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Ads = Bad?

Discussion in 'SEO & PPC Marketing' started by Heather, Mar 12, 2015.

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  1. http://boostblogtraffic.com/blog-ads/

    I liked this article... It's basically what I've been taught.... to keep ads off your blog, especially at first. I probably won't ever have ads, although I do plan to have some affiliate links and links to my own products.

    It also describes the various ways to monetize your blog through selling your own products or services.
     
    Brian Jackson likes this.
  2. #2 Brian Jackson, Mar 12, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015
    I do agree with this article as ads can be a silent killer. Especially because of # 13. Blog Ads Make You Look Like an Amateur.

    However not everyone unfortunately has a product or service they can offer. Most of the bloggers that don't use ads are making their income from a service or product and therefore spend time funneling you into that which makes perfect sense.

    At some point you yourself will have to make up your mind how much traffic you think is worth it to start showing ads. You can always test this yourself too. I wouldn't recommend it till you hit a couple thousands visitors per month on a regular basis.

    Another suggestion for ads is if you have a creative side to design them yourself (to try and combat #13 reason lol). For example, I reached out to Dollar Photo Club and Web CEO to ask if they minded me creating my own ads instead of using their creatives. They were completely fine with it.

    So I designed these ads below. Notice they kind of have a similar layout/mockup. I think this personally helps not detract as much from your blog and design. I personally think they look very nice.
    upload_2015-3-12_11-8-12.png upload_2015-3-12_11-10-50.png

    I have made over $700 through DPC affiliate program alone. Do I regret putting ads for this on my site? Definitely not. However I also recommend writing a good review post for anything you are advertising. Don't just throw up an ad.

    Also I personally don't even believe in Adsense anymore. You can make a lot more through affiliate marketing. However it doesn't mean you shouldn't maybe try all of them to split up your revenue sources.

    The one reason I really hate adsense is because it will bring your site to crawl. With affiliate ads you can host them yourself on your own CDN so they load super fast.

    That's my 2 cents :)

    Now I just wish I had my own product. I am thinking about launching SEO audits in the future.
     
    Sakthi, Dawnr and Heather like this.
  3. I have changed my opinion on this over the years.

    At first, I thought that there was no harm introducing advertisements to a blog from the very start. When I said this, it was extremely uncommon to see a blog without ads as it was the main method of monetising a blog.

    Now, I agree with the thought that it is better to focus on building on a readership first. But it is worth saying that no two blogs are alike. What works with one blog may not work with another (there are high traffic blogs with ads and high traffic blogs without ads).

    Ads are not a problem if you integrate them into your website design seamlessly. There are blogs out there who have a lot of advertisements, but visitors do not notice them because the ads are not big flashy banners.
     
    Sakthi, Dawnr, Heather and 1 other person like this.
  4. I think ads can sometimes be very positive – if in the right number (think less is more), well designed and chosen to BOTH match the design of your site AND be advertising exactly the kinds of things your audience will be interested in.

    Adsense is bad news... because the ads are random. Only to be considered if you're trying to monetize a site with 100,000s of monthly page views and no niche (in my opinion).
     
    Heather and Brian Jackson like this.
  5. I think it depends on the website.

    I think Adsense is great in many ways as it has allowed me to earn money easily on websites that would have otherwise had brought in nothing. For example, I have a small Taekwondo content blog that makes money through Adsense. I have found it difficult to monetise the website in any other way, but Adsense has earned me a couple of thousand pounds from it over the last few years.

    They are a good option for discussion forums too.
     
    Sakthi and Dawnr like this.
  6. - that's interesting. It seems I spoke too soon, I hadn't realized it could be so effective.
     
  7. My thinking would be you want to make your ads blend in as seamlessly as possible (which can be difficult given requirements to disclose that you receive money from ads), or as incredibly outlandish as possible - think full color ads on a plain black-and-white page. The only thing is if you go the outlandish route, there is an ever greater need for your ads to match your content.
     
  8. It's just the nature of Adsense.

    Say, for example, you had a website about something super niche, such as rare Italian pottery. You may struggle to monetise the website because there are no appropriate affiliate programs for it. However, Google Adsense could help your website be profitable since it uses use habits for their ads.

    For example, I am currently looking at camcorders, many of which retail for hundreds of pounds. Even though your website is about pottery, Google Adsense would display ads for cameras and camcorders that I had viewed earlier that day. You could earn a few pounds per click for such items. Likewise, if I had been looking at flights to Australia, you could have earned a good click fee when I clicked on an advertisement for an airline company.

