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Another common thing bloggers will wonder is when they should put ads on their website. Ads can be a good way to make money but can also create a cluttered and annoying browsing experience when over used, so what is the best way to approach putting them on your site?
Here is a quick summary on the issue of when to put ads on your blog:
Standard Google Ad Sense pays such a small amount that in most cases it isn’t worth using. It is usually better wait until 10,000 pageviews a month to sign up to Ezoic, which pays much better ad rates. At 50,000 plus views/month, other Premium networks become available.
In the beginning it is far better to spend your time creating good, solid, useful content which provides useful information or helps people solve a problem. Once you have created a solid base of content which drives some serious traffic to your site, you can then start to think about monetizing this traffic with ads.
That said, once you have put the work in to build the traffic, then ads can be a great way to increase the income of your site. Let’s look at the issue in more detail below.
The guys at Income School discuss monetizing a site. See the 5 minute mark where they talk about ads
Get a Solid Base of Content on Your Site Before Turnings Ads On
Many internet marketers do not recommend puttings ads on your site right away, since traffic and earnings are going to be miniscule anyway in the early days, especially with GoogleAds (more on this in the sections below).
In the early days of your site, it is usually best to forget about ads, and simply focus on creating a batch of good, solid content that draws in traffic to your site.
Here is a quick summary of a content plan to drive traffic to your site, taken from Income School’s excellent, down to earth approach to blogging:
- Aim for a batch of 30-50 articles to launch your blog, preferably more if you can keep up a good pace.
- Aim for a good mix of different kinds of articles:
- Short Posts – 1000-1500 words, low competition, specific long tail search terms.
- Medium Posts – 2000-2500 words, more competitive, meaty topics.
- Long Posts – 3000 words+. Big, competitive keywords. In depth, thorough articles covering big topics in your niche from all angles.
- You will need to be patient and allow 9-12 months for this content to start driving serious traffic to your site.
- Once you have some decent traffic, in the 10,000 pageviews/month mark, then you can start thinking about ads.
- See Income School’s Project 24 Program for a step by step guide of building up sites this way.
How To Put GoogleAds on Your Site
If you do decide you want to put Google Ads on your site, then the process is usually not too difficult. You sign up for a Google AdSense account and then drop their AdSense code into your website. There are plugins which can help you do this.
See the video below for a definitive rundown of how to get started with GoogleAds.
You can embed ads in certain parts of your site like in widgets, sidebars or headers, or within articles at certain points to break the content up. You can customize quite a few aspects of the ad, such as size, shape, color and whether it displays as text, image or both.
Google will then serve up ads on your site where you specified that are hopefully somewhat relevant to the topic of your site. Once you have embedded the code it may take a while for Google to generate the ads but after a few hours at the most ads should start appearing.
See also this video from Alex at WP Eagle for another good demonstration.
Income From Ads Is Very Small Unless You Have Serious Traffic
The main reason to not worry about ads in the early days of your passive income sites is simply that you won’t have the traffic required to really make any significant income from them. Websites take time to build traffic and so in the early days your earnings are only likely to be a few dollars per month if anything from ads.
The Income School guys mention that the standard rate most commonly seen for ads is around 0.5c per page view per month. This only equates to around $5 per thousand page views per month and so you need a lot of traffic before you can start to see some decent income from ads.
See the table below to show you what ad revenue different levels of traffic will drive at this commonly seen rate of half a cent per page view.
Monthly Revenue From Google AdSense at 0.5c Per Pageview
|Page Views Per Month||Monthly Google Ad Revenue at 0.5c Per Pageview|
So you can see that you need to get lots of visitors to your site before you can start earning some decent income from ads at this standard rate. Exacts rates do vary depending on the niche of your site and other factors so this is just a guide.
There is a clear exception to this – if you live in a developing country where the dollar amount you receive, even at these low rates, is a significant boost to your income, then it could totally be worth using AdSense even with lowish traffic.
However, for bloggers in most Western, developed countries, it’s best to wait until at least 10,000 views a month to sign up for Ezoic or another Premium provider.
The Income School guys make a good point on this. They don’t usually start to put ads on their sites until they are at 30,000 page views a month, for a couple of reasons:
1. Low Revenue – Firstly, the revenue on Google Ads is very small at low traffic levels, so it simply isn’t worth turning them on until you have significant traffic.
