When a blogger takes the leap into paid ads, they often wonder what kinds of ads to offer. This post is a quick overview of some of the most popular ones so you can decide what works best with your blog.
Sidebar ads are by far the most popular with companies because they are readily seen on your home page.
Button Ads – Button ads are graphics that when clicked take a reader to the site of the company that is advertising.
These come in several different sizes, but the standard is 250×250 or 300x300pixels like many in the sidebar of Balanced Blogging:
Another button ad option is a rectangular ad that is 150 x 300 pixels or less or a small grouping of ads that are 125 x 125. You can use a plugin like Ad Inserter to make sure these all line up nicely.
The thing to remember with button ads is that the more uniform they look, the cleaner and less obtrusive your site will look.
Your link should always be “nofollow” when you are getting paid for linking or advertising. Google has promised heavy penalties for any company found paying for “dofollow” links and the bloggers who place them. Just don’t do it!
Once you are getting a minimum amount of traffic, you can work with an advertising partner to have ads placed on your site – in your sidebar, in your posts, and in your header area (and more). These ads can vary from subtle to extremely invasive and the partner you choose will directly effect your level of control over ad content. For those just starting out, Google AdSense is a good DIY option. Once you have 30,000 page views, Media Vine is an excellent choice and remains my ad service of choice even though my bread-winning site gets far more than 30,000 page views. Other options include AdThrive (once you have 100,000 page views) and Monumetric (once you have 80,000 page views.) As you consider your choices, it is always good to talk to several bloggers who have been there, done that and get their take.
Other Front Page Ads
Banners and Skyscrapers – These ads either go in your sidebar or across the top or bottom of your site. You insert the code and the ad automatically appears. Sometimes the ad is static (always the same ad) and sometimes it changes depending on who is reading your site. You make money based on how many people click or how many people purchase through that unique code.
Post ads – These ads can be placed between posts or at the top or bottom of individual posts.
Other types of advertisement for companies
Sponsored Posts – These are ads placed inside the individual posts. Some companies prefer you use only text to link to their site (again, for SEO purposes) and others want a little blurb with a button ad in the post. The best sponsored posts have a high inherent value for readers, are written with keyword research, and include the sponsor’s information naturally so that the information ads to the value of the post without sounding spammy.
Examples of Sponsored Posts
http://encouragingmomsathome.com/eight-best-tips-moving-ppm-dity-move/ — in this post paid for by U-Pack, we linked naturally to several of their free tips for moving and free printables.
http://encouragingmomsathome.com/add-dragon-pottery-cool-project/ — in this post paid for Pottery Cool, we created a fun printable template for dragon wings and lots of tips and tricks for using the Pottery Cool product, which was linked.
Product Review Posts
Companies love to get reviews of their products posted to prominent websites. Here is an example of an excellent review post – although the pictures could be a little less fuzzy. While not all advertisers will want to pay for review posts, you need to remember that the IRS will want you to pay taxes on the retail value of what you receive. Therefore any product you receive for free – you are going to have to pay about 50% of that value to Uncle Sam when tax times comes around. So, choose which products you review for “free” carefully, and consider asking for appropriate compensation. Reviews take a great deal of time to produce excellence and that work should not be taken for granted.
http://encouragingmomsathome.com/product-review-primary-arts-of-language-from-institute-for-excellence-in-writing-iew/ — This post reviews a fantastic phonics and language curriculum we used a few years ago. The pictures could be better, but overall the review was very thorough.
This is not an exhaustive list of advertising types, but it gives you a good place to start in determining what kind of ads to place on your blog.
Now, I want to turn the tables for just a moment…
What ads have you found to do the best? Which ad slots fill the fastest? What other forms of advertising have you found to work well?