8 Reasons why banner ads suck for monetising your blog
Blog ads suck for monetising your site
Are you wondering how bloggers make money? Would you like to monetise your blog using banner ads? If you're one of the many who thinks about using Google AdSense to monetise your blog, you should first consider whether it isn't simply more pain than gain.
Earning money from blogging isn't as complicated as it might seem, and it certainly isn't limited to ads.
Most people who are new to blogging, struggle to understand how they can successfully monetise their blog. Their first (and most obvious) thought is banner advertising. Most likely because that's what they see everywhere on the web, and because it's a very traditional, old-fashioned approach to making money online -one that draws parallels to how newspapers and magazines would make money (and still do) before the advent of the internet.
how banner advertising works
In my late teens, I built and managed a website for buying and selling used objects. The site was free to use, and the income was purely from advertising banners.
I would spend hours and hours contacting and negotiating with companies in order to sell them advertising space. That was the way to make money on the internet back then (omg I'm getting old hah). In fact, there were other salespeople in my office block whose only jobs were banner sales for larger companies.
The banner prices were decided based on the location and size of the ad, in conjunction with the traffic received by the page it was placed on. Later, we supplemented with affiliate banners, which worked much the same way, only they paid us per click instead of a bulk, monthly sum.
banner ads pay through traffic
What both types of banner ads had in common, was that they relied on traffic as a main source of income. The affiliate solution even more so, because I had no way of influencing the price through negotiation.
Affiliate banners were better for the advertiser, because it rendered them in full control of the "value for money" by eliminating cost for impressions or "shelf space"entirely. It wasn't so good for me though, as my income drastically dropped when I lost my negotiating power, because I could no longer sell on other benefits like brand-awareness or customer loyalty.
You can still sell banners on your blog or website the "old fashioned" way, or you can implement affiliate banners or affiliate links. In addition to regular banners and links, there's Google AdSense, a favourite pet-peeve of mine, and an infamous destroyer of blogs world-wide.
In this post I'm going to talk about advertising banners, so let's leave affiliate links out of the equation for now.
When I launched my first blog, I had had my fill of not only banner ad sales, but everything else about it. To me, advertising banners are poisonous to a great website, and in this post I will tell you why I think banner ads are the dumbest way to monetise your blog!
Banner ads cheapen your blog!
You've spent all that time, creative energy and money on creating the perfect blog design. You've created visually appealing content, perfected your photography skills, edited images, polished up on your graphics, streamlined your branding..
- And now you want to plaster ugly banner ads all over that beautiful site? Why?!
Even if the banners you choose are pretty, they will almost certainly not match your style perfectly. And even if one or two happen to do so, what about the rest? What about further down the track?
If it's important to you that your blog is aesthetically pleasing, well-designed and user-friendly, then banner ads are not going to be your best friend.
Banner ads pollute your message!
If you've read my e-book (free for subscribers) "10 Steps to Infinite Blogging Success" or you've worked your way through "10 Steps to Finding Your PerfectNiche", you've learnt the importance of streamlining your concept.
Blogs with consistency, razor-sharp branding and a clear message are the true winners in the blogosphere, and elements that disturb that message instantly work in your disfavour.
Advertising banners, no matter how neat, are definitely not part of your message, and they certainly don't help you create a strong brand.
You can also forget consistency, and you can wave goodbye to the uniqueness of your finely crafted categories and topics. Who cares if you've spent hours finding your perfect niche if your whole sidebar is flashing with anything from active-wear to the fruits of a suggestive or even lewd browsing history!
Yup, if you've got personalised Google ads installed throughout your blog or website, whatever your readers have been browsing will flash and clutter and crowd those banners the whole time they're on your site! And that probably won't be long, with all those banners reminding them of all the money they wasted on those darned heels (or their husband's lightly clad wannabe online girlfriends).
banner ads distract your readers!
Where do you want your readers to look? What do you want them to pay attention to?
Your awesome posts that you spent hours creating, or the ad someone paid you to place in your sidebar?
Because you care about your site, you would, of course, only choose attractive ads that relate to your message and appeal to your audience (that's if you're not using Google AdSense, of course..). And, because you're successful at this, your audience will definitely look at these ads! They will look at them, get inspired, start thinking about whatever flashed up in front of them, maybe google some reviews.. you name it.
