When you’re starting a blog to make money, it’s hard to know where to focus your time and energy. How can you make sure your hard work will pay off? If you’re working towards building a passive income empire, you’re probably asking: “Can I make money with ads on my blog?”
The truth is: There’s no quick way to turn a blog into a successful full-time business.
But there are ways to make money with your blog without constant, active work. If you’re a busy blogger, passive income through display ads can help you when blogging feels overwhelming. And it’s easier to get started than you might think!
When you know how to make money with ads on your blog, you have a solid foundation for passive online income. Not only will you make money while you sleep, but you also have more time to spend on creating valuable content for your readers.
To help you get started with ads on your blog, we’ll look at a few simple steps for earning money from ads. By the end of this article, you’ll know what to do and which ad networks to turn to.
Let’s jump right in!
Here are a few related posts for you:
- 6 Worst Blogging Mistakes (And How to Fix Them)
- 4 Profitable Blogging Investments for Making Money Online
- Affiliate Marketing for Dummies: Beginner’s Guide to Blog Monetization
Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links, meaning I receive a commission if you decide to purchase using my links, but at no additional cost to you. Please read my disclosure for more information.
Why should you use display ads to make money?
When you start a blog, you want fair compensation for your hard work.
And although it may take a while to see substantial blog income, you will get there, trust me.
I know how frustrating the first few months after you launch your blog can feel. You’re putting so much work into it, hoping that it’ll pay off in the future.
If you’re feeling confused or overwhelmed, make sure you check out my step-by-step guide on how to make money blogging for beginners (the smart way).
Since you have so much to learn you should find practical ways to save your time and energy. This is where display ads step in. They’re the perfect way to start making money with your blog from the beginning.
Let’s look at a few good reasons to start using display ads on your blog:
Reason #1: Quick way to make money blogging
First of all, you can make money with ads starting NOW. That’s right, you don’t have to wait for weeks or months to see the first cents roll in.
Of course, your ad revenue will be very small at first. But when your blog starts to generate more traffic, your ad income will increase, too.
Here’s a helpful article for growing your blog traffic fast.
Reason #2: Easiest monetization method to set up
Second, display ads are super easy to set up.
All you need to do is to apply to join an ad network and wait for approval. Once you’re in, you just place a small code snippet on your blog to start displaying advertisements.
If you’re not tech-savvy, don’t worry. Your ad network will help you with this.
Reason #3: Excellent way to diversify your blog income
Thirdly, making money with ads on your blog is the perfect way to diversify your blog income.
Because the thing is: you shouldn’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Otherwise, your income could fluctuate a lot depending on your niche and its seasonality, for instance.
Reason #4: Ad revenue is 100% passive income
Ok, so I saved the best one for last.
What’s great about ad revenue is that it’s 100% passive income. Beautiful!
You set up your display ad once and all you need to do is to monitor the results and make adjustments where necessary.
When I first started blogging, I didn’t want to make money with ads at all. I thought they made my blog look ugly. I mean, who wants to see ads when they’re reading an article online?
But the truth is:
My blog ad income allows me to spend more time on creating new content. (Plus, it pays my rent!)
Since I don’t have to spend all day promoting my articles, I can do what I love the most: write helpful blog posts to help my readers.
Reason #5: Allows you to monetize viral content
Even if you don’t have massive traffic right now doesn’t mean your blog posts can’t go viral.
When that happens, a single article can attract a gigantic number of visitors in just a few days. You could make the equivalent of a few months’ ad revenue just like that. Not bad!
Needless to say, you can only monetize that traffic if you have display ads in place. You can thank me later that you did!
Let’s see how you can get everything set up right away next!
How to add ads to your blog step-by-step:
So you want to make money with ads on your blog.
But, how does it work exactly?
The idea behind placing ads on your blog is quite simple:
You’re allowing an advertisement network to show ads to your readers. Whenever a visitor clicks on an ad, you get a small commission.
The best part:
You can start showing ads on your blog right away. Even if your blog is brand new, you can sign up for an ad network already.
All you need is a self-hosted blog and some interesting content to get started with. If you haven’t already, you can follow my tutorial to set up a self-hosted WordPress blog in just 10 minutes.
Alright, let’s take a look at how to add ads to your blog:
Step #1: Choose a reliable ad network
The first thing to do is to pick a display advertising network you want to use.
There are a few dozen ad networks you can choose from. They all have slightly different conditions and monetization opportunities, though.
Also, some networks have a minimum traffic requirement for you to join. If you’re just starting out, this could limit your options. We’ll come back to this in a minute.
Should you use Google AdSense?
The most popular and best-known display ad network is Google AdSense. It’s easy to set up and you get access to a wide range of tools to monitor your ad income performance.
