If you’re creating content regularly, you’ll want a strategy. But ads are not always the right approach. Here’s why:
Clarity is Priceless.
When you read meaningful words but then see flashing banner ads to the side, it detracts from the value. It’s like watching the most spectacular sunset through a mud-streaked window. You know that the beauty is there, but you can’t see it clearly. And you can’t capture the moment.
Ads can often detract from the clarity of your message.
You may break even – if you’re lucky.
Blogging is a beautiful way to build a business and grow a following. It takes time and effort.
But…it’s not always the best way to make money.
Blogging to make money from advertisements is like treading water in the Bermuda Triangle. Sure, it may be fun to try and not drown. But bloviating on your blog doesn’t mean bubkes when you’re barely keeping your head above water.
Good content is good etiquette.
You don’t need to be Emily Post to post good content. But you should show some manners.
Have you ever read an article that was written purely for SEO purposes? Whether the poor content of the article itself gave it away, or the fact that the word “weight loss” was mentioned twenty times, the experience was bad manners galore.
You may have stopped reading mid-way through. Or, you may have read the entire thing wondering to yourself “who actually reads this stuff?” Then you clicked away. And got an icky feeling that never quite went away. (maybe it was that guy with the six packs staring at you?!)
Good content doesn’t give you that icky feeling. Quality writing shows that you respect your audience, and that you value what they think. Good content is respectful and relatable.
Advertising is Clutter for the Mind
I’m a wannabe minimalist. I declutter regularly, and try to focus only on things that matter. It’s hard. Very hard. Why? A lot of it has to do with advertising. It’s always telling you that you’re not good enough. And that you need more cowbell.
Hey, there’s nothing wrong with wanting more cowbell. It’s the other 1 billion other “stuff” that advertising tells you to buy.
After all, as George Carlin says it’s all just stuff.
Your readers don’t read your content to click ads. They try to avoid them.
Engagement for display ads is horrifically low. According to Hubspot, the average banner ad has a 0.1% clickthrough rate (CTR), and the standard 468×60 banner has a 0.04% CTR. You don’t need to be good at math to know that’s a whole lot of low numbers (clearly I’m good at math to know such things).
Who wants more cowbell now?
Ads do not always reflect your brand
Let’s say that you disregard numbers 1 – 4 above, and you still want to feature ads on your site. Totally fine. I won’t love you any less.
But here’s what can happen: Let’s say that you’re a die-hard Apple fan and you regularly create content that talks about the iPhone, iPad, and every Apple product that’s ever been born.
But the ads that appear on your website are suddenly all about…Google Android. Oops. How do you rebuild the trust with your audience when…that happens? Sure, many readers may not care when you regularly create valuable information.
But it comes down to integrity with your brand. Do your core philosophies line up with the products you promote? The last time I checked, Apple was a a philosophy on life (ok, prior to the iOS 7 update…but you get the gist).
Do you agree that quality content is better than advertisements? Please comment below.
Side note: This article is not referring to:
- Multi-author blogs (like SteamFeed). SteamFeed gives away valuable information for the small price of seeing unobtrusive ads to the side.
- Blogs that have advertisements as their main business model and focus solely on getting eyeballs//pageviews.