There are plenty of questions when it comes to using advertisements as a method of monetizing your blog. Should you be placing ads on your blog? Are they easy money or do they turn away readers? Which ad networks are the best? How many ads should I have? What sizes should I use? Where should I put them?
The answer to most of them is “it depends”.
Go ahead and ‘pin’ this post, because you will want to come back to it later!
Don’t Believe Everything You’re Told
Time and again I read that you can’t make money with Google AdSense, and if you do actually manage to reach the $100 payout amount they find a problem with your account so they don’t have to pay. As soon as you have enough page views, go to one of the other ad networks and you will make so much more money with ads. Over and over again I’ve read this on various discussion boards and blog posts through the years.
But, that’s not what happened to me. I have reached the $100 milestone many times, been paid within a few weeks, and my account is still active.
Recently, I decided to test another ad network used by many people in my niche for 3 months. I found that I made about the same amount of money. Unfortunately, I also noticed an increase in my page load times and drop rate and a decrease in the time users spent on my blog. And I won’t be paid for another month. Hmm.
I find video ads to be a problem for both me visiting other sites and for people visiting mine. They are distracting, slow down my computer and some blogs take a ridiculous amount of time to load, they blare out my speakers and I can’t mute them. I won’t even consider using the ad network that gives me the most grief when I visit other blogs.
What works for one blog may not work for another. That’s true of any type of monetization method, social media strategy, blogging schedule, etc. You have to find what works best for you and your audience.
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Experiment, Experiment, Experiment
If you want to find out if placing ads on your blog works, go find an ad network and test it.
Other people may have a different experience than I’ve had, but I would say you have to go find the ads to place on your blog. Not too many businesses go trolling the blogosphere looking for blogs with “Advertise with me” pages.
Try different ad networks and mix and match. I am currently running the two different networks on one of my blogs. In another month I will check the reports and see if one goes or just leave it as is.
Test ad types and placements. Many ad networks have the ability to do A/B testing. Which in layman’s terms means you can have them do a test to see which does better (above the fold ads or below the fold, for example); they test it on your blog for you and let you know the result.
How to Choose an Ad Network
Find a blog with advertising you like and ask the blogger who they use. I have had someone ask me. I noticed the one in my niche on other blogs.
Ask in a blogging group. I did that for this article, the responses are below.
Do an online search. I did that for this article too and decided it would be too long to add to this post.
Once you have some ad network names do your own research to see which one might work for your blog. Some things to consider:
- What type of ads do they run?
- Do you have any control of ad content?
- Do they have a minimum number of page views for publishers?
- Can you use more than one ad network?
- Do they help with installation?
- Do they require specific ad placements?
- What is the minimum amount earned before payout?
- How long after earning the money do you get paid?
If you have any questions, ask them. If they don’t offer a way to ask questions, or don’t answer your questions, you might not want to choose them.
What Other Bloggers Have to Say About Placing Ads on Your Blog
I asked our IBA Members what they thought about placing ads on your blog. Here are a few of their responses.
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Jennifer from The Deliberate Mom
I cut back to hosting only Amazon CPM ads on my sidebar.
In the past, I used to have lots of ads but now that I have many products that I have personally created and sell, I don’t want to lose potential purchasers to an ad. Also, I want to keep readers on my site – not send them away to other sites.
I personally don’t like ads. I don’t like the visual clutter of ads. And, I also don’t like how much they slow down a site. Plus some ads ruin the reader experience (noisy because it’s a video) or they break up the text in awkward places.
Cathy from My Busy Mom Life
I run Amazon ads and that is it. Recently, I visited a website not too long ago and I was trying to get a recipe off of it but there were sooo many ads that kept popping up and made it impossible for me to get the recipe. I just got off of the website. She had a lot of good recipes and I would have frequented that website but all those ads popping up in my face was a huge turn off for me.
Sarah from ND Consulting
I’ve used almost every major one on at least one site and also run sites with none. I think it depends on my audience, bounce rate, and goals.
Audience – exactly to Cathy’s example, there are some who just won’t deal with them. Additionally, most people put on ALL THE ADS and overwhelm their readers who weren’t used to them.
Bounce – If there is a high bounce rate on a site (usually one visit Pinterest referral traffic), ads make sense. If a blogger can’t capitalize on that traffic by getting them into their funnel, they should definitely earn from the traffic.
Goals – If someone doesn’t want (or can’t) increase work level (new content or with sponsored content), they can put different types of ads to maximize earnings from existing traffic.
Monica from NYCTechMommy
I recently removed Google Adsense because it just wasn’t working for me. Now I only use Amazon ads and those are finally beginning to pick up traction. I like that I can customize Amazon ads and find that important to keep my audience engaged. I don’t like ads myself so I don’t want to bombard my readers with ads they have no use for.
What are your experiences and thoughts
There are so many ways to make money blogging. What do you like or dislike about ads on blogs? Do you run ads on your blog? Any good experiences you can share? How about horror stories?
Share with us in the comments below.