On Monetizing / by Muhammad Amir Ayub

When I decided to make a website to share my notes (which may or may not be useful for others), I hoped to monetize it by having a few people willing to buy the highest resolution scans and use them however they see fit. I don’t want to upload the highest resolution scans for free as I think it’s overkill over the web; visitors’ mobile bandwidth will be annihilated. As someone who himself believes in FOAM (Free Open Access Meducation – Medical education for anyone, anywhere, anytime), I was prepared for not having many people buy my notes. But I wasn’t for the number being zero.

The bills (including hosting this website) still need to be paid. Or else I’ll have to close down the website. Web hosting is still expensive for us in the third world doing it alone.

As an alternative, I've decided to put web ads on the site, despite the fact that I love clean, easy to load websites. Initially I tried to use AdSense, but for some reason, I just couldn't get it to work with my site, saying that it's not constructed well enough, too many images (well there are a lot of scans, duh), etc. I've decided to move on to another agency.

So now I've just started trying out Chitika. So far I've been able to put their ad codes into the website, but I don't know 1) what's the optimal number and placement of ads, and 2) how to make the desktop and mobile experiences both consistently a win-win setup. Now I do realize that a majority of my visitors visit using mobile devices. Too many ads is definitely more of a killer to the mobile experience compared to the desktop.

To make way for ads, I'll try uploading higher resolution scans that's somewhere in the middle; not too big that'll kill mobile bandwidth, but good enough for those using "Retina-class displays". And of course, those scans will not be for sale. I'll probably follow the 220 dpi resolution of Retina MacBook.

If I don't enough, I'll consider my second attempt at having a "permanent" web presence (I did have a Blogger thing a long time ago) another failure and just shut this site down (as again, it's expensive).