One common approach for new websites and blogs is to not display any advertisements on the site until traffic is grown to a significant level. The reasoning behind this decision is that not having ads will provide the visitor with a more positive experience and fewer distractions, which will allow the site’s traffic to grow faster than it would with ads on the site. In addition, most websites and blogs will make very little money off of the ads in early months with low volumes of traffic.
At the start of January I placed a few banner ads for affiliate programs on my primary blog. As advertisers became interested in purchasing the spots, the banners changed from affiliate ads to direct ads for sponsors. Up until this point the blog had never included ads of any kind, so it was a fairly significant change that had me wondering how it would affect traffic levels.
From my experience, the ads had no negative affect. I received no comments or emails that expressed disappointment or displeasure over the ads being there. In fact, I actually had a few regular readers tell me that they were happy to see the blog being monetized. I’m sure there were some readers and visitors who didn’t feel the same way but just didn’t share their opinions with me.
During the month of January I gained almost 400 subscribers, which is a pretty significant number for me. Also, the total number of unique visitors was the highest for any single month in the history of the blog. I know there are plenty of other factors that need to be considered when determining if the ads had any effect on traffic and subscribers, but since the blog had it’s best month I think it’s pretty safe to assume that the ads at least had no major impact.
What’s Your Opinion?
This is just the experience and opinion of one blogger. I’m interested to hear the opinions of others as well as the experiences that you all have had with similar changes on your own blog. Do you feel that including ads on your blog has had a negative impact on your traffic levels?