238: Understanding Ads – How to Increase Your Earnings from Ads with Bjork Ostrom

An image of a computer and the title of the 238th episode on the Food Blogger Pro Podcast, 'Understanding Ads.'

Welcome to episode 238 of The Food Blogger Pro Podcast! This week on the podcast, Bjork talks about how you can optimize and increase the earnings you receive from the ads on your site.

Last week on the podcast, the team talked about the “one thing” they’re excited to accomplish in 2020. To go back and listen to that episode, click here.

Understanding Ads 

Ads can be an effective way to earn money from blogging, but how do you know you’re making the most out of your ad placements?

That’s what Bjork is here to talk about today! He’s sharing seven tips to help you increase the earnings you’re receiving from the ads you’re running on your site without having to increase your pageviews.

From understanding viewability and impressions to encouraging your readers to stick around on your site, this episode of the podcast will help you make sense of the wonderful world of ad revenue!

A quote from Bjork Ostrom’s appearance on the Food Blogger Pro podcast that says, 'It’s both an art and a science.'

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • What viewability is
  • What impressions are
  • Why it’s important to keep user experience in mind when it comes to placing ads on your site
  • How you can encourage people to stick around on your site
  • What overlay ads are
  • What ad-supported video players are
  • What sticky ads are
  • Why you might want to delay using ads

Listen to the Food Blogger Pro Podcast below or check it out on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, or Spotify:

Resources:

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for interviews, be sure to email them to [email protected].

If you’d like to jump to the comments section, click here.

Transcript:

Bjork Ostrom: Hey there, friends, Bjork Ostrom here and as you probably know you are listening to the Food Blogger Pro Podcast. The purpose for this podcast, the reason we exist is to put content into the worlds to create audio content specifically for the podcast that in some way shape or form helps you along with your journey in building your thing. Now, thing is kind of indiscript, it’s not super specific. But the reason I say things because there’s a lot of different versions, a lot of different things that people are building. You could be building a website with the intent and the hope to create something profitable that allows you to have a side hustle or a job.

Bjork Ostrom: Maybe you want to completely replace your normal day-to-day job and so you’re working to build a business that does that. Maybe you love your job and you want a side hustle where you can get some extra income or maybe you’re not interested in building a business or creating income from what you’re doing. You just want to do what you’re doing better. You are a creator, you are a thinker, you are an entrepreneur of sorts and you want to figure out how to do that better in the world. We are here to serve you and chances are that you fit some version of that. That you are somebody that is creating something in the world and you want to be successful with it.

Bjork Ostrom: Now obviously with the name like the Food Blogger Pro Podcast, we have a really specific niche that we focus on and that is the food world. So a lot of times it’ll be food or recipe content that we talk about, but we’ve found that there’s actually a broad group of people who listen to this podcast beyond just the niche of food and recipes. So if that is you welcome, we are glad you’re here and if you are somebody who fits within that niche, even better because we’re going to be talking about things really specific to you and how you can build your blog, build your website, build your following, whatever it is that you are building.

Bjork Ostrom: This podcast actually came out of us doing just that. My wife, Lindsay and I, many, many years ago, almost 10 years ago now, started a site called Pinch of Yum and Lindsay published recipes that she was creating there and along the way she learned how to take photos better. She started to get really intentional with figuring out how to write in a way that connects with people and she as an artist has developed her craft over the last few years, 10 years I guess, not few years. And I’ve been lucky enough to join her along for that journey and I’ve been able to explore in some of the areas that I’m really interested in like business and tech and things like accounting and bookkeeping and numbers and all of that stuff. Taxes, some of those boring things are actually things that are interesting and fascinating to me. Food Blogger Pro came out of some of those interests for me and some of the interests for Lindsay.

Bjork Ostrom: We said, “We’ve realized that there’s a community of people who are interested in having conversations about the things that we are interested in: photography, writing, recipe development numbers as it relates to businesses, growth as it relates to traffic, increasing income,” things like that. So we started Food Blogger Pro to really serve this specific group of people. The people who are doing similar things to what we were doing, and to have conversations around how we can do that better.

Bjork Ostrom: Sometimes we have conversations with experts in certain areas. We bring them on and I get to play the role of question asker and facilitator of conversations. Sometimes we have our own team on. We’re lucky enough to have an incredible team across a few different businesses. And so sometimes we have those conversations, as was the case with last week’s episode with Alexa talking about some of the things that we are focusing on in the new year. So if you didn’t check out that podcast, make sure to check it out. And then every once in a while I press record and talking to a microphone in a room by myself like I’m doing right now. When that happens, I usually pick a subject that I’m interested in and a subject that I feel like would be helpful for the audience to be thinking about and to know about.

