Any sense putting ads on high-traffic blog, or would they just bleed visitors away?

10 replies
I've got a self-improvement/lifestyle blog that gets about 200-250K visitors a month. I've been running it for five years and I'm only now beginning to monetize it.

I have a loyal, highly engaged audience that I have a great relationship with. I share my life on the blog and people know my name and face.

I'm currently preparing my first product launch, but in the mean time I'm thinking about other income streams to pay some of my bills.

Given my volume of traffic, does it make sense to sell ad space, or are would they ultimately drive traffic away from my own offer?

I have been ambivalent about ads because personally I don't click on ads and I know a lot of my readers are the same way. But if I could pay my rent with a banner or two then it seems justifiable to me. I don't know what is a reasonable rate to pursue. Googling the subject has left me really confused as to what to expect.

Any general advice you have on the use of ads as a monetization tool for blogs with long-time readers would be welcome.
#ads #bleed #blog #hightraffic #putting #sense #visitors
  • Profile picture of the author chrisdafunk
    As long as the ads aren't obtrusive and are relevant to your readers you shouldn't have an issue. As for looking at how much you should charge, I've found searching for other sites that are in your niche and finding out how much they charge to get a good idea. Most sites have a media pack or rate card available if they have ads
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  • Profile picture of the author RickCopy
    my site is monetized with ads only...and my bounce rate is less than 1% and average page per visit has never gone under 3....so yeah, you're good...the vast majority of your traffic isn't going to click on your ads.

    A decent rule of thumb is to charge 10% of your average daily traffic....250 uv's a day.... $25 a month for a small banner... 500? $50.

    however I charge 5% and use a revolving image script for my sidebar banners. then I throw in adsense in-content....i have numerous sponsors who stick with me long-term and I never have to go looking or them. ymmv
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  • Profile picture of the author RickCopy
    depending on your niche you could definitely be making rent money by just throwing adsense on there. you've got more than enough traffic for it.

    If I had 200K visitors a month though id be charging $400 a month for a small banner and wouldn't have any problems getting advertisers....if you're not already getting advertisers contacting you frequently then you're in the wrong niche. I dont get anywhere close to your traffic and I usually get 1-2 advertisers contacting me every month.
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    • Profile picture of the author flingflong
      Originally Posted by RickCopy View Post

      depending on your niche you could definitely be making rent money by just throwing adsense on there. you've got more than enough traffic for it.

      If I had 200K visitors a month though id be charging $400 a month for a small banner and wouldn't have any problems getting advertisers....if you're not already getting advertisers contacting you frequently then you're in the wrong niche. I dont get anywhere close to your traffic and I usually get 1-2 advertisers contacting me every month.
      Thanks for responding.

      I get a few people inquiring every month but I guess I don't know how to deal with them. Do I tell them what space I'm willing to offer, and my price? Or do they have standard rates that they pay?

      When you say small banner what size do you mean?
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      • Profile picture of the author RickCopy
        Originally Posted by flingflong View Post

        Thanks for responding.

        I get a few people inquiring every month but I guess I don't know how to deal with them. Do I tell them what space I'm willing to offer, and my price? Or do they have standard rates that they pay?

        When you say small banner what size do you mean?
        I do a 250x250 sidebar banner for $25 a month or a skyscraper for $50, i also have a separate advertisers landing page and a link in my header to it. I also have a buy now paypal button on it. half of my sponsors paid me for 90 days before even reaching out to me and emailed me their banner right after, no fuss.

        I put their banner up, give a different sponsor a shout out at the end of each of my posts and then email them at the end of their 90 days to renew. Havent had anyone not renew yet, but I also havent raised my prices to what my competitors of similar traffic ask....being cheaper than the other guys means the sponsor doesnt have to make as much through me to justify the banner expense...it's a better deal for them and in turn, i get more sponsors than I would if I were charging a "normal" rate.

        PM me if you want more information or to look at my advertisers page... I dont want to link my site here.
        ^^^ this is for the OP only. Dont flood my inbox, its too small.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasondinner
    Easiest one you should do right now is to put a couple of adsense units on there.

    You'll get higher EPCs if you have them in the articles themselves versus the sidebar
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    • Profile picture of the author flingflong
      Originally Posted by jasondinner View Post

      Easiest one you should do right now is to put a couple of adsense units on there.

      You'll get higher EPCs if you have them in the articles themselves versus the sidebar
      Hi Jason. I think I will try adsense just to see what sort of results it creates.

      I have a fear of pissing off my readers by inserting ads after five years without them, but maybe that's foolish.
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      • Profile picture of the author jasondinner
        Originally Posted by flingflong View Post

        Hi Jason. I think I will try adsense just to see what sort of results it creates.

        I have a fear of pissing off my readers by inserting ads after five years without them, but maybe that's foolish.
        Piss them off? If anyone ever complains, you can simply tell them that it costs money to run a site that gets as much traffic as yours.

        Content is king. They'll keep coming for it assuming its good. No one is holding a gun to their head to click on any ads.

        Also, you should have some sort of lead magnet on the blog too so you can build a list if you're not already.
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      • Profile picture of the author RickCopy
        Originally Posted by flingflong View Post

        Hi Jason. I think I will try adsense just to see what sort of results it creates.

        I have a fear of pissing off my readers by inserting ads after five years without them, but maybe that's foolish.
        I wouldnt worry too much about it. You gave them 5 years of content for free. That's virtually unheard of these days. Paying yourself will also encourage you to post more content, better content and gives you an incentive to make the site even better.

        If you're really worried about it then stick to selling ads direct and vet out the companies you let advertise. Your readers will appreciate it if you make sure the companies you're introducing them to are legitimate.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasondinner
    The other thing you can always do, because of the relationship you have with your visitors, is only post ads/banners as an affiliate for stuff you personally use in your business.
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