Daily Archives: January 8, 2008

The Clarion Call sells out!

Long-time readers of the Clarion Call Blogs will have noticed a more commercial look to our home page recently. It started with the addition of a small number of local advertisers who I approached in December.

Thankfully some of them said yes and I was able to add a little cash flow to what had been, for its first 8 months, entirely a labor of love (or hate!) I am grateful to my local advertisers and I hope those of you who are regular readers of the blog will show your appreciation by being regular customers of those businesses –and don’t forget to tell them that you saw their ad online!

Not satisfied with that, however, in the great capitalist tradition of our country, I recently signed up to run text and display ads provided by Google. I also converted all my web site’s search engines over to Google one’s as well.

The way the Google program works is that I earn a very small amount every time a reader clicks on one of those Google ads. (As near as I can figure, it’s something less than 20 cents depending on the type of ad you click on.) Nevertheless if you have lots of readers and lots of clicks, you can eventually expect to make enough money to buy your morning coffee. (Hey, every little bit helps these days!)

As part of my agreement with Google, I am not supposed to encourage people to click on those ads just to make me money, and I certainly wouldn’t want to violate that agreement. On the other hand, I hope readers will pay careful attention to the ads, and if you see something that truly interests you, feel free to click through!

If you use the Google search engine (and who doesn’t?) perhaps you would like to bookmark our version of it. Just clink on the link above and then bookmark the page. Then if you happen to click through on an ad on the search results page, we’ll make a few cents. Thanks!

The interesting thing about the program is that, Google, in its infinite wisdom, targets what ads you will see based on the content of the page you are reading or the search term you used. I’ve noticed that some local ads have already shown up on the home page, as well as a text ad for people looking for plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Lowe’s. Now they’re getting the right idea!

Of course, we are also getting a lot of ads for Clarion Hotels and Clarion software and electronic equipment, but I guess that can’t be helped! I’m going to try experimenting with adding some meta-tags to the pages to see if that brings more focused results.

If you don’t like all the commercial clutter, I also added a donation box. This is a service provided by Amazon.com that allows appreciative readers to make anonymous donations to the site. All you have to do is click on the little donation box (or the link below) and Amazon takes it from there.

Amazon reports that 25 million Americans already have an Amazon account, and if you do, you may see your first name come up in the greeting on the the box. I admit this is a little spooky, but it just means that Amazon knows who you are, even if I don’t!

As I point out in the copy on the donation page, the suggested contribution is $10 per year. That is less than 1/3 the cost of subscribing to a local newspaper, and the Clarion Blogs can cover breaking stories in a much more timely (not to mention unbiased) fashion. Isn’t it worth it?

Who knows? If I get enough donations I may be able to dispense with the advertising altogether–but don’t count on it!