Not too long ago, I read an article on Jon Morrow’s Boost Blog Traffic, written by Sarah Peterson. The report is titled 13 Reasons Why Blog Ads Suck for Monetizing Your Site, why you shouldn’t leverage ads on blog to make money from your blog.

The author, Sarah, gave her reasons why you shouldn’t monetize your blog with contextual advertising such as Google AdSense.

She gave some important reasons you should not make money with banner ads on your blog.

After reading through, I want to comment on the blog, but my response would only be to Jon Morrow’s audience. So I decide to talk about it here.

And freely share my views on why making money with banner ads isn’t totally the wrong way to monetize a blog.

I want to share my views with my blog community and, mostly, beginners bloggers worldwide.


When we speak of contextual advertising, Google AdSense always comes to mind first, so that I will use it as an appropriate example throughout this post.

As you might have discovered, many authority blogs in the industry earn significant income from such things as Google AdSense.

Many popular blogs, such as The Huffington Post, Digital Photography School,, TechCrunch, Smashing Magazine, Search engine land, the richest, etc., all run Google ads on blogs to make money and earn a fortune.

These companies make money with banner ads, especially.

Also, many horror stories about AdSense publishers losing thousands of $$$ overnight to Google due to AdSense program policy violations.

Some “expert bloggers” will tell you not to go the AdSense route if you want to build a long-lasting business online. This is because Google AdSense is a time bomb that can explode anytime without prior notification.

time bomb - blog ads

You may wake up one morning only to discover that Ad serving has stopped on your blog. And no one is there to explain why this happens – all outstanding earnings are lost!

And there are other well-known, established bloggers telling you not to rely on revenue from contextual advertising if you want to build a business with your blog.

Many of these so-called “expert bloggers” will say blatantly that you should ignore blog ads to make money if you want to transform from a novice to a better blogger.

There are reasons for their judgment, positive ones too, but read on to find out why my argument/disagreements.

Top 8 Income Blogs of 2019.

Before I set out straight to present my argument, let’s quickly run a breakdown of how “top blogs” earn money from their blogging activities along with the top 20 earners.

The below image displays the top 8 blog earners of 2019.

list of top earning blogs of 2019

According to Target Internet, The Huffington Post earns $41.6 million per month.

In case you’re in doubt about this fact. In 2017, Forbes published an article on the top 10 highest-earning blogs estimating Huffingpost’s monthly revenue to be $14,000,000 per month.

One thing that is very common about most of the blogs earning the highest money on the two lists is that they either do so with banner ads, pay-per-click or private ads selling.

In one word – Advertising.

If you go through the list on the Forbes website, you’ll notice a large percentage (about 90%) of blogs in the top 10 make more money with banner ads selling ad space than bloggers who make money from affiliate marketing, products, service sales, etc.

Pat Flynn, John Chow, Timothy Sykes, Neil Patel, Moz, etc. These are “bloggers” usually on the top earner’s list but not so close to the first ten on the list. There are generally about eight or so blogs above these bloggers on the complete earner list.

Though the Men behind sites like Huffington Post, Mashable, TechCrunch, Search engine Land, and Smashing Magazine are not regular bloggers like you and I. Rather, they are entrepreneurs who run blogs in a more practical business way.

They invest heavily in paid advertising and writers.

These blogs usually have dozens of professional authors in-house, with enough money to spend on content writing and marketing distribution channels.

Unlike bloggers who are with a minimal advertising budget. Some had to bootstrap their blog entirely and, in most cases, run by solo entrepreneurs.

So, if all statistics prove blogs that earn money through blog ads make money are the top income earner, what’s the problem then?

There are no straight or absolute answers to this question.

It depends on who is giving advice and the meaning of the word “better blogger.”

This is one of the reasons why I said in the past that you should be careful of who, where, and when you take advice from authority bloggers.

The word “better blogger” is relative and would undoubtedly mean different things to different people. It depends on your definition of who is classified as a better blogger.

To someone looking at it from a revenue angle, a better blogger would undoubtedly mean the blogger who earns the most money annually.

