Thursday, April 13, 2006 

[Adsense Profit to Pay Student Loans] : First Day Went Smooth as Butter

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Today, I finished the rest of my site design and went live. I must say, I think I did a pretty decent job-- following my plan of having a minimalist site design.

At around 7pm, I signed up for a Google Adsense account. The plan for today was to apply so in a few days I could get approved and get the ads placed correctly. But to my surprise, I got the acceptance email less than 2 hours after I applied. That's awesome.

So I went ahead and designed the ads. The first one is placed at the top of the site, kind of like a banner. I know a lot of people mention making the ads look integrated into the site. I think I did a decent job of that. The color scheme fits-- however, when i designed the site, i added a distinct place for the ads. Well, the background of this designated section was a little darker than I thought it was-- don’t get me wrong, the ads look nice. The only problem is that it looks distinctly like an ad, not necessarily site content.

Its not as obtrusive, and its text based, and looks like if fits in with the site. The only difference is that the background isn’t white (like the rest of the site background).

If push comes to shove, I'll just lighten the background of the ad-section, which might help it blend in better.

I also added some horizontal ads at the bottom of profile pages. Since the profile pages are plain text black and white, i was able to fit the ads in very nicely. You can hardly tell its an add-- it almost looks like an option to "view more pics" of the user or something.

I got some of my friends to run through the site and give me feedback. Overall, I think I did a pretty good job. There are some non-critical things I’d like to fix-- mainly implementing a custom error.php page to serve up errors that people might run in to. i.e. somebody doesn’t have javascript, so they don’t enter a correct email and it isn’t caught by my javascript email verify function, I’ll need to let them know. But I want all errors to have a uniform page format. Which is why I want the dynamic php error page.

Anyway, tonight I’ll look into ways to get the site marketed a little. So far adsense has been a breeze to set up and get going.