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The Right Advertising Revenue for Your Blog

Posted by on 25th Mar 2008 | 4 comments

If you have a blog, odds are good you’d like to bring in a few bucks. There are actually several options for doing this, but not all will work well for your blog. Even something as simple as the placement or the selection of ads could make a potentially lucrative ad program bring in nothing but pocket change.

Here are some of the major blog advertising options, and some tips on choosing the right one for you. You will probably want to experiment and may even try some or all before you settle on one that fits your blog best.

Google Adsense

What is it? This is extremely easy to use. You get paid whenever someone clicks on an ad, and those ads are matched to the content on your site.

Is it right for your blog? Bloggers have mixed results, and it’s probably worth trying. To get the best results, experiment with positions and color schemes. You will also need to be good at SEO, as a better optimized page will deliver the most appropriate ads and the best ad click-throughs. Additionally, some topics just monetize better than others because some terms are more competitive than others.

Affiliate Revenue

What is it? Through affiliate programs, bloggers can place banner ads, widgets, or text links onto their site. When someone clicks (and usually also takes some sort of action like making a purchase), the blogger gets a cut.

Is it right for your blog? This is another program that has mixed success. It really works best for product geared blogs, since visitors are already contemplating a purchase. You don’t have to have such a site to find success, however. If you have a topic heavily researched like pregnancy, for example, you could make decent revenue simply promoting Amazon books and products on the site.

You should also experiment with banner placements. In many cases, however, embedding links to specific products within a blog post may be more effective than a banner ad linking to a site in general.

Blog Ad Networks

What is it? Blog ad networks such as BlogAds and BlogHer provide a central service that gets ad inventory in blogs, and offers it to buyers.

Is it right for your blog? The advantage is this often streamlines the process so that the blogger spends more time blogging and less on advertising, and smaller blogs can benefit from being connected to similar larger blogs for advertisers making large ad buys. They can also better target niches, so your ads could be better served to your readers. On the downside, there are usually very specific rules for participating and displaying ads.

Inline ads

What is it? Ad services like AdBrite have a program to scan your content, and then words tied to advertising appear with a double underline. When someone mouses over the word, they see a popup box with an ad. When someone opens the ad, you get paid.

Is it right for my blog? People have some pretty different opinions about this. On the one hand, embedding your advertising into content you can avoid taking up precious real estate on your blog with banner ads.

It can also be distracting to those who are reading content, however, and some may be confused about what double underlines actually mean. Your blog also may not have many terms that are connected to ads, so you may not even see many underlined ad words. Since blogs are content-heavy, it could be a good fit and might be worth a try.

Direct advertising sales

What is it? It’s just what it sounds like. You sell your own ads. Create a page on your blog that can be as simple as a prompt to email you for details about advertising or as elaborate as rates for different ad sizes with Paypal links to purchase ad space.

Is it right for my blog? It really depends on how much time you have. If you run your own ad program, you must respond to inquiries, insert ads, bill clients or process Paypal payments. You need to come up with rates, and you will not have access to certain advertising technology unless you can get the programming done. On the plus side, you do retain complete control over your ad program and all the revenue goes directly to you.

If you’ve already tried some of the options above, how did that work out? Share by commenting below. I’d love to hear about your successes and failures.


I have experience writing for the Web since the early 1990s, and I have been writing for SEO for several years. I am the operator of Type-A Mom, Foodie Mama, and momShare, a social bookmarking site for moms. I write for several other sites including the France Travel site for About.com, the Family Travel site at Suite101.com, Transitions Abroad, and the Well Fed Network.

4 comments - Leave a reply
  • Posted by kashif on 25th Mar 2008

    I have tried google adsense in my blog but it does not seem to be doing well since most of the bloggers that visit my blog are aware of google ads so this hasn't worked for me . But many have also reported google adsense to do well with their blog .It also depends a lot on what you blog about .

  • Posted by Chase on 25th Mar 2008

    Your post is correct. It depends on the blog, the topic, and the type of readers. My blog Chasesagum.com is all about Open Source software and technologies. So Direct Selling does not work too well because people are in the topic of "Free" when they are on my site. However Affiliate ads relating to the industry such as Web Hosting services work well for me.

  • Posted by Otto Marasco on 25th Mar 2008

    :sad: "This is extremely easy to use", you write about Adsense. I disagree, setting it up and running it is easy but configuring it to work well is hard. I have given up on it, having recently been appalled at the non relevence and poor qaulity of the referral ads on my blog. I couldn't filter out ads, as it did not work, what are channels?

    All the referrral ads on the right hand pane of my blog have been banished am am only keeping the ones beneath my posts as activated through blogger lay-out itself. Apart from that have wasted enough time on Adsense..

    I am now trying to reach out to someone expert in my home city and am willing to pay small sum to get it right on my behalf.

    I am going to look at "text link ads" and "linkworth". Anyone know much about these?

  • Posted by Otto Marasco on 26th Mar 2008

    :???: Oh well, so much for text links ads. Tried joining as a a publisher but the site was not approved, go figure. If any blog experts view my site and think they know why could they let me know, my email address can be found on the blog profile page…many thanks in advance…