What do you think of blogs with ads?

When I first started blogging, I blogged mostly for myself. I wanted to document the projects I did in my condo and maybe get a little advice here and there when I was feeling indecisive about colors or a purchase.

At some point, I started getting emails from people who wanted me to put ads on my blog. They were mostly from companies I never heard of with websites I never visited. I ignored them. Recently, I was encouraged to put affiliate ads on the side of my blog. It sounded interesting, but I worried that attaching any sort of income, even a few pennies, to this blog might turn it into a job or a chore. When I miss a day during my busy season at work, I don't feel guilty. If there were ads, would I feel obligated to blog, sometimes about random stuff? Also, would managing ad sales make me feel like I have a second job?

I read plenty of blogs that have ads. Most are just a small strip of boxes to the right or left of the main blog column. I don't even see them most of the time because I use Google Reader. There are a few blogs where most of the screen real estate seems to be taken up by ads. That's a little distracting, but I guess I should be happy for the blogger who is able to generate a little income for themselves this way. I also noticed that some of the people who do this are working at home. For a few, blogging has literally become a job. It sounds interesting, but not for me.

How do you feel about blog ads?
Do you have them?
How did you start incorporating them into your blog?
Do you think there's a way to have them without making your blog feel busy?


  1. I have two google adsense ads on my page in hopes to fund the new cost of link parties for my What I Ate Wednesday feature... but it still is almost not worth the fact that I can't control what pops up on there. I'm thinking of making some changes and finding a sponsor or two I really believe in to fund the party costs instead! who knows!

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  2. I'm pretty new to blogging myself and I have been reading other blogs for inspiration, ideas, entertainment, etc. When I see a really commercial blog with a ton of ads, I tend to shy away from it. I like when I can get inspiration but I would also want to visit blogs where I feel the person would actually read my comment and care what I said. I kind of get the impression the really commercial ones could care less what I have to say. That being said, when I see someone promoting a few places or something they genuinely like and use, then I would actually be more inclined to visit that sponsor. Wow - sorry for droning on but it's something that's been on mind lately as I enter this blogging world!

  3. I try to keep the ads on my blog limited to companies with items that I would actually wear. I do believe you should keep credibility in mind when selecting the ads. I would highly advise going with affiliate marketing (through Commission Junction - cj.com) and avoid Google AdWords (annoying and irrelevant to your content - even when you configure it to cater to your audience).

    If you go the affiliate marketing route, it's almost no work at all. You just sign up with the business you select (involves the click of a button), they either auto-approve you right there or they review your blog and then approve you, and then it's just a matter of selecting one of their ads and copying and pasting the code into your blog. Then you just sit back and see what happens. I personally haven't gotten any commissions yet, but have only been doing it for a few months. Being a newer blog (about 6 months old), my visitor count needs to go up before I can really start making any money.

    I really hope my ads aren't making my site look too busy. I've tried to avoid that, but there definitely is a fine line to walk between cluttered and tasteful.

  4. I don't hve any ads on my blog, but would consider them. I read most of the blogs via my reader, and there you hardly ever see ads unless they come from Google ad sense.

    I don't mind them. That's one way of having an income and there is nothing wrong with that. If they would pop up and/or blink they would distract me.

    Greetings from Hamburg, germany,

  5. I don't judge any blogs that have tasteful ads.

    I thought about adding Google Adsense - it would be nice to have a little bit of money just to cover web hosting fees, etc ... but then realized that I wouldn't be able to control the content of the ads as much as I'd like. Since I'm leaning more and more towards avoiding Made-in-China, etc , I thought it would go against the nature of my site to allow those types of companies to advertise.

    If I ever did have advertising, I'd want to only have small and/or handmade and/or eco-friendly businesses, because of my personal preferences.


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