First off I want to say that I'm very grateful to be part of this community. I posted a question a couple of days ago that was answered within a few hours by some random internet friends. I think that's amazing.
Let me give something back by explaining why I stopped putting ads on my blogs and what I do instead.
Let's be honest here. Ads can be very annoying. They're not only intrusive but in most cases they slow down your blog, because of all the external crap that's being loaded. This hurts user experience and maybe even your ranking.
Ads get blocked
Doesn't need much explanation. Ad Blockers are getting more common and you can't make money for ads that don't show up on the screens of your visitors.
You need A LOT of traffic to make money of ads
Doesn't matter if you get paid CPM or PPC. You need a lot of traffic to generate a decent income. Plus the network is already getting paid by the advertiser. So you're getting paid with the leftovers.
So how should you monetize your blog?
Start writing Money Articles.
Here's how it works
Your blog probably targets a niche right? That niche has certain needs and problems. If you can figure out what those needs and problems are and find a way to give your readers what they want, you will make money. These can be your own (digital) products or you can become an affiliate for someone else's product or service.
The best way to present these product or services is to write money articles. Write an in depth review about one or multiple products. Or an extensive "How To" guide that requires on multiple purchases of products or services to solve a problem.
These money articles will form the pillars of your blog and you should try to funnel your traffic to these posts by linking to them from your regular content.
Also there's lots of great tools out there that you can use to test and optimize your money articles for maximizing conversions, but I''l save that for the next one.