Once you have a few thousand readers flocking to your blog, you’ll want to add some advertising and monetize your hard work. However, knowing what types of ads there are, and which ones work best for your particular blog, isn’t as easy.
Trial-and-error teaches most blog owners what their audience responds to, but you can also study the types of ads and know your audience well to avoid some of the mistakes you’re otherwise sure to make.
According to WordPress, their open-source platform powers around 33% of all websites. When you think about the variety of options available to designers, you realize how huge that number is.
The popularity of the software is due to the many plugins available and the versatility of the software. Users can also get support on WordPress.org and many other sites.
Because the platform is so popular, you’ll see numerous methods of advertising. We’ve sorted through various WordPress sites and chosen the types of ads we think are most likely to benefit small business owners and bloggers.
1. Display Ads
One of the most popular types of advertising for WordPress websites is banner ads. These come in different shapes and sizes, from rectangular to square. The banner you place in the header of your site will be a wide and narrow rectangle, while one placed in the sidebar area is more likely to be square or vertical.
Traditional wisdom states that ads above the fold perform better than those below, but the effectiveness of each ad varies greatly. The advantage of banner ads is that they are quite common and easy to create. The downside is that people see them so frequently they tend to ignore them. To capture attention, you must come up with something unique and eye-catching.
Fashion icon Vogue uses a WordPress platform for their website. Notice how they use a banner ad about halfway down the page. In this case, the Samsung ad takes up most of the width of the page and blends perfectly into the background.
It is eye-catching but not too distracting. A banner ad is a good way for them to pick up some extra money from advertising without compromising the focus of the page.
2. Native Programmatic Advertising
What exactly is a native ad? In a nutshell, it looks like all the other content on a website, but the purpose is to introduce the user to a product or service. If you run a blog on a specific topic, you’ll be approached at some point about accepting guest posts.
You might find you’re better off writing your own programmatic advertising, though, because you can control the style and tone and make sure it doesn’t come off too spammy. Guest posts also tend to incorporate far too many links back to the poster’s website and can impact your search engine rank.
This Is Finland features various stories highlighting Finland and why people might want to live there or visit. Note the article on the three Finnish companies offering solutions for a healthier planet. While it’s impossible to know if the companies paid for sponsorship or not, this is a good example of an article where you could weave in some native advertising on your blog.
3. Video Promotions
According to Statista, online video viewing is one of the most popular internet activities, with about 228.8 million viewers and growth to 248.9 million viewers by 2022. Adding video to your WordPress site allows you to advertise your own products. However, you can also take sponsored videos and promote products your readers might be interested in.
Sony Music features various artists under their label on their site. If you scroll down just a little, you’ll see three featured videos. The videos serve as an advertisement for a specific song. This style of video promotion works on nearly any type of site, and you can also collect paid sponsorships.
One type of ad that isn’t quite as common, but can still be highly effective, is partnership advertising. This happens when you team up with a like-minded business that has a similar target audience. You each benefit from the other company’s readers and your products or services complement one another.
Daybreaker features a partnership they have with Weight Watchers for an Oprah tour in 2020. Having a big name associated with their brand gives them instant credibility. Note that they announce the tour at the top of the page and then again just below the fold.
5. Influencer Recommendations
As a blogger, you have a lot of influence over those who follow you regularly. You may have built up a group of fans on social media or perhaps you have a newsletter with thousands of subscribers.
People will eventually approach you about recommending their products. If the item is one that would benefit your readers, you can earn some extra money recommending the items you like. On the other hand, you can also work with other influencers to drive traffic to your own blog.
Food Renegade is a blog about finding healthier foods and natural cures. She’s established herself as an expert in the industry. Now, when she shares an article, such as the one on Eczema, people pay attention to her product recommendations. Note how she also offers a discount code to those who want to try her recommendation for themselves.
Don’t Overwhelm Visitors
When choosing ads for your site, go with a less-is-more philosophy. Your site visitors want solid content rather than constant sales pitches. Include ads that solve a problem for them and that make sense for your site and cut anything that’s unrelated or spammy.