OK fine, the FTC is forcing my hand. Of the things I’ve reviewed to date the only one I received for free that I would otherwise have had to pay for was a preliminary copy of Tyler Cowen’s and Alex Tabarrok’s macro textbook.
I’ve been meaning to comment on advertising for some time, and this seems a fine time to do it. With one exception/twist I do not accept paid advertising on my blog. I have been approached by some companies wishing to advertise, and I have ignored all such requests. I am just not comfortable getting into that business. I do not want there to be any real or perceived conflict of interest. Plus, I don’t need this blog to generate money.
What’s the exception/twist? If you visit my blog (as opposed to receiving posts by e-mail or RSS feed) you will notice some Google-generated ads. Those are the only forms of advertising I permit on the site. I think they are OK because I never know what ads will appear. That makes it pretty hard for them to be potentially corrupting. I allow them because they are potentially useful to readers (mostly those searching the internet who stumble onto my site).
They are automatically generated by Google’s AdSense program based on keywords that appear on my site. I don’t get paid for their appearance, only if someone actually finds them useful or interesting enough to click on.
The revenue generated by Google ads is tiny, perhaps about $0.25 per post on average. In a week it adds up to about what I pay for coffee. I buy one cup per week: French roast, lots of sugar, some cream, from my favorite coffee shop, City Feed and Supply (the first and original Boylston Street one not the new-fangled one on Centre St).
Actually, I contribute net income from this blog to charity. Enough disclosure for you?