Also, AdSense has a feature called Auto Ads. It helps you place ads on your blog automatically, saving you a good amount of time. You can choose which types AdSense should show to your readers, too. Moreover, you can create auto-ad rules for the individual pages on your blog. That way, you don’t need to show ads on your homepage, for example.
However, the biggest problem with AdSense for beginners is that it can be tricky to get help from an actual person when you need it.
Yes, AdSense has awesome step-by-step manuals for everything. But that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t need a hand from time to time.
And hey, they’re making money with your blog, too. It would only be fair to have the opportunity to talk about this stuff with a real human being sometimes. But again, this is just my opinion.
The best Google AdSense alternatives for bloggers
Luckily, there are great Google AdSense alternatives you can use to make money with ads.
Here are a few of the best ad networks for bloggers:
Large selection of different ad placement and unit options. Quick to set up, fair revenue levels, and user-friendly customization options. No minimum traffic requirement to join.
Another excellent display ad network for beginner bloggers. No minimum traffic requirement to join.
Great choice once your blog starts to grow. Minimum traffic requirement to join: 10,000 page views in 30 days.
These guys use their own, unique technological solutions to generate maximum ad income for your blog. Minimum traffic requirement to join: 25,000 sessions in 30 days.
Popular among bigger blogs out there. Minimum traffic requirement to join: 100,000 page views in 30 days.
All of these display ad networks do most of the heavy lifting for you. They either make things super easy or even hold your hand every step of the way. You don’t need any special technical skills or experience with running a website.
And the more traffic your blog generates, the more closely they’ll work with you. After all, if your ad revenue increases, so will their paycheck.
I’ve chosen to use Monumetric on Blogging Explorer to make money with display ads. They’ve been so helpful with setting up the best possible ad placement strategy for me. And I’ve never felt left alone with my questions; I feel like they’re always there for me.
You can read all about my experience and see how much I make in my detailed Monumetric review article.
Step #2: Sign up and wait for approval
When you’ve chosen an ad network you want to work with, it’s time to sign up.
Now, if your blog is brand new, make sure your content is top-notch before applying.
The most important thing is that your blog has unique, original content on it. Your articles should be valuable for your readers.
If you feel short of inspiration, check out these awesome ways to find blog post ideas quickly.
Here are a few helpful tips to increase your chances of getting approved:
- Have at least 10-20 quality blog posts published
- Make sure your content is interesting and unique
- Build a clear, easy-to-use navigation
Each ad networks has its own policies when it comes to getting approved. Therefore, make sure you read their conditions carefully before applying.
If you’re not sure about something, contact the network directly.
Step #3: Place ad code snippet to your blog
Once you submit your application, all you can do is wait.
Some networks get back to you within a few hours, but it usually takes a few days or even longer. Just be patient.
When you get an email saying your application was approved, give yourself a pat on the back. Nice job!
The next thing you need to do is to place an ad code snippet on your blog.
Wait. What’s an ad snippet?
Basically, it’s a piece of code that runs when someone visits your blog. It sends a request to your ad network, saying “Hey, there’s a reader here who we can display ads to!”
Usually, you need to place the code snippet within the HTML <head> section of your blog. But don’t worry if that sounds like gibberish. Your ad network will help you get this done correctly.
Depending on your WordPress theme, you can quickly add the code snippet to your <head> section in your theme settings.
For example, I use the Divi theme on Blogging Explorer. I can easily add any code snippets I want through my WordPress dashboard under Divi > Theme Options > Integration:
Step #4: Choose and adjust ad locations and units
Ok, so you’ve placed the ad code snippet on your blog. Great job! What’s next?
When you want to make money with ads on your blog, your top priority is to maintain a smooth user experience. You don’t want to display 20 ads on every page. No one likes to see more ads than actual content on your blog.
Therefore, find a way to embed ads on your blog without disrupting the reader.
If you joined a premium ad network, such as Monumetric, their helpful team will make suggestions for placing ads in the right spots on your blog.
Remember: they are the experts! Use the opportunity to get as much valuable information and nuggets from them.
Here are a few guidelines to help you figure out the optimal ad setup:
- Use ads within your blog articles sparingly.
Don’t place them right after a heading or right before the last paragraph before the next heading. This breaks up your text and makes it difficult to follow.
- Make sure your readers can close all ads if they want to.
This is usually a setting you can activate in your ad network dashboard. Sometimes an ad can cover up your navigation, for instance. You want your readers to be able to dismiss ads like that easily.
- Avoid using multiple anchor ads.
Anchor ads stay in place while scrolling. On mobile devices, anchor ads might be placed on the bottom or the top of the screen. One of those takes up enough space as it is.
If this feels too complicated, just think about where you would like to see ads yourself.
When you’re reading articles online, what types of ads do you find annoying?
Choose a combination of ads to display on your blog and create a preliminary ad strategy. Test and experiment with different ad units and locations. Find out what works for your readers and what doesn’t.
