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How to Add Advertisements to Your Blog

Updated on February 19, 2013

Believe it or not, that little blog you set up to keep friends and family abreast on your life could be earning you money. Of course, in order to make even a relatively decent amount of money, you will need to grab a niche topic and dominate it in Google search results. Little Suzy's lost tooth may not cut it.

If you are thinking about monetizing your blog, this article will give you the basics for both WordPress and Blogger. But first, let's look at the different ways you can monetize a blog.

Advertising, affiliates, and sponsors

You hear these words thrown around, but what is the difference?

Advertising is done through a program like Google AdSense, BlogHer Ads, Word Ads, or some other company. You have a specialized ID, they provide the ads, and you put them into your blog. Depending on your traffic and the amount of clicks and impressions, you earn a few pennies.

Affiliate programs are a bit different. These work more like a commission. You sign up for a company's affiliate program and they provide you with a banner to put on your blog. When someone clicks on the advertisement and then purchases a product, you earn a small commission.

Sponsors are typically found privately. If you put up an advertising page on your blog, you can outline the price for someone to have a link or button pasted on your sidebar. Depending on the popularity of your blog, you can charge anywhere from $1.00 to $150.00 a month for a coveted prime spot on the top of your blog.

The easiest way to monetize

For a beginning blogger, the easiest way to get ads up and running on your site is if your blog is set up through Blogger, Google's blogging platform. Since Google also oversees the largest ad program (Google AdSense), they make it very easy to get started.

First, you must have a blog with Blogger that has some content on it. Google will not approve you for ads unless they can view the place where the ads will go. So plan to blog for a bit before you sign up for AdSense. The only exception would be if you are already signed up for AdSense because of another site. Then it should be fairly easy to get approval for your new blog.

If you do not have an account with AdSense, go ahead and sign up. It takes anywhere from 7-10 days to receive approval, and even then- it is only partial. They will want you to perform a few verification steps.

1. You'll be asked to paste one or ads on your blog with code. These will not actually show an advertisement, but just a colored box. Once Google assesses your site content and approves you, then ads will begin showing up.

2. You will also need to verify your email, your bank account, and your home address. All of these happen once you've made $10.00 in ad revenue.

Putting your ads on Blogger

Go to your Blogger dashboard and click on the tab that says Earnings. Once you are approved, you should be easily able to set up your settings. Notice you have the option to display ads on the side, bottom, and in between posts.

Source

To configure how the ad looks, you'll need to go to layout. Click on that menu tab and find the gadget that says Google AdSense. Click edit and you should be able to change the shape, colors, and other settings easily.

Source

Putting ads on a self-hosted Wordpress Blog

With a self-hosted Wordpress blog, your choices for advertisements are virtually unlimited. This can be liberating or overwhelming. For the purpose of simplicity, I will give you step by step instructions for the simplest way I've found to insert Google AdSense ads on my blogs.

1. Download the WP Simple Adsense Plugin.

2. Install it into your Wordpress blog.

3. In the settings of the plugin, you will see a screenshot that has four boxes. You will need to grab four separate Google ad codes and paste them into these boxes. If you notice next to the boxes, there is a short code [wp_ad_camp_1]. This is the code you will use when you want to insert an ad in a post or on your sidebar. It makes it easy to put ads anywhere because you don't have to grab the big long code each and every time. You simply use the short code!

The plugin settings with the google codes inserted.
The plugin settings with the google codes inserted. | Source

Where do I find my Google Adsense codes?

In order to get code for your plugin, you'll need to log in to your Google Adsense account.

1. Click on My Ads.

2. Click on New Ad Unit.

3. Pick the type of ad you'd like and fill in all the specifications.

4. At the bottom, choose save and get code. Google will save the settings and give you a display of the code that you can now copy and paste into your plugin settings.

Choose four different type of ads and assign them each a short code. In order to remember which ad goes with which code, make the ads go from smallest to biggest. In order to track your earnings, you will have to look at your Google dashboard. You are paid when it reaches $100.00.

Creating a new ad unit in Google AdSense
Creating a new ad unit in Google AdSense | Source

Putting ads on a Wordpress (dot) com blog

If you signed up for Wordpress' free blogging platform, your choices for monetization are quite limited. If you paid for a custom URL (like blog.com versus blog.wordpress.com) you can apply for Wordpress' Word Ads program. It is designed for blogs with medium to high traffic and within several weeks you will either be approved or denied. Ads simply show up on your blog if you are approved and you can access your settings in your dashboard under settings. The earnings are calculated once a month and payout happens when you reach $100.00.

