Online advertisements have always been one of the most popular ways to monetize your website. However, the rise of adblockers threatens to change that. At this point, anyone starting a new site needs to seriously consider whether running ads on WordPress is still a good option from a financial perspective.
Some websites still make good money from ads. However, plenty of others are looking elsewhere when it comes to monetization. In this article, we’ll talk about how adblockers have impacted ad revenue during the past few years. We’ll then discuss whether it makes sense to run ads on WordPress and look at some alternative methods of monetization.
Let’s get to it!
How Have Adblockers Impacted Ad Revenue?
If you were browsing the internet a decade ago, you’ll remember it used to be a wild west of ads on almost every website. You had image and text ads, auto-playing videos, pop-ups, and more in almost every corner. Back then, blocking ads required you to be tech-savvy, which meant most people just had to put up with them.
Some browsers, such as Firefox, enabled you to block specific images from websites as far back as 2003. However, real adblocking extensions, such as AdBlock didn’t become commonplace until the start of this decade. From that moment on, adblocker usage has climbed exponentially. In 2016, a survey from the Interactive Advertising Bureau found that 26% of desktop users installed adblockers on their browsers of choice. Mobile users lagged behind, with only 15% using adblockers, which is still a significant figure.
The number of people that used adblockers grew 41% in just the twelve months before April 2017. That’s over a billion people worldwide using adblocking software, out of over 3.2 billion internet users.
In 2017 alone, adblocking software cost the advertising industry over $15 billion in lost revenue. That trend is likely to keep climbing as more people begin to use adblockers, which are remarkably easy to set up nowadays. Moreover, popular browsers such as Chrome and Safari have taken steps to block ads on websites that break their guidelines. So far, only a tiny percentage of sites has been affected by the tech giant’s decision to block ads. However, the move sends a signal that there’s little tolerance left for websites that choose to display aggressive media ads.
There’s a reason why a lot of websites still use up some of their space with ads. They can be profitable if you’re raking in massive amounts of traffic. However, traditional ads on WordPress might not work as well if you’re running a small website.
To give you an example, if your blog is getting around 1,500 visitors per day, you might earn around $10 a day using Google AdSense. If you can pull in that kind of traffic each day, you’d be looking at over 40,000 hits per month on your website.
Ten dollars a day equals $300, which is decent money. However, it’s a small level of revenue for a website with that amount of traffic. Keep in mind that this is a back of the napkin calculation, and a lot of factors can affect revenue from platforms such as AdSense. However, given those figures we don’t recommend you use ads as your primary monetization method. Running an ad or two might be effective, but we recommend that you perform A/B testing for to see which ones work.
One option that some websites have implemented is adblocking-blocking software. These are tools that prevent users with adblockers from browsing your site. It’s easy to see why some people would find them attractive, but in most cases the extra revenue they might help bring in pales with how many people they’ll drive away. Instead, we recommend that simply politely ask users to disable their adblockers on your website. You should also look to complement or replace your ad usage with alternative sources of income.
What Are Some Other Ways You Can Monetize Your WordPress Website?
In the past, we’ve written a lot about several ways you can monetize your WordPress website. However, let’s recap some of the best methods:
- Affiliate blogging. If you can drive purchases through your site, plenty of platforms will pay you commission on those sales.
- Selling online courses. You can turn your WordPress website into an online classroom, where you can sell premium courses and pocket the earnings.
- Publishing sponsored posts. This is a tricky subject since it can lead to websites publishing content they wouldn’t otherwise. However, if you can strike a balance to create sponsored posts that your readers would enjoy, it may be worth it.
- Promoting your own services. A lot of people use WordPress websites to sell their own services online, such as web development and design.
Let’s return to our earlier example of a website pulling in about 40,000 visitors a month. If you can convert even 1% of those hits into customers, any of the monetization methods we mentioned earlier can make you a lot more money than ads. For example, if you’re selling an online service for $10 a month, that 1% would translate to 400 subscribers and $4000 in revenue.
Keep in mind, though – building an online business isn’t simple and neither is growing a blog to that level of popularity. Both take time and serious effort. However, if you do succeed, you need to be smart about how you monetize your online projects. With the growing sentiment against online ads, it makes sense not to rely on them as your only source of income.
For a long time, ads where the go-to monetization method for a lot of websites. If you had enough traffic, ads were an almost guaranteed source of income. However, as ads became more obtrusive, people began to look for ways to get rid of them, and that’s when adblockers were born.
There are still situations were running ads on WordPress makes sense. However, we suggest you don’t use ads as your primary monetization method. There are plenty of other options available, such as affiliate blogging, sponsored posts, and even selling online courses. In most cases, any of these will be less obtrusive than ads.
Do you think it’s worth it to run ads on WordPress? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below!
Article image thumbnail by Pinone Pantone / shutterstock.com
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