Many bloggers are being careful not to monetize their blogs too soon. Why? Because a few big name bloggers said you should wait to monetize your blog until you build up a loyal readership. Yes, that makes sense. After all, we don’t want other bloggers to think we’re only in it for the money.But…are we only writing for other bloggers? Or are we writing for the masses?

Should we wait, and then when we have a big readership, totally change the look of our blog by adding some AdSense or a few banner ads? That doesn’t make sense. Our loyal readers may think they’re on the wrong site and leave.

I say, if you want to monetize your blog, do it from the beginning. Readers come to your site for the content. As long as the content isn’t overpowered by advertisements, I don’t see how they would be offended. Plus, they might click on an ad or two.

Emulate a favorite website, and monetize your blog from the beginning.

It is written, act like…..and become like…

Learn from those who came before you…

If a blogger wants to make a few coins, is that so wrong?

Photo Credit fdecomite’s photos
514748067_e46c125da0.jpg

Today’s Lesson

To prove this point, I went on some big name websites. Here’s what I found:

On Oprah’s website, she has ads on every page. including her home page. Click on a link, and there is a full banner ad on the top of the page, and a skyscraper ad (rotating ads) down the side. They actually don’t look bad.

NBC’s Today Show website, has two rectangular ads. One is a picture ad, the other is verbiage.

Fox News follows the same format with ads in their sidebar, as well as at the bottom of their home page.

The Washington Post website has ads

So does target=”_blank”CNBC The Big Idea With Donny Deutsch ,About.com, ,Lost the TV series, and CSI Miami, a CBS primetime series.

The Whitehouse website does not have ads, nor do other governmental websites I have visited. (Maybe they should)

On none of these sites am I “put off” by the ads. They blend in, and the ads do not take away from the content.

You may ask, why would these big name websites have ads? For the money, of course. Granted, some of websites are being paid big bucks to display these ads, but even with the AdSense ads, these webmasters know incorporating advertisements, will help to subsidize their website costs.

Should we be any different?

In this world of millions of people searching, and millions of searchers not knowing the difference between a website and a blog, do you think an ad will distract them. Apparently not. They’re seeing them where ever they go.

So, what are we waiting for?

Today’s Assignment

Do you monetize your blog, or are you waiting until you build up readership?

Do you have a problem when you see ads on other blogs?

Have you seen blogs that over do it with advertising?

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Look Who's Talking
  1. CatherineLNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – I don’t think there’s anything wrong with people wanting to monetise their blogs at all. I don’t have much on mine right now – but I will once I get my new design.

    People should definitely get paid in some way for their writing. But, there’s many different ways to monetise and nobody has to feel restricted to adsense and affiliate programs.

    I think they’re both great ways of making money from blogs but if affiliate programs keep cheating marketers, they may suffer as much as banner ads did when the bubble burst.

    CatherineL’s last blog post..Success: Are You On The Wrong Path?

  2. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Catherine,

    You mentioned affiliate programs cheating marketers…is that something you feel happens a lot?

    Like you, I say “go for it”.

    Barbara’s last blog post..Why Wait – Blog For Dollars Now

  3. Ian DennyNo Gravatar says:

    Yes I see sites that overdo the ads and I quickly move on.

    But don’t have a problem with them if the content is there and it draws me in.

    I’d look for a site sponsor and I’d also consider ads. Mind you, I was approached the other week by a company offering to advertise and I declined it.

    They appeared to be a good business recovery company, but not being able to try out their services, I couldn’t accept their generous offer.

    There is actually only one site sponsor I’d consider, and I’ve approached them and spoken to their head of marketing.

    Unfortunately, if they decline, I’ll have to figure out other ways longer term to monetise the blog.

    I’ve got Adsense, but to make money from it, I’d have to change it’s position. While I could re-design the site, it’s still a Blogger site and limited, and I’d have to give up guidance text and other stuff to have it above the line.

    The business site is a different matter altogether. Because the topic is small business IT, we test products ourselves and rule out the choices until we find the best solution for our clients.

    I have no reservations about advertising and marketing products on that blog.

