Strange title there, Bob, don’t you think?
Oh, not really, just read the article and you’ll understand what I mean.
Sometimes I like to find ways to confuse my readers. I know several “old standby” ways of confusing people who come to my sites, and I employ them from time to time, just to keep things shaken up a bit! 😉
Ever heard of “ad blindness?” Ad blindness is what happens on your site if you keep it the same all the time. People who are your regular visitors don’t see your ads any more. They have conditioned themselves to tune out the advertising on your site. If you are publishing on the Internet as a means to make an income, you don’t want ad blindness to kick in, because if people are blind to the ads, they won’t produce any income for you.
How do people lose sight of the ads?
Well, really it’s quite easy. People are not normally looking for ads. People want to see the “meat and potatoes,” the content on your site. The articles that you have written, the pictures that you are displaying. That sort of thing. If somebody is a regular visitor to your site, they come every day, once per week, or on some other regular schedule, over the time that they have been a regular on your site, they have figured out where the ads are, and they ignore those ads. There is nothing conscience about it. They don’t come for the first time and say “OK, let me memorize where all the ads are, so I can ignore those areas in the future…” No, it is a subconscience thing. Their brains just know where those ads are located instinctively. Since they are not coming to find the ads, their brains tell them to ignore certain areas of your site.
How to make readers see the light
Or, how to make them re-recognize those ads and possibly help you make a bit of money. You need to shake things up on your site from time to time. Not every day, not every week. Maybe every few months you might make a change or two, just to keep things interesting.
One thing you might do is to keep everything on your site the same, but move the areas where the ads are. Instead of having the ad in the first slot on your sidebar, move it down to #3. Maybe instead of having a text ad, you might change to images, or even video ads. Whatever you have to do to change things, do it from time to time.
How about changing the whole look of the site? A new theme is something that is relatively easy to install, and will give your site a brand new look. That will make those reader eyes perk up and give the site a review, and a refresh in their eyes.
It’s all about keeping things fresh for your readers, and not letting them slip into that ad blindness mode.
What I am doing right now
Right now, I am making some changes on my sites. I have already changed 5 sites. I am switching themes, and doing a few other things too. The new theme looks different, albeit somewhat similar to themes that I have been using. I find that on my sites, I make a fair amount of my advertising income from the home page of the sites. In line with this, the new home pages on my new theme look significantly different. The sidebar is moved to the left instead of the right side of the site. I have had sidebars on the right side for years and years now, so this will be a significant shift, and should make people take a second look. Frankly, it will confuse some people when they first see it, and that is a good thing, because that should help make my ads more visible.
In addition to switching themes just to shake things up, I am also making a move to improve the strength of my brand. I am reaching out to bring a stronger sense of “this is Bob’s site” to my various websites. What I am doing comes down to two things:
- I will use the same theme on all of my sites, switching up the theme colors to distinguish between the sites.
- I am developing a professionally designed logo that will identify each site as my site.
I believe that these moves will strengthen my brand presence, and should also produce a bit more income over time. At least I hope so.
So, anyway, making changes on your sites and shaking things up a bit will tend to confuse people when they have seen the same looking site for a long time. Confusing your reader, but not too often, is a good thing, in that it wakes them up and forces them to look more closely at your site.
Give it a try!