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Putting Banner Ads in your blog sidebar - Your Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Blogging' started by Pandemix, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. #1
    Hey guys,

    I just got back from vacation, and when I went to check in on my blog I noticed that all of my paid banner slots have expired. So basically, I had those "Advertise Here" blocks on my blog. The banners were those commonly used 125x125 banner blocks and they were placed in my sidebar.

    Now, my blog is a pretty new blog. It's about 5 months old now, and while I have sold a few ads in the past on it, none of the advertisers made recurring payments (as in went back to my blog and renewed their ad banner for another month).

    Since my blog is new, there are a variety of things I am trying to build upon. The thing I am focusing on building is my community at the blog. The community, being people who comment on my blog, people who subscribe to it, people who vote in my poll, basically anyone who visits my blog. I am trying to build a better audience; a better community.

    So, what does all of that have to do with putting ads on your blog? I think that new bloggers need to do some waiting before they put banner ads in their sidebar. I do think that the way you position your ads in your sidebar does have an affect on growing your community. And the way it effects it is not a positive one.

    The way I find ads to be negative on your blog for building your community are:

    • Ads clog up the sidebar
      Of all the content you can put into your sidebar, those banner ads take up space in your sidebar. It will make your scroll bar smaller and require more scrolling to get to the bottom of the page, plus the images can make load time slower.
    • They are usually above your most important sidebar information
      There are a lot of things you can put in your sidebar, such as your most popular posts, recent posts, subscription box, etc. When you put ads in your sidebar, they push that important information down and will be less visible for people to see.

    It's all about what your readers can see. If they see you have a list of your popular posts above the fold* of your website then you will have a higher chance of someone visiting your older posts and staying on your blog longer right?

    * In Web Design, the fold is the point of your website where the users have to start scrolling down the page to see the rest of the content.
    Another thing I see so much is that people replace their "Advertise Here" banners with affiliate product banners. I think that is a waste of space, and it doesn't make you look good. Not only do you not look good to potential advertisers, but it can give off the appearance that one of your highest priorities on your blog is to make money.

    I wrote an article about this on my blog today, and now I want to hear some opinions on how putting ads in your blogs sidebar can have a negative impact on how you build your community on your blog. I really think that those ad squares are bad for your blog if you don't have that community built yet on your blog. If you wish to read my full article, you can visit my blog in my signature.

    Thanks for reading, and I hope to see some opinions here!
    Pandemix, Apr 19, 2009 IP
  2. hmansfield

    hmansfield Notable Member

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    Every webmaster and their mother with a blog about "blogging", "Make Money Online". or any of the other saturated niches like that have the same block of 125 x 125 ads in the sidebar (Hosting , Entrecard, SEO Services, Word Press Themes) ...like it's some kind of a design specification.....it looks stupid to copy other peoples blogs.

    I try and make sure that my ads directly reflect what my audience and content and not rely on programs like adsense to decide what to put on my site.

    You can rely on even the best programs to create ads that are personal to you, or original and aren't seen everywhere on the web, losing their appeal....banner ads already convert like crap, using the same ad as everyone else makes it even worse.

    I use ads that match my site in style and color, and fit into the design, I also use other media along with the ads, mainly video...most other ads I make myself.

    I also change them up frequently so it's not the exact same ad in the exact same place very single day...some spots are a constant as far as position, but I do not display the same ad for months...it makes the blog look stagnant IMO.

    For the most part, banners are dead, unless they are new or a signature of your site only.
    hmansfield, Apr 19, 2009 IP