Bjork Ostrom: Today we’re going to be focusing in on ads. We’re actually in the ad mindset right now because we’re working on a course, updating a course for Food Blogger Pro, all about understanding ads. There’s a lot of terms and terms that we’re not going to get into, not all of them at least on this podcast. On the Food Blogger Pro course, when we create this, we’re going to be talking about some of those things. What is RPM? What is CPM? What’s the difference? What is viewability? We’re going to actually talk about that on the podcast today. What is an impression? How do I optimize my ads layout? Which is the best ad network to use? All of these are questions that are important to think about and we’re not going to dive into all of those. We’re going to talk about some of them, but those are some of the things that we are thinking about as we get ready for this course for Food Blogger Pro members.

Bjork Ostrom: Today, the focus is actually going to be on increasing your earnings with ads. I’m going to talk about seven things that you can be thinking about as it relates to increasing the earnings that you have from your ads. Because the reality is for most of us we think about how do we get more page views, how do we increase the number of people that are coming to our site or increase the number of times that a certain person comes to our site all to increase our page views. So we try and do things like show up higher in search engines or we try and get our Pinterest account to have more clicks on it. We might try and get people to save or favorite something so then they come back more often. Those are all really important things and it’s like on the income side of things, it’s important to figure out how to make more money, but it’s also important to figure out how to save money.

Bjork Ostrom: A similar but different comparison is, it’s important to figure out how to get more page views, but it’s also important to figure out how to get more from each page view and that’s all about increasing your earnings with ads. So it’s not increasing your page used to earn more, it’s increasing the earnings you get from ads with the same amount of page views. An example would be if you were to not increase your traffic at all throughout the year, let’s say that you had the exact same amount of traffic to your website in 2020 as you did with 2019, these are going to be some of the things that could help you earn more despite not increasing your traffic. We’re going to talk about seven of those. Some of those might be familiar, might be a good reminder. Some of those might be new, but my hope is that there’s at least one or two things from this episode that you can take and you can implement on your site to help your business be a little bit more successful. Let’s go ahead and jump in.

Bjork Ostrom: Number one, understand and optimize for viewability. Now, what is viewability? I like to break down a word and just take it for what it is. View and ability. So the ability to be viewed. That term as it relates to ads makes a lot of sense. Because for a long time ads would show up on a website and nobody would see them, and yet an advertiser would still pay for that ad to load on a website. And that was because technology was in a place where it was hard to track whether that ad was being… if it was displayed in a way where a user could see it. But as technology advanced, it became more and more possible to track the viewability of an ad. So at its core, it’s a metric, it’s a number that allows you to track impressions of an ad that are actually seen by a visitor or user of your site.

Bjork Ostrom: Now let’s define that term as well. Impressions, what does that mean? If you think of a website loading and anytime that an ad loads on there, that’s considered an impression. Now, the best type of an impression from a value perspective, both for you and an advertiser is a viewable impression. So it’s possible to have an impression that isn’t viewable, but that’s not very valuabe. I’ll give you an example. Let’s say you have an ad in the footer of your website all the way at the bottom. And think about how many times you go all the way to a footer of a website. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. This isn’t one that loads over top of the content. This is one that’s all the way at the bottom and you have to scroll to the footer in order to see it. Not many people are going to be able to view that ad because not many people scroll down to the bottom. So that would be a low viewability ad. Even though there would be an impression it would load, so there’d be something that would be happening in the background where the ad would load, it wouldn’t be a viewable impression.

Bjork Ostrom: The goal as a publisher, for you is to understand viewability. It’s really important because that will impact some of the decisions that you make around where you place your ads.

Bjork Ostrom: Now let’s define viewable. What does viewable actually mean? There’s lots of people with opinions on this, the standard is that an ad, at least 50% of it… Let’s say you can imagine a rectangle ad or easier a square ad, at least 50% of the square ad is viewable or visible on the screen for at least one second. So that’s technically how you would define viewability or a viewable impression. It doesn’t even have to be the entire ad to be considered viewable. Just 50% of the ad. And it doesn’t have to be for 10 seconds, that is on the page, it just has to be for one second. Now, what does that look like for a recipe site? How can you take this understanding of viewability and then optimize around that to get paid more?