But if you’re like me, a better blogger would be someone who, over time, had discovered and applied positive solutions to many of the significant challenges that come along with growing a popular blog that makes money and teaches others how to replicate his success.

That would be my definition of a better blogger.

Many of the author’s advice-giving on authority blogs are valid, helpful, and sincere.

But this advice might not fit your current situation, objectives, and blogging goals due to your current blogging/marketing experience and available resources.

If you do apply these bits of advice at your current status, it might backfire seriously.

There is nothing wrong with running a blog solely on making money from display ads, third-party ads, sponsored ads, etc.

You have to be sure and conscious of what you’re doing.

And know exactly why you’re into “blogging for money.” Not knowing what you’re doing or why you’re into it makes everything look stupid or disastrous.

Why Blog Ads are Silly – Argument.

Here are some of the reasons giving in the said article why blog ads are a silly thing for monetization tactics:

  • Blog Ads Risk Your Reputation.
  • Blog Ads Put Your Blog in the Slow Lane
  • Blog Ads Make Your Blog Ugly.
  • Blog Ads Sell Your Readers For Cents.
  • Blog Ads Force You to Give Up Control of Your Content.
  • Blog Ads Pay You Peanuts.
  • Blog Ads Are a Conversion Killer.
  • Blog Ads Make You Look Like an Amateur.
  • Blog Ads Undermine Your Blog’s Goals.
  • Blog Ads Make You Look Sleazy.
  • Blog Ads Force You to Work for “The Man”

While all these points seem valid, I agree that it depends on your blogging goals and objectives.

If your blogging goal is to make money with banner ads quietly off your blog and don’t bother about what blogger you become in the future – I see nothing wrong with that.

There are thousands of bloggers silently making money, even more than some of the top earners in the list above, that you and I have never heard of or come across online.

Does this make them bad bloggers?

No, I guess – It is their choice to be who they want to be.

One other point the so-called expert bloggers are missing when telling you not to run contextual ads on your blog is that everyone is different.

Some bloggers are skilled and comfortable creating convertible products and services, while others can’t get that angle right.

Not every blogger would be able to create information products or render services. But almost everyone blogging wants to make money from it; at least about 99.9 percent of us want to.

And industries vary from each other.

What works best in your industry might be a waste of time and resources in another. The entertainment industry differs from other internet marketing niches like blogging tips and tutorials, SEO, website development, etc.

Banners ads, and any other display ads for that matter, can work well in niches like entertainment, news, events, gossip, finance, cars, apps install, tech news, politics, comedy, games, etc.

So, making make-money banner ads a silly monetization strategy is an absolute “blanket statement.”

Let me go through some of the points listed in the above-mentioned article on Jon Morrow’s blog by Sarah Peterson.

Blog Ads Make Your Blog Look Ugly.

Blog ads (by placement alone) don’t make a blog looks ugly.

Too “many ads placement” on a single page leads to painting a blog ugly. If you do things right, blog ads can even bring beauty to your blog’s look.

Take a look at the web page below; that’s a great example of too many ads placed on a single page:

tech radar too many ads placement on the page

Surprisingly, that page also ranks top for the competitive search term “best SEO tools.”

Well, this post is not about Google organic search quality guidelines or control, so let’s leave that till another day.

Two ads placement on a single page is enough, and that won’t make you look like an amateur blogger (one ad above the fold or header section and one ad in the sidebar).

Blog Ads sell Your Readers For a Cent.

I want to quote one of Brian Clark’s words of wisdom here.

Don’t Focus on Having a Great Blog, Focus on Having a Blog That’s Great for your Readers” – Brian Clark.

Whatever is helpful for your readers or target market, please do it.

If serving banner ads on your blog makes readers return to the site and is suitable for your target market, please slap up your blog with lots of helpful banner ads – simple!

Do you disagree with this?

Think of coupon and discount sites. What do the market/visitors want from these sites?

Visitors to these sites want information on where they could get discount prices on products and services.

Readers of such sites as coupon blogs don’t bother much about the quality of content but rather the availability of discounts or coupon codes.

And one of the best ways to quickly present this information is through banner ads.

