If you have a blog and you’ve ever put in a little bit of time to search for “make money online” or “earn revenue from your blog” or anything similar, you’ve most likely come across John Chow’s website johnchow.com. John Chow does huge amounts of traffic, and more importantly, has a huge loyal following with a subscriber base of 16,000+ readers… and always growing. The problem with the 16,000+ subscribers to John Chow’s blog is that a vast majority of them are tech savvy.
These tech savvy users are out looking to make money online. Plain and simple. These people understand that advertising revenue is typically the best way to make money online – whether it be through contextual advertising networks or sponsored posts or paid advertisements. These people aren’t looking for advertisements to click on, they’re looking for content… they’re looking for ideas and ways to improve their own site. I’d be willing to bet that less than 1% of the subscribers to John Chow’s blog actually ever click any of the ads on his site, in fact, they probably don’t even see the advertisements.
Once you’re an experienced internet user and blog reader, you learn how to scan sites. What do I mean “scan sites”? Most savvy readers have taught themselves how to read articles, blogs, posts, magazine, etc. without paying any attention to whatever advertising might be inter-twined within the page. I know the typical size & placements of advertisements, I’m going to be very unlikely to click on any advertisement… ever… and I’m assuming that most of the readers of John Chow’s blog are just like me.
I’m just writing from personal experience, so feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. I own and operate multiple websites, from this small needle-in-a-haystack blog, to large heavily trafficked e-commerce websites. It is my feeling that a subscriber or reader will be more likely to just browse a site for content and posts and pay far less attention to ads. So who will be more likely to click on ads? Users who find your site through a search engine, or related link will be more likely to click on advertisements… especially contextual advertisements like Google Adsense, Yahoo Publisher Network, or Kontera text ads. I’m sure that johnchow.com gets plenty of organic search engine traffic, but judging by the number of subscribers, I’d assume that a vast majority of his traffic and page views are from subscribers. I’d be very curios to see numbers on direct/bookmarked traffic vs. organic traffic. And would it even be possible to track the CTR for advertisement between the two?
A note to John: I’m not trying to discourage people from advertising on your site, I’m just questioning whether subscribers/readers or organic traffic has a higher CTR for advertisers. You’re obviously doing something right, and I think I’ll be duplicating some of your moneymakers on this site real soon! 😉