As I mentioned earlier, I'm playing around with Google ads and Amazon ads on this site. I'm not sure of either yet. The Amazon ones seem more potentially useful to me, and I've started listing one or two items on the right bar that I think are cool and that I recommend to visitors to the site. If nothing else, if my a couple of friends remember to use the Amazon links when ordering stuff they were going to order anyway, I'll get a buck or two now and then to put toward the occasional book or DVD.
The Google ads have netted me a whopping $2.28 so far, and that's money I can't touch until it gets to some higher level, so they're not actually cash cows for me. What's bugging me about them right now is that I can't figure out how to make them more relevant. Almost all the ads have to do with blogs. That's all well and good, but it would at least be more interesting if they'd occasionally reflect the topics I'm writing about. I've got Gmail, and get similar, unobtrusive ads next to my e-mail, and when I notice them at all, they're often pretty on-target.
For example, here are the ads that popped up in a recent e-mail exchange between one of my PBeM players and me, where we mentioned the game and PBeMs in general:
Google picked up on the mention of role-playing games and appropriately linked to Dungeons & Dragons–related sites and even had me clicking the TVShows.org link to see how I could download Dungeons & Dragons episodes, since that show was an old favorite. (As a side note, I ended up being confused by TVShows.org and unwilling to create login information for the site until I could find out some basic information about it--what it costs, how it works, etc.) Gmail's link to PS3 testers showed that it "knew" that people interested in role-playing games were quite likely interested in video games, too.
So why can't I get similar, relevant ads on my site?
If you have any suggestions, please tell me.