Recently, I’ve had the great fortune to help a couple of clientsredesign their money making blogs.

Recently, I’ve had the great fortune to help a couple of clientsredesign their money making blogs. These people are pro-bloggers; thatis, they publish information and earn money by displaying advertising ontheir sites. Each time a reader clicks on an ad, the publisher earns asmall amount. In some cases, this amount can be as low as a couple ofcents. In other cases, it can be as much as a couple of dollars. Withtime, patience, skill and perseverance, one can build a fairly decentbusiness through this form of self publishing. In the case of both recent redesigns, the ultimate goal was toincrease traffic. The thinking went along the lines of “if more peoplestick around to read my site, more people will click on my ads”. Therewas no specific intent to increase the percentage of readers who clickedon ads. Rather the hope was to increase the overall total of clicks byincreasing the number of eyeballs reading the site. This happened. A redesign is always good for a traffic boost. Depending on the success of the design, the boost may be short lived or apermanent upgrade. What neither client expected though was that their click-throughpercentage jumped – dramatically. Not only were more people coming totheir sites, but more (many more) were clicking on their ads. We’retalking about significant, sustained double digit growth. One clientrecouped the cost of his redesign investment in a single week. How did this happen? First, the designs are very strong. They catch the eye, and give the reader a moment’s pause to take in the surroundings. Second, the designs incorporate the ads. The don’t work aroundthem, and they don’t make compromises for them. They’re also flexibleenough in their layout to allow the site owners to experiment with adtypes, sizes, and positions, all without breaking the layout. Third, the sites don’t insult the reader. There is balance betweenall the elements. There is nothing sneaky going on, no tricking thereader to click an ad thinking its an internal link. Note that this is hardly a scientific survey, but it does give onesomething to think about. How much would you be earning if yourclick-through jumped by 400%? I’m not guaranteeing I can duplicate theseresults. But…


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