If Ads Don’t Earn You Money, Ditch Them


If this headline caught your attention you probably have an affiliate ad in your sidebar that earns you zilch, or you are a member of an ad network that isn’t working out so well for you.

You’re probably wondering why my focus of late is about earning money on your mom blog. The simple fact is so many bloggers earn money on their blog, there’s no reason that everyone shouldn’t earn something.

Over the years, I have tried all types of rev-share programs that various companies have promised would earn my sites money. I worked with a gaming company once that paid by how many times people played a game. Let me tell you, that revenue share was a joke!

I have been a member of only one ad network in my web life and that was enough! It was a nightmare. I signed an exclusivity contract and turned over my traffic to them. I was mesmerized because it was a huge media company. Dumb move! I was so happy when that contract ended. I won’t ever be a part of another ad network again in my life. Okay, I won’t say never, but it’s highly unlikely.

Once, I was a part of a rev-share program where I earned money based on the amount of times my site visitors watched a promotional video. Another joke! I only agreed to run it because it was a big brand with a parenting focus.

I’ve also been a part of several affiliate programs that have earned me $0, but I kept the banners up because I was too lazy to take them down.

If you constantly hit yourself over the head for letting banner ads clutter up your sidebars when they’re not earning you anything, I’ve been there.

It took me a number of years to figure out how much better I am at selling my own advertising and sponsorships than relying on affiliate advertising, rev-share programs, or ad networks. They just never worked for me!

This is all to say, if an ad isn’t netting you money, by all means, take it down! When you become a part of a rev-share program, if the ads don’t convert in two weeks tops, it probably never will. Treat your sidebars like the gold mines they are and fill your blog with ads or sponsorships you sell yourself. You can do it!

13 comments

  1. Its so true! I have left on some affiliate ads in hopes of someday making money, but then that someday never comes. Great advice and I will be taking down those ads and decluttering my blog!!

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  2. Good advice. I’ve tried different types of ads in my sidebar. After a few weeks/months of not earning much of anything I removed most of them. It’s not worth the slow page loads and cluttered look for me. Now I’m slowly learning how to sell Ad space myself.

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  3. Couldn’t agree more… and even if someone did click on the Affiliate Marketing link… I am not sure that 16 cents is gonna help me send my kids to College. Off to take down a few useless buttons!

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  4. thanks for this post…I just started considering monatizing my blog and i’m trying to figure out the best route. I recently put up some affiliate ads, but nothing has come of them. I think i’ll start selling my own ads!

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  5. Wonderful essay. By far the best performing ads are sold by Momtrends to individual companies. But in defense of affiliates, I am a lifetime affiliate and I do get a check each month. I feel it is a valuable network–so the best advice is really experiment and pick carefully.

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  6. This is the best post I’ll probably read all week! I also did the “exclusivity & turn over the traffic” thing. It made me money, but it also made me “sick” from feeling limited and contained by the exclusivity – controlled, even. I made some okay money, but not enough to be worth the exclusivity.

    I have yet to master the art of selling my own ad space. I look forward to what else you might have to say about that.

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  7. All of that and a bag of chips. This was a great article, especially for a newbie like me. I love blogging, and that alone is worth the effort. But it seems to me that it should be possible to make money too. I have yet to try selling my own ads, though I have thought about it many times. I’m just not sure how to approach it. I’d also love to hear what you might have to say on that subject.

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  8. Excellent advice, Jennifer (as always). I decided long ago to stay clear of ad networks and to sell my own ad space. I have more freedom this way and I can carefully evaluate everything that is on my sidebar.

    As far as affiliates go, the only ones that I currently work w/ are Amazon (so easy to use…and helpful to the reader too!) and ERGO (because I genuinely love the product so much).

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