The proof is in the pudding, right?
So I asked a few bloggers I know and respect why they did or didn’t use paid banner advertising on their blogs.
Here’s what I found out.
Banner Advertising: Thumbs Up or Down?
Yaro Starak – yaro.blog (formerly Entrepreneurs-Journey.com)
Banner advertising on my websites is the longest and most stable income stream I have ever had online.
Back in the year 2000 with my very first website I sold banner advertising at $50 a month. From that time forward every single month I have had some form of income coming from sponsors on my websites. That’s over 10 YEARS of stable income.
One of the key things I wanted from banner advertising is to make it as close to passive income as I could get it.
Initially I was very hands on, negotiating prices with every advertiser, handling their banners manually, etc. This all required too much time, which is why I came up with a few systems to make the process as close to passive as possible. With help from an assistant to approve ads, my system became completely passive for me and has been for several years.
Of course it’s important that your advertising partners get value too, otherwise they won’t stick with you for long. Finding the right kind of advertiser is just as important, so don’t get too caught up in the “easy money” aspect. You will need to find the right advertising partners to make the relationship win-win.
Every month for the last five years I’ve had anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 a month coming in from sponsors. I consider this my “salary” that no matter what other project I am working on, I can count on this money.
I strongly recommend you consider adding banner advertising to your blog too. At the very least give it a try for a few months and you may be surprised who is interested in reaching your audience.
Pat Flynn – SmartPassiveIncome.com
I’ve definitely has success with paid advertising in the past on my previous sites (http://www.greenexamacademy.com, for example), although I took it down on that site for one particular reason – I wanted people to buy my products (or products that I recommended) instead of the products of my competitors.
Affiliate marketing was more profitable than renting out space on the site.
On SPI, I don’t do paid banner advertising because, again, I can make more money through affiliate marketing. With affiliate marketing, I’m more in control of how much money I make.
The more traffic I drive through those affiliate links (and the better my lead in to those links), the more money I can make.
With paid advertising, at least in the traditional “rent this space for X dollars a month” model, the money I can make is capped, and I could possibly earn less than I could with affiliate marketing.
Plus, I only recommend products that I’ve used and have helped me somehow in the past, and I’m not comfortable, at least on SPI, with promoting things for an advertiser just because he or she paid me money to do so. I think the recommendation becomes much more powerful when it comes directly from me instead of from an ad, where the payment to recommend is implied.
Kristi Hines – formerly Kikolani.com
I think sponsored banner advertising on a blog could be a viable stream of income if you have a lot of traffic. Traffic is the key to getting advertisers.
If you look at the Design & Development websites looking for advertisers on BuySellAds, you will see that sites with higher traffic can charge the most.
IconFinder, for example, is making $5,283 per month in ads based on the number of spots they have, cost per spot, and what is currently available. If that is their average, then they are making over $60,000 a year in ads.
Definitely a viable income IF you have the traffic and niche to demand that kind of pricing.
Lisa Irby – 2CreateAWebsite.com
I actually tried selling ad space on my blog for awhile. The click through rates were soooooooooo dismal no one ever renewed. So I dropped AdSense AND paid ads.
Then I discovered how well the 728×90 AdSense unit converted when I redesigned my blog, so I just decided to make money with AdSense.
I think if I had sold a larger ad spot that was more prominent like my 728×90 AdSense unit on my blog it would have done better, but I didn’t have that design setup then.
I was selling 125×125 in the right column. Terrible click-throughs. I even dropped the price way low… still no one renewed. The click thrus were that bad.
I sell paid ads on my static site 2createawebsite.com and it goes over a lot better because of the traffic.
5 Essential Factors to Making Money with Banner Advertising
Before you say ,”Great, sign me up!“, let’s see if your site has what it takes to become a successful advertising income-churning machine.
1. WEBSITE TRAFFIC
Understandably, advertisers want to get the most bang from their advertising buck by investing in blogs with the biggest potential return.
That means blogs with a lot of website traffic.
How much traffic is enough?
I’d say that you need at least 500 unique visitors per day to make decent money from banner advertising.
Sure you can make some money with less traffic.
