One of the more common group of questions I get on a daily basis from readers and clients is about “advertising on my blog” and more specifically “when should I start advertising on my blog”. Unfortunately there is no real clear and concise answer to this question and answers from experts vary greatly. I’ll provide you with my perspective on this and give you some items to consider, but ultimately the right answer is that you should start advertising on your blog when you feel comfortable.
My recommendation to most clients is to not start advertising right away, but to wait a few months or until you get a decent amount of daily traffic, say 100 visits per day. Here’s why:
- You have enough to do without advertising – When you’re new to blogging or even an experienced blogger trying to get a new blog started, you have tons of work to do getting the site up and running, getting links, writing lots of great content, promoting your blog, etc. Advertising is just another extra activity to distract you from these crucial set-up items. You might be saying at this point” “but advertising is easy”. Sure, putting an ad on a website is easy, but finding a high quality targeted ad and placing in the right position isn’t.
- No traffic, no money – In order to make money from advertising, you must have traffic. Without traffic, you get no money. Having ads on a blog or website when there is no money is really just a waste of space and frankly can make the blog look cluttered. In the early stages of your blog, rather than wasting the space with ads, use that space to promote yourself, your articles and your blog. This can be done by using “Most popular” article lists, articles by category, Author’s favorite articles, etc.
- Perception – I’m honestly on the fence about this one, but am going to mention it anyway: Having ads on a new blog can send the wrong perception to readers. The logic here is that someone visiting a new blog arrives, sees ads and says to themselves “Well, they’re only interested in making money”. I think this was definitely true in the early days of blogging, but now blogs are everyone and most if not everyone is looking to offset their time and effort writing with ads, ad perception may not be a big deal. It is something you should consider though.
- Monetizing your blog is complicated – Many bloggers start out day one by throwing up a few banner ads in the sidebar and check daily to see if they’ve made any money, only to find that they really never do and when they do it’s only a few cents. This can be very discouraging. Monetizing your blog and optimizing it based on your traffic and the type of traffic you get can be complicated. Instead of just throwing up a few banners, hold off placing ads for a few months. Use this time learn about ads and consider the choices you need to make. Use this time to start building search engine traffic, which is the key factor in earning revenue from your blog. Once you’ve gained a good amount of knowledge on advertising and have some traffic, begin placing ads. Google Adsense is generally the best first option to begin with.
When building traffic and trying to start a new blog, really focus on the blog and blog’s content initially. Get readers, get traffic, and get practice writing, publishing and maintaining your blog. Once your blog becomes a little more popular, you can then start focusing more on ads, affiliate offers and revenue in general. Bottom line though, the choice is yours and their really isn’t a right or wrong time. Just consider the options and do what you feel comfortable doing.
Photo by: marksweb