Do you have a least favorite part of a blog article? I do – advertisements.
I know they are supposed to be a way to earn money online, but since I find them irritating, I am reluctant to plaster them all over my website.
At best, they are distracting. At worst, they are interruptive.
Often I have come to an advertisement while reading an article and thought, “Is the article finished already?” Upon scrolling down, I find that no, there is more to the article. Sometimes a lot more. Thank goodness I kept scrolling.
And if you happen to be dealing with a slow internet connection, ads are extra annoying – they take forever to load, and when they finally do, the article’s text moves, causing you to see the same text over and over as each ad (or unnecessary image) finally loads.
I recently visited the site of one of my favorite recipe bloggers and was surprised to find a lot more ads than I had remembered previously. My friend told me that this change is probably because the blogger’s popularity has grown, and she is able to make more money off of ads now.
I’m happy for her, but still … I didn’t enjoy her site as much as I used to.
I tried out her site’s “Reader View,” which eliminates all of the ads. Unfortunately, it also eliminates references to links, resulting in several incomplete-looking sentences, such as “You will love this recipe if you liked my [blank space]. Try my [blank space] and my [blank space], too.”
The “Reader View” wasn’t as readable as I had expected. I switched back to the regular (ad-filled) view.
This brings me to ask a couple of questions: Are ads on blogs truly effective? And are they productive?
Here are a few of my arguments against typical online advertisements:
They can be irritating to viewers.
They can distract from the information a blogger is trying to relay.
They are pointless if a reader has an ad blocker.
Granted, some ads are interesting, and I have clicked on a few.
However, I believe I could count on one hand the number of ads I have clicked that were on a regular web page – nothing really stands out in my memory.
Honestly, the only place I am likely to click on an ad is YouTube. (And most of those ads are just as irritating, but some of them occasionally grab my interest.) I still could probably count on one or two hands the number of purchases I actually made after clicking, though.
So what is a blogger to do? Irritating ads aside, I would still like to be able to share with you, my readers, information about sites and companies I like and support – especially if I think you would benefit from them as well.
And it’s not wrong to receive a commission for connecting others to something beneficial or fun.
So if bombarding you with ads is not the answer, what is?
Affiliate links seem like a better option. They are:
More personalized (tailored to an article’s content)
Vetted by the blogger (at least they should be!)
Additionally, I personally like to read other people’s affiliate reviews of products and services – I like to know what others have experienced before making a purchase.
But I have a radio/music blog – not an affiliate blog. I’m sure you don’t want start seeing a pile of a non-music affiliate posts on my blog roll. As a reader, I would be thinking, “Bummer, no music review today; she’s just selling something. Boring!”
Still, my readers might be interested in getting a sneak peek of what I enjoy and recommend.
My solution? A brief segment within my blog titled “Check It Out!”
Here, I can give you some brief information about something I recommend, with a link to my full review for it if it sparks your interest.
This way, there will be no distractions, I can share with you what I support, and you have the option to support me through my affiliate links if you want to.
Q: Will I have a “Check It Out!” segment in every blog post?
A: I’m not sure – that would mean I would have to write two articles every week (my regular one and an affiliate review to link to).
Quite frankly, I’m not sure I have the time for that, but I would like to share regularly if possible. Perhaps I will try to feature something once per month if I am unable to do so weekly.
Q: Where will I place my “Check It Out!” segment within my post?
A: That’s a bit tricky – I want to share my recommendations, but I don’t want to be “in your face.” I want you to be Blessed by my main content without distraction.
I also want the Prayer Focus to come first – people and souls are infinitely more important than money and sales.
Since my “Contact” and “Links” segments are post-related, I don’t want to interrupt that flow, either.
That puts my “Check It Out!” segment pretty much at the end – right before my closing note.
Would a marketing expert agree with my placement? Probably not.
But again, first things first: Content and souls, then recommendations and financial support.
Q: Will you ever change your marketing plan?
A: Perhaps! I will continue to seek God’s direction about how He wants me to run my site. I appreciate your prayers!
BeBe Winans (Birthday: September 17, 1962)
Bobby Jones, singer and radio/television host (Birthday: September 18, 1939)
Kerry Livgren from the band Kansas (Birthday: September 18, 1949)
Bruce Springsteen (Birthday: September 23, 1949)
Please pray for these bands and individuals as God leads you.
(I also have a basic guideline here if you wish to refer to it.)
In addition to praying for the weekly Prayer Focus, please pray for God to guide me and give me wisdom as I make decisions for the radio station and for the website. I really appreciate your prayer support!
If you feel that the Lord is leading you to support Rocking for Jesus financially as well, you can do so by clicking here or by clicking on the “Give” tab in the website menu.
What do you think? Do you get annoyed by advertisements, or do you click on them? Do you have an ad blocker installed on your computer? Do you prefer affiliate reviews over random ads? Let me know!
For this first week, I just have a recommended website (not an affiliate link).
If you like Petra, you should check out a website run by one of their fans:
It contains a wealth of information about the band.
If you want to be notified when I post new content, subscribe here.
Signing off until next week –
Rocking for Jesus with you!