    The issue is relevance for me. If it’s relevant for me to recommend a product that I thnk suits the audience, then I feel no guilt receiving coins for my time!

    Ian Denny’s last blog post..Non-US Citizens Vote In Next US President

  4. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Ian,

    With your business blog, I can see how the ads would have to be relevant, and you certainly wouldn’t want it to look like you’re promoting a product, and it turns out to be a”dud”.

    Good luck on that sponsor. That would be sweet if you could get them as you’ve written previously they would be a good “fit” for your Phoenix From The Ashes blog.

    Barbara’s last blog post..Why Wait – Blog For Dollars Now

  5. Do you monetize your blog, or are you waiting until you build up readership? On my personal blog, I will never monetize it. Why because personally, I do not blog there for money. I blog because I enjoy it and I’m not looking for ways to make a penny in everything I do. I receive free, so I give free (advice, help, assistance).

    Do you have a problem when you see ads on other blogs? Yes, when that’s all I see are ads. In between posts, on the side, on the bottom, in the header. It depends on what kind of blog it is, I don’t think all blogs need to be monetized. I have a website and another blog, just for links and advertisements, but on personal blogs…I don’t like to see too many ads. It distracts me from the information to try to find your post in between that stuff.

    Have you seen blogs that over do it with advertising? Of course. I don’t click on their links either….the content is also not that great because the real purpose of the blog is to make money, not offer great content. One my “money” blogs, I offer no content, just links. I’m not hiding links anywhere. Some blogs do have tasteful ads and great content, so if you can find balance, okay.

    Natural Woman’s last blog post..Five Little Bits Meme

  6. Barbara, I put up a few AdSense ads on your advice that it wasn’t too early to start monetizing, and I have to say I agree. Why should it matter how many readers a blog has? Granted, it won’t be much money without many readers, but it’s fun to watch the coins roll in. I’m saving up to make the down payment on a soda.

    Catherine, I hadn’t heard about affiliate programs cheating people, but I find that a little concerning since I expect to do some affiliate marketing in the future. Has it happened to you, or is it a common problem? How can we find the honest ones? (Barbara, maybe this is an idea for a post topic…you can send Catherine into the field to do some research if she’s willing!)

    Oh Barbara, by the way, I tried to reply to your stumble message, but it said I have to upload a picture first. Where can you find those cartoon pictures to use in a StumbleUpon profile?

    Hunter Nuttall’s last blog post..Free Ebook: The Zen Of Blogging

  7. CatherineLNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – Shoemoney did a great post about it a few days ago – I’ll try to find it for you. From what he was saying, it’s not just the affiliate companies, but also the actual business owners whose products you’re promoting.

    Also, you get people stealing your links a lot – especially if they’re affiliates themselves. They’ll click on your link, see which program it is and join before they buy it so they get the commission themselves.

    Also – I’ve seen me do this one myself, before I understood affiliate marketing. If a page is slow to load, once you leave the affiliate ad – you simply take note of the main domain name and type it in yourself. Sometimes I think some of these programs deliberately have a slow loading page so this happens, but that could just be me being cynical.

    CatherineL’s last blog post..5 Business Writing Tips You Can Profit From

  8. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Natural Woman,

    You aced this lesson too. 🙂

    Like you, if all I see is ads, I often leave. It gets too distracting.

    How does your “money” blog work with no content (only links). I’m under the impression content is needed for search engine optimization (SEO), or are you using text links that are keyword dense?

    Hi Hunter,

    Down payment on a soda..that’s funny. How’s it going? Or should we take up a collection? LOL

    I’ll have to discuss that with Catherine. Today I have her working on another assignment (more about that tomorrow)

    With regard to Stumble. I went online and searched free avatars (that’s the “name” for the thumbnail size “photos” ). Then just download/upload. Left me know if you have any problems and I’ll see if I can walk you through it.

    Hi Catherine,

    I would be interested in reading that post. That is a subject I’ve even questioned…like how would we know if we got every commission? Could you actually prove it.

    I understand what you’re saying about people “stealing your links”, they are actually not going through your link, but signing up as an affiliate to get the commission themselves. That I can see happening with bloggers, but not a “normal” reader.

