To Have Ads or Not To Have Ads

I hate ads.

Chances are you hate them too.

So why do I keep showing ads on SingularityWeblog.com?!

Well, it is because I don’t want to lose the meagerly $100 per month that I make from Google AdSense.

In fact, I’ve been frantically searching for ways to improve my revenue and make this blog financially viable. If I fail to accomplish that, then, I will eventually be forced to move on and find an alternative vocation – one that not only makes me happy as this one, but can also put some food on the table.

It is for this reason that I took Daniel Scocco‘s course on improving AdSense revenue. Taking the course, however, got me thinking about the exact opposite alternative as a potential solution:

What if I remove all the ads?

Ads or No Ads?

Surely, the value of the annoyance to my readers from the adds must be far greater than the revenue that those create for me. So by removing them I ought to be creating overall more net value than I’m losing. Furthermore, in theory, this should make people less distracted when visiting Singualrity Weblog and therefore incentivize them to spend more time here. In addition, even if I keep the ads and improve their revenue by a factor of 5 or 10 it still will not be sufficient to make the blog viable. Clearly, if Singularity Weblog is to survive and prosper, I must go beyond the ad revenue model.

But where will that money come from?!

Donations (as well as grants) seem like one of the potential sources of income. After all, many radio and TV programs are almost entirely funded by money raised through that model. However, with one very notable exception where a generous anonymous reader donated $2,500 for video, photo and audio equipment, I have been making about $50 per month from donations. Clearly, I need to improve my fund-raising skills and send out a more compelling message. Still, I suspect that, while donations will remain to be an integral part of SingularityWeblog’s revenue stream, they will continue to be fluctuating and therefore less reliable source of income.

So, donations can help to survive but it will take more to prosper:

It will take a solid business model that works.

Then, it dawned on me: I’ve got amazing readers who like the blog and thus have a stake in its success or failure. I believe that people such as yourself will probably enjoy it if Singularity Weblog got bigger and better. If that is true, then, why don’t I ask you to help me figure this out?!

Let’s start with something simple: Should I have ads or should I remove them all?

Once we figure this out, then, we can move on to bigger issues such as: “How do we make SingularityWeblog.com grow and prosper? What are the best business models, alternative sources of income or other ways to turn it into a financially viable entity which can stand on its own?”

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