Advertising This Blog

I've been getting quite a few questions about this lately so I figured I ought to explain the text ads that some of you are seeing around the web for this blog. Here's a screenshot I was sent yesterday by a friend:
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I've heard a number of rationalizations for these ads, which have been running for almost a year now, including banner advertising arbitrage, a desperate attempt to shore up declining readership, and taking advantage of declining keyword pricing.

The truth is simpler. I want to use the services of every Union Square Ventures portfolio because I believe that by being an active user of our portfolio's products and services, we can be better investors.

One of our investments is a provider of a keyword advertising service for small and medium businesses called Clickable. Clickable makes it drop dead simple to buy keyword ads across all three major keyword marketplaces (google, yahoo, microsoft). You get daily reports that are simple and easy to understand. And you get recommendations on how to improve your campaigns like "drop these keywords", "change your copy", "increase your prices on these keywords", etc, etc.

So I've been running a campaign to drive traffic to this blog since Clickable went into beta. On a typical day I'll get about 100,000 impressions, about 10-20 clicks, and I'll spend less than $5. Yes, spending $150/month driving traffic to this blog that gives all of its ad revenue to charity seems like a silly idea.

But I've learned a lot about keyword advertising during this process. For example, I've noticed that my keywords are generating a lot more impressions (and more clicks) for me in the past four months. I think that points to some important changes in the keyword marketpace.

But most importantly I've learned a lot about Clickable and how its service works. And I've been able to give the company feedback on how to make the service even easier and more helpful to a small advertiser like me. At $150/month, you can't get much smaller.

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