Advertising on Civil War Memory

Back in January I announced that I was adding affiliate links for books into my posts.  As a result, I get a small percentage of each sale in the form of a gift certificate.  A few weeks ago I added a widget in the sidebar that extends this affiliate program to include titles from my personal library.  Well, this little experiment has gone better than I anticipated.  Since the beginning of January Civil War Memory has earned $55 dollars in commissions based on the sale of 49 ordered items.  I am feeling very good about this program.  Most importantly, I have complete control over the products that I advertise and it is clear that readers of this blog are clicking through, which implies a certain amount of trust on your part.

I’ve proceeded carefully down this road with the full understanding that it is my wide readership that makes Civil War Memory such a popular and dynamic site. The last thing that I want to do is alienate readers with misleading advertisements or even worse, inferior products.  I have resisted utilizing Google Ad Sense and other automated programs precisely because they do not afford me a sufficient level of control over the placement of specific products.  At the same time I simply can’t ignore the fact that this site could help to supplement my income over the next year.  If anything, it could help offset the costs involved in maintaining this site and given my impending move to Boston every little bit helps.

What I can guarantee all of you is that the ads will compliment the content of this site and will allow me to continue to direct this blog’s audience to companies that support my broader mission of history education.  Let me know what you think and please feel free to voice any concerns.

8 comments… add one
  • Larry Cebula Mar 20, 2011 @ 7:40

    I’ll bet they would pay more if your would agree to model some of their clothing line!

    • Kevin Levin Mar 20, 2011 @ 7:46

      I could model my very own Chandler Boys t-shirt.

  • Larry Cebula Mar 20, 2011 @ 7:39

    Dixie Outfitters has a check with your name on it.

  • Scott Manning Mar 20, 2011 @ 6:14

    I think you’re missing out by not using Google Ads. I have used them on multiple sites since 2003 and while the income varies, I always have more than enough to pay for the cost of operation. The best part is it is hassle free. You set it up and then forget about it.

    Most people understand that you do not support the content of ads. I have seen advertisements by Republicans on Huffington Post and Daily Kos. I doubt any visitors are truly misled by the purpose of those sites. In addition, it is not like Google will advertise porn or hateful material. I guess the worst case scenario is they might show an advertisement for Black Confederates, but then that will provide great fodder for your blog. If an ad truly offends you, then you can just block the advertiser via the settings in Google Adsense.

    • Kevin Levin Mar 20, 2011 @ 6:25

      Glad to hear that Good Ad Sense is working for you. I think it’s important to keep in mind that my blog is my personal space and I’ve worked hard to build up an audience around my interest in the Civil War. Huff. Post and DK are much bigger and much more impersonal. The other issue is that I just don’t like the look of Google Ad Sense. Finally, nice to meet a fellow Thesis Theme user. How did you learn about it.?

      • Scott Manning Mar 20, 2011 @ 6:39

        Cue 80s PSA ad: I learned it from watching you!

        I first heard about it from a blog post you did ages ago, but I did not understand what it was. I was still stuck on MovableType, which became harder and harder to maintain over the years. As such, my desire to post went down dramatically. I finally switched to WordPress several weeks ago. After trying to tweak it, I came across Thesis and recalled you raving about it. So far, I am thoroughly happy with its functionality. It is well worth the price tag.

      • Scott Manning Mar 20, 2011 @ 6:39

        Speaking of which, I think Thesis has an affiliate program. You’re missing out on some revenue there!

        • Kevin Levin Mar 20, 2011 @ 6:52

          Taking care of that right now. 🙂 I absolutely love this theme.

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