Ads are part of our daily lives.
Aside from suffering from Deaf-Blindness. There’s no escaping them.
We see ads while watching TV, driving around town, at work, shopping, at a baseball game, at the movies, at the doctor’s office, surfing the web, and just about any place you can think of.
Bloggers are told that blog ads are a great way of monetizing their blogs– that might be true, but I strongly believe the negatives outweigh the positives.
1. Blog Ads Dilute Your Brands Equity
When you start a blog, you work very hard to make it look and feel a certain way.
You publish content that people can associate with your brand and evoke certain feelings and emotions.
The moment you start putting random ads on your blog, you dilute those associations.
For example, this blog is about growing your blog’s traffic and making money from it… I would never want some ads for spammy penny stock software to appear here because it would not benefit my readers–no matter how much money it made me.
2. Blog Ads Pay Peanuts
The moment you start a blog, you want to make money from it, and you want to do it pronto.
But the truth is, advertising is a painfully slow path to monetizing your blog. Until you have large amounts of traffic, the income you’ll generate will be embarrassingly minuscule.
According to a study done by WordStream, the average click-through-rate on the Google Adwords display network is .35%.
This means that for every 10,000 people who visit your blog, you should expect 35 ad clicks.
Let’s say the average cost-per-click (how much you earn when somebody clicks an ad) is $1. So you would make around $35 for every 10,000 visits to your blog.
Some extremely competitive niches pay above $1 per click, but a good majority are below .50cents.
It’s not all bad though. Google isn’t the only game in town:
Most bloggers have reported an average of $1,300 per 100,000 pageviews with AdThrive with an average of $11 to $13 per 1000 pageviews. Mediavine averages between $10 to $25 per 1000 impressions and can even reach an RPM of $30. – workathomenoscams
Mediavine and AdThrive are two of the most popular full-service ad management companies among bloggers.
Using them, you can expect to make between $110-250 for the same 10,000 visitors.
Better, but you need a minimum of 25,000 page views in order to join either network and they have 100% control over which ads are displayed in your blog.
The bottom line is that advertising requires a ton of traffic to be worthwhile, and when you have a lot of traffic, there are much better ways of monetizing your blog.
3. Blog Ads Slow Down Your Blog
According to a study done by Google, 53% of mobile users leave a site that takes longer than three seconds to load. Because of that, Google has decided to include load time as a ranking factor.
Many factors can slow down your blog, from hosting issues to broken links, to — you guessed it – ads.
Yes, ads will slow down your blog. Especially video ads which are becoming more prominent nowadays.
How much can ads slow down your blog? That depends on the amount and types of ads a blog is running, but one study showed a difference of 20 seconds.
Why give readers another reason to “bounce” from your blog?
4. Blog Ads Make Your Site Look Spammy
So you want to find out how to defrost frozen pizza dough? How about I sell you a Pro Blogger bundle, an Xfinity mobile account, and some great tasting dog bathing shampoo?
Might as well try selling me a car since that has so much to do with defrosting frozen pizza dough.
If you wish to use ads as a form of monetizing your blog, at least make them targeted to what the reader is seeing on your page.
Nothing makes your blog look more spammy than showing random ads that have nothing to do with the reason why the reader ended up on your blog in the first place.
5. Blog Ads Distract Your Readers
As a blogger, you’re tirelessly trying to figure out ways to hold your readers’ attention with your content.
And it’s hard! You craft the perfect headline to draw your readers in. You follow it with a perfect introduction and a captivating body full of quotable snippets of information. And you finish it up with a great closing that makes them want to get up and take action.
In other words, you work your ass off for every second of your readers’ attention.
But blog ads are created with the sole purpose of grabbing your readers attention — enough to make them click the ad and head to another site looking to make them take a specific action.
Think about it. Blog ads are designed to distract your readers from the content you want them to see… the same content you worked your ass off to create for them.
6. Blog Ads Undermine Your Blog’s Goals
What’s the goal of your blog?
Most bloggers would say building an audience large enough to where they can generate “x” amount of income.
The best way to do that is by providing your audience with valuable information.
But for the most part, blog ads are the exact opposite of that because they don’t provide value to your audience at all.
In fact, most readers block ads because they’re annoying and distract from what they’re doing.
Successful ads take your readers’ away from your blog… not sure how that helps your blog’s goals.
The only reason why I’d want my readers to leave my blog is to gather additional (helpful) information on a specific topic that I feel they need in order to better understand my point.
7. Blog Ads Force You to Work for “The Man”
I’m an entrepreneur.
I built this blog to be my own boss and have full control of my life — to have complete control of my earnings potential.
I’d bet that most bloggers would say the same.
But you know what happens when you run ads? the ad platform (e.g. Google Adsense, AdThrive, Mediavine) is your boss… and not the cool boss you’d go to war for.
Don’t like your per-click commission? Too bad, those rates are pre-set. Therefore unless you can show substantial growth, you have very slim chances of getting a raise.
Want to get paid quickly? Too bad, your payments are normally withheld until you reach a minimum.
Not to mention that they can remove or reject your blog from their platforms based on their internal guidelines.
So just when you thought you were on your own, blog ads put you at the mercy of “The Man.”
8. Blog Ads Make You Look Like an Amateur
Would you ever go into a new BMW dealer looking to buy a new Lexus SUV?
Probably not, and what would you think if the BMW dealer was full of Chevy advertisements?
Either they’re sleazy or have no idea what they’re doing.
Blog ads are the same way — readers come to your blog to find specific information on a topic of interest, not to find out about some sale Macy’s is having this weekend.
You could try to only run ads that are relevant to your content, but it’s very difficult because ad management companies are usually the ones who decide what ads show on your blogs.
9. Blog Ads Take Up Valuable Space
We already established that blog ads are created to take your readers attention away from your content.
The best way to do this is by placing those ads in the most valuable space you have.
The screenshot above shows exactly what I could see on my screen while trying to read that article.
As you can see there’s a big banner ad taking up half my screen advertising AmazonFresh which has nothing to do with the article.
Do you think Amazon would want that ad being placed anywhere else on my screen?
Probably not — and you know why?
Because they want to their banner ad to be the first thing anyone sees when they go to LifeWire.
Online advertising is a 260+ billion dollar industry. That’s more than TV, Newspaper, and Magazine advertising combined.
Online advertisers know the most valuable spots on the clients’ screens, and therefore, the best placement of their ads on your blog.
You shouldn’t have a hard time finding more lucrative ways to use your most valuable space.
10. Blog Ads Risk Your Reputation
I work too hard on this blog for some other company to ruin my reputation.
The moment you start placing ads on your blog, you’re indirectly telling your readers that you support the companies you advertise.
However, you have no control over the day to day operations of the companies which you advertise.
Can you blame your readers for accusing you of their bad experience with a company you introduced them to?
Not a chance I’d take that risk.
Do You Use Blog Ads?
If so, leave a comment and let me know the reasoning behind it. It’s always interesting to see different points of view.
If not, let me know why you decided against it and what you’re doing instead to monetize your blog.