Advertisements on Amdall Gallery

I’ve been thinking about the advertisements on this site quite a bit lately. The purpose of Amdall Gallery has morphed slightly over time, but it’s mostly been about sharing my love of data analysis and my (I hope) improvement over time as an amateur artist. I introduced ads partially because I enjoy experimenting with the website, but also to see if I could pay for a portion of the hosting costs through ad revenue. Well, after about a year of advertising…I’ve made about $30 total. So, I’ve been asking myself; is $2-3 per month worth having weird random images next to my sketches? It’s jarring sometimes to see.

Prior to today, I had advertisements in three places:

  • at the bottom of all posts,
  • end of the sidebar,
  • at the very bottom of the site.

I’ve always found the ads at the bottom of posts the most annoying, since they appear right next to artwork in many cases. They’re aesthetically unappealing, and even though it goes against the purpose of ads, I didn’t want advertisements to be confused with my actual content. After writing a post, sometimes I’d wonder, “will someone associate this sketch with an ad for toilet paper or something?” All of that bothered me…so I got rid of them today. I’ve still got the other two locations though. I figured it might be a good idea to kick this question to the audience!

First off, here is a basic poll on how you experience them. Do you get irritating ads that clash with browsing the site? Or are you desensitized to web advertising completely? In all honesty, I use an ad-blocker most of the time…so I expect many people do the same, and don’t even realize I have ads here.

And overall, what rating would you give the ads on Amdall Gallery?

 

I hoped from the outset that the ad program would be fairly responsible and unobtrusive. It’s pretty standard with WordPress to use WordAds to generate advertisements, and the entities (Google Adsense, Amazon, etc) that bid are common to the web advertising world (more on how that works here). But despite all that, ads are still annoying and don’t pay that well for a relatively low traffic site like this one.

I still might completely trash them, but for now I’d just like to see if I can get any feedback on how they are now. What say you, WordPress community, social media followers, and random browsers?

 

16 comments

  • Hi Jon,

    I personally use adblock and I can’t see the ads on your website. In general though I find that ads ruin the aesthetics of a website unless they are designed to suit its palette, layout and content. You spent time and effort to arrange things nicely, upload good content and good quality images…and then random ads pop up everywhere. I currently have the free plan of WordPress (no option of removing the ads) but I am seriously considering to move to the personal paid plan where you can get rid of them. Also, as you said the amount of money you earn through ads is not massive anyway so I am not quiet sure if it is worth having your site looking like an ads board.

    • Hey Iasonas, that’s a really good point. That’s probably true for most of us! We all spend so much time uploading, arranging, tweaking, and sharing…only to suddenly throw random abrasive clickbait on there. Thinking about it like that, it’s kind of odd for an artist (focusing on visual concepts) to let someone mess up your arrangement.

      I think the “personal” plan removes ads right? For like $4 a month? That could be worth it for you…but then again, so many people use ad blockers anyway. When I was browsing your site today, it almost slipped my mind that I was blocking ads as well – I have the blocker on so often, I forget it’s even there sometimes.

  • I find these posts quite interesting. Personally I don’t use an ad blocker (I probably should) because I surf mostly on my phone. I see the ads in the middle of the content as really annoying but you don’t have any. Those at the bottom of post are next. The ones on the side bar and bottom of the screen don’t show unless I keep scrolling after the post and it’s comments

    • Very cool, I’m glad it caught your interest! I certainly agree with you there – ads right in the middle of content are highly annoying. The bottom post ads were getting a little too close to the same level for me, so I finally decided to give them the boot.

      Honestly, I pretty much always use an ad blocker, even on mobile (via Firefox add-on). I know there’s an argument that without advertising, a free internet can’t exist. But I’m of the belief that so many companies don’t push their ads to consumers responsibly; they throw out weird, inappropriate, and/or extremely invasive marketing. And it’s not just the annoyance factor! Some ads are security risks and can spread malware. I can see both sides of that argument, but I think a good compromise is to “white list” (allow ads) for sites that aren’t too bad about their ads, while blocking the worst offenders.

  • I’m not keen on ads and I try and ignore them. I tried to go for the “meh” I’m not bothered option but couldn’t get the options big enough so hit the ad blocker option by mistake, sorry

    • It’s all good Christine, I just appreciate you participating in that little survey. I’ve had some difficulty with the formatting on these polls…apparently WordPress’s go-to poll/survey partner PollDaddy has become a new company called CrowdSignal. It looks like the same interface (my old polls are there), but it has some new quirks. Interestingly, I can’t even see the vote buttons when I view it through WordPress Reader! So that’s a little buggy

  • Most of the time, I hardly see any adds, since Im in the WordPress Reader, and manually select the pictures I want to see 🙂

    • I sure do love that WP Reader, it’s nice sometimes to be able to view a wide variety of websites as a unified format. Were you able to see the poll and choices in the Reader? I had some trouble on that end, and I’m curious if everyone else did too

      • Oh, I did not see that at all, actually! I guess the Reader does not work as well as visiting the site directly.

      • In this case, that might be true. But sometimes the Reader works better! There are a couple themes that for whatever reason I have issues viewing, but if I do, I can just jump into the Reader and see it no problem.

  • I’m fairly engrossed in your posts usually and don’t notice the ads much but I take your point about ads that sit right at the base of your post being annoying. My free WordPress site has those and I’m not keen. As per Suzy, ads in the middle of posts are very intrusive and I submit articles for our business to a magazine site and constantly pray that people don’t think the masses of advertising throughout our writing is anything to do with us!

    • Thanks Claire, I’m actually really glad to hear so many people experience these ads similarly. It makes me feel better, that I’m not being strange about it. I’m becoming more certain that these middle-of-the-post ads are not worth it at all. I’ve removed those, and am gravitating towards zapping more. I share the same worry you have – that someone is going to see some weird ad and think it’s associated with me or this site!

  • Hi Jon. I use my phone too, so either the ads aren’t there or I don’t notice them

    • Hello! I wonder if most people use their phones to browse WP sites? I do too, actually – the WP Reader is definitely a frequent app for me. I should have added another survey/poll!

      More bonus points for the WP Reader for sure, that we don’t get bombarded with advertising.

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