Some of you may have noticed by now, that advertisements have been completely removed from this blog. When I first started blogging, I was under the impression that the easiest way to monetize a site was through advertisements. After a year and a half of blogging and reading about how other bloggers make money, I’ve come to realize it’s one of the worst things a new blog can do.
They don’t pay well
One of the reasons I feel this way now is that I’ve made very little money through advertising. I remember when I would post an article and get less than 20 views on it. It took me a while before I started seeing views in the hundreds, and when I started seeing that I figured it was worth monetizing.
My fear I guess, was that an article of mine might take off and get really popular, and if I failed to have ads on that article I’d miss out on a lot of potential revenue. Honestly, the number of average views you need to have on a blog to make a descent income from it is staggering. Even at 500-1000 views per day, you’re only looking at an approximate profit of $30 a month!
Ads are not free
Now any amount of money is still money, but in my opinion, those ads have a cost too, which is not made up by the $30 a month. That cost is the annoyance put on visitors to my site (and myself to be honest). I know personally, I hate visiting sites with too many ads. I often leave articles just because of too many ads or pop-ups.
The problem is that ads slow down page load times, and often get in the way of scrolling when you’re on a mobile device. A huge percentage of my readers are viewing this site on their smart phones so I wouldn’t doubt that the view add clicks I do get, are accidental ones.
They are distracting
The other issue is that they’re distracting. When a reader comes to my site, my hope is that I can keep them engaged as long as possible. What I really want is for them to click on links that take them to other places on my blog, not away from it! Sure I get paid a peanut for the click, but I truly believe that visitor is far more valuable staying on my site. By sticking around, they are more likely to finish what they started reading, and maybe even give the article a share – promoting my blog for free.
By sticking around, they are more likely to finish what they started reading, and maybe even give the article a share – promoting my blog for free.
Ads stifle growth
One issue I’ve had is that my blog’s growth has remained stagnant for the last 6 months. This in part to repeating the same mistakes I’ve outlined in this post: Top 3 Mistakes To Avoid On Your Blog.
Another issue I’ve come to believe is the advertisements. I’ve noticed some pages have higher bounce rates than others (a visitor comes to my site and leaves without interacting). These pages tend to be the pages with more ads.
I know the data isn’t very conclusive, but I’m not the only one who is thinking this way about ads on blogs.
I’ve read about this a few times since I started blogging, but the final motivator for me was after recently reading a post by Sarah Peterson at smartblogger.com: 13 Reasons Why Blogs Ads Suck for Monetizing Your Site (And What to Do Instead)
Definitely worth the read if you’re a blogger looking for better ways to make money. There are far more options out there and they are all better than using ads.
Aside from ads being a strategically poor choice for growth, I also have to consider what my focus is. At this point, it’s web development that pays my bills – not blogging. This is more of a hobby that I hope becomes something more one day. I’d rather grow my audience than make a few bucks from ad space.
Let me know in the comments below what you think about ads on blogs. Are you bothered by them? Do you ignore them? Or do you actually like them? I would be surprised to see anyone who enjoys ads 🙂