Should Every Blog Provide Advertising?

Blog AdvertisingIt’s getting to that point – regarding traffic and stats – that Veronica and I should start to think about monetizing our blog beyond an Adsense block and contextual links.  It has become common practice that blogs of a certain stature are expected to provide some sort of advert options for others to purchase throughout the site.  It seems to be in our best interest that we should take advantage of this opportunity to open up our canvas for potential advertisers, while paying some bills at the same time.  Let’s take a look at what options we have…

As you can see by our template, it’s not very accommodating to the regular 125×125 ad farm that a lot of WordPress themes have – which I’m glad.  I have two square banners up right now, and I don’t really see any more than 3 or 4 square banners in total for that area in the right sidebar, arranged in a vertical manner.  Another option would be to provide ad space before/after posts but I’m not too sure how I feel about that – the awesome theme we use is vibrant and accommodating, and the last thing I want to do is fuck it all up with ad space.

So what do we do?

I feel much more comfortable leaving this decision up to youour readers.  We want to know how you feel with advertising on blogs, what you use to manage your ads, and based on our theme what you think would work best to combine ad options with our sites current vibe and functionality.  If you know me at all, you know I’m not a fan of what I like to call “ad-blogs” and that will not happen with!  I give you guys the power to determine how we go about doing this.  Feel free to send us an email in the contact section above, or simply reply to this post with a comment!



19 thoughts on “Should Every Blog Provide Advertising?”

  1. As a personal blog I would go against advertising. Most of us that visit your blog, we all know each other and visit each others blogs.

    I know that I have advertising up on my blog but with my redesign up and coming I am really thinking about taking it down. I know that AdSense ads don’t work on a personal type of blog because most of the people on a personal blog are not in buying mode.

    What I do think could be a way to pay some bills is to come up with an ebook and charge a simple $5 or something for it. Sure most people expect ebooks to be free nowadays but if you provide a good enough one, people would be willing to hand out $5.

    I think that with personal type of blogs an ebook would have a much better chance at bringing in money or even creating your own theme and selling that. You could even promote in on your blog and make people come here to buy it 😉

    So while I am somewhat being a hypocrite right now because I have advertising up and I am saying not to do it, I will very likely be taking advertising down. If anything I will just have banners or links up to others sites like I do. Those links and banners will be for friends and such to help a little bit with promotion.

  2. I am not opposed to a few ads here or there on a blog, but then again, I suffer from ad blindness… once I know where they are located.

    Even so, I run four 125×125 ads on my site and those are for my host, a couple WordPress themes that I have used and like, and an e-book that I think is awesome.

    I would say that running ads is alright as long as you consider the product to be worth your readers’ time. I make that distinction by determining first if a product is worth my time, and then recommend it to others.

    It is a touchy subject, I know. Some people loathe ads. Others love them. Some, like myself, don’t mind them, but will leave if there is overload or poor placement. When the ads start to interfere with the content, the site loses my attention.

    Ians last blog post..32nm Chips Coming Soon!

  3. @ Jarrett – I know what your saying, but the amount of regular commentators vs people who read our blog are like night and day… We average over 150 uniques a day, and I’d say only 15-20 of you comment regularly. We actually do get a fair amount of clicks on the adsense block, as well as the 125’s I’ve had up since day one… So I don’t know what to do!

    @ Ian – I know what you mean. fortunately for the sake of this blog, I would never allow anything to be promoted or visibly present on this blog without it being something I was interested in, therefor my readers would be interested in hearing about. Us regular bloggers are ad blind for sure.

    @ TheMoneyac – Ads taking up more space than the content is blog suicide for sure! I’m not a big fan of that.. I would really like to provide my readers with a form of advertising on here that would allow you guys to get some clicks to your site, or an offer you’re promoting. Even though we’re all ad blind, there are still lots of people who find our blogs and articles that aren’t!

  4. Well, there is only one way to find out and that is to just try it.

    If you find that people start to complain then you know that you did something wrong. I think your regular readers will be able to understand as we deal with ads on most blogs.

    You are getting a lot more traffic than I do as well so it is worth at least giving it a shot.

  5. It’s an interesting idea to ask your readers where they would like the advertising. However wouldn’t it be better to go to potential advertisers and ask them if they would like to purchase ads in the ad spots you have currently. If you can’t sell those two spots then ask the advertisers why they don’t want the ad spot and go from there?

    Just a thought… please don’t hate me 😉

  6. @ Clog Money – Totally, and that’s the plan. I more wanted to get some feedback on how every feels about advertising on blogs, and aesthetically how they feel about ads on our blog here. We never hate for speaking your mind!!! But I will give you shit for apologizing about it!

  7. My Twitter sidebar actually bumps the window over far enough that I rarely see the right side of a site unless I make the effort to move the bottom scroll bar.

    I’d offer up the spaces you currently have the ML and BM ads on, and maybe a spot just above the blogroll. You could also offer up the AdSense space for enough $ to make it worth losing the clicks, and the Flikr box could be moved to the bottom of that sidebar and replace that spot with an ad without it being too obnoxious (on the theory that we’re used to seeing graphics there anyway).

