Unfortunately it took 2 months to make that 90p!
Since Rob and I rebuilt CS Blogs in 2016 neither of us have really done a lot with it. Whilst I am accountable for some of the 3,000 monthly page views the most I have done with it operationally for some time has been to ensure that the servers & domain keep being paid for.
I think that at some point because of this I started seeing CS Blogs as an expense which I should try to break even on despite the fact that it started as a labour of love.
To try and recoup to small amount of money I throw at it each year I thought I could simply include the Google AdSense Auto Ad script and let that take care of monetisation.
Auto Ad itself is quite nifty and takes all of the effort out of adding adverts to your site whilst still giving you enough flexibility to tailor them to your content and audience. However, just plugging in adverts was somewhat low effort and so unsurprisingly didn’t yield good results. I would go so far as to say that adding adverts was a negative as it didn’t cover the CS Blogs bills but did have a negative impact on the user experience.
To put the matter right I have now removed all ads from the platform and will be taking another look at ways to improve both the software and the reach of the platform (perhaps by marketing directly to Computer Science departments around the UK).
If you’d be interested in helping with these efforts please get in touch.
Phil Cross from the Microsoft UK Student Developer Group, of which I am a member, recently posted a link to quite a cool web app. The app is called the OMT Toolkit and is provided by Nokia to make ads and banners to promote both your application and Nokia’s Windows Phones, you can see an example of which on DanTonyBrown.com in the above screenshot.
The app allows you to select your app from the Windows Phone Online Marketplace using a URL Picker, once you’ve done this you can choose the colour of the banner as well as the model and colour of the phone that is shown, in my example is a Cyan Nokia Lumia 800. What is quite cool is that the application automatically fills in the name of your app onto the banner and places the icon of your app on the start screen of the phone.