    Barbara’s last blog post..Why Wait – Blog For Dollars Now

  9. CatherineLNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – here is the link:

    http://www.shoemoney.com/2008/02/27/what-is-lead-scrubbing-and-how-does-it-work/

    Shoe has even gone as far as naming and shaming some of the companies who do this.

    CatherineL’s last blog post..5 Business Writing Tips You Can Profit From

  10. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Catherine,

    Thank you for the link. I’ll dig into that subject a little deeper. Let me know if you find anything else to contribute.

    Barbara’s last blog post..Why Wait – Blog For Dollars Now

  11. Hi Barbara. I think all decisions to monetize early, not monetize at all, or to build traffic first then monetize are as Hunter’s eBook says “wonderful monetization”.

    I’m also with Ian, if the ads are out of control I tune out.

    I don’t plan on putting ads on my blog as the plan is to attract new clients. I have already seen increases in search engine traffic related to ecommerce and small business. Now to make money, I need to switch over my automated hosting & domain registration functionality to the new site w/ the blog.

    sterling | bizlift’s last blog post..Fishing With David Lynch: Creating Value From Nothing

  12. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Sterling,

    Don’t you just love those sites that look like a cyberspace casino?

    If your blog is written to attract clients to your business, ads could add a tacky kind of “flavor”.

    That’s great to hear you’re already getting search engine traffic related to your business. I’m betting your patience will pay off big.

    Barbara’s last blog post..Why Wait – Blog For Dollars Now

  13. […] big name bloggers will say, don’t monetize. Visit their blog, and it’s filled with […]

  14. DebNo Gravatar says:

    I’m a little late on this discussion, but I find it interesting. I am not opposed to advertising on my blog, but I don’t want it to become overpowering as many of you have stated. I was going to wait till I got more traffic, but you raise a very good point on why not to wait. I looked into the application process for AdSense again yesterday and I have some concern that they want some control on my blog. What are they going to do? Are they going to stick a lot of counters on it? I really hate relinquishing any control on my “baby”. Since I am working on redesigning my template I think this is a good time to make the advertising change as well. I’d love to hear what others who use AdSense have to say.

    Deb’s last blog post..Potpourri

  15. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Deb,

    With AdSense, I don’t know that they necessarily put “counters” on your blog, but they do place ads that match your content, so if you’re writing about Peanut, you may get ads for “peanuts”.

    Food for thought: Sign up for Commission Junction or LinkShare and use specific ads from companies you trust. On my other blog, I use ads from WalMart and Overstock + a few others that I trust. You don’t make money unless a visitors goes through your link and buys, but as your traffic increases, the chances of making more will too. For your blog, (with it’s current design), I think a couple of 125×125 square ads would fit in and not take away from your content.

    Barbara’s last blog post..Do You Walk Your Talk Or Are You Just Blowing Smoke

  16. CatherineLNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Deb – I mean this in the nicest possible way – but Google own your blog. They can do what they want with it – even close it down if they want to. And this is whether you add adsense or not.

    You really do need to get your own domain and hosting – it is cheap and will pay for itself – then you own your own blog.

    Honestly Deb – I had a free website about a decade ago. It was so easy then. I sold an information product and there were so few sites on the Internet that people used to mail me cheques from all over the world and wait for their info products to be delivered. But it couldn’t last. And I don’t recall the last time I visited a free site and I think free blogs will go the same way.

    As for Adsense – whether it will work for you will depend on your content, but there’s no harm in trying it and if you don’t like it you can easily deleted. As Barbara said, there’s heaps more options too, including CJ and Linkshare. And I don’t remember if Linkshare is the same but I know for a fact that CJ won’t accept your application without an email addresses that is part of one of your domain names.

    There’s other programs you can join – but it’s best to sign up for just a few at first and concentrate on promoting them.

    It honestly is worth getting your own domain. Barbara and I both use Bluehost for hosting and they’re pretty reasonable. Also, you can pay quarterly. And domain names are under $10 for a year.

    I don’t mean to sound bossy – but I wish someone had given me this advice 10 years ago.

    CatherineL’s last blog post..How Radar Can Improve Your Business