Should I Put Ads on My Blog?

Google Adsense Interface - Creative Commons 2.0

Google Adsense Interface (CC 2.0)

Here’s a simple question to help you decide if and when putting ads on your blog is worth it.

Are you blogging as part of promoting your service or product?

  • If YES, don’t put ads.
    No reason to compete with yourself. You will lose money by distracting your audience. A new customer is worth far more than an ad.
  • If NO, maybe ads will be worth it.
    But only if your website visitor numbers are very high (maybe 10,000 visitors per month or more).

Can You Really Make Money with Ads?

The typical ad payment system is based on pay-per-click, meaning you get paid if someone clicks on the ad. Yes, people do click on ads.

Assuming you’re considering pay-per-click ads like Google Adsense, the revenue won’t be that high unless you have tons of website visitors.

Some quick tips:

  • Wait until your visitor numbers are high before embedding any ads.
  • If your numbers are not high yet but you somehow already have a willing sponsor and it won’t detract from your blog, then try it out.
  • Don’t expect to make money right away. It requires monitoring and adjusting. Follow the suggestions provided by your ad service.
  • Don’t leave ads up if they aren’t making enough money. Monitor progress; adjust ad placements as necessary; then abandon them if it’s not worth it. More ads often means less visitors so you need to monitor if it’s worth it.
  • Experiment with other ways to monetize your blog (such as selling your own info products).

These days, people aren’t making much with ads, but they are making good money selling their own information products or consulting services. If you’re a good blogger, you’re probably a good writer with information that people value.

What About Affiliate Ads Like Amazon?

Besides pay-per-click ads, affiliate ads are another option, where you typically get paid only if someone buys something you linked to, such as with Amazon Associates ads.

I’ve worked with very high traffic websites that experimented with Amazon Associates and the income was miniscule. I would hesitate to devote any ad space to it again.

On the other hand, I know people who use affiliate ads with huge income success. It’s a matter of choosing ads that meet your audience’s needs and choosing the programs with the best income returns. It’s an art to get it right.

No matter what, you will only make money on ads if you have high visitor rates.

Two Musts for Placing Ads

  1. Always use an ad disclaimer.
    When you place any ads, always have an ad disclaimer available near the ad. Consumers appreciate the transparency and search engines retain trust in your website.
  2. Never place “text ads” without following Google’s guidelines for paid links.
    If you don’t follow their instructions, you risk being penalized and dropped out of Google listings.

Recommended Reading

 

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Originally published on October 19, 2009. Last revised on December 8, 2014. Posted in Blogging | Tagged | Bookmark the permalink.
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  • Good article! I will soon self-host; I get about 15-18k hits per month and I am thinking of putting some ads.

  • I am just trying out Amazon Affiliates, so I am not sure how well it will do yet. Adsense has been about 40$ per month with 10K visitors/month.

    http://www.futuretwit.com

    • Amazon Affiliate is not a big money-maker so I wouldn’t use up valuable ad space that could go to other things. From what I’ve seen, it is only useful for making a few bucks to spend at Amazon, even on high volume websites. If you’re doing book reviews with Amazon Affiliate links, your income odds are a bit better, but not so great for ad space.

      Check out http://problogger.com/ for the best advice on making money as a blogger. Selling your own info products is perhaps the main way bloggers make money on their blogs these days.