Ad Supported Open Source Site/Blogs – Poor Revenue Model

If you are reading these lines, chances are you will not click on any of my ads.

In one of my previous articles, I have explored several revenue models for open source projects. I have promised to update on ad-supported revenue model as a way to make money from open source. In this article I report back on the relatively poor revenues you get out of this channel.

I have confirmed this fact with many open source bloggers and they all provide the same feedback – Software developers in general and open source developers even more so, are not interested in clicking on advertisement.

Spacebug, for example, is a dev-blog and has some open source projects hosted in it. has moderate popularity – it gets about 60k unique visits a year. The revenues I see from it is about 100-200$ a year. It covers the expenses but is nothing to write home about.

These are some possible reasons why visitors to dev-blogs do not click ads:

  • Developers are not here to shop – they are not interested in anything other than free content provided in the site.
  • Developers are so accustomed to ad-supported websites the advertisement are transparent to them.
  • Developers use ad-blockers and do not get the ads served in the first place
  • Advertises and ad networks fail to deliver interesting content that fits the developer needs

I base these reasons on my behavior as a developer who visit dev-sites and from feedbacks from other open source bloggers

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Amir Shevat

Amir Shevat is the global Startup Outreach lead in Google Developer Relations ( Previously, Amir Led Google Campus Tel Aviv and was the co founder of several startups.

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4 Responses

  1. Abba Bryant says:

    I clicked all your ads for ya. Thanks for providing a service to the CakePHP community. We appreciate it.

  2. Nick says:

    I have to agree with his findings.

  1. August 19, 2011

    […] enthusiast for a very long time. I have written several open source projects, and although I have yet to find a perfect open source revenue model, I still contribute and enjoy the […]

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