2. Design/UX Issues – Secondly, putting ads on your site can mess up with certain elements of the design, so it is best to wait until the site is finished and the design is not likely to change before slotting ads in there. It also clutters up the user experience if you overdo it and so is not worth putting visitors off if the income off them is only small anyway.
3. Site Speed Issues – This is a major issue – when you put ads on your site, you may find it significantly slows down page loading times and scores you get on Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. This ties in again with User Experience (UX) – none of us like to visit sites with slow loading pages and your rankings may suffer if load times are slower with ads turned on.
See the last section on themes for some good options for WordPress themes to keep page load speeds up with ads on.
Ezoic as a Premium Ad Network Option (10,000 views/month)
Once your site hits 10,000 pageviews a month, and you don’t like the look of Google AdSense earnings, then a good option to put ads on your site is Ezoic, who are a premium ad network provider who pay much better EPMVs than general AdSense.
They will start to look at sites around the 10,000 PVs/month mark, and can generally pay EPMVs from $5-20, meaning you can earn $5-20 per thousand views of your site per month, depending on the niche.
I use Ezoic myself on a couple of my other sites, and have found them to be very good, paying much better earnings than AdSense. They also have a Site Speed Accelerator to help boost speeds even with ads installed.
You can choose to go for an aggressive option, which optimizes for site speed perhaps at the expense of earnings somewhat, or you can choose to have the ads load slightly slower with the potential for greater earnings.
You can also control the amount of ads displayed, depending on whether you want to optimize for earnings or user experience. There is a lot of customization possible with the Ezoic interface now.
They also have account managers who can help get the site set up for you, and I have personally found them to be very helpful in getting everything set up and running.
Earnings were also significantly higher than they would have been with GoogleAds. I highly recommend Ezoic as an entry level Premium ad network option once you hit 10,000 visits a month.
Click here to sign up for Ezoic Ads.
Other Premium Ad Networks (Mediavine & AdThrive)
Once you’ve surpassed 10K pageviews a month, up to 30K views a month and up, you can start to think about other Premium Ad Networks, who can sometimes pay even better EPMVs than Ezoic.
The two main Premium Networks are Mediavine and AdThrive. Here are their details in brief:
Mediavine – A mid-level Premium ad network, require 50,000 pageviews a month to sign up. Can pay better earnings than Ezoic and certainly much better than GoogleAds.
AdThrive – More advanced Premium network, require 100,000 pageviews a month to sign up. Are stricter with acceptance. Make sure your design is good and clean looking. Generally reported to pay very good earnings. Highly recommended by the guys at Income School.
These companies may be worth considering once you have been in the game for a year or two and are frustrated with the low payout on Google ads and have really good levels of traffic.
These companies will actually work with you to select proper ads to suit your site, and AdThrive in particular has an excellent reputation for paying much better commissions than Google AdSense.
Getting a Good Theme For Putting Ads on Your Site
Another huge consideration to bear in mind when putting ads on your site is the impact it has on site speed and user experience. From personal experience, many themes will work great with no ads on, but as soon as you turn them on, site speed can drastically worsen and rankings can suffer.
For this reason, you really do need a good theme that can still load fast even with ads installed.
The number one choice for us on this is the Acabado theme from Income School – specifically designed for optimum site speed on Google Pagespeed Insights, even with ads turned on.
I use this theme myself on a couple of my other sites (I’ll be switching this site over as well once it has enough traffic for ads), and my experience has been very good. Both mobile and desktop speeds were 70+ using Acabado with Ezoic ads, and sometimes 95+ on desktop.
If you want to monetize with ads whilst maintaining a good user experience, the Acabado theme is a strong recommendation.
See the video below for a full overview of the theme from Income School.
Some Other Fast WordPress Themes:
- Generate Press – Have used myself – very fast without ads, but slowed down significantly, especially on mobile, with Ezoic ads. Acabado got my site speed way up.
- Astra – Currently in use on this site – very fast without ads. Haven’t tried with ads yet. Some users do have a good experience with this theme, even with ads.
- See our Themes Pages for some more suggestions of popular free and premium themes.