Make money banner ads work well for such sites.

Blog ads Pay you Peanuts.

In reality, blog ads pay too low (Unless your traffic is from a country like the USA and massive, your cost-per-click might not be up to a dollar). So you need a massive amount of traffic to make money with banner ads.

But when we consider the list of top earners, it makes sense to learn how to get it right with ads for blogs to earn money from display advertising.

Besides, no internet business model could survive or make significant income without heavy website traffic.

Even affiliate marketing needs massive website traffic to earn consistent income from the business model. Otherwise, it will be $500 this month and nothing next Month.

Instead of going with public opinion and stats, learn how to make money with banner ads.

Blogs Ads Undermine Your Blogging Goal.

What if my blogging goal is to make money online from selling ad space on my blog?

I see nothing wrong with that.

I have met with many blogging buddies who make earning from advertising their top priority online, and they’re doing just fine with make-money banner ads.

Blog ads force you to work for the man.

Let’s face it, we all are working for the man.

Whoever pays you for your services or product sale is your boss – take it or leave it!

Affiliate marketers are working for the merchant. Products and service creators are working for the consumers. If the consumers are not paying, you’re definitely out of business.

Blog ads are a conversion killer.

Well, that depends on what your conversion goal is and the meaning of that to you. If my conversion goal is to make my readers click on any ads on my blog, and they did – they’ve converted. Period.

Besides, blogs that run ads know how to get readers on their email lists. Things are done separately on different pages on blogs like this.

Blog ads force you to give up control of your content.

I don’t believe this.

Your content topic determines what ad copy to display on a page. Your page content controls what ad type Google serves on your page.

And with modern advanced filtering options, you can tell Google not to display certain ad types on your page. You can block ad types from displaying on your blog. You can now do lots with the ad serving to your pages.

How to blog ads make money with banners works is now different from the past decade. Publishers now have a certain control level over what pop-up on their blogs.

Blog Ads Put Your Blog in The Slow Lane.

Yes, I agree with that, and that’s why there are many online tools to help you take care of things like page speed. Once you discover a particular ad is putting extra loads on your server, you can deactivate it and find alternatives.

Ads putting extra loads on your blog page speed is not enough reason to say, “don’t run ads on your blog.”

It is like saying WordPress plugins add extra loads on a blog loading time, so completely get rid of all plugins. No. You’ll never do that. You can’t throw away a baby because the water is terrible.

You must find a way to speed up your blog page while maintaining the critically needed plugins.

Come to think of it, one of Google’s ranking factors is page speed.

If ads code from Google Adsense puts an extra load on your website page speed, Google has killed its ads program.


From personal experience using Google Adsense on this blog, Adsense codes significantly slow down the page speed.

If page speed matters to your business, and you MUST use Adsense for monetization, you have to find the balance between achieving maximum page speed and serving Adsense ads.

Blog Ads Risk Your Reputation.

I understand the point made here and agree with it, but thanks to advanced filtering technology. Now you can tell Google (especially) not to include certain ads on your blog.

And since ads are served onto your website pages based on your content keywords, there is likely a 95% chance that was serving ads are relevant to your blog topics.

Let’s take this further.

Facebook and Google make billions of dollars annually from ad serving.

These ads are submitted by thousands of merchants across the globe.

Do you think Facebook and Google know all these merchants and can vouch for their credibility and service/product quality?

Capital NO!

Advertisers must follow guidelines regarding what ad type is accepted and not accepted. Once the advertiser ad copy meets the criteria, Google or Facebook’s reputation is not at risk.

So also, your blog reputation is not at risk if you set your guidelines according to your website content mission.

With That Out, Let’s see Where Blog Ads Fit in.

There are two types of bloggers and blogs; I will explain both in detail below.

From personal experience and from what I see around the blogosphere. Blogs (noun) or bloggers (pronoun) can be classified into two:

The Experts blogs/bloggers and the Advertising Blogs/bloggers.

Either way you choose to go is up to you to decide how you will approach it and earn your living. But this is how they work in practical terms.

The Blog Advertising Model.

