Cheap and Tiny and Popular

Just a link from Matt, and suddenly Cheap And Tiny is rubbing shoulders with the big guys on Traffic jumped from 600 hits a day (117 unique visits) to 15,021 hits (1,754 unique visits), and income from ad clicks went from “near nil” to “modestly pleasant.” I’m still tweaking the Google Adsense and Chitika ad positions to see what improves performance, and I’m open to recommendations for search terms to plug into the Chitika code to match the weblog audience’s expectations.

An anonymous commenter on doesn’t like the design of Cheap And Tiny. I’ve tried to keep it light and clean, while smoothly integrating advertising elements into the layout — but without resorting to deceptive styling to make it look like the ads are part of the content. Does anyone else think the site is confusing? That WordPress theme (I call it “Yurt,” for no particular reason) will be the basis for other upcoming projects, so feedback on that will help improve future weblogs on the same network.


  1. Sparticus says:

    It’s slightly confusing in the header section, as you have the title image, then a whole bunch of adverts, then the content. The ads by google bit at the top that lists across inline makes me think it’s a navigation bar.

  2. Dan Greene says:

    I agree that the layout, while clean, is confusing. Worse is the fact that intuition doesn’t easily fix it – the site is about gadgets, in the ad (the long horizontal one) I see a palm pilot. So that’s good for being consistent with the theme of the site but it doesn’t cue me as to whether or not it’s an ad or content. Even worse, right next to the image of the palm pilot are a series of tabs done in Flash. Tabs = navigation in my brain, but it turns out it’s an ad. Yeah, it has a weblog layout (but right-column navigation is not exactly a standard), and my eye is first attracted to the shiny palm pilot and flash tabs before anything else on the page.

  3. Ben says:

    You know what? I say bugger these people, I love C&T, and am not in anyway confused by the deceiving ads.

  4. Paulo says:

    Thanks for the feedback. I’ll work on streamlining the layout and shuffling the divs around over the weekend; make the ads interfere less with navigation and try to pull the sidebars into something more coherent.

  5. dre says:

    You founded CheapandTiny? That’s so cool! I think the design’s alright, though. I’d suggest a two-column? anyway congrats on the instant hits.

  6. wyclif says:

    Hey, I thought it was *my* link, not Matt H.’s.

    Yeah…right. ;-)