Bjork Ostrom: Well, it means thinking about the places on your site where people are not scrolling quickly, but instead we’re there hanging out for a little bit, where people are spending some time. Those are hot areas. If you can imagine a heat map of your website, those are hot areas where there’s a lot of viewability and you want to optimize or if you are optimizing for ads, you want to make sure to try and get those ads in front of or in those places. A great example for a recipe site is the recipe card itself. There’s a lot of valuable impressions, high viewability impressions that can come from the recipe card because for a food blog, a lot of people go straight to the recipe card and that’s where they hang out for a really long time. And a little bit later on we’re going to talk about why it’s valuable, not just because it’s viewable, but also because of the amount of time that somebody spends with an ad unit in a certain place.

Bjork Ostrom: Number one, it’s important to understand viewability because that will impact some of the decisions that you make around where your ads are placed. An important consideration here is the fact that just because you get paid more to have a viewable doesn’t mean that you should stuff ads into every corner of your website so you have a lot of ads with high viewability and a lot of impressions because that’s going to impact the user experience. So this conversation, it’s important to know that’s both an art and a science. In some ways the science part is easy. Optimizing for ads and ad income means that you’re trying to get more ads with higher viewability or ads in more places with high viewability, but that impacts the user experience.

Bjork Ostrom: So there has to be some consideration as to what it feels like to use your site because you don’t want it to be super ad heavy and you don’t want ads everywhere that somebody’s spending time, but you also want to optimize to make sure that you’re getting paid and that you’re intentional to think about ways that you can create an income from your site. So there’s a balance to it. There is no right answer and some people are going to be comfortable using more ads or ads in more viewable places while others are going to be a little bit more conservative with it.

Bjork Ostrom: An example would be Pinch of Yum. On Pinch of Yam, if you go to Pinch of Yam on a mobile device or on your desktop computer, you’ll see that one of the types of ads we use is an overlay ad which we’re going to talk about and it loads at the bottom of the page and it’s always on. So it’s always displayed and it’s always over the content. That’s an ad that we’re comfortable with and we’re okay having that show up, but there’s some people who don’t like the idea of that being an ad on their site, so they opt out of that ad displaying. So there’s some personal preference involved with where your ads go and how comfortable you feel having lots of ads or more ads and where those ads are loading from a viewability standpoint. That’s number one.

Bjork Ostrom: Number two, it’s not just about getting people to your site, it’s not just about page views, it’s also about viewability like we talked about. And number two, keeping people around longer, keeping people engaged on your site. So the name of the game oftentimes in conversations is page views, page view, page views, but it’s also about impressions when it comes to ads. And as we talked about in the first area, as we talked about in understanding viewability, this idea of impressions is really important as it relates to ads. An impression is anytime that the ad loads and you will get more impressions, the longer that somebody is on your site.

Bjork Ostrom: Now, why does that happen? It happens because an ad will refresh. You’ll notice that when you look at a site that it doesn’t just display one ad usually depending on the ads and how they’re displayed. But usually what will happen is you’ll go to a site and if you look at an ad long enough, what will happen is that ad will refresh. That counts as an impression and depending on when the ad refreshes and where it’s displayed, it will be a viewable impression.

Bjork Ostrom: So it’s not just about getting people to your site, it’s not just a page use. Once those people are there, it’s also about encouraging people to stick around longer and that increases the number of impressions that you can get from the ad. So how do you do that? Well, I think most of us know. If we really think about it, how this happens, you use things that are naturally engaging for people. An example would be video. Video is an engaging type of medium and oftentimes people will stick around longer if they are watching a video. How does that impact ads? Well, we’re going to talk about in a little bit video ads, but let’s say you have a video in a post and maybe it doesn’t have any ads with it, but if you have an ad that is above that video and if somebody watches that five minute video, that will be a viewable ad impression depending on where it is and how it loads, but within the post, that will be a viewable ad impression. So by getting somebody to stick around a little bit longer, you’re starting to get more impressions.

Bjork Ostrom: It’s also helpful to have things like internal links. Now that wouldn’t be on the same page, but it’s amazing how many times you can write a blog post and you get to the end of it and you realize you haven’t linked to any of your other content. It should be a little checkbox that you look at. Something that you should always consider as you’re crafting content is how many internal links do you have to other content? So keeping people around longer and keeping people engaged helps with that.

