Blog Banner Ads: Should You Wait Before Putting Ads On Your Blog?

Steven9 responsesBlogging

There are bloggers who have all their ads neatly in place before they even launch their blog and there are bloggers who wait until they’ve developed some traffic before they start waving banners. As you might expect, there are pros and cons to each, so let’s take a look at how quickly after starting your blog you should put ads on it.

Starting With Ads At The Launch

Bloggers who start with ads from Day 1 believe that if you’re eventually going to use ads on your blog you might as well use them from the very beginning.

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Your Readers – If you start your blog with no ads and then add them in after you’ve developed steady traffic, you run the risk of angering your readers. They’ve come to expect that your blog will be “ad free” and they resent the implication that you’re now using them to try to make money.

Design Consistency – Start your blog with ads and you won’t have to go through complicated design changes later on.

Education – The best way to learn about optimization and ad positioning is to just jump in and do it. And the best time to practice is while you have less traffic around to view your mistakes.

Earnings – Even if you’re only getting a few visitors a day, if you have AdSense on your blog there’s always the possibility those visitors will click on your links. Money is a huge motivator. If you’re earning you’re motivated to work harder so you can earn even more. And what blogger couldn’t use a few extra bucks at the beginning of his career?

Starting With No Ads

Bloggers who start with no ads generally believe you’ll be scaring off visitors because their first impression will be that your blog looks to commercial or scammy.

While I agree that AdSense can be beneficial for new bloggers, I tend to agree with this group for three reasons:

Market Knowledge – Most new bloggers don’t have enough knowledge to adequately define their market and target their traffic. Consequently, their blogs are loaded with ads that aren’t relevant for their readers and that’s what makes their blog look like a money grab. It’s not the fact that they have ads that turns off their visitors – it’s the fact those ads are for completely unrelated products.

Ad Blindness – It’s a fact that your visitors are going to have to come back to your blog repeatedly before they’ll buy something. But it’s also a fact that Internet readers develop ad blindness after just a few visits. Buy the time they feel comfortable buying they’ll no longer see your ads. Better to build subscribers first and then gradually implement ads.

Demoralizing – As stated above, money is a huge motivator. If you’re earning, you want to earn more. But if you’re not earning, you can feel like a failure and give up. Most new bloggers are not going to be hugely successful with ads right from the very beginning and this can be very depressing for some.

In all honesty, how quickly you should place ads on your blog is one of those questions that can go either way for every blog, it just depends on how the blogger handles it. Obviously, if you put ads on your blog at the start and you never monitor your progress you’re doomed. But if you monitor click-through rates and gauge your reader’s reaction you can integrate ads anytime you want.

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9 Comments

  1. Paul Salmon

    The key is the monitoring aspect once you place ads on your blog. “You can’t improve what you can’t measure” is a popular saying.

    When to place ads on a blog is a common question that I have seen asked in many different forums. I don’t think there is a single answer to that question as each blog, and the traffic it attracts, will be different. Because of this, some blogs may be fine starting early with the ads, while other bloggers may have to wait.

    1. Thanks for your comment Paul.

      I fully agree that measuring the impact and performance of your ads on your blog are an essential step to make sure you’re putting them up at the right time.

  2. You laid the pros and cons out well. The ad decision partially depends on your blogging experience and confidence.

    My first blog was for fun. Ads and a target audience didn’t hit my radar screen until later. Blog number two ran with ads from the start. Without the ads, the couple of bucks that blog number two generated early one wouldn’t have been realized.

    Both decisions were right from where I was at the time.

    1. Sounds like you know what you’re doing Gayle :)

      It’s good to see experienced bloggers reading my articles.

  3. Rory

    How many visitors per day (or month) do you need to make actual money off a blog?

    1. There is no definitive answer to this… It depends on your niche, your audience, your blog layout, and how much is “actual money” for you.

  4. Tj Philpott

    Great share Steven!

    This ‘debate’ is one that will likely never have a definitive answer since it is so objective!

    Arguments both pro and con can be made but ultimately it’s a ‘personal’ choice! Everybody has different needs, motivations and/or strategies! The points you made for both sides of this issue were valid and insightful!

    Thanx for sharing ….

    TJ

    1. Thank you for your nice words TJ.

  5. Sonia

    I can totally relate to what you said about market knowledge. Back when I had my first blog I wasn’t sure what ads to put on it and what would be relevant or how they would even work.

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