Advertising is a classic, well-proven way to earn money for a publication, blog or site. “It’s the cost of not having direct, paid reader support,” says John Rennie, an experienced science writer, editor and lecturer, and former editor in chief of Scientific American.

Readers are acclimated to ads, but you have to use good taste. “Many readers may blame you for misleading claims or ugliness in ads, and they may think the ads undermine your editorial integrity,” says Rennie. In a few fields, readers enjoy ads (e.g., SuperBowl ads, or fashion magazines), but in science and cultural fields, that’s rarely the case. They best you can hope for is that your ads are benign.

Nice overview of how the niche online advertising world is going, and they were nice enough to include The Syndicate (albeit with a bit of incorrect information on our business model).

Online advertising is at an interesting crossroads because at its core, it is about scale. However, the successful advertising is the stuff that’s small, targeted, interesting and relevant.

The Syndicate isn’t a massive network by any stretch, but we’re full of happy sponsors. I spend a few hours each week in the evenings and a few weekends keeping things up and running. I’m not looking to be the next DoubleClick or Google, I’m just a one man show earning a decent supplement income.

This is something we will see more and more of in the next decade. Barriers to entry are lower than ever in almost every entry, and individuals and small teams finally have an opportunity to make huge dents in the world.

I just hope to make advertising suck a little less and support some great indie writers in the process.