Creating a website with compelling content — high quality text, images and videos — is a lot of work. Many people blog or create a website as a creative activity–not necessarily as a money making project. But at a certain point, you have to ask yourself, “is there money to be made?” The second question to ask yourself, “should there be money made?”
Advertising can alienate your audience. You may never develop a large scale following if you introduce advertising early in the life of your website. You may be better off waiting months or years to introduce an ad network and focus more on keeping your web visitors happy and returning to your site.
Depending on the subject of your website, advertising can potentially undermine your credibility. For example, if you are representing some kind of a nonprofit activity or subject, say… saving animals or helping the homeless, for-profit advertising can cause unnatural bounce rates went web visitors arrive.
Advertising can also deter from the artistic goal of your content. You may have spent hours and hours crafting just the right minimalist effect… just the right balance of text and images to make people feel comfortable… and now a bunch of foreign images and words that you cannot always control will potentially be uncontrollably injected into your pages. This can negatively impact whatever aesthetic experience goal you have set out for your audience and cause them to stop visiting.
Web advertising can also slow the performance of your website. Ad servers create extra processes involved for loading ads that can cause your pages to load slower. If you have a sub-standard web hosting company or if you are not cashing your webpages with a CDN (content delivery network), slower response rates for page loading can cause visitors to leave prematurely and can negatively impact your search engine optimization statistics.
Even if all the above works with your publishing plans, the overall income you may receive from ad revenue may not be worth it in the long run. If your web visitors are measured in the hundreds, instead of thousands per week, it may not be worth it. There are many ways to monetize your web presence that don’t involve advertising. You can provide services or products as a result of building a strong following and fanbase.
Better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your online goals, so think long and hard about when and if you want to advertise on your website.