You’ve started your blog and now you’re wondering, “Should I put ads on my website?”
You should place ads on your site if you need the income to finance some of your larger blogging business goals. But make sure those ads aren’t overwhelming your site entirely or taking away from your overall blog message.
For example: Displaying spammy or inappropriate ads will hurt your blogging brand if your target audience is a stay-at-home mom looking for a family-friendly website.
1. Use Ads for Your Blogging Financial Goals
Let’s be honest- most of us don’t have a ton of extra money lying around when we start a blog. My first year as a blogger was when my budget mainly consisted of diapers and baby food, so there really wasn’t a ton of extra wiggle room for items like “new blog theme” or “blog stock photos”.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. You can read my Disclaimer here for more info.
This is where ad revenue came in handy! In fact, I created my first online product with this microphone right here. And I purchased that microphone with my blog’s ad revenue earnings.
Eventually, I went on to purchase additional equipment like the blogging resources I talk about here.
Ads enabled me to build up enough income in my first 18 months as a blogger to invest in my business’ larger projects. It made reaching a full-time income much easier and I definitely have no shame in using them!
In fact, I used that microphone to go on and create this Blogging to Win blogging course and this online Blogging Business Club blogging membership site. And if you take a look at my income reports, those products bring in most of my income.
2. Ensure Ads Don’t Hurt Your Blogging Brand
The worst thing you can do to your blogging brand is display ads that are offensive to your target audience.
Some ad companies will give you the option to either block certain ads one by one, or they will display only family-friendly ads as a whole.
Yes, I’ve been on a mommy blog before and have seen an adult ad. Yuck!
Did I ever visit that blog again? No way! There are plenty of other bloggers out there writing the mommy content I want to read, without the offensive ads.
Make sure the ad company that you work with aligns with your own standards. If you need help, I have a list of clean ad networks that you can work with right here.
I also suggest making sure you don’t overwhelm your site with so many ads that you distract your visitors from your content.
I find that the “perfect number” of ads per page is relative to the person who’s reading your content. Some of my readers say they hardly notice my ads because ads are common everywhere else too. And others send me very nasty emails about the number of ads I have. You win some, you lose some.
But the important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t cover up so much of your blog post content that people can’t read what you’ve written.
Ads aren’t uncommon but you need to promote yourself first, and if you’re hiding 50% of your blog post text then you’re approaching the ad strategy all wrong.
How to Sell Ad Space on Your Blog
Making money online can be tricky and the best way to professionally manage selling ad space is to work with an ad network.
Yes, some people manually sell space but I wasn’t a fan of the experience and found I made more money (and did less work!) when I started working with an ad network. Manually selling ad space can be very inconsistent, especially if you’ve been blogging for less than a year.
However, you need to make sure ads aren’t your only strategy for income. Ads are dependent on traffic (CPM, anyway) and blog traffic fluctuates throughout the year.
I suggest creating your own products or services to offer in addition to ad income. It gives you peace of mind!
When can I start working with an ad network?
Ad networks are only willing to work with established blogs who have a hearty amount of blog posts already published. They also typically like to see that your content is posted consistently.
This means it may be harder (though not impossible) to get accepted into an ad network if you’ve been blogging less than 6 months, have less than 50 blog posts, and/or don’t post very consistently.
Fortunately for you, there are a ton of ad networks to choose from and each one will require some sort of application process where you may be able to get approved despite not meeting one of these qualifications.
For an extensive list of ad networks, check out this Ad Network Guide for Publishers & Bloggers - 2019 here.
How much do bloggers make from ads?
To put it briefly, the money you can make from an ad will vary especially if you’re using CPM ads.
CPM means Cost Per One Thousand Impressions.
Advertisers (to clarify, these are the companies that’ll pay you to show their ad on your site) that operate CPM ads will use their CPM rate to determine how much they are going to have to pay per ad, per 1,000 impressions on a page.
If you have an ad in your header, sidebar, AND footer then they will have to pay either double or triple the CPM rate amount if each of those ads receives the same number of impressions.
The CPM rate is really used for the advertiser to determine how much they are going to have to pay you. But if you can, I highly recommend going with a network that lets you exclusively use CPM ads if you want to.
How do I get paid for ads on my blog?
Most ad networks will either pay your ad revenue through direct deposit or through an online payment system, such as PayPal.
Also, they will often pay on a net-30, net-45, or net-60 schedule, meaning they will submit payments to your account 30, 45, or 60 days after the end of the month in which you earned that ad revenue.
This means that you may earn ad revenue in January but not get paid till the middle of March.
Can I monetize my free Wordpress blog?
According to Wordpress, you may use your free Wordpress.com blog to earn money through affiliate links, sponsored posts, physical or digital products, and requesting donations or tips.
They also have an official ad network for Wordpress.com sites called WordAds.
Users on the paid Premium or Business plans have automatic access to this ad network. If you are exclusively on their free or paid Personal plans, you may apply to be accepted as long as you have moderate to high traffic and the appropriate blog content.
How do blogs make money without ads?
Maybe you’re still not on the “ad train.” And that’s completely understandable because having ads on a blog isn’t a good fit for everyone.
There are a lot of other ways you can many money on a blog without using ads, such as:
Selling Physical or Electronic Products
You can learn more about each of these options to make money blogging here in this post.
Blog Advertising Sites
I have an extensive list of ad networks you can work with, where I include Eligibility Requirements and tips for choosing an advertising site that’s perfect for you and your blogging business.
To get you started, here are the 8 ad networks I recommend looking into.
Monumetric (formerly known as The Blogger Network)
Can I earn money from ad revenue consistently?
No, you will not be able to earn the same amount of ad revenue every single month throughout the year.
This is due to the fact that (1) ad revenue fluctuates based on the number of pageviews you get each month and (2) advertisers (i.e. the companies that are paying you to play their ads on your site) reset their budget throughout the year.
For example, advertisers’ budgets are much higher in the last quarter of the year, especially around the holiday shopping season. But once Christmas is over, they typically reset their budget and spend much less on ads.
If they’re spending less, then you’re making less. This can be very frustrating as a blogger and is actually why I DON’T recommend that you only make money as a blogger through ad revenue.
Instead, I recommend diversifying your income streams to help create a more consistent income throughout the year. If you want to learn more about protecting yourself from irregular income, I talk about how I make money consistently throughout the year right here in this post.
I hope I’ve answered all of your questions in this post! Making money blogging with ads isn’t always a good fit for everyone, but it’s been a blessing to have as a part of my blogging business model.
Do you have ads on YOUR site?