A few months ago I threatened to monetize this and other blogs in my empire. Don’t worry; I’ve been procrastinating. But lately I’ve focused more on it now that David Rothman has been getting on my back.
But I’ve discovered some excellent resources in the meantime;
ConversionRater gives good how-to advice about monetizing your website.
Aaron Wall’s SEO Book blog contains excellent tips on search engine optimization but also keeps us up-to-date about what’s going on the advertising world as well. I actually bought his SEO Book last week for $79. There are good things in the book, and I feel good about the purchase, but practically speaking, you could find the same information elsewhere if you read a lot of SEO blogs. See also Yaro Starak’s Entrepreneur’s Journey (he’s from Australia, but on top of money of the monetizing issues). He has a free ebook on web entrepreneurship. John Chow has a free ebook about Making Money Online (PDF)
Vaughn’s one pagers is an odd and useful site that gives great reference information, especially about the Net. Here’s an outstanding article about advertising strategies and another rundown of advertising companies. (I have no idea how current this information is). John Chow provides a more complete listing and here’s a Wikipedia article on Advertising/Affiliate Networks.
Apparently tracking ad clickthroughs is easy now that google provides code for it.
I’ve also found Daily Blog Tips to be filled with practical information for running a blog. They have a special category for monetizing (My favorite article is by Skellie on preventing ad-blindness on your blog).
Finally, I’m leaving the best for last. Here’s an Advertising Engine plugin for WordPress. Who Sees Ads lets you control the duration of an ad campaign and allows you to set filters about what kind of traffic views ads. For example, if you see the demo, you can see that you can exclude ads to regular visitors (and even define what a regular visitor is!)
Here’s an academic article by Mike Grehan about the study of network relevancy. A good history of how mathematicians brought the field into existence. Key quote:
But this is also the creator of a very worrisome problem which affects new web pages with low linkage data, regardless of the quality of those pages. Quality and relevance are sometimes at odds with each other. And the ecology of the web may be suffering because of the way search engines are biased towards a page’s popularity more than its quality. In short, “currently popular” pages are repeatedly being returned at the top of the results at the major search engines.
So, the “filthy linking rich” get richer and currently popular pages continue to hit the top spots. The law of “preferential attachment” as it is also known, wherein new links on the web are more likely to go to sites that already have many links, proves that the scheme is inherently biased against new and unknown pages.
When search engines constantly return popular pages at the top of the pile, more web users discover those pages and more web users are likely to link to them. This therefore means that currently unpopular pages (as such) are not returned by search engines (regardless of quality) so they are discovered by very few web users. And this, of course, is unfortunate for both the publishers of web pages and the seekers of their information. (Not to mention web marketers!)
Finally about link condoms (which I find from seomoz glossary of terms). They are “Any of several methods used to avoid passing link love to another page, or to avoid possible detrimental results of endorsing a bad site by way of an outgoing link, or to discourage link spam in user generated content”. Basically, that means the “nofollow” attribute for comments initiated by Google and the major weblogs. Intended to reduce the allure of linkspam, it now has the effect of making it impossible to get backlinks unless you pay someone (which suits google fine).