The Advertising Blogs model works pretty well. And by their nature, they are the default monetization method for every blogger during the early days of blogging, and getting Google AdSense approval is more effortless.

This type of blog’s success heavily depends on the volume of content publishing and traffic. The quality of content is not of more significant importance than that of the traffic.

The quality of your traffic (traffic demographics) plays an essential role in how much money you can earn from this type of blog. For example – the cost-per-click on ads from US traffic is higher than that of traffic from Nigeria.

It is normal to publish 20 times per day on blogs like this. Most of the content is time-sensitive, between 500 – 1000 words count.

The quicker you get the word out there, the better your chances of attracting the audience before your competitors beat you.

Since most of the content is time-sensitive, this puts less need for search engine optimization or waiting for Google to rank your web pages and send you organic traffic.

Hence, it emphasized content marketing through paid channels like Facebook ads, Taboola, Outbrain, Google Adwords, etc.

The Expert Blog Model.

Expert blogs, by nature, serve the traditional function of a blog well.

Most are used to detail the journey, skills, experiences, knowledge, etc…of a solo entrepreneur.

When you think of bloggers like Jon Morrow, Pat Flynn, John Chow, Brian Clark, Brian Dean, Rand Fishkin, and Neil Patel – you’re thinking of experts in their respective internet marketing fields.

These experts leverage their technical blogging skills to build a business that makes millions of dollars yearly. They depend not on third-party advertising, sponsored posts, make-money banner ads, or private advertising programs to make money online.

One of the significant BIG differences between expert and advertising bloggers is that expert bloggers are the go-to guy for getting technical blogging help.

Think about it, when you need to learn one or two things about content marketing, you probably be thinking of Neil Patel.

And when you’re sure that your website needs more quality incoming links to improve its search visibility – Moz or backlinko will surely top your list of go-to websites.

This is because these bloggers have established themselves as experts, built loyal followings around their blogs, and practiced what they write about.

They’ve used their blog as a medium to teach others their vast experiences, trials, and failures, success stories, case studies, income tactics, etc.

These are things you’re not likely to see or experience with advertising blogs. Advertising blogs are mostly journalism styles, print magazine models, and author personalities mostly miss out on the advertising blog model.

Characteristics of Advertising Blog Model.

  • The article’s length is short – so it allows publishing more.
  • Contents are published daily and, in some cases, minute to minutes publications.
  • You don’t need to be an expert in creative writing – tell the story as it is.
  • It is a race of quantity.
  • The author’s personality is mostly missing from the published content.
  • Organic traffic is less critical; paid content marketing is given higher priority.
  • Make Money through banner ads display – Google AdSense, Infolinks, Adbrite, Bidvertiser, etc.
  • The exact contents circulate advertising blogs.

Characteristics of Expert Blog Model.

  • The author’s personalities are visible on the blog.
  • Run by solo bloggers and, in most cases, with few exemptions.
  • Make money through services and product creations – e-book sales, affiliate commissions, membership sites, courses, webinars, consultants, etc.
  • The blogger behind the blog grows in experience along with his blog.
  • Beginners bloggers look up to them for advice.
  • Quality of contents matters most – frequency is of less importance.
  • Loyal blog readers or community presence.


Whatever you’re doing, do it right, and make sure you’re 100% conscious of it. Know why you’re into blogging and what goals you’re aiming to achieve. Without goals, there is no passion for surviving in this jungle.

Blog Ads make money or no Blog ads; you can only be who you want to be if you’re ready to burn bridges. Don’t let a few people’s stands, opinions, or views deprive you of your online dream; get it!

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  1. Hey Shamsudeen,
    great article on ads and whether they’re a waste of time for bloggers.

    I agree with you that the can work, as long as someone knows how to incorporate them into their blog.

    So they do not become obtrusive and are super relevant to the article.

  2. author comments Julius Yamah says:

    This is a very long read… And I enjoyed every time spent reading it.

    I must say you’re an excellent writer.

    About the topic; whether to use contextual advertising or not. Many people have really made their point about why it is not a good decision to use it on your blog. I have read a lot of those articles, and I was somewhat convinced then. But reading this now gives me a new understanding.

