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Ad Placement Article - Blogging - also Monetizing Blogs

Ad Placement On Your Blog Is Crucial
By Ryan O'Donovan

What is the best place to put ads on your blog??? Ad placement is crucial and can make or break your site. Stuffing your site with ads will send readers running and maybe even get you banned from the ad network for spamming.

Many bloggers will line their sidebars with ads thinking they are going to be clicked all the time. This is true in some cases but not always. Google has done a nice case study outlining the hot spots for ad placement. The most popular seems to be the left sidebar due to the fact we all read from left to right and our eyes are instantly focused on the left sidebar. Most websites we see use the left sidebar for navigation purposes and this is also another reason I believe we are more likely to click on something in this area. The next hottest spot for ad placement is a horizontal banner above your 1st post and continued after every few posts in the center of the page. This may be a bit confusing at first but for readers of a blog its always a good idea to have your ads start at the top of your page and follow your content all the way to the bottom. This is part of the reason placing ads between posts is popular.

Heat maps can be a good source for learning better placement. I have used heat maps several times to help me with my personal blog. The best way to understand heat maps is that the darker shades are the hottest spots and the lighter are the lesser hot spots. Use this wisely. It can definitely help you with your placement.

The best advice I can give you is to not spam your site with ads. Some people tend to add tons of ads in hopes of really striking it rich. This in turn just turns readers away from your site. Believe me, I started out blogging awhile back and did this in my early days and it killed my site.

A quick recap of this info would look something like this:

>>> Skyscraper ads are 160×600 pixel vertical banners

o Place in left sidebar

>>> Horizontal banner ads are 468×60 pixel banners

o Place in center column above your first post and continue randomly between posts

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Does Monetizing Your Blog Cost You Readers?
By Bryan Clark

Does monetizing your blog alienate readers?

This is probably the most widely discussed topic in the blogosphere as we know it (other than figuring out how Darren Rowse, and John Chow really do it).

For those of you that don’t know, monetization, is just what it sounds like. Putting up ads or other revenue generators to make money from your site.

Since I’m all about community representation, I wanted to allow this article to be written, in part, by members of the Blog Catalog forum. I asked this question on Blog Catalog just to see some of the responses it would generate from other members of the blogging community.

Let’s start with the argument that site monetization alienates readers.

Most of the arguments made against site monetization have to do with honesty. We all know a few dishonest people, and I can guarantee we’ll run into a few more. Some bloggers are like a crooked used-car salesmen they’ll say anything to make a buck. This gives the rest of us a bad name, just like the honest used-car salesmen out there.

Others say that the ads are simply un-appealing, and that they would prefer to see a nice and clean site with no advertisements as opposed to one that has ads shoved in every pixel of free space (I’ve seen this IT HAPPENS).

Cooper says When I scroll new blogs I rarely read blogs with adds, especially if the blogs are new and have no content. I’m not a business blog nor a money making blog so that is my natural inclination.

Natural inclination to stay away from blogs with ads is your right. But it doesn’t have to be a business blog to carry ads

ThriftShopRomantic says This morning I just was approached by a company (a real one– I know who they are fortunately) wanting to partner and drive traffic to their catalog companies.

Adsense Tips

Out of respect for the non-advertising/no-affiliate standards I’ve set up for my web site, I ended up turning it down. Nice to be considered a valid enough website to be asked, of course. But when folks rely on my opinion for honest reviews of things, I didn’t want that sort of connection.

I personally, have turned down a few different advertisers because I didn’t believe in what they were trying to sell. I, as a blogger, would feel uncomfortable trying to steer you toward a product that I was iffy on. It’s really a question of INTEGRITY, not HONESTY

paintgranny says I would never, ever have ads on my blog, and I dislike seeing them on others. I rarely go back to a site that has advertising on, I blog to make friends with similar interests to myself, and seeing blogs which are plastered with ads, or even discreet ones makes me click right off that site. I also find that ad-laden blogs tend to be quite boring.

