Tumblr Wants Us to Make Money With In-Blog Ads

Tumblr will also make money in the process.

This Tumblr design would look so much better with an ad next to it.

So my “official website,” Nicole Dieker Dot Com, is hosted on Tumblr. I used to have a WordPress site like everyone else, but when people started transitioning from RSS to dashboards and reblogs I got out of WordPress and set up a Tumblr. It was a smart move, in retrospect, and I’ve gotten both readers and clients from my Tumblr—probably because Tumblr makes it easy to both discover and share new stuff.

If that last sentence sounds like an ad for Tumblr, it isn’t; but you might see ads on my Tumblr soon, thanks to Tumblr’s new revenue-sharing initiative:

Coming soon: Money from your TumblrOn Th…

On Thursday, we’re going to introduce ads on Tumblrs, so that later this year people can start making money from their blogs.

I’ve already made plenty of money from my Tumblr, and I did it the old-fashioned way: by writing interesting stuff and being a good community member. But I guess ads are even old-fashioneder than that—and more importantly, they help ensure Tumblr gets its cut.

How much could I make from these Tumblr ads? We don’t know yet. In fact, we don’t really know a lot about the ad situation. Here’s how Tumblr explains it:

When? Who? How? How much? Also good questions! We’re still working out the details of the partner program but as soon as we have details to share, we’ll make announcements right here on trusty Staff. Just so you know: You won’t be able to make money until you register for the program — which is coming soon.

I have not yet been invited to register for the program, but I have been given the opportunity to opt out, which I’m choosing not to do because I am very curious to see where Tumblr is going with this.

Leaving that slider blue for now.

When you click the “learn more” link, you get taken to this page, where you do in fact learn more about the ad program:

Where do the ads appear?

For now, ads run on the three instances of your Tumblr blog:

Your main page (cheezbort.tumblr.com) if you’re using the Optica (default) theme

The slide-out thing on the web

The mobile apps and mobile web

I love “the slide-out thing,” but I love even more that they listed “cheezbort.tumblr.com” as my main page, instead of my actual Tumblr URL. I have no idea what cheezbort.tumblr.com is. It has one post. Is it a test blog? A ghost blog? I have so many questions.

You also learn that only Tumblr blogs using the Optica theme will be able to display ads and earn money, at least for now:

Optica will be the only theme our partner program supports at launch.

So… yeah, this is a thing, a thing that might happen to my professional website someday, a thing that I will probably turn off as soon as it actually launches, but that I’m going to leave on for now because I want to know more about what kind of ads they want to put on my website and how much they’re going to pay me for the privilege.

I can’t imagine I’ll earn more than a few dollars. Maybe they’ll do what YouTube did and hold back your earnings until you make over a certain amount, under the theory that the vast majority of Tumblr users won’t ever earn more than $75, or $100, or whatever it is.

Still, it’s happening, and I am eagerly awaiting what might happen next.

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