    What I’ll say is, contextual advertising, like Adsense, will be a waste of time if you have little to no traffic. You need thousands of readers daily to get a reasonable amount of money from Adsense. A thousand readers per month will get you no where.

    Thanks for this eye opener once again.

    1. Hi Julius,

      The issue of traffic volume vs earning potential is one that’s mostly on the list. I’m glad you get that right after reading through.

      My point is, instead of giving the advice don’t use contextual advertising completely, why not discuss the pros and cons (like you just did) and let the blogger decided on what best work for his/her blog business model?

      This will allow the blogger to make the right choice that best for him and do what is right, create tailored content that fits his audience type and traffic.

      Thanks, Julius, nice having you here.

  3. I went through Sarah’s article and completely see your point here, The way you’ve debunked the points does explain your point of view well. At the end of the day, advertiser and expert bloggers have to be good at what they do.

    1. That’s one of it, Sheen.

      It doesn’t matter what type of blog monetization strategies you choose, what matters most is knowing and implementing the rights strategies to make it works.


  4. Completely agree, blog ads are a mere waste of time, compared with affiliates.

    1. Thanks, Prasad,

      I do agree with you, given everything equal affiliate marketing can be more promising and rewarding than advertising.

      Thank you.

  5. Thank you, I really don’t care if blogs have ads. Some of the best blog sites are filled with ads. My reason for creating my blog is to drive traffic and create ads to boost revenue. I mean really how else are bloggers going to make money. Youtubers just turned blogging into vlogging(video blogging) to make money off of ads.

    1. Hi Larry,

      Thanks for reading through and sharing your opinion on this.

      Sometimes I keep wondering if truly ads really suck for blog monetization, yet Google keeps making billions of dollars annually from advertising.

      Thanks, Larry, nice having you here.

  6. Ads not really suck depending on the niche of the blog but it’s better if you can do it at the same time, affiliate and google Adsense can work together just remember if you use affiliate program just never over put ads on your blog so it won’t look amateur and spammy. Just limits 2 affiliate ads showing on your blog and 2 google Adsense on the content. It’s still look good on your content. That’s how I did on my blog.

    1. Hi Paul,

      Thanks for sharing your experience with us today. I appreciate your input.

      Like you, I believe running ads on blogs depends on the niche and what works best for the man behind the blog.

      If things are done right, ads or no ads, a blog will give its user maximum user experience.

      Thanks for the comment, Paul.

  7. Hello, Shamsudeen,

    Great Post. Blog ads are an integral part of making money from the blog. I completely agree with your points. Plaster your blog with plenty of ads does not make any sense. It distracts users. Use a limited amount of visual ads can work great and you really made a bunch from it. I remember my early days of blogging where I made 2 sales by placing web host banner on my sidebar. You have to use them wisely. Great Tips.


    1. Hi Vishwajeet,

      Thanks for your valuable response.

      You made a strong point there. Having too many ads on the blog is what doesn’t make sense and ruin user experience on the blog.

      If things are done properly, ads are better monetization strategy.

      Thanks for your time here.

  8. yes, the ads on blog to make money is not silly because everyone wants to make money is not a matter of what is add that is the talent of add maker.

  9. Hi Shamsudeen,

    Taking advantage of ads on your blog or website is a money-making strategy that works for digital marketers. However, to have success, one needs to know how to implement them on his blog. Several readers may complain of ads intrusion, but if one can strategically apply this money-making tactic properly, there will be no need for complaint.
    Thank you for sharing.

    1. Hi Moss,

      You made two points in your comment that summarises all.

      First, ads are an online money-making strategy that works and knowing how to implementing the right strategy to make it work.

      I think knowing how to put all these together is what the so-called “guru” should preach instead of knocking everything out completely.

      Thanks, Moss, nice having you here.

