Monday, December 31, 2007

Blog Tip #20: Be careful where you use in-line ads!

In-line ads are the new rage in advertising. They are the ads that pop-under select (or random) keywords in the actual text of the blog post. While these ads may be doing well in terms of click percentages, there might be a bigger price to pay for using them: utter user frustration!

Readers are already trained for ads in the sidebars and the headers and the footers, above, below and in-between posts, and at the end of a post. The last "safe place" for them is the actual text of the blog post. Putting in-line ads there can break the camel's back for your blog. This is especially the case if your blog post is an informational or how-to or tutorial type of a post. It is very frustrating when you are trying to concentrate and read and you see random words highlighted and things that may have very little to do with the content pop-under.

Now if your blog post is of a product or shopping or bargain hunting nature, then you can "get away" with all the pop-under ads. But if your post or blog wants to be taken seriously for its article content expertise, be very very very careful with in-line ads.

Here are two examples of this:

Utter frustration: You are writing a long tutorial on how to improve ruined pictures in Photoshop. Your pop-under inline ads randomly pick words that pop while the reader is trying to concentrate, understand your technique and follow your steps. The result? Frustration!

You can get away with it: You are writing a post on where to find the best deals for Photoshop. You talk about this retailer and that retailer, and which coupons or rebates to use, whether to buy online or in-store. The reader is already in a shopping, bargain hunting and product-based mentality, so they are less likely to scream when they see pop-unders.

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