I can’t think of many people who are blogging that do not want to make some money from their blog in one way or another. Monetizing your blog can seem like an overwhelming task at times so I thought a discussion about some common practices of adding advertising to your blog might be helpful, especially if you are just beginning with your blog.
One really easy form of advertising is through Google AdSense. You will need to set up an account with Google, if you do not already have one before you can create an ad block for your blog. The great thing about these ad blocks is that you can pick a size that will fit where you plan to place it. You can also customize the ad block to have the colors from the theme of your blog, too. But let’s talk about placement and how many Google Ad Blocks to put on your blog. Google’s TOS tell you not to have more than 3 ad blocks on your pages. Some will use all three, although personally, I think that is a bit of overkill. The most important thing to remember is to have at least one of those blocks “above the fold” on your page. What that means is place it so that it shows somewhere on the page before a reader needs to scroll down to read more. You can have the ad block show up at the top of your blog post if you like, in the middle of the post (although that could be below the fold) or at the end of your post (again below the fold). As long as you have not used your allowed 3 in the posts you can also put the ad block in your sidebar. I choose on all of my blogs to have 1 (yes only 1) ad block for AdSense and I always place it as the first ad in my sidebar. I also choose the option of text and text rich/image ads. What that does is give text ads when appropriate but will also show a banner type image ad sometimes, too.
Some people will have all 3 allowed ads on their blogs and they feel that it works well for them. Maybe it does but for myself I prefer the one block in the sidebar. For one thing that allows me to feel comfortable with having ads or banners from different affiliates that I work with on the blog, also. With Google Panda now looking harder at the amount of advertising on a page, I am a fan of the “less is more” tactic. Google is actually looking at the ratio of advertising versus content now so having too much advertising included in the sidebars and posts can hurt your placement in SERPS and might even cause Google to stop indexing your pages.
I like to have the AdSense block and three or four banner ads from affiliates in my sidebar. You can add those using the text widget if you are using WordPress for your blog.
By keeping those sidebar ads at a minimum, I then have the choice of having one or two ads within my posts. Typically I will put an image with an affiliate link along with a text link within my content. I try to place those in a way that will be appealing to the reader and possibly break up a long strand of text. Occasionally I will add an additional text link to a complimentary item to the one that I have featured in the post.
This is obviously not the only way to monetize your blog but it has worked consistently with me to earn AdSense money, affiliate commissions from the banner ads and commissions from sales from the links in the posts. I originally began to advertise in this way so that I did not overwhelm my readers with a bunch of advertising. Now, with Panda paying specific attention to the ratio of content and advertising, it seems that my choices are safe ones for now.