Thursday, July 27, 2006


For hundreds of thousands of people, the dream of making an Internet fortune works like this: Earn pennies at a time in exchange for allowing Google Inc. or Yahoo Inc. to place advertisements on a personal or small-business Web page.

Take Andrew Leyden, former House Commerce Committee counsel and founder of a dot-com venture that failed, who started, a search engine for podcasts. As the site's popularity rose from a hundred hits a month in 2004 to nearly a million now, Leyden started making the equivalent of an entry-level government worker's salary -- $30,000 to $40,000 a year -- simply because people clicked on ads. That allowed him to work at home in Chesapeake Beach, Md., trying to make more money by attracting still more traffic to his site.

Please, someone disabuse me of the notion that ads are a waste of time. I used to have Google ads on the site when we first started the blog, found that Google advertisers were basically getting free advertising, got pissed off for being a tool, and ejected the cursed things. Now someone's saying they've actually earned money from Google ads? Does that really exist or did the Washington Post find the one guy who copped an angle?

If I put them back up, would you spend an hour a day clicking away? Is there actually some way of making money doing this damned blogging thing?

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