Ads, affiliate marketing, and sponsored posts are very popular right now. Pinterest is filled with income reports written by bloggers that claim they make thousands of dollars a month from ads. There are many posts and even courses on how you can monetize your blog using sponsored content. You don’t have to worry about creating your own products when you can promote other people’s products through advertisements. And when you work so hard on creating quality content and promoting your blog, it’s only normal to try to find ways to monetize your blog.
In the past couple of years, my blog grew quite a lot. I spend a lot of time each week writing posts, answering emails, and promoting my blog. After a period of blogging constantly, I started to receive a lot of offers. I’m still a bit surprised that large companies want to work with me. I’ve received offers from well-known hosting companies, popular email marketing services, and smaller companies that have products I love.
Sometimes, it’s hard to say no, but monetizing my blog through sponsored content is not a good fit for me. Here are 5 reasons why I don’t have ads on my blog:
Ever since I started this blog in 2012, I wanted it to become a design and blogging resource. I also wanted to use it to grow my own creative business. And I love to write about the products I use and share my resources.
Some of my most popular posts are about the free fonts I use, my favorite stock photo sites, and design and development websites. I am glad that people trust me and use these sites. I’m even happier when they tell me how much they like my recommendations.
I do not want to break that trust by promoting products that I don’t use or I don’t believe in. I do not want to alienate them by focusing on sponsored content, instead of focusing on them. I want to be able to write unbiased recommendations that will benefit my readers.
One of the reasons I don’t have ads on my blog is how they look. Well, I don’t think anyone loves the way most ads look, especially those large banners that take up a lot of space and usually clash with the blog’s design.
As a designer, it’s very important to me to have a clean blog. I even decided to remove the sidebar because I want the focus to be on the content and not on my latest pins or Instagram images. I want my content to stand out, and ads can distract my readers or take them away from my site.
Because I’m trying to grow my design business, I don’t have time for ads and sponsored content.
I know that monetizing your blog through ads and sponsored content appears to be easy. It may seem like you just have to add a few images in your sidebar or write a short product review, but it’s more than that.
You have to spend a lot of time creating a media kit, applying to ad networks, contacting companies, and coming up with content that appeals to your readers and the companies that pay you. If your blog is your business, then this is time well spent.
Instead of working for others, my time could be better spent by creating new products, writing blog posts, and promoting my blog and business.
Control over content
When it comes to affiliate links and sponsored posts, you can choose what to show on your blog. That’s why they are better than regular ads.
A couple of food blogs that I love use an ad network that only shows clickbaity titles, very unappealing images that don’t belong on a food blog, and they probably lead to spammy sites. The blogs have good themes, beautiful images, and great recipes, but the ads ruin my experience and make me want to leave the sites. Thankfully, I have AdBlock so I don’t have to see them.
Unfortunately, when you work with ad networks, you don’t always have control over what ads are displayed. Most ad networks keep the ads relevant to your audience, but you might also send your readers to spammy websites. And when you work so hard to grow your blog and create quality content, you shouldn’t associate your brand with those websites.
Website loading time
This is something that most bloggers overlook. When you work with an ad network, you usually have to add some code on your blog. This small piece of code can have a large impact on your website’s speed. This is a problem for both user experience and SEO.
Should you accept sponsored content?
I don’t have ads on my blog and don’t accept sponsored content because I don’t consider them a good fit for my blog. That doesn’t mean that I hate all advertisements. I also don’t want to attack those that use them.
If you have a popular blog and you want to monetize it through ads, then you should do it. Just make sure that they don’t create a bad experience for your readers and that the products you advertise are a good fit for your brand.
I like affiliate marketing, and while I don’t use affiliate codes, they are great if you could naturally incorporate them into your posts.
Do you have ads on your blog? How do you feel about sponsored content?