Advertising vs. Readership. It’s One or the Other.25
Advertising and readership are the two things that most bloggers are trying to promote. The thing that isn’t always realised is that you can’t promote both advertising and readership. It is either advertising or readership.
Your blog’s layout contains a number of hotspots. Content in these hotspots, such as that above the fold, is looked at (And then acted upon) more often than content in other locations. It is important to realise that each hotspot can only contain one type of content; either adverts or readership promotion.
By choosing to build readership, you are actively choosing to put your adverts into locations where they will perform worse, for the benefit of your readers. In this way, you can more easily encourage readers to subscribe, or simply browse in non-commercial peace. In this way you are hoping to build up a good audience, discussion and contacts.
This approach is best recommended for blogs still in their infancy. You will only continue writing the blog if you feel people are actually reading, and benefiting from it. With small audience, your profits are going to be meagre no matter how well you place them, so why damage your blog’s growth potential?
An example of this is Pro Blog Design itself. The only advert here is a plain, old Google Adsense skyscraper, placed in the most out-of-the-way area on the blog. I have no interest in money at the minute. Instead of placing adverts in the posts, above the headlines on the homepage, or any of the other usual hotspots, I’m giving my content prominence and enjoying the rewards of all the great comments I’ve had so far.
In a blog which already has an established readership, and a good deal of articles written, it is natural that the adverts will then be given priority. At this point, your reputation and regular readers mean that the damage ads will do to your comment and subscription counts is a lot less than previously.
A good example of this is John Chow’s blog, where you’ll find adverts above the content, in the content, below the content, and in every other place that might make a few bucks! John’s content is enough to promote readership, leaving his layout to make the money.
In the end, you always have to choose either your community, or your income. So, which is it for you?
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