As bloggers, it can be tricky to know how to use ads on your site, what ads you should use, and what types of content will bring you the most ad revenue. So let’s explore how to increase your income with online ads.
Ad revenue is beneficial for bloggers because it’s passive income. I am a huge believer in finding ways to grow your income without increasing your workload.
My guest today is Paul Bannister, Executive Vice President at AdThrive.
We talk about what a company like AdThrive is looking for in terms of its bloggers and publishers, why ad revenue is important, what kind of content will grow your traffic and the latest trends in the online ad business.
If you are a blogger who wants to learn more about using ads, I think this episode will be a great tool for you!
Table of Contents
What You Need as a Blogger to Join AdThrive
Paul and his company look for bloggers who have original content, a clean site, and who view their blog as their business, not a hobby.
They want bloggers with a good history of content and a strong audience.
AdThrive has minimum monthly page views of 100K in order to consider working with a blogger.
If you are getting more than 100K page views a month, it will be evident that your blog is more than a hobby to you.
How Digital Ad Agencies Work
There are various types of ad networks. Some focus on connecting as many bloggers to brands as possible.
There are other ad agencies that want to focus on a specific niche, such as healthcare.
Using Google AdSense can be nice since they are a big name and you can easily add ads to your site even if your blog is small.
As your blog gets bigger, an ad network like AdThrive can bring in ad agencies from all across the industry, not just Google-related.
AdThrive makes their business decisions based on what is best for the bloggers they work with.
Can You Make a Living Off of Ads on Your Blog?
If you are a blogger with 100K page views, you are not going to be able to quit all your other jobs and live off your ad revenue.
Not only is it not feasible, but AdThrive is big on their publishers having several different revenue streams.
It is always a good idea to have several sources of income, no matter where you are in your blogger stage. Ads can be a big part of that revenue, but you need something to fall back on should your ad revenue dry up.
Your niche will also affect how well your ads do. Travel and personal finance are great niches for ad income.
How to Grow Blog Traffic
Traffic is crucial to ad income, because the more traffic you have, the more ad income you earn.
But we all know that growing traffic isn’t easy these days. *(Which is why you need a tool like MiloTree!)
The best way to grow your blog traffic is to be great at something. If you understand Pinterest and do really well marketing your blog there, keep it up. If email is your jam, use your email list to the best of your ability.
Focus on what you’re best at and stay in that space for a while.
Site Speed Matters
Sire speed matters, particularly for SEO. Anything you add to your blog is going to affect your site speed.
You should have the overarching view of, “What is on my page and how is it serving my audience?”
So, you need to think of the tradeoff of the new content or ad that you’re publishing and how it will affect your site speed.
If your site is slow to load, the person who found you on Google search is probably going to bounce away from your page to one that loads faster.
Each ad has a slight effect on your site speed. The first ad is going to have the most impact, and after that the impact is minimal.
How to Find an Ad Network
Let’s say you’re a blogger. You have no ads on your site currently, but after listening to this episode, you’re ready to jump into the ad game. Where do you start? What should you look for in an ad network?
One of the first things to do is to read reviews from other entrepreneurs who have used a specific ad company. If you know someone who has ads on their site, as them if they’re pleased with the ad agency they’re using.
Checking out other sites or businesses that are using a specific ad company is a good way to get a feel for that company’s values.
There is a tool called Built With that will show you which ad networks the site is working with.
Your ad network is a big revenue stream, but it is also a big part of the user experience. You want to make sure that the ad company you use matches the experience you want your readers to have.
Where You as a Blogger Should Focus Your Business
Bloggers wear a million hats, so it can be hard to know where you should put the majority of your focus.
Paul believes in focusing on the thing you are the best at first.
- Pick the content you are good at creating and create more of that.
- Which audience do you completely understand? Talk to them more.
- Pick the revenue source that you are good at building and focus on that.
Different people are good at different things, so knowing yourself and what motivates you is the best place to start.
The folks at AdThrive are very much focused on the future, whether that’s 3 months from now or 3 years down the road. Their goal is to “future proof” what they offer their publishers.
- 4:25 Content Requirements for AdThrive
- 6:20 How Ad Agencies Work
- 11:15 Making A Living Off Ads
- 15:35 Growing Traffic
- 18:45 Site Speed Matters
- 25:20 How To Find An Ad Network
- 27:10 Where You as a Blogger Should Focus
- 29:10 The Future of Ads
TOP 4 TAKEAWAYS
- If you want to work with an ad agency, create plenty of original content, design a blog with clean lines, and concentrate on making your blog a business, not a hobby.
- Don’t count on ad income as being your sole source of revenue; multiple streams of income is always a smart move.
- Grow your blog traffic by being great at something and doing more of it.
- When looking for the perfect ad agency, ask other bloggers who they prefer and read reviews online.
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