Why new blogs should not display ads

Michael had written up a review scrutiny of this blog. Being honest and in-your-face, I found it a nice read. Do go over there and let him know your thoughts.

In his review, Michael said:

4. No ads on the site, there is nothing wrong with ads but it is refreshing to see that this blogger isn’t just out to make a quick buck (not that it is that easy to make a quick buck with Blogging, your better off making a quick buck from a minimum wage job).

It caught my eye, because he reflected exactly the same reason because of which I do not place ads here(yet).

Most bloggers start a blog, usually on Blogger, and slap ads all over the blog. They write up a few posts, and hope to become the next John Chow or Jeremy Schoemoney or Darren Rowse. What they do not understand is the hard work, determination and perseverance that the A-listers had. It is these qualities that helped them reach where they are.

Fast forward, and every average blogger has ads on his blog. They do not take into account that almost the above-mentioned blogs, and many others, did not start out as money-spinning ventures, and was just a place for the authors to relax and share their thoughts every evening after a hard day’s work(some were even unemployed). They did not have ads, and the sponsorship badges covered their hosting and ISP charges.

Here is my line of reasoning:

  • New blogs have low traffic, mostly below 1k.
  • They have a fragile readership, which gets frustrated easily. Loyal readers are few and far apart, and hence there is a lower chance of maintaining readership if they are irritated.
  • CPC (cost-per-click) of these blogs are very low, since they have less demand.
  • CTR (click-through-ratio) is low, usually below 5%. This is due to many reasons, of which the most important is poor optimization.
  • Loading times are affected by ads. Higher loading times equal more frustrated visitors leaving your site before it loads.
  • Poor impression in the eyes of readers. Most readers consider blogs with ads in lower esteem than those without ads. I personally do this too 😉

Thus, new blogs with ads have many cons. Now, let us look at what a typical new blog with low traffic gets:
CPC: $0.1
CTR: 3%
Daily traffic: 250

CPC x CTR x Daily Traffic x 30 days in a month = Earnings for a month
0.1 x 3% x 250 x 30 = $22.5
The above calculation is actually quite lenient. Yet, it manages only $22. This does not take into account the traffic dip during weekend. This sum is for blogs with audience comprising of moderately tech-savvy people. If your blog has a target audience of web masters/geeks/hackers, then you are in big trouble, because techies develop AdSense wallpaper effect. This means that they skip over ads by habit, because they see hundreds of ads every day.

Now tell me, would you want to compromise a good reader experience, and low load times just for a meagre sum of $22, less than $1 per day? You would lose several visitors who hate ads. Over a longer duration, such pissed-off visitors would hurt your traffic and decrease you earnings more than the $22 you lose every month by not placing ads.

I personally would not compromise a neat, easy to read, quick-loading blog for just $22. Maybe $100+ would suffice. Maybe.

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