How to Add Advertisements to Your Blog
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.
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.
The WordPress Plugin for Google Ads
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!
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.
Explanation of Word Ads
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.
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.
$65.00 commission for host packages bought.
Program that gives you access to several companies.
Allows to get commission on apps, songs, etc.
Earn commission on auctions
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!
Blogging for Beginners
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!
Full-time freelance writer and blogger