Bloggers talk a lot about how they do it for the love or whatever, but at the same time there’s a lot of interest in how (or if) you can generate a little income from a blog. There’s Google’s AdSense, of course, which I run here on my blog mostly out of interest — since I think I’ve made a grand total of about $3.15 (U.S.) in the past month — and there are things like BlogAds.com and Text Link Ads, (those hyperlink ads that pretend to be links but are really ads inserted into the body of a blog post, which I despise with a passion bordering on the pathological) and AdBrite.com and Industry Brains and so on.
eBay is getting in on the action — or trying to — with its recently announced (okay, it was about a month ago) eBay AdContext program, which looks a lot like a fancier version of Google’s AdSense, and even has a Flash module, which would presumably work better with MySpace blogs. It links to auctions that are relevant to the context in your post, and the blogger gets a cut of any transactions. But will bloggers take to it? Some say they want to try it out, others say they aren’t so sure.
One of the most interesting solutions I’ve seen in awhile is called MeCommerce, from a company called Good Storm (and no, I have not been compensated for this post, in case any PayPerPost critics are reading this). The coolest thing about it is how it integrates into the sidebar of your blog, can be customized to fit into your theme, and allows readers to make a transaction without even leaving the widget, or your blog. Click on the item, fill in the details and away you go — and the whole thing is verified by VeriSign. There’s a good example on the blog of co-founder Marc Scheff (who also turns out to be a gifted artist).
Will MeCommerce take off? Hard to say. It’s an elegant solution, but the products it offers so far are relatively limited (books, CDs, DVDs and T-shirts). There’s some more info on it in the comments section of this TechCrunch post, and the Motley Fool wrote about it too.