For the longest time you couldn’t actually make any direct income from your WordPress.com blog – until they released WordAds back in late 2011. Since then it’s gained a lot of steam and added more and more users among their ranks.
WordAds, for those that don’t know, allows you to directly reap the benefit of the traffic that you get through the placement of advertisements in your content. They use their partner organizations, like Google Adsense, to provide these targeted ads to your readers.
You then get some money via Paypal for those placements based on performance. You can start and stop your campaigns at any time in your dashboard.
Recently Michelle W. gave a robust overview in the form of an Q/A about WordAds that will provide a lot of context and information for those that are looking for it. You can always view their official FAQ here.
Such things as how you’ll get paid, to the expectation of how much you’ll make, and even thoughts on maximizing revenue. The more money you make the more money WordPress.com will make as a result of your work so it’s a win-win.
I personally have never tried WordAds because I self-host nearly all of my WordPress-powered blogs so that I can completely manage inventory, advertising, and the business around my blogs.
But if you’re not interested in handling any of that, especially in the long-run, then WordPress.com WordAds might make much more sense.
If you’re a self-hosted blogger, would you ever consider moving to WordPress.com for them to help do the advertising for you?