I see this far too often:
- Guy reads on some blog or website that it is possible to work from home and make thousands of dollars from the Internet.
- Guy gets excited and creates a website or blog.
- Guy starts getting some traffic, and right after he jams his website with all kinds of ads. CPM banners, 125×125 buttons, Google Adsense, Kontera and so on.
- Guy wonders how come he is just making $100 monthly after a lot of hard work
When I come across those small websites hammered with ads I get the impression that the owner is trying to milk every last penny out of the visitors that are coming there, instead of trying to grow the site itself.
Sure depending on your luck and skill you might end up making a couple of hundred dollars every month. But is that what you are aiming for? Even if you manage to reach $1,000 monthly. Is that your ultimate goal?
The problem with this approach is twofold. First of all when you pack your website with ads all over the place, you will damage your reputation. Some readers will think that you are just trying to make a quick buck, and they will probably never return.
Secondly, when you try to make as much money as possible from a website that is not even getting 1,000 uniques a day, you automatically start with the wrong mindset. You adjust your goals accordingly, probably limiting your growth potential.
Now you might ask: “what about sites like TechCrunch or Mashable that also have ads all over the place?”
Well, those websites already have a very big audience, and huge credibility on the market. Once you are at that stage, you probably can pull off an ad-heavy layout without facing too many problems. But I am sure that when Michael Arrington started TechCrunch his main goal was to make the blog an authority on its niche, and not to squeeze money out of his early visitors.
Note that even those large websites never blend ads with the content, or use intrusive forms of advertising like pop-ups and in-text ads.
The takeaway message is: if you want to make money online, aim to get big and credible first, and then monetize it.