Wordpress (dot) com does not allow affiliate advertising of any kind. I've seen several blogs with sponsored links, but overall- this platform is very strict about monetization in general.

Affiliate programs

This will take a bit more work since you must sign up for each and every program you are interested in. It is important to find a program that fits with your blog niche. If you have a craft blog and are trying to sell computer software, it won't be a very good payout. Of course, if you absolutely love these crafty scissors from Amazon, write a blog post about it and join the Amazon Affiliate program and you just might see some revenue.

Here are just a few of the hundreds of affiliate programs available.

Affiliate Programs

Program
Description
Amazon
Unlimited products
HostMonster
$65.00 commission for host packages bought.
Affiliate Bot
Program that gives you access to several companies.
Apple
Allows to get commission on apps, songs, etc.
Clickbank
Various products.
EBay
Earn commission on auctions
Priceline
Make money when people buy airline tickets and cruise packages.

Creating an advertising page for sponsors

I've seen this done in many different ways. You can create a contact form for individual quotes or you can have it all set up so they can purchase a link or button spot right there on your website. The Bloggess (below) charges $100.00 a month for links, but at 2 to 3 million pageviews a month, she can afford to charge that much!

The Bloggess has a hilarious advertising page!
The Bloggess has a hilarious advertising page! | Source

For more information about blogging, you can visit my personal website called Fabulous Blogging. It is designed for beginners who want simple and tech-free jargon for starting, writing, and maintaining a blog. Hope this was helpful!

-Julie DeNeen
Full-time freelance writer and blogger

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    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Julie you do the best helpful hubs ever! If you had lots of red arrows yesterday it was because I was poring though your inventory and will be today as well:)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Awesome info! Going to have to save this one for future reference. Thanks!

    • rfmoran profile image

      Russ Moran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

      When I first started advertising on my wordpress blog site, I found it a bit confusing at first, but it's worth it. Good hub Julie. For a beginner, Blogger looks like it may be a better choice than wordpress.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      Thanks Julie, this is a topic on which I can always improve. Good suggestions about affiliates. For the most part, I simply go through the motions of sticking ads up, but really have no hope of anything ever selling. Do you think maybe negative energy is scaring people off? haha

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Great tips Julie and so well explained, thanks so much they are really useful...voted UUAI & shared...cheers

    • penlady profile image

      penlady 4 years ago from Sacramento, CA

      This hub is filled with excellent advice which I use myself. I'm really glad you did this hub because with more people starting to work for themselves, they need some information to help them get started. And this hub is a perfect start!

      Voted up, useful and tweeted.

    • rfmoran profile image

      Russ Moran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Excellent tips Julie. I have a wordpress blog and run adsense ads on it. It doesn't exactly cover a mortgage payment but it's nice to a few cents coming in.

    • rmcleve profile image

      Rachael Cleveland 4 years ago from Woodbridge, VA

      Great advice! Although I monetize through Adsense and Affiliate programs, I've yet to allow room for sponsors. Might be worthwhile! Looking forward to many more awesome hubs. :)

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for sharing this.

    • profile image

      Poetic Fool 4 years ago

      Well done, Julie! I've been thinking of adding ads to my poetry blog but have vascillated up to this point. My blog doesn't draw much traffic so I don't think it would be worth the effort yet. But, thanks to you, I'll have an idea how to do it when the time comes. Thanks!

    • profile image

      chrisinhawaii 4 years ago

      I've been using the Simple AdSense plugin for months, but I never noticed that "short code" option. That could easily save me 0.728 seconds every time I tweak my ads LOL.

      Actually I've been curious about other ad options besides AdSense, so I'll have to come back here for some ideas when I'm ready to branch out.

      Thanks Julie

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      Awesome tips. I particularly like the part about finding sponsors. Yep, I need to do that. :)

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Great overview on this topic, Julie!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good tips Julie! Thanks!

    • dinkan53 profile image

      dinkan53 4 years ago from India

      Great tips! thanks for sharing, i will definitely make use of it. Voted and shared!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Julie great information as always and have pinned this one to refer back to for Apple (had no idea) and the advertising page for sponsors, too. Seriously, thanks for sharing here!!