Should you monetize your blog, by inserting ads? Or should your blog be free of ads?

Should you insert ads as soon as you set up your blog? Or, should you wait until your readership increases, and then add Google AdSense, affiliate ads, etc?

Most bloggers do write, because they love to. Bloggers are sharing what they know for free.

Monetizing a blog can help to cover some of your overhead. However, making money from inserting ads, is no guarantee that the amount you make, will even begin to cover what you have spent.

When bloggers look at their overhead, a lot of them are not “putting a price” on their time. Is your time worth anything? Does what you share have value?

If you find a good blog, the information that is provided, can have a lot of value. Reading a good blog, is like reading a good book that made the New York Times best seller list. If you were to buy a book, you could spent $20.00 +/-. But, if you are reading a blog with great information, it is free to the reader.

So, my question to you, my readers is…..

1) Should you monetize your blog from the start?

2) Should you first gain readership, before inserting ads?

3) Or…..should a blog be ad free?

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  1. SpicePuppyNo Gravatar says:

    If someone has a blog that’s personal in nature, just meant to keep friends updated on what’s happening in their life, I think putting up ads is a little cheesy. Such blogs are often hosted on free blogging services anyway, so there’s no cost they need to recover.

    If someone is creating a blog with the intention of providing value to readers, then I think it’s perfectly fair for them to earn income in proportion to the value they provide (as judged by traffic levels and the market value of the ads on their topic). Every decent blogger certainly deserves to earn enough to at least pay for their domain and hosting costs. And if someone earns a good income because their blog is a huge success, that’s perfectly legitimate. But I do get annoyed by sites with advertising so obnoxious that you can’t tell where the content is.

    As far as when to monetize, the consensus is that you should wait until you have a certain readership level, maybe 1000 visitors a month. However, I haven’t found any clear reasoning for this, and would be interested in hearing from others.

    Some people say that setting up your advertising will take time away from building a readership, which is more important for a new blogger. However, it doesn’t take very long to do it, and I figure you might as well take the time to do it when you don’t have a bunch of readers eagerly anticipating your next post.

    Some people say that putting up ads will reduce your readership. But some people disagree. Furthermore, if it’s going to happen anyway, it might as well happen now.

    The only good reason I can think of for delaying monetization is (and this is just a theory) that doing it too soon may put you at risk for being accused of false clicks. For example, if you’ve just told a few people about your blog, and they see you have some ads, they may click them because they think it will help you. So Google sees that you’re getting so many clicks from so few visitors, they may think you’re clicking on your own ads or enlisting others to do so. This effect would be much more spread out if you have many visitors.

  2. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Thank you SpicePuppy, for the great comment.

    It’s obvious you have looked at this issue from all angles, and offer very valuable advice.

  3. There seems to be a lot of conflicting ideas about when or even if you monetize a blog.

    Personally I think it is best to do it from the start. That way you will not offend or lose readers that you may have when you change it and start adding ads.If they are not put off at the beginning you have a higher chance of keeping them.

    I see nothing wrong with trying to make some money from your time even if it is just a little to cover the costs of hosting etc. and who knows what the future may bring?

  4. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Three Dog Blogger – Yes, changing a blog midstream by adding ads could very well turn off current readers. I’ve done both on this blog, but when I did I tried to keep it to a minimum so the ads wouldn’t take away from the content.

  5. jan geronimoNo Gravatar says:

    I just brought back AdSense in my blog. Had to think of costs related to the upkeep of the blog. I just hope my readers don’t get offended.
    .-= Check out jan geronimo┬┤s awesome post: Metric that Trumps Alexa Ranking and PageRank =-.