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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.