Five things to consider before running ads

Lauren Lauren Fitzpatrick

Placing ads on your site is a big decision! There’s a lot to consider — is it financially worth it, will ads affect user experience, will they work alongside other revenue streams? 

Digital advertising can be a win-win-win for you, your readers, and advertisers. You deserve to be well-compensated for all of your hard work with the passive income ads create. Your readers enjoy your awesome content for free, and advertisers build their brand by reaching potential customers.

Over the years, we’ve paid hundreds of millions of dollars in ad revenue to help publishers just like you earn a living for their amazing content. Ads have a huge ROI and can be a game-changer for your revenue, either on their own or combined with other income strategies.

Here are five things to keep in mind.

1. Your massive audience can bring massive financial gains

If you have consistent traffic, you’re well on your way to creating a powerful revenue cycle from advertising. As your audience increases, your revenue can increase exponentially, as growth begets growth.

Online ads are bought and sold in one of two ways: 

  1. “Pay-per-click” (PPC) ads only earn money from the tiny fraction of readers that click on the ads.
  2. “Cost per mille” (CPM) advertising is a fancy way of saying you get paid per thousand views (also called impressions) of an ad. At AdThrive, we focus on CPM ads.

Once you have a large enough audience, ad earnings grow at an incredible rate! 

Before you hit AdThrive’s 100,000 monthly pageview requirement, lower-tier ad networks can help you monetize your site. Running ads through Google AdSense is a great first step, allowing you to build up a history with advertisers. 

Once you hit 100,000 monthly pageviews (as measured by Google Analytics), you may qualify for AdThrive — and we can open the door to some of the highest-tier premium advertisers and exclusive partnerships. 

Lots of AdThrive publishers have been able to quit their day jobs because of their ad revenue and focus solely on building the business of their dreams. This in turn grows their audience, generating that powerful revenue cycle we mentioned!

“I quit my job in January of 2020 to become a full-time blogger. One of the biggest reasons I was able to do that was because of AdThrive! The support, encouragement, and care they have for their publishers is nothing short of amazing. My goal, from day one of starting my blog, was to be a part of the AdThrive community and I could not imagine working with anyone else. It truly is a family and they’ve made it possible for me to support my family by following my passion. Thank you AdThrive!”
-Shane Martin
Shane and Simple

2. The quality of ads matters

The internet has no shortage of bad ads and these can certainly chase readers away from your site. For example, those ubiquitous “You’ve won a $1,000 gift card!” ads on your phone that redirect you to a scammy new page.

Bad ads plague the industry, but a good ad provider will work hard to minimize this issue. Make sure your ad network is very selective about only working with the highest quality advertising partners. Your ad network should also have a strong game plan for dealing with malicious, misbehaving, misleading, or low-quality ads.

In the past, catching and blocking bad ads was a difficult, manual process. First someone had to experience the ad on the site and report it, then ad networks needed to reproduce the ad in order to block the source.

Thanks to our cybersecurity partner, Confiant, we’ve been able to mostly eradicate these issues across the AdThrive community. Your site is protected in real time, thanks to Confiant’s cutting-edge technology that combats bad ads at the source.

You can be confident that your site and ads are in good hands here at AdThrive!

3. Ads work well with your other income strategies

We’ve seen lots of publishers run very successful affiliate businesses alongside ads on their site — in fact, we encourage diversifying your income strategy!

AdThrive ads are a great way to supplement your revenue from:

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Sponsored content
  • Your own products

Ads and affiliate income

If affiliate marketing is one of your revenue streams, such as Amazon Associates, you can certainly have both on your page.

Ads rarely detract attention or income away from your affiliate links due to today’s low click-through rates for display advertising and how common “brand advertising” is — many companies use ads simply to build product awareness versus generating sales. We’ve studied the impact on affiliate revenue for pages running ads and found no statistical difference as long as the ads are positioned well!

Even on affiliate-focused content, ads bring additional revenue since you’re guaranteed to earn from every single reader that visits the page, not just those who are ready to make a purchase.

Ads and sponsored content

If you create sponsored content and your contract specifies that you can’t run ads on that content, we allow you to easily turn off ads on those pages — and automatically schedule them to turn back on once your contract term is over!

Ads and your own products

If you create and sell your own products, we know you’ve poured your heart, time, and resources into them and want to draw your readers’ attention toward making a purchase.

Similar to affiliate marketing, we typically see ads bring in much more revenue overall than any potential impact to conversions but you’re always welcome to trim down your ad layout to include only peripheral ad placements (like a sidebar ad or footer ad) on product-centric pages. You can also turn ads off completely on those pages for a certain time period, like during a product launch.

Our team works with each and every publisher to build a custom ad design that best aligns with your site and your business goals, and we continue to help optimize your site to best serve you and your community.

4. Your ad layout plays a big role in the success of your site

An optimal ad layout is all about balance. We want to see your site healthy and thriving over the long term — this includes considering user experience.

A good user experience is crucial for traffic growth via SEO and Google search ranking, but it also helps you earn more.

Advertisers are paying for your readers’ attention. When too many ads distract readers, they’ll stop visiting your page. If there’s no longer an audience, advertisers will ultimately jump ship too.

Running too many ads, or obnoxious ads, can make you a little more money in the short term but will ultimately divert traffic from your site, making it less desirable to advertisers in the long run.

We’re committed to the best long-term strategy — making you the most money with fewer ads.

We run light, reader-friendly ad layouts that tend to be even more conservative than the standards laid out by the Coalition for Better Ads. We don’t allow intrusive ad types like pop-ups or full screen ads. We even proactively remove ad units from time to time if they aren’t adding value to your layout.

We want to see your business thriving long into the future. That means giving your loyal, engaged readers the best possible ad experience on your site so they keep coming back for more!

5. Maximizing ad earning potential isn’t just a science — it’s an art

Ads are a great way to earn passive revenue from your hard work and dedication to your craft. Audience size, ad quality, the most up-to-date technology, ad types, and placement all play into your ad strategy — and this is really just the beginning.

Digital advertising is nuanced, constantly changing, and requires extensive expertise to optimize your earning potential. If you really want to make strides in your business, we recommend turning to a full-service ad management partner to handle all of this for you. 

Our mission is to manage everything for your ads so you can focus on creating incredible content. We only make money when you make money, operating on a share of the revenue, and are committed to delivering a revenue increase for every site that joins the AdThrive family.

Our first step is always performing an in-depth analysis of your site design, readership, and any past/current ad monetization so we can advise you on your ideal strategy here at AdThrive!

We’d love to get started today!