Putting ads on your blog is sometimes erroneously seen as being a necessary evil on the path to the promised land in which one manages to “blog for living”. Provided that you do not treat this as a pipe dream land, the ads that you put on your blog in the hopes of monetizing it can be both better integrated with the content and lucrative, provided that you show readiness to learn the craft of making money from them. Just like running ads themselves, planning and having a big picture perspective, you will find the most efficient way of doing it. Spare a few minutes and let us guide us through some of its trickier corners.
Turning Ads into Gold: Ad Networks
Becoming a bona fide blogging professional starts by objective appraisal of your priorities and the current stature of your web property. For many bloggers, the first choice in terms of working to make money with ads, relates to picking the right ad network, which often acts as the starting and main choice for bloggers on the monetization path. This model is not unlike running old-fashioned advertisements in print publications, in which you use your blog’s header, footer, sidebar or other sections of web space to advertise various brands and products. Partnering with these networks means that the ads on your site will be served by them. Among the most popular first choices for working with ad networks is Google AdSense, which automatically places ads on your blog based on a piece of code in your content and depending on its topic.
In case Google’s omnipresent ad network does not strike the right note with you, you are more than welcome to consider its alternatives. The selection process does not end here, however, as your ad performance (read: profits) will suffer if you treat finding an alternative to Google AdSense as an end in itself. For starters, respect your blog enough and demand that “alternative” ad networks provide you with a clear evidence of them offering savory payment and transparency practices, as well as high quality ads. There is no room for reckless haste in the evaluation process, as the carelessly selected ad network partners will constantly put a wrench in your plans to earn from ads while blogging.
Offering Ad Space to Private Advertisers
In addition to exerting caution when picking up adequate ad network to run ads on your blog, you might as well sharpen up your timing skill when deciding to sell your ad space to private advertisers independently. Working with advertisers directly means that you can have more control over the ads that appear on your blog, thus ensuring greater flexibility in terms of displayed banners, for example. Increased flexibility comes with a price, however, as you’ll need to carefully determine if your traffic numbers meet advertisers’ demands and whether you have the human and technical resources to engage in this type of ad running business or not. This refers to the fact that working with ad networks relieves you of the pressure of dealing with the ad displaying technicalities and advertisers themselves, which is a responsibility that arises once you decide to go down the independent path. Furthermore, your success will also depend on the effectiveness of your efforts in initiating cold contact calls with advertisers. You’ll need to allocate enough personnel who will be always active in this regard, as each day of indolence can cost you dearly in the long run.
In any case, your revenues can vary between less than a dollar to 100 USD, depending on your performance, which is based on various ad payment models: The CPM model (cost per mille) brings you money for thousand ad impressions shown on your blog, while in case of CPC (cost per click), you get paid for the ads that are clicked on. Finally, the CPA (cost per action) ad model is based around a visitor taking a particular action in relation to your ads.
Earning potential of your ads will also depend on the level of traffic and visitors’ inclination to interact with them, which is helped by your ability to find a niche with less pronounced competition. Also, striking a balance between the amount of ads and presentation of the blog content is a priority, as favoring one of these two options means either generating less revenue or having visitors leave your site.
Affiliated with Success
Engaging in ad business via blogging can also be done by becoming a part of an affiliate marketing program that grants you a percentage out of what your partners manage to sell by having their products advertised on your site. In this case, you earn a commission via affiliate programs that serve as the backbone of this ad-based marketing business. There are numerous quality programs at your disposal, and their success will be determined both by your good judgment as well as your skill in seamlessly aligning the content of your blog with the products offered as part of this arrangement.
A good example of the proper treatment of these two is the Pinch of Yum cooking blog that earns over $20K per month from affiliate sales only. The blog is organized around offering highly targeted content to a well-researched and loyal audience. As part of the Food Blogger Pro affiliate program, the blog offers an affiliate program for Tasty Food Photography ebook on photographing food. A person who purchases a copy of this book by clicking on affiliate link gets 50% of the value of the sale.
An important advantage of affiliate marketing is that you can control the quality of products you promote, as well as deal only with those that are in line with your niche, such as in the case of the Pinch of Yum. If you want to utilize your ads’ potential to the fullest, make sure to thoroughly check the quality of offered affiliate products first in order to avoid discrediting yourself and provided that you are not their user already. At the same time, you can always try to get in touch with specific businesses and other bloggers whose products you consider relevant and in line with your niche and audience.
To make money from ads on your web property means that you’ll have to treat entire endeavor as a business model from the start. The process starts with considering a range of available ad earning models and separating what works from the clutter. The end goal is adorning your blog with ads that will make you bucks while you sleep, preferably in the manner that brings your marketing and financial needs in the state of equilibrium. Picking up the right business model in this regard will depend on your ability to recognize what works for you most of the time, paired with readiness to engage in long-term experimenting and keeping tabs on ad performance.