywhere because it’s easy to sign-up for them and they have a wide variety of advertisements you can display.

I’ve experimented with Google image and text ads on my blog, and decided that I like the text ads between my top 3 posts. The reason is that they take up a minimum amount of space, they appear in the area where my readers are reading, and they are less likely to bring-up annoying ads that I would want to block from showing up on my blog.

A big concern among bloggers is having control over what types of Google ads appear on their blog. I encourage you to become familiar with how to block the domain names of sites you do not want to see advertised on your blog. If you have an account you can do this by going to the “AdSense Setup” tab, clicking on “Competitive Ad Filter” and then you can enter up to 200 URLs to block. For the most part, Google shows relevant ads on your blog based on keyword searches. But sometimes Google picks up on keywords that show ads you don’t like, local political ads are a perfect example. If you also use the AdSense for Search you will want to copy your blocked URLs over to that tab as well. If you want to find out how to determine the destination URLs of your ads (without clicking on them because as we all know you never want to click on your own Google ads – you’ll lose your account) then you should read the Competitive Ad Filter guide.

If you want to have a larger degree of control over your Google ads, you can always create a list of permissible sites and only show those ads by going to “Allowed Sites” in the “AdSense Setup” tab. This makes it difficult to show new ads on your blog, but you can keep an eye on other blogs with Google ads and when you see one you like you can add it to your list. This prevents you (or your readers) from every seeing an ad that you don’t want appearing on your blog.

Penny by Penny
Lastly I want to leave you with a reality check. When I said that bloggers make money penny by penny, I was telling the truth. A recent survey on BlogCoach with responses from 96 bloggers showed that less than 40% make more than $10 a month and only 10% make more than $500 a month. If you are curious what bloggers are saying about how much money they make (and how they make it) you’ll want to read more here.

What questions do you have about Google Ads? What tips do you have based on your experience with Google Ads? I am definitely not an expert, but I can share with you what I’ve learned from my experience with them.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous August 25, 2008 at 2:40 pm

love your blog! but ive noticed in the short time i have been visiting, your ads are GROWING.. while this helps you make money for your family.. i just hope you dont become too carried away, and leave your site becoming messy, and hard to read.. thus loosing readers. i know i stay away from sites with pop ups ( not that you have those! ) and a lot of junk.. just a thought! take care 🙂

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Heather August 25, 2008 at 3:02 pm

Anonymous – Thanks for leaving a comment! Too many ads is something that is always on my mind. My recent blog makeover has brought a lot of new content to my sidebars including “Best 4 Posts” and my “Weekly Features”. A note about pop-ups: once in awhile the ads that are part of the BlogHer Ad Network do have pop-ups in them – so I am not completely free of those types of ads either (but they are usually not as annoying as the pop-up ads you’ll see on other websites). My goal is to balance my ads with my own content in my sidebars, and I appreciate honest feedback from my readers about the number of ads I display. Thanks!

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Mindy August 25, 2008 at 6:20 pm

Thanks for the tips, Heather! We need to start doing the HTML for opening links in a new window!

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Lydia August 25, 2008 at 9:08 pm

Thanks for this article! Very informative!

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Rochele August 25, 2008 at 10:03 pm

Just wanted to let you know I love your blog because I can follow a link and still come right back here. I wish money saving mom would do that! Also I wish you had feed I could subsribe to so I know when you post something new.

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Christina August 25, 2008 at 10:24 pm

YOU ROCK! Thanks so much for the link tip for Blogger! It worked perfectly and was soooo easy! Thanks for the links today, too!

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Heather August 26, 2008 at 6:51 am

Rochele – Thanks, glad it works well for you to get links opening in a new window! Please look at the right side (just below my BlogHer Ad) to subscribe to my feed. See the “Subscribe” bar – if you put your mouse on the blue plus symbol it will expand and give you all kinds of feed subscription options. Let me know if you have any problems, or if your feed reader of choice is not one of the options!

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Frugallygreeninthecity August 26, 2008 at 7:18 am

Thanks for the tips!!!! Fantastic.

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AnnMarie August 26, 2008 at 12:11 pm

Please, please, please don’t force links to open in new windows. If you force it, it HAS to happen if when someone doesn’t want it. If you leave the link normal, and the reader wants a new tab or window, they get to control that by right-clicking. Why not leave the control in the hands of the reader?I personally HATE HATE HATE it when someone forces a new window open when I did not want it that way. Then I have to close all these new windows that appear! I find it far more confusing than just using the back button.

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Heather August 26, 2008 at 12:18 pm

AnnMarie – Thanks for the comment and sharing your opinion. I’m going to be experimenting and will make some changes based on reader feedback.

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...and she lived... September 4, 2008 at 10:40 pm

thanks so much for the tip! I was a little intimidated by messing with my html but it was really easy and worked!

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