    Again, Adsense is not the perfect solution for every website. However, it is a good solution for websites that are difficult to make a profit from, and a good second or third advertising solution for other websites (i.e. after you have filled your existing adspace with ads from paying advertisers).
     
    KeriLynn Engel and Sakthi like this.
  9. I've been thinking about this thread today... because I do have quite a few ads on WinningWP and realize I've never had anyone's feedback on this... I can't help but think this could be a good opportunity for me to get some decent honest feedback/opinions — I'm thinking you guys would probably do me the favor of being 100% honest (don't worry, I can take it; and in fact will appreciate it). So can I ask: what do you think of the ads on my site? Too many? Distracting? Would the site be 'better' without them? Opinions please! :)
     
  10. I personally don't think your ads on WinningWP are distracting. And that is because I can tell you took the time to make sure all the colors match. They aren't overpowering your site in my opinion. In fact I need to work on mine some more now that I have seen yours lol. Also I noticed you have affiliate ads targeted towards the content of the article which is very smart. I have been doing this a little bit too on my site.

    I did find it curious though that most of your ads are for WP Engine and yet you host on Mediatemple? Is there a reason? Just curious :) I'm assuming because WP Engine's payout is higher? They have been upping their commission rates which is awesome. I would assume too that WP Engine probably has a higher conversation rate.
     
  11. "I'm assuming because WP Engine's payout is higher?"
    - Oh wow, this couldn't be further from the reason. I moved the hosting to Media Temple over six months ago and, at the time, intended to swap the ads out to reflect this, but I get an uptime of about 99.95% with MT, which has never really allowed me to push their premium WordPress hosting as hard as I intended. In short: I would replace those ads with those of another host if I thought there was a better one for my audience. I know people will chime in here to say WPEngine isn't the best host..blah blah, Flywheel, Kinsta, Pagely, Pressable, [Insert your own here] are better... but my opinion stands as it's my site. :)

    P.S. MT have also been upping their commission rates: they aren't that far off those of WPEngine now for some affiliates now.
     
  12. I do the opposite of promote WP Engine. I always tell people to stay away from their service haha :D
     
  13. I almost KNEW that was coming... Lol
     
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  14. #14 BrinWilson, Mar 17, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
    ...choosing a host is hard. People like us can do it, but so many people are so lost about how to go about finding getting a good one. Partly, because 'good' for one person may not be good for another (different traffic, different funding, different expectations, etc, etc, and oh boy does the list go on). There are a few things I don't like about WPEngine (like a few of the ways they've behaved in the past and, perhaps most of all, their overage fees), but when I think about the average user AND the types of people I imagine reading/enjoying WinningWP, I think: if not WPEngine, who would I recommend? Which host will give them a level of service that will help them and their sites the most overall?

    Since WinningWP is all about WordPress, it has to be a managed WordPress hosting service (rather than simply a general VPS say)... Flyhweel/Kinsta = still unknown quanitites (especially Kinsta); both are young and with few staff and we've yet to see how they handle a massive crisis (especially Kinsta), etc. Media Temple's Premium WP Hosting = poor uptime (in my experience). GoDaddy, Bluehost and DreamHost... hmmm... Pressable: making too many mistakes lately... the only other really nice option, which I do quite often promote as well, is SiteGround (so far so good and very reasonably priced).

    Believe me, I've thought about it for days and days... part of the reason I moved from a VPS to Media Temple was to actually see their service for myself to see how it fared on a real site with significant traffic/meaning! I'm almost certainly moving to Flywheel soon if they keep things as straight as they have so far for the same reason! But I'll not immediately start recommending them to readers until I'm certain they offer an overall better level of everything (generally speaking) than WPEngine.
     
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  15. But hey, I think I've now overly digressed this thread from its original purpose: sorry Heather. This one's all about ads. Let's stick with that and/or start a new one on hosting rants somewhere else. Lol
     
  16. lol... I'm so upset with you, Brin. :) JK... I'm cool with tangents. I tend to go off on them myself. I'm glad to start a discussion, even if it leads to a new topic.

    @BrinWilson

    And wow! I just scrolled up! I do need to catch up. :) Looks like you guys have covered some ground.
     
    Brian Jackson likes this.
  17. I don't agree that is the case. In fact, I would usually recommend a general VPS to a website owner unless they are terrible with technology. And if someone is that bad, they should probably host their website with a hosted service such as WordPress.com.

