Wide ads on niche sites, shy away or embrace?

Filed as General on September 9, 2006 4:10 am

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A comment by “Curious Blogger� on Ben’s Ads should match your blog post made me think about niche advertising. You can usually get a higher rate for your ads if you can approach advertisers in your particular niche, as opposed to wider advertising with lower rates.

Curious Blogger thinks that The Blog Herald, who sports a wider ad from a betting company at the moment, is alienating its visitors by not showing ads for our specific niche; blogging.

The Blog Herald should realize that they are alienating their own core audience by placing betting ads on the site. Your betting ads have nothing to do with your site content. Gambling ads? Come on guys!

First of all, I disagree about the alienating part. The ads by themselves are not obtrusive, they don’t feed you sounds or animates in an annoying manner. Granted, they are wide ads that generally should pay less, but that might not be the case here as this is some sort of 90 days ad firm deal that I have absolutely no knowledge of. Probably it sports a better rate than Google Adsense ads would bring in, but I haven’t got a clue really.

Anyway, a betting ad is definitely off-niche here at The Blog Herald. Does that mean that none of our readers are interested in betting? Of course not, a large part of the population bets online, and I doubt bloggers are any different. Probably the other way around actually, since we normally don’t sport the internet is scary-gene. The betting ad might do really well here. Granted, it probably pays a rate that is more close to niche advertising than wide, but it could still be a good deal.

So if you have a niche website, should you just have ads targeted solely to your topic? No, but that’ll probably be the case anyway since wider advertisers will find your rates a bit steep. And if they don’t, well, congratulations!

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  1. By Ben Bleikamp posted on September 9, 2006 at 2:41 pm
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    I agree. I think Matt has a right (and a responsibility, since Blog Media is a for-profit company) to make money with his properties.

    While there probably aren’t any demographics details regarding Blog Herald readers and their gambling habits, I would be quite a few of them gamble casually, maybe some even take it seriously.

    Just because the site is about blogging doesn’t mean the readers are thinking about blogging all the time :)

  2. By Jesse posted on September 10, 2006 at 10:52 am
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    As a first time visitor to the site (viat digg hit) I can say the large banner ads for the sports book site are really obtrusive compared to competing megablog type sites. I noticed it right away and turned down my interest for the site.

  3. By Matt Craven posted on September 10, 2006 at 11:12 am
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    I appreciate the feedback.

    Thanks,
    Matt

  4. By Curious Blogger posted on September 10, 2006 at 1:43 pm
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    Matt and crew at BlogHerald, don’t get me wrong — You have to run a business first, sell your available inventory and make the dollars and cents add up at the end of the month. I am with you 100% and I visit your blog on a daily basis as a faithful reader.

    My main point is BlogHerald is a “brand in itself” and even the ads you run on the site can change the perception of how people see the BH.

    BH has always been a good informative site, with quality posts about what’s going on in the blogging world. Your site has a newspaper feel to it (if not title alone), so the advertisers you pick to have displayed on the site in all actuality DOES have impact to what people feel when visiting the site.

    Back the original post — Content and advertising do play an integrated role (and the BH does a good job of separating the two), but you do have do consider (beyond the straight economics) what advertisers you allow yourself to be associated with. Nothing against any betting companies or your particular sponsor, just speaking in general terms.

    Keep up the good work!

  5. By chasers posted on September 10, 2006 at 10:09 pm
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    With regards to content related advertising… the foundation of this is the assumption that readers will be more interested in related advertising and therefore more likely to take action because of that advertising…

    So its my feeling that if your readers are interested in online betting you’re doing them some good providing them with leads relevant to their interests. If they aren’t, your not generating the kind of revenue you could from that spot and readers will view these ads as obtrusive and obnoxious.

    I’m also a first time visitor via Digg.

    Love the design by the way.