After avoiding putting ads on my website for 10 YEARS, I finally took the leap and did it. Here are my best tips and ideas for deciding whether you should consider pay per view as a way to earn money from your website visits!
My Website Ads Story
I don't think I can talk about this topic without sharing how I was feeling about ads for all those years when I avoided doing them!
I started this site in 2008 right after I quit being a real estate agent (oh the horror… so many problems). At the time I was doing marketing services for real estate agents and small business owners and writing content to attract customers.
Fast forward a few years and in about 2011 I started doing social media services for clients on a monthly basis. I had three gals working for me and my blog was a way to get new customers.
In 2014 my husband and I adopted three kids (yes, all at once, crazy story for another time) and I figured out that I would have slow down on client work and start making more passive income. I slowly shut down my services business over the next couple of years.
During all that time, putting ads on my website really would not have made sense. I was not trying to get people to my site for fun, I needed them to stay and join my email list so I could convert them to customers. By 2017 I was down to like two customers and really getting serious about making money from my site (I have a few blogs, but this one is my main site!)
I made digital download products to sell on Etsy but really started stalking the food bloggers. Those girls were getting crazy traffic numbers AND making money on those views. But I had a deep personal aversion to “ruining” my site with ads.
Then a mommy blogger friend said why not just try it… she suggested Mediavine because they have great rates and are a good solid company. Problem was, Mediavine was for food and mommy bloggers, why would they want my site?
Well come to find out they had started taking other kinds of sites and BAM I was in!
How Do You Run Ads On Your Website?
If you are reading this I assume you are thinking about how to earn money from website visits, but maybe haven't taken the leap yet! So real quick, here is how the ads work…
You put a code on your website and the ads company “serves” ads to your visitors when they come to your website.
Mediavine uses a WordPress plugin or code you can put on your site.
Most ads are “programatic” now, meaning they match your VISITOR rather than your website content like they did years ago.
So if I go to your knitting website, I would still see ads for marketing products or office supplies because they track me and serve ads that I will like and potentially buy.
Don't Ads Ruin The Experience For Your Readers?
Let's just get this one out of the way right up front! I was super focused on this at first. I thought that if I put ads on my website my readers would revolt and never come back. (I did have one gal say she didn't like them when I specifically asked my email list, but most people said they understood and just ignored them!)
While I was waiting to get the code to put on my website (and I was freaking out) I decided to really look at some of the site I regularly visit… and come to find out they ALL had ads on them!
My favorite search engine news site, Search Engine Journal has a couple of little ones… (this is about how many I have)
My favorite dog videos site, The Dodo has a darn big ad at the top… dang..
And Forbes, that bastion of entrepreneur news… the biggest one of all! It covers the whole entire screen. Now it is a fancy, snazzy ad, but for sure it is marketing (it says so right at the top!)
Doh, that really opened my eyes. ALL my favorite sites were showing me ads the whole time and I was not freaking out, boycotting or unsubscribing. If I was that “blind” to ads, it was worth trying to do them on my website!
Don't Ads Slow Your Site Down?
Yep! Yes, they do slow down your site.
For years I had known that my website was hovering on the low end of okay for site speed. I had been on Godaddy the whole 10 years that I had my site (I REALLY don't like change) and had the highest tier of group hosting I could get. But it still was a slower site without ads… which didn't help.
If your site is already slow, you might want to skip ads until you fix that. I changed my hosting to Agathon (the food blogger girls recommended them) and I have been super happy with the change!
50% of my traffic is still desktop so I am happy with a 92 speed. My mobile speed is 77 which is on the high end of average. And that is WITH ads!
One nice thing about being with Mediavine ads is they are super obsessed with page speed so they try and make sure the ads don't slow your site down too much!
How Much Traffic Do You Need To Run Ads?
I applied to Mediavine when I had 50K views (I am at 60K now). Their minimum is 25,000 views a month and I recommend waiting until you get there to do any ads.
That is because:
- If you have fewer than 25,000 views a month you will be making only a few dollars a day
- If you use Google adsense ads and accidentally violate any policies you could be kicked out their ad networks forever (even if you go with a company like Mediavine later)
- At those lower levels of traffic your whole focus should be on increasing your view through Pinterest, Google or Social Media, rather than ads
How Do You Pick An Ad Company?
There are all levels of traffic required to run ads, here are a few examples (reputable companies that I know people have used)…
I am super biased, being a huge Mediavine fan girl, but I have heard good things about Monumetric and Adthrive in the past.
How Much Money Can A Website Make Advertising?
There are SO MANY different factors that go into how much you can make running ads. I have three different sites and all three have different RPMs (Revenue Per 1000 views).
Functionally, your ad company will get offers on ads for the whole network that will determine how much advertisers are willing to pay per thousand views.
Yesterday I made $45.28 on ads for my site. I got 1,805 sessions (people who visited) and the RPM was $25.086.
Mediavine tends to have higher RPMs than say Google Adsense where I have heard of RPMs between $2-10 although that is pure hear-say since I never did Adsense.
It also depends on how many ads you run on each page. I have my ad amount set to normal so there aren't as many shown as if I set it on high. Some ad networks have more ads and some less.
Putting Ads On Your Website FAQs
While writing this post I thought of a whole bunch of questions that might come up…
Do You Regret Putting Ads On Your Website?
Nope! I wish I had done it earlier based on how much money I left on the table, but I have no regrets about doing them now!
Why Do You Have Ads On Your Website?
This may be my most heartfelt answer… because I love blogging! I get so many comments that I have helped people increase their business or change their lives and that makes me super happy!
That said, time spent writing posts, answering emails and doing newsletters takes time away from my family and “real” business so I can't just do it for free. Having ads on my website allows me to put time into posts like this (it will take a few hours to write and promote).
Without ads I couldn't justify taking the time to produce great content day after day to help people!
Would You Really Have Started Sooner?
I think so… I have ads on my two little sites and while they only make about $20 a day together, that regular, passive income is a blessing to my family!
What If I Don't Like Writing? Should I Have A Blog With Ads?
The one thing that I always see that surprises me is how many bloggers don't like writing. I LOVE writing so it is not a bother for me, but if you hate writing or if it is hard, then you might have trouble with really succeeding with ads.
Unless you are a food or travel blogger who can take up a lot of space on a page with pictures, the internet still runs on words. Google knows what your page is about by reading the words on the page.
The longer your content is, the more ads you will get shown, the more revenue you will make!
Who Shouldn't Have Ads?
I have an internet friend who took ads off of her site. She makes courses and digital products and the revenue from the ads was not worth it to her to distract people from signing up for her email list.
The great thing about her is she is tracking her income and knows where it comes from (I am not that good at doing this!)
If you have a services business or your own products to sell, ads may not be right for your site.
My SEO Guy/Gal Said To Stop Doing Ads and Affiliate Marketing
OMG, this one frosts my cookies! I KNOW that I might get more traffic if I didn't have ads and affiliate links, but what good does more traffic do me if I can't make any money off of it!
I am a businesswoman and need to make an income from my marketing efforts. Blogging is marketing for me and not just a hobby, so I will continue to have ads and affiliate offers.
Oh, and just so you know, my traffic has gone UP since I got ads, because I can afford to take the time to write great blog posts that are interesting to read!
Should You Do Ads on Your Website?
Yes! A thousand times, yes! I haven't found anything that comes close to passive income the way ads are. If you already have a website with traffic, for sure run ads on it!
Get more traffic, increase your page views, write interesting things… go for it!