As a blogger, I receive quite a handful of PR and brand sponsorship inquiries. Do you have a press kit I could see? Please send over your price list! Are you open to a partnership at this time? These are questions that I see at least once or twice a month. And of course, the inevitable: what are your ad rates?
Honestly, at this point, I just bypass the ad rates inquiry emails. For me, ads just don't hold any value.
For a number of reasons. I had a blogger acquaintance question the absence of ads on my blog recently and thought I'd address it publicly in case others had similar thoughts and concerns.
Here are 5 reasons I eliminated ads from my blog:
The Pay Off Isn't Worth It
Unless you're getting hundreds of thousands of impressions or even millions of impressions on a monthly basis, the pay off from ads just isn't there. It would take me months just to make $100 from Google Adsense and I could make 5 times that with a sponsored social media post.
My Readers Deserve Better
I think I speak for my readers when I say: they're smarter than that. Creating the expectation that they'll click on an ad that probably has nothing to do with what my content is trying to achieve is not only pointless but disrespectful to my reader (and their intelligence, if we're being honest). It's one thing to say, "hey, girl...I bought this shirt here...if you like it, here's where to buy it & if you do I'll make a little commission off of it" in terms of affiliate links. It's another to say, "hey, girl...hey, girl...girl, hey...hey, girl..." and hope she clicks something because it's there to click.
They Interrupt The Flow of My Content
I really dislike visiting my favorite blogs & seeing banner ads overwhelming the header of their site, a cluttered sidebar because of the crowd of ads or even worse, a takeover ad. *shudders* In the words of Quinta B, "Knock, knock. Who's there? I can't." I. CANNOT. When I visit a blog I enjoy, I don't enjoy being interrupted because an ad has to ensure its being seen, so I can imagine my readers feel the same. I understand that the bills have to be paid - I do - but when the flow of my content is being interrupted repeatedly because of ads, I'm doing both my readers and myself a disservice. That's why I prefer affiliate links because it can be present without ruining the fluidity of a post.
I'd Rather Advertise My Best Posts
If you look to the right of my blog, you'll notice that I have created little "ads" to my most popular or my favorite posts. If I'm going to use my sidebar for anything, why not use it to drive more traffic to my content? While I may not be getting paid to do that, increasing traffic on posts certainly increases the value of my blog. And in the end, that'll pay off more than a few ad clicks will.
This is totally my opinion, but I honestly don't know anyone who still clicks ads. I haven't known anyone to really do that for the last few years. We're all aware of Adsense and what other program ads look like. Because there are so many more blogs now than there were 7-8 years ago where the blog ad was in its prime, readers want to know that you care about them and provide content that is entertaining, helpful and/or relevant without ads intruding. Today, blog readers are that smart. They know that we should be smart enough to get their attention in other ways.