    I tried out CopyBlogger's Synthesis hosting service. I found their support to be awful and their limited number of features to be insulting for the amount they charge. When I helped out a friend with his website that was hosted by WPEngine, I found their support to be terrible too. Not to mention the fact they had a ridiculous 2mb file upload limit in PHPMyAdmin.

    In contrast, the support I have received through general managed hosting accounts has been much better.

    Put simply, most managed WordPress hosting services do not do much to justify the increased costs they charge. A better solution would be to pay for a VPS hosting package and hire someone on a one off basis, or a semi-regular basis, to check your website is secure and install anything that needs installed. Though most good hosting companies will do that for you.
     
    Brian Jackson likes this.
  18. #18 Brian Jackson, Mar 17, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
    Just to clarify @BrinWilson ... and then I will shutup about the hosting :) I was generally just curious why you weren't promoting MT.

    WP Engine is a very solid host in my opinion. I used them for 2 years straight before going to Kinsta. The one and only reason I switched was how they charge you. Other than that I had literally like no downtime and their EverCache technology is almost impossible to beat. For any small business clients (who aren't tech savvy) on a budget I still send them to WP Engine and they have no issues. And the people's rants about them removing things without permission? Well until I see it myself, I don't believe it.

    If Kinsta hadn't come along I would still be using WP Engine. Also Kinsta recently changed plans to focus on bigger players so I wouldn't even consider them a comparison anymore as small clients can no longer afford them.

    Your ads look good :LOL:
     
  19. Joining this one a bit late but ....

    Completely agree with the BBT post.

    Looking at some of the bloggers who are earning serious money, e.g. Jon Morrow, Pat Flynn and John Lee Dumas. None of them have ads apart from ads to promote their own products.

    I've always found that it's possible to make money with CPC ads but you need a lot of traffic and in order to make money you need to distract people from your content.

    As bloggers and writers we want people to read our content, but ads just pull people away from content. And you don't get much money for each visitor.

    Sure you'll get a few cents, maybe a few dollars for that visitor, but chances are that visitor may never return. The best way to go is to build an email list and monetize it using other strategies.

    .....This ties back into conversion optimization and I always think back to an Oli Gardener quote "One page. One goal". Ask people to do too many things and they'll choose none. Kinda like the paradox of choice when you go into a restaurant and there is so much on the menu that you can't decide what to have.
     
    Kevin Muldoon, Jason Quey and Heather like this.
  20. The point is "There are different kinds of ads and something that works for me might not work for you. And then for some, ads make no sense at all because affiliate sales work well for them". But to say "Ads dont work" in general (without being specific) is just an amateur statement. BBT's original post is just way too exaggerated. She wanted to make a point and he just went on dramatizing it with 13 different ways of saying it.

    Random readers
    http://www.howtogeek.com/ - has some great step by step explanations of common man tech related problems (like how to interchange rows and columns in excel). the blog ranks very high in google search for several articles, but the readers are extremely random. Do you think he should try affiliate program? launch a product? gather a big list of email subscribers and do email marketing/sales? ..No. Obviously adsense would be the most simple and easy way of making money for him.

    High networth readers
    I keep hearing that you need a huge number of visitors to earn a decent money from adsense. It is partially true. But not completely. If you are running a blog where most of your readers come from developed countries (high CPC) and if your niche is a good strong niche (high CPC - for e.g. insurance, mortgage, loans, credit cards etc)..then you will get a pretty decent income with a decent traffic.

    $80 is not bad
    In the last 30 days, I earned $20 for about 7000 page views. Its not a lot but if I have 30,000 page views (which is a decent number for a grown blog), then I can easily get $80 to $90 per month from google adsense, which is very helpful to cover my hosting and other costs.

    Ads doesnt always hurt reader experience or subscription rate.

    This directly relates to the #3 mentioned in the BBT's post. I completely disagree with this. It is very much POSSIBLE to have ads implemented in a subtle way and still get results on your email conversion and other aspects. My average conversion rate for past 3 months is about 5% (4.90% precisely). I also have four banner ads implemented in my website and I dont think they have a high impact on my conversions.
    • As long as you keep the ads subtly implemented, the readers are not going to be pissed off with that
    • Similarly, As long as you provide great content, the conversions are gona be good.

    So what I am trying to say? :)
    Knowing yourself (i mean..your blog) and knowing your audience is very important to do anything productive with your blog. And it takes time. If you keep blogging, you will eventually learn over time as in What works and what does not work for you. In my opinion, Posts like '13 reasons why blog ads are silly...' are just a dramatized way of making one point and leaving out the bigger picture altogether.
     
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