  10. Hi Shamsudeen,
    What a joy to meet you this way! 🙂
    Indeed it is a long time we see each other, I am reminded of our friendships at Kingged.
    Hope you are doing well. I just found this on Growthhackers pages.
    Yes, either way, advertisement is no doubted a major income source to many. Of course, the way in which you place is more important to fetch more results. We need to know how to place it on our contents without giving any nuisance to the readers.
    Though I am in the field for some time I could pick up a lot more notes from this post on advertisement.
    Thanks, Shams for this wonderful share.
    Keep sharing.
    Best Regards.
    ~ Philip

    1. Hi Phillip,

      Good to see you again after a very long time. I’m so glad to have you here once again sharing your experience with us.

      Advertising is a great way to monetize blog traffic. If done well, the income potential can be enough to live full-time on it.

      Thank you, Phillip, nice having you here.

  11. Hi Shamsudeen

    You give us a lot to think about.

    I’ve always thought advertising on my blog would cheapen it, but I do run one of those “authoritative” blogs that you describe.

    I offer services and courses to help bloggers and online marketers, so my blogging model doesn’t really dovetail with paid ads.

    I do run banner ads for some of the services I use myself, but they are very few.

    If, on the other hand, I were to develop a micro niche blog, I can certainly see the great benefit to running ads, and I would.

    You’ve made excellent demonstration of how to navigate the world of running ads on your blog, and I think I should make it part of recommended reading for my blogging students.



    1. Hi Donna,

      Yes, those banner ads are visible on your blog, and I can see they are meant to promote your services. For your type of blogging model, I can understand why you use less banner on the blog.

      And thanks for considering this as a recommended reading to your students.

  12. We totally agreed with you that the ads are mere waste of time on a blog, it only adds the complexity to the blog. Great post, keep posting such articles in future as well.

    1. Hi Mount,

      Ads could be a waste of time if not implemented rightly. But if things are done professionally and with the best of user experience in mind, I see it as good income potential monetizing a blog.

      Thanks for sharing your view.

  13. In my experience, this is one of the worst ways to make money online and the reasons from point of view are lack of quality control, site load time, low earnings per lost reader, lack of trust and many more.

    1. Hi Paul.

      You’ve made some vital points there. Ads could runi the reputation of a blog “if” is not control and optimized to improve user experience on the blog.

      Thanks, your opinion is noted.

  14. author comments Kajal Goyal says:

    What you say makes a lot of sense. if ads are placed strategically and. It interrupting your reading too much then they are no harm to the reader and a potential income bonus to the blogger. Amazing content.

    1. Hi Kajal,

      Glad you find some useful info here.

      Running ads on blog is a good income potential if done right. And like you rightly said, if put strategically on the blog, it can improve user experience.


  15. author comments Lisa Bella says:

    I personally feel interrupted when I encounter so many ads on any site that I look at. however I still don’t see any problem with reasonable number of ads on one one the side bars.

    1. Hi Lisa,

      Moderation is the keyword here. If things are done moderately and with the user best interest in mind, ads pose no treat to user experience.

      Thanks for visiting, and hope to see you some other time.

  16. nice view your article with good point for every bloggers who wants ads more in own blog.

  17. Extremely Great work, Thanks for offer helpful data. the posts on your blog are having enlightening and important substance. Appreciate your efforts.

  18. author comments sravanthikiran says:

    Good article on ads, reasonable ads make sense. High in the number of ads makes readers uninterested. thanks for sharing.

  19. Hi,
    Thanks for the post. In the blogging site so many ads are not relevant.

  20. Hello Sir
    you right sir blogs ads are not important. Important is people are take better information, through your blog.

  21. What are your favorite ways to monetize a blog? Would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks

  22. Hello sir, I just want to know that I have an affiliate blog can I put AdSense in it to increase my monetization sources. Thanks in advance!

    1. Sure, Ayush,

      You can add AdSense to your affiliate website to improve revenue. Thanks for reading through.

  23. author comments zeba khan says:

    SHAMSUDEEN Sir, your article is very informative, I have read and find very good knowledge about ads on blog. I only know about Google AdSense.

  24. Best blog on ads. Large number of ads in blogs make uncomfortable for reading. I found it very interesting and grateful thanks for sharing this with us.

    1. Hi, Brij,

      Yes, too many ads on a blog makes reading uncomfortable and hard to read through. You’re right. Thanks for reading.

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