After a couple of days of being tied up with various “Grandma” duties, I finally sent the grandchildren packing. (Bless their little hearts … ) Now I can sit down here and finish figuring out what makes this program tick.
My last post received a very helpful comment from Fred, who’s the product lead over at ScribeFire. So, be sure to check that out. Following his advice, I’ve got an ad block showing on this blog now. At the moment, the ad being served up is AdSense. It doesn’t look bad at all. The theme I’m using here has a white background (although I may have changed it by the time you see this), so the white ad fits in well. I’m not too crazy about having a border around my AdSense, but can live with it.
Apparently the various programs that want to get their code snippets in on the same spot at the end of the </BODY> tag are going to get along without fighting. They just have to share that spot and it doesn’t much matter which comes first.
There was one fairly important issue I thought of the other night after finishing that last post. I got to thinking about that lovely check I would undoubtedly receive … (turns out they use PayPal) … anyway, how are they going to know where to send it? I tried to remember, did I fill out the particulars at any point in the sign-up process? Couldn’t remember having done that. But then, my memory is not what it used to be. So, after a little looking around, I found the place where account info is shown. And, no, I had not entered any of that.
Chances are, when the final version of the program is released, there will be some sort of mechanism that won’t let you place any ads until that’s on record. But, right now, if you’re also a beta tester don’t forget to enter your account information.
You can find the place to enter it on the ScribeFire website. What seems to me as the easiest way to get there is right from the ScribeFire entry window. Click the “Monetize” tab on the far left side (second from top — green dollar-sign), then from that screen click “See your earnings in more detail”. That takes you to the ScribeFire Dashboard. In the menu along the top, open “Account” and fill in the necessary information. Then you’re in business!
While there on the Dashboard, take a look around. It appears to have a nice spread of stats to check. Nothing better than checking your stats with your morning tea! If I can find just a few more stats to look at, I won’t have to get to any actual work until noon. (The experienced marketers and mentors say, “Don’t get hung up on watching your stats!” … But, who can resist?) And since you know you’re going to be watching them anyway, isn’t it nice to have an attractive and readable interface?
So, that’s about all I can say on the technical side of this application. Yes, it’s still in beta and still has a few little rough places. But, I expect the system is going to function pretty well. Now, where will this all fit in the business world? Of course, time will tell.
I’m sure an experienced professional webmaster can squeeze more money out of a site by choosing, testing, and placing his own ads. But what can the person who doesn’t have the experience or inclination for all that expect to earn from this? There’s no way to answer that question — just too many variables. But one fact stands out; they don’t have much to lose by trying it.
The advice I’m giving to a couple of young ladies (relations of mine — you know who you are) who’ve expressed a desire to earn some extra cash online is: Start a free Blogger blog. Pop on some QuickAds. (Well, first get your name on the list to be a beta tester for ScribeFire QuickAds.) Do it for fun. Do it for experience. Do it with no expectations. (Unrealistic expectations have killed more businesses than any other factor.) Make course corrections as you go. Keep going.
I really think that would be a great way to get started. They could have their first sites up and running — and monetized — in less than an hour. And with no monetary investment.
It’s not just the beginners this program is likely to appeal to. The established webmaster who has more sites than time might use this as well. How about the dedicated writer who has lots to say, but no patience for messing around with the technical stuff?
Kind of an interesting feature is that you can use your own AdSense account, or go with their in-house account. For people who have had a problem getting an account, this could be very helpful. Even if you do have your own account, there might be cases where you don’t want to use it. If you have a site that’s marginal in attracting nice focused traffic, it might be counter-productive to use your AdSense on that. What happens (or so I’m told …) is that a site producing clicks that don’t convert well prompts Google to “price” your account — your whole account. That means they set your account to get paid on their lower economy price tier. So your sites that were getting one-dollar clicks suddenly start getting three-cent clicks. Yes, all of your sites, not just the crummy one.
This whole issue is not something I can address from experience, so keep in mind that this is just speculation. But if the above is correct, then it would seem logical to use their AdSense account for sites you weren’t too confident in and save your own for your best sites. To do that, you’d have to use a different system to place ads from one of the accounts. When you set up your QuickAds account, you have to choose one or the other — yours or theirs.
The outcome of that could be that your weak site might run AdSense with their account and earn three-cent clicks, which you’d be perfectly happy with. Something is better than nothing, and there would be no stigma placed on your other sites. Or … maybe their system can determine if a site is not a good choice for AdSense and will place other types of ads there, and thereby the AdSense that they do place will perform right up there with the best. Or … maybe Google has different standards for this kind of account and wouldn’t “price” their account with so many users of all levels. Or … maybe the whole concept of “pricing” is a myth made up by old marketers to intimidate the new ones. Hmn … well, let’s wait and see.