Understand the Pros and Cons of Ad Networks for Mom Bloggers - dummies

Understand the Pros and Cons of Ad Networks for Mom Bloggers

By Wendy Piersall, Heather B. Armstrong

The most common complaint you hear from mom bloggers using ad networks is that they usually don’t have enough inventory to fill all the available ad views that your blog generates. Each ad network handles this situation differently. Some will allow you to put your own backup ads into place so that you can run self-promotional ads or use Google AdSense when there are no paying ads to display.

Other ad networks require that only their ads can be shown in the spots where their ad networks appear on your blog. In these circumstances, the ad networks generally display their own house ads, and sometimes they’ll pay you a tiny amount for these impressions, which is (of course) better than nothing.

In a bad economy, inventory issues can be a real problem for ad networks. Sometimes it means they can’t take any new publishers, and applicants are put on a waiting list. For bloggers, it can mean a huge cut in revenue. It certainly makes it frustrating to do all the work to generate lots of traffic only to find that you haven’t earned anything more than any other month of the year.

Sometimes switching to a different ad network can earn you more money — but for the most part, if one ad network is having a hard time selling ads, then all of them are.

If you really do want to switch to a different ad network, contact one of the bloggers in the networks you want to join and ask what the experience has been like. If you’re trying to get into a big ad network and are currently working with a small one, then switching could give you an instant pay raise.

None of these things are going to be too much of an issue for you if you don’t have a lot of traffic to begin with. Until you get into hundreds of thousands of page views a month, ad network earnings are pretty meager.

Some blogs and blog topics will simply never get huge amounts of traffic, especially those that attract a small niche audience. In these circumstances, it makes more sense to use ad networks as a backup — and focus instead on other ways to generate revenue. Affiliate marketing might be a better bet if you can promote the right products to your unique group of blog readers.