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15 Little Life Hacks

Testing ads on iwillteachyoutoberich for 3 months

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In the spirit of my post on experimentation yesterday, I’m running a 3-month test of advertising on iwillteachyoutoberich (www/RSS/newsletter). I’m not sure whether it will work or not, but it’s worth a test.

Here are the metrics that I’m using to measure success/failure:

1. Lack of distraction to me / my writing
2. User feedback
3. Revenue

I’ve run this site for three years without ever running ads, so this is new for me. If you have any feedback, good or bad, please let me know. I take it really seriously and will reply to every single email. In trying this, my only data points are some other PF bloggers’ feedback and a study I ran in May of 2005, which showed that 82% of iwillteach readers wouldn’t mind unobtrusive ads. As Vanessa Williams eloquently put it, “Oh how the years go by.”

Anyway, this is one of the small, rapid tests I’m running. If you’re curious about what short-term experiments you could do, see yesterday’s post on experimentation and another article I wrote, Think in Weeks, Not Years.

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  1. I seriously don’t see anything being wrong with ads, like you said intrusive ads would bother some people, and you can lose some readership.So, why not have ads that are finance related. You can also try the deck philosophy, where you don’t accept ads unless you trust / use the company. I think you should definitely try out ads on this site, too. Why not generate some extra rev.? Btw, how’s the book coming along?

  2. Ramit:

    Lemme just say that distasteful ads — Flash intros, flashing banners or anything that uses JavaScript — are a deal-breaker for me. If you’re curious about what I mean, check out or The Google ads you’ve chosen are definitely acceptable, though.

  3. I’m glad to see that you sprang for the google text ads. They don’t bother me one bit.

  4. I’m all for it. I typically read your posts in Google Reader, so I won’t notice any web only ads, but I generally don’t mind rss ads, if done right. If you can do direct ad sales (instead of whatever an ad service throws your way), you could place ads that are actually relevant to your readers and might be useful to them. Some feeds that I read are setup that way, and I occasionally click an ad for a site/service that might be useful to me.

    Good luck, and keep us posted on how it goes.

  5. Done the right way, I have no problem with ads. I’d like to eventually display some on my own site to try and make a little extra.

    Your adsense block is fine. Not detrimental to reading at all.

  6. I don’t see any problems with ads. I especially don’t see a problem with Adsense. They blend fine and are very non-intrusive.

  7. I’m totally fine with the ads you put up, they’re completely non-intrusive and don’t detract from the site at all.

  8. I have no problems with you running ads, Ramit, obviously. 🙂

  9. Hey Ramit,

    I don’t think its a bad idea at all, just don’t use those flashy, in-your-face, give-you-blindness-for-a-week ads. Simple text ones place properly will be great.


  10. I use an RSS reader so I don’t see the ads. Then, when I visit your site, my Adblock Plus extension for Firefox blocks your ads so I didn’t even realize that until I read someone’s comment about how you already have Adsense ads up. Now that I’ve disabled my Adblock Plus just to view your ads (heh), they don’t look too bad to me. Way to make them blend.
    However, some ads I almost would *like* to see, are those ones by major financial companies for opening up a new Roth or some other investment account (even though I have a Roth, but you get my point). Naturally after reading some articles, I do feel like signing up for certain financial services and am very susceptible to the nearest ad that might offer what I’m looking for. As always with ads, relevancy is key and may be more effective when implemented as a *service* to the reader, instead of umm.. an.. in-your-face-hey-click-me… thingy.