They will do all kinds of stuff that doesn't include fully focusing on your brilliant content!
Which, leads me to my next point:
banner ads entice your readers to click away from your blog!
And WHY would you do that to yourself?!
Why would you ask -no, BEG, your readers to click on shiny, pretty ads for things they'd like, and thus remove themselves entirely from your own blog?!
Why would you do that, after all the work you've put into getting them there in the first place? Come on! That's just not smart.
And, the irony here is that your income literally depends on people leaving your site! Worst business plan ever.
Just don't do it.
banner ads are messy and ugly!
Who doesn't love flashy, bold, brassy, naggy junk popping up in their face left, right and center? Who?
Well, me. I don't love it. In fact, I friggin' hate it.
There is literally nothing that will turn me off a site faster than crappy and pushy in-my-face advertising. Nothing!
- Even if you posted 25 pictures of your dog eating poop, I would stay with you longer than if you had 25 AdSense banners.
Once again, what was the point in creating a neat, lovely blog if you were just going to have Google vomit all over it?
Banner ads impact your blog's loading time
Oh, the joy of a nice, long loading break between efficient browsing.. ❤
..said no one ever!
Big images, flashing graphics, multiple banners, tons of links, oodles of complex code.. All these things slow down you site's load time.
And what does slow loading result in? A high bounce rate.
- Nothing bounces a new reader like a site that won't load!
banner ads don't generate that much income anyways
Especially AdSense banners. Most of the money literally goes to Google.
Monetizepros state that the going CPM (cost-per-thousand) for display ads is a meagre $2.80. That's a whopping $2.80 to your lucky self for one thousand displays of the average banner.
What are you even gonna do with all that cash money?!
-Probably buy a coffee. Oh, wait, they're like $3.50. Best get another 1000 views.
If you are able to negotiate good fixed rates for sidebar ads that are nice looking and very relevant to your niche, then you might (might!) be able to justify a couple of them. That is if you're wiling to disregard every other point on my list, of course.
But, for the most part, banner ads that pay per click (or view) require a solid amount of visitors to your site to even generate a few payable clicks, and with a going rate of as little as a few cent for some types of ads, you're looking at a lot of work, junk, wasted space and disgruntled readers for the amount of income you're likely to generate.
Do the maths.
Besides, your sidebar is piping hot real estate. Why would you sell off that space to the lowest or most annoying bidder, when you can fill it with your own awesome content? Maybe promote your own products and services?
If you're going to have a sidebar at all, make sure you fill it with whatever benefits your blog the most, and that, in most cases, is your own content, your own services, and links that keep your readers navigating within your own site!
Banner ads make you look like an amateur
I'm sorry, but it's true. Nobody will ever think that Coca Cola actually contacted you requesting a prime spot on your awesome blog about equestrian knitwear.
Filling your blog with advertising banners will not only make your blog look cheap and sleezy, it will also give the impression that you couldn't come up with any other way to make money.
I know that sounds harsh, but it's true after all.
Sarah Peterson of SmartBlogger.com cuts the bull and says influencers in your niche will conclude that:
You’re naive to think that advertising is a good strategy for a blogger.
Your blog can’t be successful if the few dollars you’ll make in a month from ads are so important that you’re willing to endure all the disadvantages.
Those are pretty strong words, and they are worth listening to.
Now, what if you literally couldn't come up with any other way to make money?
Do not worry. Just because you don't know how to monetise without ads, it's not to say your blog doesn't haven't the potential to make money by other measures. You just haven't learnt how yet!
After all that, I propose you put down the ad kit, have pride in the blog that you've created -too much pride to soil it with cheap banners, and start learning how to monetise your blog without AdSense!
In fact, why don't I show you! Check out my post "5 Proven Ways to Make Money From Your Blog Without Ads"
Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to leave a comment or share this post if you appreciated the info :)
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
What's your take on banner ads? Do you use them or have you thought about using them?
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HI, I'M KRISTINE!
I've been a full-time blogger for half a decade and a business and marketing professional a decade before that.
Now I help bloggers reach their goals, grow their income and increase their influence by giving them the tools they need to confidently pursue their passion.