Key Points

  • Ad revenue isn't the only way to monetize a website, but it's one of the most scalable.
  • The initial setup process to earn website revenue from ads can be as difficult or as simple as you make it.
  • Set yourself up right and at the right time to ensure a long future for your website and your business as a publisher.

You've got a killer website. Your audience is growing, and they love your content. Things are looking good, but now it's time to make a couple of critical decisions: Should I monetize my website? And how should I monetize it?

If you want to see any return for all of the work you're putting into your site, website monetization needs to be on the menu. As for the method, you have choices - subscriptions, affiliate marketing, donations, and more - but advertising is by far the most popular. And there's a reason for that: Your ad revenue grows as your audience grows.

Of course, if you've never tried to generate website revenue from ads, you probably don't know exactly how to go about it. This article will help with that. Keep reading.

Playwire helps medium to large publishers get the most out of every single ad impression. We do that with a combination of ad tech expertise, machine learning, innovation, and old-fashioned elbow grease. Contact us to learn more.

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The Publisher's Guide to Ad Revenue

Generating Website Revenue from Ads: 5 Steps

Some newer publishers make generating website revenue from ads way more complicated than it has to be. At its core, online advertising is a simple exchange, and a few key principles and steps will take you far in the ad space. Here are the basic steps to get you started:

1. Build Your Audience

Pick your old saying: Don't jump the gun, don't put the cart before the horse, don't count your chickens before they hatch. They all apply: Don't start filling your site with ads before you have a real audience.

Ultimately, when to incorporate ads is up to you, but you generally won't start to see much revenue until you're nearing the 300,000 monthly users mark. 

To build your audience, do more of what you do best: Create great content. But don't forget SEO, social media promotion, and other marketing channels that can bring you more website traffic.

2. Pick a Website Advertising Platform

Once you've crossed the audience threshold and are ready to actually bring in some revenue from website ads, you will generally have the easiest time if you go with one of the big established partners such as Google AdSense. The vast majority of beginning publishers choose Google AdSense when they are getting started (but your chosen tools will likely change as your website scales).

Why? Because it's simple and readymade to slap onto your site and start running ads. It's true that you don't always get the highest possible advertising revenue, and you're limited only to Google ad demand for your ads (which is insanely large, by the way), but the other approaches require so much work and money to set up that they are typically not viable for newer publishers.

3. Choose Your Ad Units

As you probably know, there's more than one type of digital ad. In fact, there are several types, each of which offers a different cost per mille (CPM) rate, user experience, and set of technical requirements. 

Your most basic ad units - the ones most publishers start out with - are display banners and video ads. Banner ads stretch across a portion of your site (your header, footer, sidebar, or a similar spot) and display an advertiser's ad, which is usually a static piece of creative.

Video ads are what they sound like, but you don't necessarily have to be a video publisher to run a video ad. You can incorporate a premade video player that runs video ads inside your written content. 

4. Start Slowly and Reassess

When you've chosen the ad units you want to incorporate, you may feel ready to stick them everywhere on your site, but that would be a mistake. Instead, start slowly. 

Remember: Your audience has not seen an ad on your site up to this point, so if they visit tomorrow and get 16 ads before they can ever reach the premium content they know you for, they won't be happy.

So, start slowly and scale up over time. Don't fill every possible spot with ads. Try just one ad placement and see what happens. If your metrics stay strong and your users don't resist too much, try another. Keep testing and reassessing - that's how you will slowly increase your revenue in a sustainable way over time.

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Visit the Complete Ad Revenue Resource Center

5. Focus on What Matters Most

Getting your first payout of website revenue from ads is exciting. There's no doubt about that. But don't get so excited about it that you forget to focus on what matters most: Creating great content that keeps your users coming back and growing in number.

The larger your audience is, the higher your revenue is. Don't lose sight of that - you have to have users to generate ad revenue.

What's Next: Advanced Tactics for Website Ad Revenue Generation

With those five steps, you'll be completely set up to start bringing in a bit of ad revenue from your website. Obviously, these are beginner steps. Once you've started bringing in consistent revenue and are ready to move on to the more advanced tactics, you may want to consider the following:

Take Your Website's Ad Revenue to the Next Level

Playwire isn't a fit for publishers at all levels, but when you get to the level where we can really help you grow, we're ready to hear from you. Our publishers are our partners - not our customers. We want to help you generate enough website revenue from ads to accomplish all of your goals.

So, dream big. Start bringing in ad revenue, and keep pushing until you get this thing off the ground. When you're ready to work with us, we'll take your revenue from off the ground to through the roof. And if you're already there, reach out to us.

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