If you blog on WordPress.com you may have come across the WordAds program during that time. There are a number of disadvantages to using WordPress.com and the ability to include ads in your blog is one of those disadvantages. WordAds is the only way you can monetise a WordPress.com blog but you need a significant number of views per month to be approved for this program.
You can however sign up to a WordPress Premium account and one of the things you get access too, along with free themes and the ability to customise your CSS, is the WordAds program. In December of 2016 I signed up to a WordAds premium account and though I knew I didn’t have enough views to make the WordAds program worthwhile. I activated adverts on my blog anyway to see what it was like.
HOW MUCH DID I EARN WITH WORDADS
The unfortunate answer here is not a lot. In the 7 months that I used the WordAds program I made $7.39, however based on various other posts I’ve seen about WordAds it would appear I got more money for fewer impressions.
January was my best month for views, getting just under 5000. July was one of the months with the lowest views at just over 1300, however in July I still gained 700 impressions which turned into $1.37. I find that month especially interesting because I’ve seen others with 6000 impressions a month get around the same amount in ad revenue.
PROBLEMS WITH WORDADS
If you haven’t signed up to WordPress Premium there are a few restrictions on joining the WordAds program. First you must have a certain number of views per month. There isn’t a huge amount of information on the internet about this but I would say you need at least 15,000 views a month.
You also need to have a registered domain. For the tech illiterate out there this means you can’t use your username.wordpress.com address. You have to buy a domain either through WordPress or another domain registrar. There are also a number of rules you have to follow to make your blog advertiser friendly. Basically no swearing or adult content.
There is also the fact that you need earn $100 before payment. This means even if you do get a reasonable amount in revenue each month you could be waiting a year or more for payment. On top of that you have no say in what adverts are and are not served, and where the ads are placed on the blog. WordPress does have a number of WordAd optimised themes but again that places another restriction on your blog and the way it looks.
You also have to be careful with where your traffic comes from. Most ad platforms don’t see traffic from social media as real viewers. Meaning they don’t think people coming from those sites truly click on the ads because they want to find out more. This is a very slight problem. But if you have lots of traffic from Stumbleupon or similar it could actually harm the amount of revenue you make from ads.
SHOULD YOU SIGN UP TO WORDADS
The thing with WordAds is you’re probably not going to make a huge amount of money. If you’re getting 15,000+ views per month you’re much better off going self hosted and signing up to Google Adsense. You have far more control over ad placement on your blog, which will in turn create more impressions.
I’ve recently moved to using Adsense and the ads being served on my blog are much more appropriate to my audience. Meaning they are more likely to be clicked on. So far I have had double the amount of ad impressions which has turned into double the amount of revenue. I’m also using the UK version of Adsense which means I don’t have the hassle of converting from dollars and I only need to get £60 in ad revenue before payout.
I guess if you had a blog with a reasonably large number of views but didn’t want to turn it into a living WordAds would be okay, the amount you could get in revenue might just cover the associated hosting fees. But if you were serious about using your blog to make money there are much better ad networks out there.