    I’m ad blind anyway, so maybe I’m not the best person to give advice. 🙂 On my own blogs, I tend to treat ads as “better than finding a picture to brighten the place up” filler bits. I’ll put up ads I don’t care about because I think they’re pretty, and take down good ads because I don’t think they’re attractive. I’ve also been known to approach affiliate managers to tell them their ads are ugly and could they please make nicer ones so I can advertise them?

    WordVixens last blog post..How To Get People To Buy What You’re Pushing

  8. Intresting post…I think regualr readers dont mind the ads if the ads are somewht related or intresting. For my site…I dont have any ads up yet bc im still building up my traffic. Eventually I will add ads …but at the same time I wont overdo it like some sites/blog do.

    Testing and tracking is the best thing to do…yeah yeah I know we all hate those phrases but hey it’s the truth…an easy way to see what’s working and what’s not.


  9. @ wv – some really good suggestions! especially about the adsense bit… I never though about that.

    @ Desmond – All in all, I’m not concerned with gaining money from my regular readers, because you’ve all been here from the beginning. But monetizing for the new traffic that pops up on a daily basis is important. You’re right though, test and track.. it’s the only way to really find out!

  10. Elijah –

    I actually base my ads on things that I personally use and what I feel my readers may use as well. Beside the fact that I am a control freak, I’m afraid I would discriminate against some who may want to place an ad in a spot! 🙂 Been there and done it already!

    There is a very good plugin to make sure you do not alienate readers though, it is called “Who Sees Ads” (link) and you have the ability to show certain ads to certain visitors. You can even set it up so it will not show ads in certain blocks to those who have visited 5 times or more etc. A VERY flexible plugin.

    If you revisit the 20 questions interview you posted on me a couple days ago and follow a link to my site, you will see that there is an ad block that ONLY shows to visitors from THIS site, and only 5 times. It is a “Welcome from The At Home Couple Site” message, with an invite to subscribe.

    In regard t space, you actually have 2 unused areas above your fold on this theme, both of which can utilize a 468 banner if you chose.

    In your header, above the Nav links, and in your sidebar, above everything… you could just div the about and sidebars down the 80 or so pixels it would take to put an ad banner in there.


    Mark – The Niche Store Builders last blog post..The Difference between a WordPress Page, Category and Post!

  11. I would go for it Elijah. Most bloggers understand that blogs need to make money and I do not think they would complain.
    People who come upon websites or blogs while doing searches, have no clue about ad’s so they care less.

    For the people that come in that are not normals, the ad’s may be of interest to them.

    You have nothing to lose on this one, so why don’t you run a trail and see how it does and what people say? Desmond is right, a test would let you see how well it goes over.

    Work At Home Mom Taras last blog post..Would morals get the in way of money?

  12. Most of the ads are not for your regulars. Though, many of your regulars may end up taking the ad spots lol. I say go for it, but do it lightly. I redesigned my ads, and they are not “optimized” so it’s really up to if a person wants to be part of the sites movement or environment, and not so much about just grabbing more space. I was just thinking about my ads again today, and maybe changing something again! lol. And by change…I mean, take away!

    Normal Joes last blog post..Joel Comm’s Click Here To Order Book Exposed

  13. @ Double – thanks for stopping by, we’d love to have some more Canadian readers for sure. Went to your site, tons of stock info.. I’ve got it bookmarked!

    @ Tara – I really just wanted everyone’s input.. I like sparking conversation and even though I was planning to test out different mediums and formats from the get-go, I really wanted to hear what you guys think! So you getting a video post up?? I saw SuiteJ called you out at the end of his vid! You gonna let him put you on like that??

    @ Joe – Come for the movement.. and the sammiches!

  14. Personally, I’m more interested in making money with ‘other sites”, and using SuiteJ to network with all you nutjobs. Any “ads” I do put up would be my own affiliate links or other sites I own (preferrably other sites I own)

    If bloggers and Internet Marketers are the bulk of my visitors, I’d rather provide them with links to useful resources that they might buy/sign up to as opposed to selling ads to other bloggers.

    I know it sounds odd, but SuiteJ is kinda like “my home”, and I feel like I wanna keep it nice and tidy. lol

    That being said, I have no problem displaying my big head on a 125px ad on all your blogs. lol


    SuiteJs last blog post..5 Tips On How NOT To Prepare For Your First Ever Video Post

  15. Further to your recent site flipping success, I am going to have to side with big head on this one. Making money online is best done with your ‘other sites’ and that frees up your personal blog to network.

    There is of course nothing wrong with offering advertising, but you need to keep it subtle as to not distract from your content. Those 125 ad farms annoy the hell out of me! Personally, I prefer the 468’s in the header, or one nice 300*250 in the side bar.

    I like that you open this up to debate for your readers and think Jarret raised a good point in saying ‘try things out and see what works for you’.

  16. @ Jay – totally…

    @ Neal – for sure.. that’s the main reason I opened it up because if you guys didn’t respond, or didn’t care – which I knew wouldn’t happen – than it would give me a good gauge to back up my initial feeling which is keeping things the way they are for the most part! lol

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