A common question arises when starting a new blog: should I start off with ads already in place? It’s a legitimate concern and the answer will be different for every blogger, but you have three options here: start with ads, add them into your existing design later, or redesign your site with an ad friendly theme.
Start with Ads
Everyone is looking to make money online and the way to do that is by having advertisers on your blog. Starting from the beginning means you can make money from the beginning. You won’t have to change your design later on and readers will come to recognize the layout of your blog.
When I started my first blog, I ran ads from the beginning. I probably made about $10 a month for the first few months before getting into the swing of things. While $10 a month seems like nothing, it was more than the expenses I was paying in order to run the blog. Essentially, I was able to blog on my own domain and host for free. It was encouraging to see the amount of clicks I received on my blog to gradually grow. The amount of money you earn is an easy way to measure your success.
Starting with ads has it’s disadvantages too. You could look desperate or just into blogging to make money. This will turn readers off if they see you as solely self-interested. Blogs are about community and if you don’t have a strong community, don’t expect to ever really make money online.
Start without Ads
Add ads to an existing design
Once you start drawing in the traffic and have a strong committed reader base, it would be a good idea to try and start capitalizing on your viewers. This has it’s drawbacks as it could look like you’re ‘selling-out’ or you’re starting to care less about your readers and more about attracting and pleasing advertisers.
Design a new theme with advertisements included
If you want to add advertisements later on, this is the route I suggest you take. Launching a new theme that now incorporates ads will come as less of a shock than changing your old theme to fit ad space in. Plus, if you work with a professional designer, you can maintain creative control over the layout and have it tweaked to look exactly like you want it.
Honestly, it all comes down to the type of blog you’re running. If your blog can incorporate ads that will benefit or interest your readers, then by all means, put them in from the start! It just makes sense to do it that way. However, if you’re running a personal blog, you’ll probably want to avoid ads all together. Your readers are interested in what you have to say and that’s about it. It is unlikely they’ll ever bother with following an ad.