Many bloggers are under a false impression that they can build a website and sit back and relax, be witnessing ads raining money from the sky. The truth is that renting your digital real estate to advertisers is not the soundest course of action. You could waste much time chasing something that inherently leads you away from the blogging itself.
Besides, you are faced with a dilemma you do not want to find yourself into: do I earn money from ads or have readers stay and enjoy my website? Rest assured that there are other honest ways to earn revenue out of your passion.
They are a distraction
As a blogger, one of your main goals is to spark and then retain reader’s attention. Well, ads hamper your ability to do that, distracting from your content and leading people away from your website. All those catchy headlines and killer introductions could fall short because of this hassle.
What is more, many people have grown weary of ads and even install browser ad blockers to get rid of this pest. By featuring them on your pages, you undermine the user experience, and your conversion rates start to suffer. You could also get distracted personally having to test, place, and monitor ads. Thus, these nuisances can do more harm than good.
Ads are a very slow lane to your monetization goals. Unless you have substantial traffic coming your way, the gains are meager. For instance, compared to the great app revenue you can generate via platforms like Appnext, popular platforms like AdSense bring you peanuts. Not to mention the potential for promotion of the app on your blog.
Of course, apart from the volume of traffic, some other factors determine value from ads: a portion of visitors that click, specifics of displayed ads, and niche you cover. Still, the average click-through rate (CTR) is only 0.1% on average. Each click can give you around $0.50. So, you do the math. Oh, and one more thing: the commission is often withheld until you reach a certain minimum.
No real value to users
To build a solid audience, which is the key to success in the booming blogosphere, you have to provide real value to your readers. Ads, even when they are well-targeted, hardly offer people any of that. They tend to give off an image of sleaziness and shadiness, someone desperate to sell to people.
I guess making such a poor first impression the last thing you want, as that would only increase the bounce rates. Besides, internet users want nothing short of a smooth, seamless journey free of interruption. They crave to see someone caring about their interests and preferences, not just money.
Reputation is at stake
People come to your site expecting great content and insightful information. Hence, you should always consider how ads interfere with other chief goals of your website. Do they inhibit trust you try so hard to earn and make you look amateurish, even though you paid for nice WordPress themes? Is your online persona seen in a different light because you wanted some extra bucks?
Another thing is that you probably cannot vouch for products being advertised. Regardless, readers could assume that you are recommending stuff that pops up on your pages. So, make no mistake – ads easily tarnish the hard-earned reputation and cast a shadow over your brand.
Running ads prevent you from really being your boss. The power resides with ad platforms, not your blog. Once you strike a deal, let us say with Media.net or PopAds, you are usually locked into it, unable to negotiate better terms. The situation could be even worse in case you fail to read the fine print and infringe terms and conditions as a result.
Solving the issue may be out of your hand, and it would demand a lot of resources (including your time) you need to invest elsewhere. Trust me; you do not want to be at the mercy of someone else. It is not like you are left without monetization alternatives, which bloggers like Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome prove.
You have better options
This brings us to the final point. Advertising represents only one common monetization tactic bloggers use. For starters, you can sell something you have created yourself, be it a physical product or something digital like an e-book. Alternatively, offer your expertise as a service (one-on-one coaching and consulting).
Another option is to get involved in the transaction more directly, by exploring affiliate marketing options via Clickbank, Amazon Associates, ShareaSale, eBay and other major networks. The list of tactics goes on and encompasses podcast sponsorships, dropshipping stores, Kickstarter campaigns, online classes, etc. So, explore all the avenues before making any commitments.
More pain than gain
As it turns out, ads are neither a shortcut nor the surefire method to become wealthy as a blogger.
In general, due to their nature and purpose, they negatively impact conversion and retention rates. If they are successful, they drive people away from your website. Therefore, they act as a hurdle on the road to fostering swell user experience and inspiring readers’ trust and loyalty. Thus, you need to ask yourself whether you want constant sales pitches cluttering your website.
You are probably better off staying true to your values and mission and building a cohesive, genuine brand. Seek other monetization opportunities that are aligned with your long-term goals and do not put your reputation at risk. Deliver on your promises and rich benefits are bound to come, in due time.