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March 25, 2005

My Experience Advertising on John Battelle's Searchblog

Last week, I got a little crazy and advertised on John Battelle's Searchblog. Here are the down 'n' dirty details:

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I started this blog on December 31st of last year, and other than some targeted emails and some targeted AdWords, I have not done much in the way of promotion. There are so many things I want to analyze and understand, so many ideas I want to share before I lose them, that there is not much time for anything else. Still, "traffic" to the site has been growing, slowly but surely. More importantly, I have come in contact with a growing number of fantastically interesting people, which is the real joy of working in the Internet industry.

Now, I like text ads -- always have, always will. I also believe in having an online advertising slush fund, i.e. forcing myself to use a small part of the budget for unadulterated experimentation. So after seeing "Want to Sponsor Searchblog" on a near-daily basis, it was only a matter of time until I gave it a whirl. If you put me on the spot and demanded an objective for this advertising campaign, I would say to put my site in front of an audience of super-interesting, internet-obsessed people. From there, whatever happens, happens.

After some fiddling, I settled on the ad below. The main goal is to raise awareness that while there is an infinite universe of general search blogs, there is currently only one blog devoted entirely to shopping search. As such, I am able to cover some aspects of shopping search in more detail than the general search blogs. I tried to convey this in the form of a question and action-answer. Then there is the practical matter of mentioning my name and blog name for the people who do not click.

Title: Shopping Search Blog
Text: Did you know there is a blog just for shopping search? Get an in-depth look at comparison shopping (via RSS, if you prefer) at the Organized Shopping Blog by Sean O'Rourke.

Here is the activity summary for the seven-day period:

Day/Date Clicks (#) Advertisers (#)
Tue, 15th 15 clicks 4 advertisers
Wed, 16th 7 clicks 4 advertisers
Thu, 17th 9 clicks 3 advertisers
Fri, 18th 4 clicks 2 advertisers
Sat, 19th 2 clicks 2 advertisers
Sun, 20th 9 clicks 2 advertisers
Mon, 21th 9 clicks 2 advertisers
TOTAL 55 clicks Cost = $126.55

* added: Advertisers (#) is the total number of advertisers sharing the sidebar at Searchblog.

Monday, March 14
John says, "AT ETECH THIS WEEK. Posting might be lighter than usual"
Sean says, "Doh!" I guess that is the risk with blogs -- the New York Times does not announce on Monday that publishing will be lighter than normal for the week. :-) But I'm already mentally committed to this week, so I signed up anyway.

Tuesday, March 15
Yes! Four new posts! The only downside is that John made more posts on a "slow day" than I have made in the short history of this blog. The upside is a post announcing the next Web 2.0 conference. I hope to be able to attend Web 2.0, and if a few people click over and subscribe here, maybe I'll get a few less "who are you and why are you here" looks by October. Oh, there will still be the "why are you here" looks, but maybe a few less "who are you" looks. Anyway, despite sharing space with three other advertisers, the fresh factor was in full effect on Day One.

Wednesday, March 16
How much does the fresh factor wear off after the first day. Quite a bit, if the clicks are to be believed.

Thursday, March 17
A slight uptick in clicks-throughs, as one advertisement disappears and two posts are about Google.

Friday, March 18
Slow posting day, slow clicking day.

Saturday, March 19
No posting day, almost-no-clicking day.

Sunday, March 20
Were people naturally getting a head start on Monday, or did the Google lawsuit and IAC/ASK acquisition bring them back early? Whatever the cause, click-through activity rose to prior weekday levels.

Monday, March 21
I would expect Monday to be the most active day, and it probably was if we discount the fresh factor from the previous Tuesday. John wrote a long piece on IAC Thoughts, and nine more super-interesting people found their way to my blog. All in all, a good way to end the campaign.

Two thumbs up. I got to support Searchblog, and there was a noticeable uptick in email introductions and RSS subscribers. Based on the quality ot last week's emails and the people I know who read Searchblog, any one of the 55 clicks could have been worth $126.55. But there is no way to say for sure, not yet. However, unlike the selling of widgets, the measurement of this campaign requires a low-tech "gut feel" tracking system, and so far it feels about right.

Would I advertise on that site again?
Yes, if I have something "hot" enough.

Why am I not advertising this week?
I am too busy with last week's emails.

What would I do differently next time?
I'm would change the advertisement each day to reflect the title and content of my recent posts.

My Experience Advertising on John Battelle's Searchblog comments(0) trackbacks(3)
Posted by Sean O'Rourke on March 25, 2005 at 12:12 PM
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» Open Advertising from John Battelle's Searchblog
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» My Experience Advertising on John Battelle's Searchblog from
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Tracked on March 28, 2005 03:39 AM


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