Do you run ads on your blog?
Many bloggers do. In fact, people often start monetizing their blogs this way using an ad network such as Google AdSense. And many large websites are also supported by ads.
So should you be running ads on your blog?
There’s no easy way to answer that question. So in this post I’ll be taking you through some of the key advantages and disadvantages of running advertising on your blog.
Four Reasons to Run Ads on Your Blog
#1: It’s an Easy Monetization Method to Try
One reason many new bloggers turn to ads is it’s a simple monetization method to get started with.
You don’t need to create a product, launch a service, or even find affiliate products to review. Instead, you just sign up for a network such asGoogle AdSense, Media.net, or Infolinks.
And once you’re approved (which can take a couple of days), you can start running ads immediately.
#2: You Can Sell Ad Space Privately
As well as running ads through networks, you can work directly with companies who want to advertise on your blog.
Dealing with advertisers directly means you can set your own pricing. For example, you might want to charge a flat monthly rate rather than per click or per view.
You’ll also have a lot more control over the ads you’re displaying on your blog.
#3: You May Get an Idea of What Products Your Readers Like
Running ads can help you gather data on the types of products or services your readers are likely to buy (and the types they’re not so keen on).
If you can access the metrics for your ads, you might be able to find out how many people clicked on each ad. If you’re selling ads privately, you might be able to ask the advertisers how many people coming from your site went on to make a purchase.
#4: You Can Make Consistent Income
While ads may not make you rich (especially in the early days) you’ll likely find they perform pretty consistently and bring in a steady trickle of income.
If your other monetization ideas revolve around specific launches, or your business has seasonal peaks and troughs, having some consistent income from ads can help you get through the leaner times.
And Four Reasons Not to Run Ads on Your Blog
#1: You’ll Lose Visitors Who May Have Otherwise Stuck Around
One big drawback to ads is they can take potential readers away from your blog. Whenever someone clicks one of your ads, it will take that person away from your site..
It’s tricky to find a way around this. For large sites with a lot of search engine traffic, it isn’t necessarily a problem. But when you’re trying to build an audience from scratch, you don’t want to be sending people to other sites.
#2: Some Readers Will Be Using Ad Blockers
Some of your readers won’t see your ads because they’re using ad blockers.
While this isn’t a huge problem, it does mean you’re missing out on potential revenue. And if you have a readership that’s particularly prone to using ad blockers (e.g. young, tech-savvy males) then advertising may not be a viable revenue stream for you.
#3: Ads Can Make Your Blog Look Spammy or Unattractive
If you’re selling private ads, you’ll have some control over how they look. And you’ll be able to turn down ad banners that are poorly designed or look spammy.
But when you use an advertising network, you won’t know what will appear on your site until it shows up. And some of them may look pretty bad. But even well-designed ads can still make your site look cluttered and less visually attractive.
#4: Small Blogs Won’t Make Much Money From Ads
While huge sites can make a lot of money through ads, you won’t make much if you only have a handful of daily visitors. You may not even earn enough to cover your hosting costs.
You may see a lot of new bloggers running ads. But chances are they’re making little (if any) money from them.
So should you run advertising on your blog? Only you can answer that question. And your answer may change as you move through the various stages of your blog’s lifecycle.
Let us know why you are (or aren’t) running ads. Is it for one of the reasons I talked about in this post? Or is it for another reason?
Image credit: Paweł Czerwiński