According to a recent survey of publishers from Sovrn, TapInfluence and Viglink, 72% percent of professional publishers named display advertising as their top tactic for blog monetization. Why? Let’s find out. Here are the five key benefits of display advertising as a source of income for bloggers and publishers.
1. A source of passive revenue
“Passive revenue” is a term you hear a lot in the online publishing space; the idea is to set up revenue streams that, after a little elbow grease, pump out cash indefinitely. Display advertising – you can argue – is one of these passive revenue streams for publishers.
Now, that’s not to say that display advertising is completely set-it-and-forget-it. It’s important to monitor performance of your display ads, try out new units as they are available, and optimize your ad partners to keep performance a float.
Another powerful source of passive revenue for bloggers is affiliate marketing, which entails promoting products or services through trackable links on your website and getting a commission for any sales that result from clicks on those links. You can learn more about affiliate marketing in this article about blog monetization I wrote a few weeks back.
2. Available for websites of all sizes
Some advertising networks have pageview requirements that publishers must meet in order to use their service, however, ad providers like Sovrn, Adsense and others, do not. So unlike other lucrative monetization strategies like influencer marketing (or sponsored posts), you do not need gobs of traffic to start making money.
Display advertising revenue is directly dependent on that amount of traffic to your website as advertisers pay website owners on a cost-per-1,000-impressions basis (CPM). So if you are just getting started with display advertising and blogging in general, prepare to be a little underwhelmed at your income initially. The good news is that once your display ad units are all set up on your site, you can focus on what you do best – writing stellar content and building your traffic – and watch your revenue grow over time.
The definitive matrix of display ad revenue – it’s all about traffic and investment
For sites with a large readership and more resources for ad management and technical integrations, advertising solutions like header bidding are a great investment that boosts competition for inventory on your site and increases revenue by 30% on average.
3. Management effort is up to you
The amount of time you want to spend managing your ad set up and working with your advertising partners is completely up to you. Some publishers set up their ad stack with 2-3 advertising partners like Sovrn, Adsense and Gourmet Ads and do optimization of their ad stack and ad units monthly. Other publishers have a person or a team of people whose entire purpose is to constantly tweak their settings, experiment with new partners and new ad units, and monitor ad performance. Whether you want a low maintenance solution or you want to roll up your sleeves and dig in, your management investment in display advertising is completely up to you.
4. Endless options for customization
Because the advertising technology industry is growing like crazy, there are new innovations popping up for publishers to try out almost every day. While it might be tempting for you early adopters out there to jump on the bandwagon of any new units right away, it might behoove you to hold your horses.
Anyway, I always recommend giving newer tech a few months to shake out all the kinks and make sure advertisers are on board and paying well for the new inventory being created. But! Testing out new ad layouts and different combinations of display, video, Outstream, interstitial, in view and other ad units is not only a fiscally responsible idea, it can also be hella fun. That is, if you are one of those savvy publishers who is willing to invest more resources in ad management.
What happens when you adopt new technology a litttttle too fast…
5. A smart addition to other revenue streams
The clearest path to blogging riches is building a multi-channel monetization strategy. After all, nobody (including us at Sovrn) likes a website that is cluttered with display ads! It can be tempting to fill your articles to gills with every ad type under the sun, but you should NEVER have more than 4-5 ad units on a page. Not only will your readers let you know about it, your site can even get blacklisted from certain premium ad networks like Sovrn for too many ads.
So try out other ways to make money blogging, like affiliate marketing, sponsored content, native ads and beyond! All of these different monetization strategies work really nicely together, allowing you to really diversify your revenue and find what works.