The topic of website advertising is a fairly contentious topic. Site owners/operators use advertising as a way to bring in additional income, while many visitors view advertising as wasted space and an annoyance. I vaguely recall reading a comment on one blog where the respondant was of the opinion that the only reason people link to their own blog when leaving comments was to get people to click through the ads. Obviously, there is a big disconnect here, but what many people do not realize is that ads can benefit them just as much, and maybe even more than the site owner who is hosting the advertisement.
Obviously, just by viewing this post, youcan see that I am trying to benefit from hosting banner ads on my blog. But, I happen to also be a web surfer, and read numerous other blogs as well which also contain advertising, so I can look at things from both perspectives.
Being a surfer has enabled me to take my personal experiences and preferences and use them in choosing what types of ads I decide to host on my blog site. Not only do I choose to work with companies that have relevance to the topics which I blog about, but I also choose to display ads which also offer discounts to readers that might happen to click through to the advertiser’s own website. Whether it be a free shipping offer, or a percentage discount or a dollar-off discount, many of the offers displayed on the blog provide a dual-benefit.
Of course, there is also a business side to the whole concept of running a blog, or any other type of website for that matter–the hosting, bandwidth, and domain registratio do not pay for themselves. However, it is important (to me at least) that the content of the site remains the main focus, which is why placement is also key. Banners ot the top of and bottom of the page, and skycscrapers along the column remain secondary. There is no advertising in the main body of the blog, leaving the content to be the main focus of the readers’ attention.
Quite simply, advertising is a necessary part of running a website, whether it be a blog, social networking, news outlet, etc. The key is to to keep the content as the center of attention and whenever possible customize the advertising in a way so that it not only pertains to the focus of the website, but can also provide a benefit to the viewers as well.