The “No-Ads” Approach to Making Money Blogging

The "No-Ads" Approach

Contrary to the popular belief, selling banner ads on your blog is not a very efficient way of making money from your blog. As a matter of fact, it actually slows down the process in which you make money.

Sure, some day you might get lucky and sell an ad. But that’s one ad, about $10-$50 for bloggers starting out. That is not worth at all what banner ads do to the community of your atmosphere.

But don’t take that the wrong way. Selling banners, or using AdSense is a great way to make money once you have the audience for it. Trying to sell ad slots or throwing AdSense at the top of your blog posts when your community isn’t even established is not smart. And if you’ve learned anything from day 2 of this course, it’s not to mess with your community in any way but a good way.

As a matter of fact, selling banner ads goes against everything you learned in days 2 and 3 of this course. What you learned during those days are absolutely crucial elements to perfect in order to one day try and make money online. Here’s how:

1. The Negative Impacts on the Community

When I see a bunch of banner ads in the sidebar of someone’s blog, I look to see if they have actually been filled. I look for the standard “Advertise here” boxes, and I also look to see if the banners are just acting as placeholders with a bloggers affiliate link in it. This tells me a few important details about the blogger:

  • They are very interested in making money, which I can respect. But they’re interested so much, that maybe they don’t care about my user experience as a reader of their blog.
  • Banner ads are generally at the top of a sidebar (with the 125×125 blocks), or in the header (about 468×60). These are all places where they could put more valuable information in, yet they chose to take up space with ads. How am I supposed to believe you want to “deliver the best content possible” with ads in my face, rather than the best content?
  • I can also determine that the blogger is probably inexperienced. Chances are, they make little to no money from those banners being there, so it tells me that they aren’t too wise yet. That conflicts BIG with how I, or anyone else will trust that blogger (and trust makes money).

Is your blog guilty of wasting space on banner ads? Isn’t the point to deliver the best content as easy as possible? Put it right in front of the user’s face? That’s where banner ads harm your design:

2. The Harmful Effects on Your Design

Yesterday, the point should have gotten across that the more direct and simple your design is, the better optimized it is for making money. That means getting the most compelling content possible in front of the reader without going overboard.

The most “compelling content” usually needs to be place towards the top of your blog. Unfortunately, for an ad banner to have even a chance to sell, it also needs to be at the top of your blog. So that creates a problem.

The #1 way to build a community is to build a community without the intention of making money from it now. Work like you won’t be compensated for that work now, treat it like your hobby. Since that’s the case, and your blog is only a hobby to you right now, those pesky banner ads have no purpose on your blog.

Which sounds better?

  • Placing four 125×125 banner ads on your sidebar, pushing down a list of your most popular posts and making about $10.
  • Placing a list of your most popular posts at the top of your sidebar and having new traffic flow to them, earning you a pretty decent amount of RSS subscribers and loyal community members over time.

It’s a no-brainer you want option 2 since those are the kind of people who make you money. Your blog design offers a lot of help in the way you convert visitors to loyal readers, and adding banner ads all over the place really makes your design less effective at converting.

So don’t make your best content compete with ads for the highest position on your blog. Give content the benefit of the doubt and always be as noticeable as possible.

The No-Ads Approach Works

You will be a much happier blogger with a happier community when you decide to exclude ads from it. Blogussion has used ads for a short period of time, and received a great deal of negative responses. Once those ads were gone, the community started to thrive as our appearance instantly became more professional and our readers began to respect us for this bold move.

There are much better ways to make money from your blog anyhow. Banner ads are something you can look forward to selling once your blog becomes popular enough where people would start paying for them. But if they wouldn’t, then there is no need for you to have them.

  • Day 1

    Day 4

    The Negative Effects of Banner Ads

    Banner ads are actually a counterproductive monetization method. While you may earn a little, you really give up a lot of crucial opportunities to make money in other ways.

  • Article Navigation

    Article Navigation

    Need to go back and view an article from another day? Here is what we have covered so far:

    1. What it takes to make money blogging
    2. How to Build a Money-Making Community
    3. Blog Design Optimization
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Let’s Make Some Money
We are going to start talking about the most solid ways to start making money from your blog now. Tomorrow, we will look into building an email list and how it is of the best ways to make money. “The money is in the list” and there is no question about it. See you tomorrow!