Arkansas Times Adds Ads

The Arkansas Times of Little Rock on Aug. 27 began using blog entry-style advertisements between stories posted on its Arkansas news blog at ArkTimes.com.

The ads, for which the Times charges $100 per day, look like a typical blog post on the Arkansas Blog, except they’re labeled “sponsored” above each headline and have a colored background to distinguish their content from actual news postings.

The Times is “trying to make a buck” with the new advertising method, said Publisher Alan Leveritt.
The story ads are an attempt to remedy some of the downsides of website banner ads. Among the downsides is the fact that banner ads are often off to the side and “kind of out of sight” of blog readers who are scrolling through stories, he said.

Like new blog posts, the ads start at the very top of the Arkansas Blog page, but as editorial posts are added throughout the day, the story ads get bumped lower on the blog. 

Advertisers are paying for access to the 27,000 average daily Arkansas Blog page views, he said. ArkTimes.com had 340,000 unique visitors in July.

Leveritt is currently approving the written content of the story ads to be sure the writing fits the blog. He is limiting the number of the ads to a maximum of one for every three editorial blog entries.

“You don’t want it to be annoying,” he said.