Step 9: Add advertizing.
After jumping through so many hoops to set up your self-hosted site, you deserve to earn a little income from it! Not everyone agrees; some prefer to omit any ads from their blog. But if you’re interested in extra money for your daily latte fund, here are a few companies to check out:
- Google AdSense. Many bloggers, myself included, started here. Google pays fairly well, but a word of warning: they can suspend your account at any time if they even suspect you violated their terms. And they won’t explain what strange activity raised their suspicion—they’ll simply terminate your account. (This happened to me after only a month.) So proceed with caution!
- BlogHer. If you’re a female blogger, this is a great option! They carry classy ads that compensate you generously, with multiple options of sizes and locations (i.e. sidebar, banner, in-text, etc.). They require you to fill out an application, and with a 1-12 month waiting list, you’ll want to sign up ASAP!
- Sovrn. (Formerly Lijit.) Sovrn’s short sign-up process allows you to add their ads right away. They also value communication by email and make plenty of suggestions to help maximize your revenue, including some incredibly tips I had never heard before! They’re also highly responsive to any questions you ask.
- Technorati Media. From my experience, Technorati Media pays slightly less than the previous three, but the sign-up process only takes a day or so, meaning you can implement ads on your blog really quickly. Unlike the other companies listed, this ad agency encourages communication by email and phone. It helps to know there’s a real live human being keeping tabs on your account!
- Gourmet Ads. This company offers many high-quality ads, including multiple high-impact (aka really high paying!) options. They also value strong communications with their clients, both through email and phone calls, like Sovrn and Technorati Media. Gourmet Ads has a relatively quick sign-up process as well.
Once any of these companies approves your application, they’ll give you an ad tag, in the form of HTML code. Don’t be scared! All you need to do is copy and paste it in the correct location. Options include the following:
- In your sidebar. It’s one of the most popular places and the easiest! Under “Appearance” in your dashboard sidebar, access the “Widgets” section. Drag and drop a “Text” widget into the blog’s sidebar widget area. Paste the HTML code here.
- In your header. This requires editing your theme’s code. Under “Appearance” in your dashboard sidebar, click on “Editor.” On the right side of your screen, choose the link titled “Header” (or “header.php)”. To place the ad above your blog’s logo and navigational menu, locate the “<body …>” tag. Copy and paste your HTML ad code before this text.
- In your footer. Similar to the previous option, you’ll need to edit the theme’s code again. Under “Appearance” in the dashboard sidebar, select “Editor.” On the right side of your screen, click “Footer” (or “footer.php”). Towards the end of the code, before the “</body>” and “</html>,” copy and paste your HTML ad tag.
All set! Whenever you want to check your earnings, simply log into the respective ad agencies’ dashboard and take a peek. Each company maintains a different policy for payments, varying on the minimum amount of money and whether they write a check or transfer funds through PayPal. Regardless, they work hard to make the process easy for you because your business earns them money too!
Other Steps in This Series…