How to Host Advertisements On Your Website
You’ve probably heard stories about people making thousands of dollars a month or more by blogging. Most people react with surprise and doubt when they hear that, and for good reason. Building the audience it takes to make money with a blog is hard work and involves a lot of trial and error. But you can make money with a blog through advertising. Here are some ways to do it, and some options for getting started.
Build an Audience for Your Blog
First, in order to make good money with ads, your blog needs an audience. Advertisers will be less likely to work with you if your website is brand new and has no significant traffic (which means no potential customers).
So the first step is honing your blog idea, audience, creating consistent content, and sharing it. Here are some resources to help you grow an audience from scratch:
Building your audience is painstaking and takes a long time, but it pays off. To start off on the right foot, you should have an audience in mind, a topic that’s as specific as possible (remember it’s important to be in a niche that isn’t too saturated with other blog content), and publish regularly at the best quality you can.
The more traffic and loyalty you can muster, the better your ads will perform and the more you’ll make.
Find Advertising Options that Work with Your Content
Even if you don’t have an audience yet, there are some options such as Google AdSense that will let you start hosting ads right away. Just don’t expect them to perform very well without any users.
Regardless, there are 3 basic avenues you can go down for advertising:
- Affiliate marketing networks
- Creating relationships with individual companies
- Blog advertising platforms like AdSense
Affiliate Marketing Networks
What is affiliate marketing? It’s basically when a blogger references, reviews, or promotes a product for another company, and shares in the profits if a sale is made from their referral.
So in this scenario, you’re part of an affiliate program for a company and they provide you with ads and trackable links that you can host on your website or integrate into your content. Ideally, these products are directly related to your content and interest your audience. When one of your readers clicks the link or ad, the affiliate marketing network tracks that interaction and logs that it was a referral from your site. When the purchase is made, you get paid a commission.
The affiliate marketing network provides the technology and the interface for affiliates and companies to find each other and create advertising strategies. Many networks offer a variety of link building tools and advertising widgets.
For example, AvantLink, an affiliate marketing network, offers a custom link builder tool plus a WordPress plugin that allows you to integrate many advertising features into your website.
Each affiliate network has different requirements for publishers, and a different set of advertisers to work with. You can find out a lot by signing up and searching for products related to your content. Here are some great affiliate networks to try:
Go Directly to Companies You’d Like to Work With
Another option is to reach out to companies you’d like to work with directly. Just search the company’s name with affiliate program in Google. Here’s an example of an affiliate program page on the Cotopaxi website.
Use Blog-specific Advertising Tools
Just like Google’s AdSense, there are many blog-specific advertising tools available for serving ads or adding affiliate links to your website that are separate from the big affiliate networks.
Here’s a list of options:
Especially if you’re starting out with product reviews on items you’ve purchased, Amazon Associates is a great starting point. You can review anything you buy on Amazon and get paid a commission on products you help sell with a referral.
Placing Advertisements On Your Website—The Technical Part
With WordPress, placing advertisements is about as easy as it gets. You can place image and text ads anywhere on your website that features widgets, such as a sidebar, header, or footer area. You can also place ads directly into your WordPress blog posts or pages pretty easily.
Placing Ads with Widgets
Just about any affiliate ad you’ll find will give you an html snippet that you can copy and paste right into your site. Here’s an example from AdSense.
Here is the AdSense code snippet you’ll copy to implement the ad. Either copy and paste it into a notepad or keep this page open and navigate to your WordPress dashboard. You can add widgets by going to Appearance > Customize.
Next, select Widgets from the sidebar menu.
From the widgets menu, you can choose the area of your website where you’d like the ad to display. Then simply scroll down until you find the Custom HTML widget. You’ll paste your code into this widget, and your ad should preview to the right. When you’re done, click Save and Publish and you’re good to go.
Placing Ads or Links in a WordPress Post or Page
Now, you can also embed most ads into your WordPress posts and pages. When in the post or page editor, you can switch the editor from visual to text to paste in raw html.
The same method works for custom links or image ads. This enables you to add in referrals to products and deals when it’s most relevant, as well as serving more generic ads in your blog’s sidebar.
If you run into issues with placing ads, our WP Live WordPress experts can help walk you through it, and teach you any WordPress tips and tricks you want to learn. Check it out here.