If you’ve come and gone a few times over the past couple weeks or taken a look at my changelog, you may have noticed various ads popping up in random spots across the site. I’ve been trying out some of the more popular affiliate programs from the likes of Google and Amazon. If you take a look around now, you won’t see any of them. I simply cannot live with advertising on my site. I worked for a company whose soul purpose was to sell advertising. The ads out-weighed the content visually, there was every kind of intrusive/annoying ad you could think of and even ads disguised as content. Worst!
I was thinking it would be nice to get some sort of financial return for all the time and effort I put into this site and thought some simple ads would do the trick. I sold myself on the idea by deciding to only display targeted ads specific to the content or subject matter.
Somewhere along my travels, I ended up on the Split Reason site – a gaming/geek merchandise company that sells some hilariously awesome shit. This was my first test. I dumped some images in the sidebar of gaming and geek posts along with both category pages. They only stayed up for 3 days.
I thought a sure bet would be selling games/products I’ve reviewed. A simple ‘buy this from Amazon’ with an image of the product along side. I tried out the default Amazon template, which was ugly as balls. I then made my own images and enclosed them in a nice, dirty box with my referral link. Looked a lot better, but still wasn’t comfortable selling products. I review games that I like and to be frank, I couldn’t care less if you bought it because of my review. Personally, I wouldn’t order a game from Amazon. I’d go and pick it up at one of many stores in my neighbourhood and I’m sure most of you would rather do the same.
Next came Google AdSense. Originally, I was completely opposed to using AdSense. You see them on every other site you visit these days and I think people are becoming immune to them. Not to mention, some rather silly things can be displayed by them. I don’t really want to sell you plane tickets to visit Normandy simply because I mentioned the word in my Call of Duty 2 review. They were up for less than 2 weeks in which time I made just over $4.
My last attempt at making a little coin on the side was the new Firefox referral buttons from AdSense. They look like shit, but you make $1 for each successful installation of Firefox with the Google toolbar. I’m all about promoting Firefox, but those buttons are just too ugly. They’re also gone, but I’ve put a Firefox 1.5 bigbox ad in it’s place in the sidebar of subpages. It’s only displayed for IE users (and Opera for some reason – apparently, Opera identifies itself as MSIE) and I’m going to keep it. I don’t make any money off clicks or downloads, but I’m more than happy to sport it on my site and help spread the word for one of the most important products to hit the net, period.
So there you have it. My site will remain ad free. I’d like to apologize to those that were exposed to them over the past couple weeks. Hopefully, I didn’t scare anyone off. Bottom line – I don’t want to sell you anything. It would be nice to see some return for the work I put in here, which is why I’ve added a donation link to the About page. If you like what I’m doing and would like to help out, feel free to donate whatever you see fit. Any money that’s donated will go towards hosting costs and game purchases for review purposes. Basically, just to help cover some of the costs of running this site. Speaking of which, I have a couple game reviews on the back-burner. I had to order some new RAM and am waiting for it to come in before capturing the gameplay video. Hence the lack of reviews lately. I should have it within a couple weeks and will roll out the reviews as soon as I can. I’ve still been playing lots of Battlefront 2, Need For Speed Most Wanted and finally getting close to wrapping up F.E.A.R. Man, it’s getting good! I hear the ending’s just awesome and can’t wait to get to it!