By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Media Nation’s new business model

The Boston Globe has nothing on Media Nation. Last night, I added Google AdSense above the header in the hopes of generating a bit of revenue. I had tried several years ago, but messed something up and could never straighten it out.

This week, I finally figured out how to undo the damage. The indefatigable Adam Gaffin of Universal Hub — who also supplies local bloggers with the “Flyerboard” ad that appears in the right-hand column — helped me with the coding.

We’ll see what happens.

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  1. Dan,

    I have no idea how much it costs you to run Media Nation (my Blogspot blog costs nothing), but the AdSense ads really cheapen the look of your blog.

    Is it worth it for the few cents that it might bring?


    • Dan Kennedy

      @Irv: Yes. Absolutely. It doesn’t cost me much of anything to run Media Nation. But I do like the idea of making more money.

  2. Al Fiantaca

    Dan: Do you have any control over which ads run on your site, or do the deals, such as with AdSense, preclude that option?

    • Dan Kennedy

      @Al: I can screen out certain words. I’m not sure I have any more control than that.

  3. BP Myers

    Have no idea how a single banner at the top of the page “cheapens the look of the blog.” Also appreciate it gives Dan capitalist street cred.

    Keep the haters at bay.


  4. In the name of transparency and academic research, I hope you’ll provide regular reports about how much money these ads bring you. It would be interesting.

    With the traffic you draw, and judging from what I’ve heard from others, I imagine it could easily be in the mid-five figures … if you count the cents column, that is.

  5. Dan Kennedy

    Just a reminder: I’ve reserved the overhead for ads for a couple of years. One summer, Adam Gaffin’s Boston Blogs network scored a Herb Chambers ad that ran for many weeks. Then, in the spring of 2009, there was a Suffolk speakers services that advertised through Adam. Both those ads brought in quite a bit of dough, and if things weren’t slow on the local front these days, I probably wouldn’t be taking the Google route. Not that I see anything wrong with it.

  6. BJ Roche

    Hey Dan, I agree that you’d be doing a big service by writing publicly about the monetization process of your blog.

    For many journalists who are putting out their work on the “freeconomics” business model, this is the missing link!

    It seems to me that you have a pretty educated and loyal following, and that should be worth something to an advertiser. The problem I see with Google ads is that it relies on mass (big numbers) rather than class (quality of audience). Are you finding any way around that?

    • Dan Kennedy

      @BJ: I simply don’t have a large enough audience — and I don’t work it hard enough — for this to be very useful in terms of educating other journalists. No decision yet, but I’m not inclined to reveal my income from Media Nation (which will continue to be very low). I do have some ideas on how I could make at least a partial living from this, but I’m not going to take those steps because I have a great job.

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