However, your willingness to do so is simply not enough. It will be up to your prospective advertising sponsors to decide if you are a good gamble.
2. BANNER PLACEMENT
This is something you’ll have to test for yourself – one size doesn’t fit all.
For Lisa Irby, the 728X90 spot at the top of her site performed the best.
You can also add banner advertisement within the content of your home page or posts, like Yaro Starak did.
Sure readers can develop “banner blindness” for 125X125 ad spots in the sidebar, but it might depend on where they see (or don’t see!) them.
Uncluttered sidebars, limited number of banner ads (exclusivity counts!), add relevancy, and, of course, the overall blog authority could lead to great click-throughs and comfortably passive banner advertising income.
Here’s another example of a great ad spot, but this time it’s for text links.
Take a look at how John Chow used his top banner strip to draw attention to his advertisers.
It’s the first element to load and the first thing readers see when visiting his site. The ad is locked to the top of the browser, so it’s visible at all times.
I bet it gets killer click-throughs, especially for this one that mentions “Playboy Mansion”. I need to get me one of those… LOL
So obvious, yet so often ignored.
I see many of my clients advertise products that don’t relate to their niche in any shape or form.
Like placing a digital marketing banner ad on a weight loss blog. Really?…
When you choose to make money with banner advertising, you don’t necessarily vouch for the products advertised.
Nonetheless, the quality of advertised products unquestionably reflects on you and your business.
Put your readers above making a quick buck; it’ll pay off in the long run.
5. GO THE EXTRA MILE
Banner advertising income could be fairly passive, but NOT hands-free.
If your advertisers are not getting the click-throughs they expect, they won’t renew, just like Lisa Irby mentioned above.
Keeping your current advertisers happy is much easier that getting new ones, so make sure you do just that.
Here’s a great tip I got from Yaro Starak:
Depending on the results you deliver to your advertising sponsors, you might consider taking extra steps to ensure they stick around for a long time.
Making a “thanking the sponsors” blog post once a month to send additional traffic and links to your advertisers is a good practice, and/or highlighting a specific sponsor with a dedicated post about their business.
Simple and brilliant.
How to Attract Advertisers
This was one of the aspects of banner advertising I struggled with when considering monetizing Traffic Generation Café.
Would I have to send out dozens of emails, beg and plea with product/service vendors, prove that my blog is worthy of their advertising budget?
Then Kristi Hines said to me:
I know the way you are supposed to do it is to reach out to advertisers (companies that advertise on similar blogs, for example). I really don’t pursue my ads… I just put them up if someone asks and get rid of the whole block if there aren’t any. Having an advertise page really helps too so people know you are open to advertising.
Yes, it was as simple as that.
LETTING people KNOW you are open to placing paid banner ads on your site is the single most important thing you can do to get the ball rolling.
How to Choose the Right Advertising System
Next, consider finding an advertisement management system.
Do you need to have one? No.
Do you want to have one? Absolutely.
Efficiency makes money.
Ads Pro Plugin
An impressive 4.53-star rating, extensive list of features, and low cost make Ads Pro Plugin my top recommendation.
With Ads Pro Plugin, you’ll get:
- 20+ ways to display your ads
- 25+ advertising templates
- a front-end interface that allows advertisers to purchase and manage ad spots
- impression capping
- filtering ads on specific categories/tags
- and much more!
And here’s the cherry on top: Ads Pro Plugin bypasses ad blockers, increasing your bottom line by over 25%!
My Personal Experience with Banner Advertising
After spending a couple of days doing research on the validity of banner advertisement as an income stream, researching various advertising systems and plugins, and setting everything up, my ‘Advertise with me’ page went live.
Within five days, I sold one text link ad, a sidebar banner ad, and landed a sponsored review.
Most importantly, confirmed that banner advertising is a viable, albeit time-consuming, option to make money blogging.
In the end though, I preferred affiliate marketing. Much more up my alley.
Don’t sell out your audience to make a few $$$ with banner advertising.
As long as you can make it a win-win, you should definitely consider going that route.
Plus, banner advertising beats creating your own products, that’s for sure! 😅🤓