Displaying banner ads on your blog is a very controversial topic.
You see ads on major sites such as Mashable to new blogs and everything in between.
Making money while you sleep and creating a living from your blog is the dream for many, myself included. And since you are here, I would guess it is your dream too!
I cannot wait for the day when I can wake up without an alarm clock, leisurely make my way to the couch with a hot tea and get to work while wearing sweatpants with a fur baby on each side of me. They really are the best little assistants.
Now, having banner ads on your site is not going to make this dream a reality. Besides that, there are several other reasons banner ads just aren’t ideal for someone creating an online business.
I know, I know. Banner ads seem like the norm and are so easy to get started with.
But consider the following reasons before displaying banner ads on your blog.
1. Banner Ads Don’t Pay Well
If you are using a service such as Google AdSense, then you are most likely getting paid for when someone actually clicks on the ad.
You might be surprised to hear that the average CTR (or click through rate) is extremely low at 0.17%. That isn’t even a quarter of a percent!
That means if 1,000 visitors come to your blog not even 2 visitors would actually click on the ad displayed on your site.
If you did happen to get a click, you would be making pennies!
Ad sites also pay using the CPM (or cost per thousand) method. This means you get paid for every 1,000 impressions.
Say an advertiser is offering $1 for every 1,000 impressions. In order to make $100, you would need 100,000 impressions.
This is definitely not feasible for a blog that is just getting started. Oh, and you most likely need to reach a minimum threshold before you even get paid!
2. Must Comply with Terms and Conditions
If you decide to display banner ads, be sure you read the terms and conditions. And I mean read carefully! This is a very critical step.
While I know you have good intentions for your site, there are many ways to break the terms and conditions that you might not even realize. If you do so, you can lose all the money you worked so hard to earn in the first place.
Here are some things you should ABSOLUTELY avoid doing if you are showing ads:
- Do not click on your own ads
- Do not ask your friends and family to click on your ads
- Do not participate in Click Through threads in Facebook groups and ask people to click on your ads
These are against the terms and conditions.
3. Banner Ads are Calls-to-Action and Probably Not The Action You Want
Think about the main thing you want your readers to do. Is it purchase YOUR product or service, sign up for your email list, follow you on social media, or even read more than one blog post on your site?
Notice that clicking away to someone else’s site totally unaffiliated with you is not an option.Ads take the reader’s attention away from your blog content, products and services. Click To Tweet
They are distracting.
Ads can cause a reader to leave your site and then you are running the chance that they will forget what they were doing before they clicked the ad. You just lost a possible subscriber because she converted on the wrong call to action.
4. It Takes Time to Make Sure the Ads Are Relevant So You Don’t Risk Your Reputation
Have you ever visited a site to find the ads are totally repulsive? I know I have.
I cannot stand to stay on those sites. I click away ASAP.That is the worst situation - ads that conflict with the message of your blog. Click To Tweet
It loses trust with your readers. It shows you do not value their time and interest enough to provide relevant content.
Ads do not even have to conflict with your message to be irrelevant. I wouldn’t expect to see a diaper ad on a fashion blog. It just doesn’t make sense.
But these things do happen if you don’t take the time to review the ads being shown on your site. This takes time. Time that is better spent elsewhere.
5. Ads Impact Your Page Load Times
Your page load time impacts your SEO. Banner ads can have a negative effect on how quickly your page loads.
The more ads you show, the slower your site will be.
Now it is true that ads are not the only thing that will slow down your site, but why use something TOTALLY UNNECESSARY?
6. When Not Thought Out, Ads Make You Look Like You Are Chasing Money With Your Blog
I do not think there is anything wrong with wanting to make money from your blog, but I don’t think that should be your primary goal.When you go chasing money with your blog rather than doing it out of enjoyment, it shows. Click To Tweet
Readers want to feel like you care about them, that you are providing value not just using them to make money.
When I go to a site that is covered with ads I feel like I am talking to a used car salesman. It isn’t a good feeling. In fact, if there are two very similar blogs and one is covered in ads and the other isn’t, I am going to visit the one without the ads.
7. Most Ad Designs Don’t Go With Your Blog Design
You spent a lot of time and possibly money on the branding of your website, why would you mess that up with ugly ads.
Let’s face it, most ads aren’t attractive and they are meant to stand out.
Do you really want your reader’s attention to go to the unattractive ads. They will impact a reader’s impression of your site, even if you don’t realize it.
Of course, you could take the time to find ads that better match your design but is that really how you want to spend your time?
8. Ads Clutter Up Your Site and Take Up Valuable Space
I see blogs with ads above their header, above and below the blog post title, on the top of the sidebar, multiple times throughout the sidebar, in the middle of a blog post, etc.You don’t want your blog to look like the middle of Times Square. Click To Tweet
It makes me feel like I am looking at a giant billboard. It makes me feel like you are desperate for money and don’t really care about your blog content.
A lot of people don’t like feeling like they are being sold to. They would much rather click a link in a post (such as an affiliate link) to a skirt they are really interested in because it looks great on their favorite blogger.
People know affiliate links are in blog posts (especially if you disclose – which is the law by the way). They tend to be fine with that because it is done inconspicuously and blends in with your normal content – when done right.
9. Ads Make You Look Like a Newbie
It is common knowledge these days that there are better ways to make money from your blog.
Some include selling your own products and services, creating online courses, and carefully selected affiliate links.
If you truly want to make a living from your blog, I would blog in conjunction with another business. For example, I blog here at Blog Me Lovely but the way I make my income is primarily through digital design services I sell. I am a business owner with a blog, rather than a blogger who offers services on the side.Stop chasing money with your blog – 9 reasons ads are not the way to go. Click To Tweet
When you have ads on your blog, it looks like you are chasing money with your blog. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to make a living from your blog – especially when you put so much time, energy and money into it. However, I think there are so many other options than displaying banner ads.
What is your opinion on using banner ads on your blog?