Here I am today to announce you that next time I’ll put my hands on this blog’s theme, I am going to remove all ads.
The reason is simple: the blog is growing in popularity breaking into Alexa top 20,000 and it’s a developer blog, not a collection of tutorials.
For this reason, I don’t want to publish ads suggesting software I would never use or games I would never play.
This would be a cheap way to monetize traffic by directing readers who trust me to sites I don’t even know. And in the end Adsense or BuySellAds show the same ad on thousands different sites, making all sites look the same.
Last but not least, ads take space which could be used for showing useful information.
Placing ads on a blog means if I want to put a FlashPunk banner because I think FP rocks and I want to suggest it to my readers, I simply can’t… because I know FP is not willing to give me money for it and it would not be fair to place a free ad next to paying ads. It would be like a shop where you pay to buy goods and the guy next to you does not.
On the other hand, there are a lot of people asking me which software should they use, like in this tweet:
I suggested Flare3D because it’s the one I like most although they do not pay me to promote it. In the same way there’s a comment talking about purchasing a Flare3D license in this post and I receive questions about which software to use more than daily, by email, Facebook private messages or other means.
I cannot drive developers to use software I do not use just because someone paid me to do it. There’s my full name in this blog.
Placing ads is not the only way to monetize a blog, and I want to give my two cents about the most popular ways:
* Asking for donations: which in most cases means begging for money with sentences like “I would like to keep on blogging but my hosting plan costs so much, oh, please give me money”. This looks quite unprofessional, I plan to add a “donate” button but just saying something like “being a geek means drinking a lot of coca-cola, buy me a coke can”, with some humor in it and above all without complaining about hosting plans to pay.
* Selling tutorials/source codes: this could be done but it would be unfair to people living in some Countries which average income is extremely low or do not have access to payment systems like Paypal. I don’t want to deny access to Iranian geeks just because they live in a sanctioned Country.
* Selling subscriptions plans: this way is very similar to the above one, and I won’t apply it.
* Joining affiliate programs: this could be an idea but it can be something I really use and would recommend even if I would not earn any money. That’s the case of MochiAds which I recommend with a referral link but it’s a service I highly recommend and use for almost every game I make.
On the other hand, I need the blog income to buy some stuff which will allow me to keep on blogging about new technologies such as iPhone/iPad game development (that’s $3,588 to buy a 17” MacBook Pro in Italy, and I already have iPhone and iPad), Unity development (starting from $800 to $4,500 according to the “PRO” addons), Android development ($845 for Samsung Galaxy S II). That’s more than $8,000 that I would need just to begin talking about such topics.
* The final idea: I am going to place banners of sites and products I really like, use and recommend, mailing to the companies saying honestly something like “I really love your software and I recommend it to my readers for free. Anyway, sponsor my blog if you like the job I am doing”. Also, I’ll evaluate sponsorship proposals as usual, but I will choose only the ones which meet the above ctieria.
Finally, as Wikipedia does, I will accept private donations, and donors will be mentioned in an apposite page.
Shouldn’t I raise the 8K bucks in a short time, I’ll buy the software/hardware using other sources of income and keep on blogging with no ads/no supporters, with complete independence.
PS: my hosting plan costs around $14/month so don’t believe people asking for thousand dollars for dedicated servers when they only run a small site :)