Monday, 16 February 2009

How To Remove Google Ads You Don't Want

If you have Google AdSense on your site, sometimes you see ads there that you don't want. Perhaps you don't want your readers to visit those sites or perhaps you don't think they are appropriate. Whatever your reason, it is possible to prevent them from displaying on your page.

Presumably a lot of you already know how to do this, but for those of you who don't, it's quite simple.

First of all, you need to know the URLs of those sites. Now, according to the Terms of Service for AdSense you aren't allowed to click on the ads on your own page to find out. What you have to do is download the AdSense Preview Tool. This can be done very quickly by going here.

Once you have downloaded and installed the Preview Tool, you go to your page and right-click. Google AdSense Preview Tool will now show up on the menu. Click this and you will see a list of ads.

Check the ads you don't want and then click on Show Selected URLs. This will give you the URLs.

Go to your AdSense account and click on AdSense Setup. Then click on Competitive Ad Filter. Under AdSense for Content filters enter the URls of the ads you want blocked and then click Save Changes.

That's it! It may take a few hours for it to take effect, but those ads will no longer appear on your page.

One thing I would like to point out is that after I had downloaded the Preview Tool, it only showed up using Internet Explorer and not with Firefox. This is something I need to check out, but you should be aware of that.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Should You Write Paid Posts?

When I started blogging, one of the ways I thought I was going to make money was by writing paid posts. There are a lot of bloggers out there who make a regular income - however small it may be - from writing posts about products or services.

Now I'm not so sure. I think it's fine for those that can and want to do it, it's whether I want to do it that I'm not sure about.

Ideally, I would like to write about something that I know and would confidently recommend whether or not I was being paid to do so. It would also need to be relevant to the purpose and content of the blog. I have signed up for most of the middlemen companies that provide opportunities for you to get paid to write about products and services, but quite honestly, I don't feel comfortable about posting about most of the products.

I don't know most of them and I certainly haven't tried them, so how can I write about them? If there was something that I had tried or looked into and I thought it was worth writing about then I would do so, but I don't use diet, pharmaceutical etc products. The other thing is that you get lots of bloggers suddenly blogging about the same things. I remember a short while ago, for example, when so many of the blogs I visited had a picture of a pair of eyeglasses and a write-up about them. How many of them had actually bought a pair of these glasses or at least, knew that they were a good product to recommend?

A while ago I wrote a post about the ProBlogger book. This wasn't a paid post - I will make some money if people buy the book through my post - but I had obtained and read the book and was giving my actual opinion about it.

I know. I know. People are going to say that you are losing a source of regular income if you don't do paid posts, but I feel (and this is just my feeling, I have nothing at all against people who do paid posts - I just won't spend a lot of time reading their posts) that I would prefer to build up a blog in the long run that has the best content that I can produce. This will eventually create a good base of people who are actually interested in your blog.

What do you think?

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

When Should You Start Trying To Make Money From Your Blog?

I have been reading comments and advice from successful bloggers, including the ProBlogger book (see my post about the book here) and one thing that seems to come across is that one should spend time in building one's blog's content and traffic before starting to try and make money. I haven't been blogging very long, but I think I'm beginning to see the sense in what they're saying.

I see so many blogs that are new or fairly new and they are trying to incorporate as many methods of making money on their blog as they can. I did the same when I started, because I thought that's what you did. But I didn't know anything about blogging and I've had to learn through experience - by actually doing it.

Knowing what I know now, if I started again, I would focus on creating a blog or blogs that had good content and gradually build up the traffic. Good content attracts readers and keeps them and a lot of posts help with your Search Engine Optimisation, providing a lot of content for the search engines to find. I think I would only have AdSense to start with.

The thing with trying different affiliate programmes is that you need the traffic coming to your blog(s) in order to generate income. If they're not generating income, you don't know if it's because it's a programme that isn't an income generator - for you, at least - or if it's just because you haven't got enough traffic yet. So you don't want to dump it in case it does generate income once you do have good traffic!

However, if you spend time concentrating on building up a good and interesting blog, and get traffic and subscriptions, then you can start to try out affiliate schemes and other income generators and you'll be able to tell whether they are worthwhile or not. In fact, you'll probably have been able to see them in operation in the blogging world before you even have to try them out yourself.

The difficulty is that if you start blogging with the idea that you want to make money from it - however much - then it's very hard to wait for a year or more while you're building your blog, not to have any means of making money from it, save perhaps AdSense, until you have good traffic. But in all honesty, if I started again today, that's what I would do. I feel I need to think of the long term. Blogging is not the key to instant riches, but in the long term it can provide a steady income, the scale of which depends on our effort and perseverance plus the ability to learn.

I would appreciate comments on this based on your own experience.
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