You have the right to choose whether or not your site is monetized, however, you make some pretty bold statements. First of all, let me address the comment about blogging to make friends. I preach community involvement (or blog love as I call it), and have made many friends along the way. I have every intention to make thousands more. I can’t quite comprehend how you believe that a site that carries ads, is any less likely to want to be an active community member and make new friends. Lastly, you said that ad-laden blogs tend to be boring I can’t wrap my mind around what advertising in your sidebar has to do with the content that you are writing. Would my posts be more exciting if I took down Adsense?

The argument from the impartial and the bloggers who use advertisements.

ccarey76 says Nope, already tested it, I actually gained readers. Usually people who don’t have ads placed correctly are the ones ready to jetison them.

I agree. I find that most people that flame advertisements are ones that have had bad luck with them in the past

opio1 says I don’t think monetizing your blog alienates readers if they are placed neatly throughout the site and or do not force the reader to click on ads or go through a PPA process. Yeah, interrestial ads (excuse the spelling) are a big pain in the ass I highly do not recommend this unless you have a site such as megaupload or rapidshare.

Readers are going to read and visit your site regardless. Now, if the ads are all scattered all over the place with little 120×80 buttons all up and down the side and inbetween the articles then i would have to leave your site. But your site looks very neat and clean.

Over-advertising is BAD!

You have probably figured out which side of the fence I’m on by now, but I do have my standards.

I refuse to allow a company to advertise on my site with a product that I don’t believe in. It’s called integrity. I respect my readers enough that I don’t feel the need to rake in an easy buck by selling them crap. I have seen quite a few blogs that have ads in every spare pixel. This looks atrocious. I am pro-monetization and I have to tell you, it even turns me off. Think of the sleazy used-car salesman in the polyester blazer That’s what I equate these people to. Pop up ads, re-directs, and ads that make noise without your participation are a few of the types of advertising that I don’t believe in. A few more quotes for and against monetizing for good measure!

Advertising is an art form - make your ads count

legbamel says If your ads are relatively subtle and don’t interfere with the content, there is no reason that your readers would object. People expect to see ads on the Internet. They are on just about every dynamic page. The odds are excellent that your readers have pages and ads of their own. It’s a question of whether the focus of your pages is the ads or the articles. Flashing banners in neon colors are distracting, and make it difficult to concentrate on a post. Of course, if the post is about your latest PTC affiliate link, the banner is probably relevant, if ugly. By then I’ll have clicked away, though, so I won’t know that.

marksmatter says Advertising does not bother me, as long as the author does not over do it. If your site looks like it was made only for adsense, involves brightly colored animated banners, or utters a single sound without me asking it to, then I’m pulling chocks and leaving.

v1ctorya says I think it does depend on the blog. If the blog is a personal one, as others said, ads would totally turn me off. If it’s helpful and I can see the person puts a lot of time into it, I might understand, but other than that - it’s just a fancier sales pitch to me. It really does turn me off. In fact, I’m slowing down my visits on one of my favorite message boards becasue they just added more intrusive advertising. I stopped going to another one completely when they started begging for money and changing people’s status by how much they gave in.

Norski says The content of a blog does matter.

For example, the author of a blog entitled “The Positive Power of Poverty: How Money Weighs You Down” or “Ascetics of the World Unite! You Have Nothing to Lose But The Chains of Wealth!” might want to think long and hard before trying to monetize a site dedicated to the ascetic ideal.

On the other hand, the author of a blog named “10 Easy Ways to Make Cash” or “Rags to Riches to Catalina: My Life” probably wouldn’t have that concern.

>>> About AdSense: I’m using that with moderate success. My issue now is increasing viewership. My background in marketing and copywriting helps me write focused copy: a big help.

>>> Blogging for cash is something I won’t do: but that’s because I prefer not to put my name on someone else’s ideas and beliefs.

>>> Stupid monetizing is out, as far as I’m concerned: Pop-up and other ads that block a page’s content, that sort of thing.

A big thank you to everyone that participated in the discussion.

Author Credit

Bryan Clark is the webmaster at Catering to the beginning blogger, Bryan offers advice, tips, and strategies for turning your blog into a steady stream of revenue.

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