How to tell if you are overselling ad space on your blog

Want to monetize your website with ads?

Alright. This is a major bone of contention with me. I can't even report how many times I have been sent a link (or found one via Google) for a website that hopefully has the tutorial, article, or other information I need. If you're like me, it's in the hundreds or thousands, right?

What I have discovered at an alarmingly rapid rate, are the number of sites that have sold so much ad space that I can barely find the information I was looking for. This doesn't even touch on the fact that the site takes much longer to load because several advertisers believe it to be impressive to have a Flash ad. Don't even get me started on Flash ads!

How do you know if you have too many ads?

You know you are overselling ad space on your site if there if you have to scroll just to get to the content. If you have more ads at the top than content. On a desktop, there is at least 5 inches of ads between the header and the content so that is another way to gauge what your users will have to encounter, unless of course, the users have enabled an ad-blocker.

I have yet to understand the purpose of placing such a large advertising block between the article title & the article itself. To be honest, I usually leave a site straight away if I have to work that hard just to find the content, especially if I'm there to look for specific information which is buried beneath the ads.

I appreciate the people who make money selling ad space on their website, and I applaud them for being able to monetize the site.

What's the big deal?

The problem is when you have more ads than content you lose the audience.

Enter: The Ad Farm.

Personally, I had a DVR (when I had cable) to filter the ads and commercials for a reason. They interrupt the flow of content (even on tv) and just I wish there was a way to do that on the internet. Ad blockers work most of the time but on a mobile device, it's a nightmare!

I guess it's a matter of what your intention is. Do you want to attract visitors who are actually looking for your content, or only generate income by selling ad space. Lately, I have encountered way too many sites that are broken down by 75% ads & 25% content. And some have not put any effort into making sure the ads are just as responsive as the rest of the site (for mobile users). If you're goal is to generate income by selling ads, then super. Mission accomplished. But if your blog exists to share valuable content and information with visitors, then be sure to structure your site so it's easy to navigate, use, and find the content.

What do you think?

Do ads on websites bother you? Do you use an ad-blocker? Do you have ads on your own website? If so, what kind of feedback do you get? We'd love to hear about your experience so we can all make the web a better and more enjoyable place.

4 thoughts on “How to tell if you are overselling ad space on your blog”

  1. You can get AdBlock for Firefox and Google Chrome. I’ve been using it for years. It does a very good job of blocking about 99.9% of the ads I would normally see. Plus, I can whitelist sites if I need to see their ads for whatever reason.

    • I have actually used AdBlock. The problem is that you can’t rely on everyone using Firefox or Chrome, or that they even know of the plugin at all. Also, AdBlock doesn’t deal with the overall aesthetics of the site – won’t change the layout of the site. In the past, AdBlock has given me problems and caused Firefox to slow and/or crash. I finally had to remove the plugin. Also, it won’t address the layout/aesthetics of the site. It IS and CAN be an option but I still maintain that some people are overselling space on their sites, more interested in generating revenue than offering valuable content. Thanks for the comment and suggestion, Dan ;)

      • Yeah. There are some sites that I’ve gone as far as completely avoiding because of it. I get that revenue is something sites need to generate, but I’m of the thinking that I would rather have a simple $5/month subscription offering me extended features than have to deal with ads.

  2. A variation on this is blogs that are so “socially networked” that the pages takes forever to load. You know, there are pings and trackbacks and counters and all that. I avoid one particular photography blog because of that. Too much page stalling!

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