Adgitize for Bloggers - Why Ugly Ads Get Noticed

05 April 2011
It's so easy to tell a blog site apart from a regular website. The former is often smeared with widgets and badges. Most widgets link back to directory listings and are of passable quality. Majority of the badges are downright ugly though.

Ugly Betty and ugly ads
Some ads are like Ugly Betty. They still sell.
(photo courtesy of Ace Photos)
Why oh why would a blogger bother to clutter his precious blog space with so many ho-hum badges? Last month, I published the post Top 10 Contest Sites for Creative People on the premise that powerful visuals are essential to getting an online audience hooked longer in your site. Won't showing some unsightly badges yield the opposite effect then?

My fascination with the "staying power" of some aesthetically challenged ads led me to a site called Adgitize. The ads coming from Adgitize all sport a distinctive text in green at the bottom. The text reads, "Adgitize Me - Advertising for Blogs."

Adgitize is really more of a blog advertising network than a regular website. It includes a forum frequented by bloggers. 

The more I learned about Adgitize from the members, the more I understood why ugly ads get noticed and why the ads are not going to get axed very soon.

4 Reasons Behind the Ugly Betty Phenomenon

  • There may be little face value on the badges, but Adgitize is a gold mine for improved traffic and Alexa ranking. When you advertise your blog, your badge is rotated within the network of over 17,000 registered blogs. The surge in traffic, page views, and unique visitors as well as the dramatic improvement in your Alexa rating somewhat downplays the emphasis on aesthetics.

  • Ugly or not, the badge is a source of pocket change. Take away the ads and you lose out on points that are convertible to either advertising credits or cash paid to you at the end of every month. That's right. The site pays you a tinsy winsy amount for advertising space, and rewards you for your regular blogging activities.

    Isn't this neat? Whenever you update your blog and visit other blog sites within the Adgitize network (via the badges), you get a thumb's up in the form of points.
  • The owners of amateur-looking badges tend to stick to Adgitize rules when it comes to displaying the ads and making it easy for the network members to go blog hopping for points, credit or cash within the network. Some really good-looking badges lead to what Adgitize members would call as "dead-end" sites: blogs that don't display any ad blocks. Unless dead-end sites are of the niche that interest me, I don't want to waste my time on them either.

  • Blog advertisers are enjoying the comfort zone. Perhaps they are unaware of the untapped potential of better badges or maybe they share this mentality: If a so-so badge is already achieving what an excellent badge normally does, why push it?
A Touch of Authenticity

As you can tell from the ad block labeled "Featured Blog Sites" to your right, I did sign up with Adgitize. There is so much room for improvement when it comes to ad quality and aesthetics... but it looks like the ugly ads are here to stay... and for reasons that I fully understand. 

Would you sign up with a network that sounds too good to be true? Maybe not. The going quality of the ads hint that there are human beings behind the blogs. I like this touch of authenticity. The individuals are probably good bloggers but not very creative designers. 

For all it's worth, give Adgitize a try. Your biggest challenge will be how to make some really awful "off" ads blend nicely on your theme - that is... if you care about aesthetics as much as I do.*

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