Secret to generating ad revenue

If you have a blog that isn’t for business, there’s a good chance you’d like to monetize it and make a little extra cash. So you sign up for Google AdSense, create your javascript ads, and start slapping them all over your page. One in the sidebar, one in the post body, one in the header, one in the footer. Maybe a pop up on too! Ads, ads, everywhere ads!

Secret to generating ad revenue

More Ads ≄ More Money

I’m got some sad news for you. Putting a ton of ads all over your blog is probably not going to result in increased revenue for you. In fact, it might end up in decreased revenue. Putting ads in front of everyone’s face won’t make them more likely to click the ads. It will often make them more likely to ignore them because there are so many. It may make them want to leave your site.

How do you make money with ads

There are a few things your site needs to have and to do in order to successfully generate revenue with ads, and one of those things is not “paste in more ads.” Here are my tips for getting a better results and more ad revenue.

  1. Get more traffic.
    That may be simplistic, but it’s true. If you want to make money with ads, you have to have website traffic. Do you have that? Do you have a lot? Just because you have ten ads on your page, doesn’t mean that every website visitor will click the ads. In fact, most will not. And if people aren’t clicking, you aren’t making money. So how do you make money off ads? You need to have a lot of website traffic because only a tiny percentage of visitors will actually click on an ad. So the next question is, how do you get more traffic? The secret’s in the sauce. You need to produce more content. You need to produce more content with regularity, and it needs to be quality content. If you write it, they will come. Start writing and start sharing that writing. If you are a good writer, and your content is good, the traffic will start showing up. It won’t happen overnight, but it’ll start to build.
  2. Make your ads relevant.
    If your blog is about running, and your ads are about running shoes, then there’s a good chance someone who is interested in reading about running is also interested in running shoes. If your blog is about running and your ads are about cake, then there’s a lower percentage of people who are interested in those ads. I’m not saying that runners don’t eat cake. (I am a runner, I can say with certainty that we do eat cake.) But if I’m reading about running, cake is not central to that interest. Make it relevant.
  3. Find your niche.
    Don’t have a blog that’s about everything to everyone. Find a niche that you really know about, that you really care about, and that you can write passionately about. If you lack passion, your blog will likely lack traffic. Fill a void in that niche with quality content for people who are truly interested in it.

Try Affiliate Marketing

It’s really hard to make money with Google AdSense if you don’t have a lot of visitors, and impossible to make a living at it if you don’t get millions of pageviews. Another option you might consider is affiliate marketing. Instead of getting random ads on your site through an ad vendor, you partner with companies and organizations that are relevant to your target audience and share links to those products and services so that you get a commission for the sales generated from the links. This is an excellent way to generate revenue since you’ll be sharing things you truly support/endorse which makes people much more likely to click through.

Lots of products and stores have affiliate programs. If you decide to go with affiliate links, be sure to use the proper disclosures. The laws about affiliate links vary by state/country, so look into options. I choose to clearly state when I’m using affiliate links to be sure I’m not doing anything shady. I want my users to know that I endorse a product and that I might benefit if they choose to also use that product.

Make no mistake, monetizing your blog isn’t easy. It’ll take time and A LOT of effort to start generating revenue.

Amy Masson

Amy is the co-owner, developer, and website strategist for Sumy Designs. She's been making websites with WordPress since 2006 and is passionate about making sure websites are as functional as they are beautiful.

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