Step #5: Monitor, analyze, adjust
When you start displaying ads on your blog, you’ll need some patience. Your first ad placement strategy takes time to show reliable results. And the less traffic you have, the less reliable your data will be.
Nevertheless, you should track your performance regularly.
In your first 4-6 weeks, leave your ads alone. That’s enough time to allow your ad network to learn what types of ads work best on your blog.
Your goal is to achieve at least some stability in your ad reports. If you go and adjust your ads while the curves are still going up and down, you can’t know if your adjustments are working.
The worst thing you can do is to adjust your ads every day.
When you think it’s a good time to draw your first conclusions from your reports, see what types of ads are performing well.
Depending on your ad network, you can track your success easily in your dashboard. My Monumetric dashboard shows me everything I want to know about my ad performance:
I pay close attention to the revenue shares between different devices, for example. I get a ton of mobile traffic, but most of my ad revenue comes from desktop users. So, I could find ways to increase the number of ad impressions for mobile users to balance things out.
Also, I see that the number of ads per session is quite low, 21.46. Thus, I should find ways to display more ads to a single user; without making them intrusive. Most of my blog posts are long-form with 3,000+ words, so there’s plenty of space to squeeze in a few more ad units within my articles.
When you’re analyzing your ad performance, here are a couple of questions to answer:
- Which ad units bring in the most revenue?
- Why are they getting the most views or clicks?
- Which devices are bringing the highest revenue figures?
- Are there discrepancies between the traffic share and revenue share on different devices?
For example, are there big ad units that aren’t making much money, such as banners above your content? They might be disturbing your readers. Can you replace or remove them?
If you’re not sure how to interpret your figures, don’t hesitate to contact your ad network and ask for a few easy tips. They will be more than happy to help you out!
And if you’re looking for ways to boost your passive income, use these quick, proven strategies to increase your display ad income fast.
Tip: If your traffic is low, don’t spend too much time adjusting your ads. You want a fair return on your efforts, right? If an adjustment takes an hour and your ad income increases by $5, could you use that time for something more productive?
How much money can I make?
Now, you’re probably asking: “How much money can I make with display ads?”
The truth is:
The more traffic you have, the more income your ads will generate. Thus, your blog must have a lot of visitors to earn you a considerable amount of passive income.
Although you can earn a full-time, passive income through display ads on your blog, it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme. It takes hard work to grow your blog traffic enough to make that kind of money.
For the longest time, I only made peanuts with my display ads. But everything changed in early 2019 when I managed to grow my blog traffic by 200% using my proven Pinterest marketing strategy for bloggers.
Not only did Pinterest double my ad income, but my affiliate marketing revenue jumped by over 100% in just a few weeks.
But wait a minute. How do display ads generate blog income for you?
With most ad networks for bloggers, you’ll get paid in two different ways:
- Pay per click advertisements (PPC) will get you paid only when the readers on your blog actually click on the links put up in the ads.
- Pay per view (PPV) or impression ads will generate revenue based on how many people are on the given webpage coming across the advertisement.
Usually, pay per view (PPV) ads have a fixed revenue for a certain count of thousand or several thousand impressions.
Also, bear in mind that when someone visits your blog, they may see several ads on a single page, right? Each seen ad counts as an impression. (Yay!)
Depending on your ad network, PPV ads can earn you anything between $1 to $6 or even more. It all boils down to how many people click on your ads.
For the exact metrics and numbers, you should check in with your ad network.
If your ad network notices that a specific ad unit performs super well, they will allocate higher-paying ads to be displayed there.
So, let’s say your blog has 5,000 page views a month and 4 ad units on each page. That would make 20,000 impressions per month and earn you about $20 –120.
Final thoughts: How to monetize your blog with display ads in 2020?
One of the quickest and easiest ways to monetize your blog is to make money with ads. They’re easy to set up and you don’t need to monitor and adjust them actively. You can easily complement your other monetization methods by choosing a reliable network to work with.
Even if your blog traffic is low right now, you can set up display ads right away. Your readers will get used to seeing ads on your blog and your income will grow gradually as your traffic increases.
Google AdSense is probably the most common ad network among new bloggers. It’s easy to set up, but their payouts are quite low for brand new blogs.
But if your blog has over 10k monthly pageviews, try Monumetric for even higher earnings. I love them!
Out of all the blogs I maintain, Media.net performs a tad better with low traffic than AdSense.
However, if you’re looking for more variety in ad units and placement options, try Infolinks instead. They’re so easy to setup and their ad units look great!
There ya go! Good luck!
Here are a few related posts for you:
- How Much Does It REALLY Cost to Start a Blog?
- How to Find Your Blog Target Audience: The Ultimate Guide
If you enjoyed this post on how to make money with ads on your blog, drop me a line in the comments below! I’d love to hear your thoughts on ad networks, too! Which ones have you used? How were they?
P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with others, too! Thanks!