If you are wrestling with the dilemma of whether to monetize your blog or website, do note that many well-known sites have put up Google Adsense as one of monetization methods.
Is it wrong to monetize your site with Google Adsense?
Most readers would understand- that a website runs on continuous costs… hosting, hiring writers, programmers and designers. At the minimal, you also need to pay for domain and hosting even if you are writing and designing the site yourself. In order to continue to provide the kind of service or articles, the output must be able to cover back the costs and reap profits for the owner.
Years ago, there was a site that had decided to run based on donations by readers alone- I knew the site owner. The site was providing top quality news in a niche and have many visitors from all over the world. Initially, donations poured in from all around the world. And then, the contributions starts to dwindle. There is only so much that limited number of people could give.
Of course, due to large number of viewers sucking up the site’s bandwidth, the donations were not enough to cover the cost of the site. Even if it does, there was no compensation for the owner, who is not a rich guy but had dedicated a great deal of his time towards the site.
Today, when I visit the site, I’ve noted that the site has finally put up some ads from Google Adsense. Rather than getting visitors to physically fork out money, running the ads would be a better long term solutions. If the readers see something they like, they can just click on the ad and see if they want to buy the service. By the reader clicking on the ad (at no cost to the reader except of the reader chooses to buy something), the owner could earn income back based on his contribution and dedication. The earnings also give some sort of motivation for the owner to keep going.
It is better than trying to be involved in the moral dilemma of whether to have ads or not in the site. My experience is most readers would understand- because they would want you to continue providing them the stuff that you are providing.
Even the online portals of two of the most popular newspapers: In the past, the popular local newspaper portal in my country, The Star paper (http://www.thestar.com.my/) used to run Adsense ads. However, they have evolved and now they sell their space and create custom advertising to attract advertisers, just like how the feature advertising in their physical papers.
Why Google Adsense remains as a popular form of advertising with ads:
- relatively easy to set up once you get your Google Adsense account approved
- have huge database of advertisers as Google also runs incentive programs to encourage people to advertise with them
- constant in payment- Google is a good and punctual paymaster- so long as you meet the minimum earning of USD100
However, I have noticed that established sites are also moving away from Google Adsense and is monetizing their sites using other forms such as with affiliates, selling their own ebooks/products/software or offering professional services such as web design.