I’ve been working on the chapter on commercial blogging, and have been looking at Dooce.com, which is pretty much the only personal website in the top hundred blogs as ranked by Technorati, and which was also one of the first personal blogs that actually supported the blogger financially. I noticed that in 2005, when Dooce introduced graphical ads, she got a lot of complaints from readers. However, the Alexa traffic graph for her site shows that her readership increased a lot after introducing ads. It’s been sinking recently – she’s now own the 40th most popular blogger – but apparently ads didn’t scare people away, anyway. Any ideas on what might have caused the recent slump? I noticed that several big blogs have recent slumps in readership – Boingboing, Problogger, Engadget (run them through Alexa yourself, it’s fun!) – perhaps it’s simply seasonal?

alexa chart for readership of dooce.com

4 thoughts on “on ads and readership

  1. […] Two links from Jill Walker, who appears to also be working on a book about blogs (dang, I hope it’s different than my currently imaginary book): first, there’s this, a PDF of a study (summary, I think?), “In 2006, the Top 50K Blogs Generated $500M in Ad Revenue.” Second, this post called “on ads and readership,” in which she discusses a web tracking service called Alexa (which actually isn’t that interesting to me because it only works for the “top 100,000″ blogs) and the role of advertising on readership. Interesting stuff, and it makes me think, happily, that Jill and I are approaching the blog elephant from different ends. […]

  2. Liz Lawley

    I don’t think Alexa shows RSS traffic, so as more people learn about aggregators and use them, it changes the direct web access stats for many sites.

  3. Jill Walker Rettberg

    Good point, Liz. And amusing, Steve, that we’re both thinking of blog books. I’d say there are a lot of different angles that can be taken to such a book…

  4. jo


    it took a while to reach my age group, jill, but it’s got a firm grip on my friends and me now.


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