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Introduction to Advertising Optimization – Traffic

To round out the Blogging for Beginners section on blogging for an income I want to touch on a few introductory principles for optimising advertising on blogs over the next few posts.

There are many different direct income earning methods (as outlined previously) and each will have it’s own ways of being optimised – but the following are principles that many bloggers find across different forms of advertising programs (for the sake of this post I’ll mainly use blogs using AdSense as examples – but much of what I write can be applied to different ad systems).

The basic factors that I’ll be covering in the following posts are:

  1. Traffic
  2. Ad Position
  3. Ad Design
  4. Ad Relevancy
  5. High Paying Ads

I believe that all five elements are important to running profitable ads on a blog. Take any one of them out of the picture and you decrease the overall earning potential that you have. ie a blog with high traffic but with ads that no one see’s is never going to earn much. Likewise a highly trafficked blog with well positioned ads that are completely irrelevant to the topic of the blog are less likely to perform to their potential… you get the point. Each element should be considered and worked on simultaneously.

I’ll start briefly with the first one in this post and will follow in the next day or two with a post on each of the following four:

Principle 1 – Traffic

The frustrating thing about blogging for an income is that you can have perfectly positioned, designed and relevant ads that would pay a fortune but still be not making any money at all because your blog has no traffic. So while I encourage publishers to work on design, placement and ad relevancy, it’s worth remembering that you shouldn’t do any of it at the expense of developing a quality blog that people will come and read.

This isn’t the post for talking about traffic building strategies (try here and here for some strategies on that) – but a holistic approach to building an online income will definitely factor traffic building as a primary objective.

Speaking from personal experience – I know how easy it is to get sidetracked by the other factors mentioned – but if you simultaneously work on building a readership you’ll build a much more profitable blog.

Next in this series we’ll examine Positioning Ads

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. katiebird says:

    I think I’m at an even earlier stage. I’m just starting my 3rd month as a blogger. And my low but steady traffic level is just fine.

    Last week I finalized a design I like. I still have to develop a FAQ to help explain policies (comments by registered users only). I’m still getting used to writing posts regularly and I’m not real consistent about afternoon/evening posting. And I think I’ll be a bit more confident about it all once some of those things are sorted out.

    I’m really enjoying the process. And while I know a lot of people are ready to move on, this series is just perfect for me.

    Thank you.

  2. Yeah, all the perfect ad positioning in the worl dwon’t help if you don’t have any visitors to click on your ads. The nice thing is that, once you’ve created a successful site, the whole ‘building a user-friendly interface’ thing is done, and you can just build on it (or modify it) for subsequent sites.

  3. dbs says:

    And do you really want the topic of your post “Blogging for beginners” – which sounds like an interesting thread and section – just to be a link to your graphic? :)

    Proofreading and keeping flow on the site is critical to a successful site, ya know *ducks, running*

  4. Pat Ashley says:

    Absoulutely correct, Darren. Without traffic, nothing else matters. In my opinion traffic can only be generated by content with quality, AND freshness. You may have a website with a lot of quality writing, but if it hasn’t been updated in six months, you can expect traffic to go downhill after a while – not to mention Google ranking. It all comes down to (for me) quality content, and consistent freshness – which is exactly what you do!

    Yes, one could generate traffic by artifical means, such as advertising, but getting people to come back time after time means having something there people want – quality content.

  5. Dale Estes says:

    Yes you can have the best looking site in the world but with out traffic it will not generate any income.Traffic is the number 1 challange if you are trying to have a income from blogging.I have talked to many folks and all they talk about “I can become rich from throwing a blog together”.LOL

  6. John Hood says:

    To quote the maxim – content is king. Any earnings from affiliate links is the proverbial icing on the cake!

  7. Pascal says:

    Darren, thank you for your continued effort! Much appreciated. Are you also going to cover the quantity of ads, or maybe the ratio of ads to content (real estate used, or words)?

  8. amin b nagpure says:

    your tutorials were not useful.

    you haven’t said about any methods to increase traffic

  9. Darren Rowse says:

    amin b nagpure – there are two links in the above post to some traffic building strategies (here and here)

  10. MisterSteve says:

    Excellent post, excellent blog. I have been following you since I started and I have kept a record of all the methods I have used at http://money-man.blogspot.com/ Basically everything I learned here :P

  11. Yong Kiong says:

    I totally agree with you. It is almost pointless to have all the advertisements you think will make you money on your site or blog when traffic coming to it is not even worth mentioning. I have first hand experience since i placed my ads in 1st before i go into how to generate traffic to the site. It is relative, more traffic = more clicks on ads. Simple as that.

  12. Mack says:

    I just wanted to first start off by thanking you for this series. I know that I haven’t been to your site in a while, because the last time I checked it was a long time ago when you had the tan layout, and so now that I have more time to focus on developing my blog I fear it’s went in the wrong direction. So I’m doing my best to make sure that I start over, without starting over if you know what you mean. I’ve lost a few readers because I haven’t been able to focus, and that’s hard when you’re life’s taking a toll, so I’m glad I have friends and family to support me now.

    If you have any advice that you could offer a college student it would be greatly appreciated as I’ve always valued your opinion, and your writing style.

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