beefed up and improved their Adsense referral options, I thought I'd try adding them to my blog template. I signed up for Adsense a few months back and haven't yet made a penny from it - I suspect it's to do with what I write about, as people just don't seem to click on ads about blogging... not that making money's my main motive for writing this blog, but hey as I've now got an Adsense account I may as well try including the referral options too and see if that profits me any!
So you'll see in my sidebar some shiny new buttons for Firefox with Google Toolbar, plus Picasa, AdWords and AdSense. What do these referral buttons do? Well if someone clicks on one of those buttons and downloads the software I get a small credit to my account, or if they sign up for AdWords and spend $100 or earn $100 I'd again get credit from Google. So should you want to support this blog by all means click and download the stuff if you haven't already got it, sign up to Adsense via this blog, or indeed click on the ads generally!
I've followed what's meant to be received wisdom for ads - it seems that if the colour scheme blends in better with your blog colour scheme, people are more likely to click on an ad, hence the grey/white/blue theme I picked. If you want to add referral buttons too, you could try doing the same thing, getting the buttons to blend in with your own blog's design.
A tip: at the moment, if in the "Show referrals in" dropdown of the Adsense Referrals page you pick English (US), you get a far greater choice of buttons and text to use than if you pick English (UK) or any other language. They're slowly rolling out the extra options for other languages too, but as the choice is still limited and my blog is in English I've gone for US.
If you're wondering why there is no Google Pack option, it seems to limited to Picasa at present for everyone who lives outside the US - but if you're in the US you should get a Google Pack option.
You'll see I've picked a fairly small size of button (best for a sidebar I think; some of the options are ginormous!), and I've chosen the same design for them all so that they are consistent, which I think looks more professional. Interestingly this must all still be a work in progress as there are some options (white text on blue background for instance) which aren't available for all the different products, only one or two of them.
Drawing attention to the referral buttonsYou may have noticed that, inveterate tweaker that I am, my referral buttons aren't exactly as per the Adsense options. Just in front of each button, I've added the Google icon for the product in question. I think that pics always help to draw people's attention to stuff (speak a thousand words and all that), much more than just buttons with only text on them, and it looks nicer too (I'm kinda surprised Google didn't provide buttons with the Picasa etc icon on them). As it's to help promote Google I'm sure they won't mind the hotlinking...
<img src="https://www.google.com/adsense/images/ref-firefox.png" />
<img src="https://www.google.com/adsense/images/ref-picasa.gif" />
<img src="https://www.google.com/adsense/images/ref-adwords.png" />
<img src="https://www.google.com/adsense/images/ref-adsense.png" />