Bjork Ostrom: One of the interviews we recently did was with Kingston from Slickstream, which is a startup that we’re involved with and it’s starting to pick up speed, especially in the food and recipe space. You’ll see it being used on Pinch of Yam and other blogs, but they consider themselves an engagement suite. So the purpose of Slickstream is this exact problem. They have this belief that it’s not just about page views and that’s really important. It’s not saying that it’s not important, but Slickstream is saying, “We want to help you maximize the hard work that you’ve done to get people to your site. And once you do, we want to think about ways to continue to engage them and to keep them around as long as possible.”

Bjork Ostrom: It’s also helpful to do things like photos that would actually inform the process. These wouldn’t be photos that you would kind of blow through really quickly. Maybe it’s step-by-step photos or photos that people would be a little bit more intentional to look at and to look through as they’re going through your content. But the point here is, it’s a shift away from just thinking about more page views and a shift towards thinking about engagement once people are on your site. How do you keep them around longer? Because as it relates to ads and optimizing ad income, impressions are also important. And as we learned in the first part, it’s not just impressions but viewable impressions.

Bjork Ostrom: So number one, understand viewability and maximize for viewability to the point where you are comfortable. Number two, keep people around longer… I said it differently. Think about engagement and how you can engage people once they’re on your site.

Bjork Ostrom: Number three, consider overlay ads. Now, I talked about this a little bit before, but the reason overlay ads are so effective and have such a high earning potential is because of that first point that we talked about, viewable impressions. And you can imagine an overlay ad, which is an ad that sits over your content. Again, an example would be on Pinch of Yum, both mobile or desktop. If you go and look at the very bottom, there’s an overlay ad and it’s a very flat ad, so it’s not like it’s an ad that loads really big and takes over the page. It’s a very flat ad that sits on the bottom, but as you can imagine, that is a very viewable ad because well obviously more than 50% of the ad is loading and almost always it’s longer than one second because most people, even if they leave right away, they’re at least staying for one second. So advertisers know that there’s high potential, the highest potential for that ad to have a viewable impression because it loads over your content. It’s impossible for people to scroll by it.

Bjork Ostrom: Now, people can click out of it, but then the ad just doesn’t load. So this is an ad that is highly viewable and therefore you will earn more from that ad because advertisers will be willing to pay more for it and you’ll get more viewable impressions. Again, if you want to see an example of that, most blogs that are using some type of ad network will have a version of that. Again, it goes back to that personal preference. Some people would say, “I’m going to opt out of that and not include it. I don’t feel comfortable having an ad that sits over my content.” But for Pinch of Yum, that is something that we feel comfortable with and have used that both on mobile and desktop. And that’s one of our consistently, one of our highest paying ads.

Bjork Ostrom: Number four, use or consider using ad supported video players. Now, this is something that has been really interesting to see how it’s changed and evolved over the last couple of years. Most of us are really familiar with Vimeo or YouTube, and most of us know that you can take one of those and embed that onto your website. For Pinch of Yum, we oftentimes will create a video, we embed that video within a post and usually we’re using YouTube for that. However, one of the things that you’ll see us start to experiment with this year is a using ad supported video players.

Bjork Ostrom: Many ad companies, could be AdThrive, Mediavine, Sortable, these are all ad companies. Many ad companies are starting to build technology that allows you to use a video player that they supply so much like a YouTube embed. They supply a video player, you embed that video player with your video on your post and then they are able to sell ads through that video player.

Bjork Ostrom: Now, why wouldn’t you just use YouTube? The comparison is similar to AdSense. Where AdSense is an ad network, you can use it and put it on your site and you can earn money from it. YouTube is the same way. You can earn money creating videos, putting them on YouTube, embedding them in your site and earn money against those ads. However, almost always.. Not always, but almost always you’ll find that you will earn more going through an ad network than you will going through Google, so YouTube or Google AdSense. And so by using one of these native ad players native to the ad platform, your earning potential will be higher.

Bjork Ostrom: One of the things that has recently changed is the ability to create these ad players in a custom way. And by custom, I mean it’s not one video that plays across your entire site, but instead you have a custom embed that allows you to pick a specific video, and this is the part that’s starting to evolve to do things like collapse into the sidebar or to collapse above the content. So the video combines with not only a video, but it also then acts as kind of an overlay. The reason this is important is because oftentimes people will scroll past content and an ad won’t be able to fully display. It won’t be able to go all the way through and the play or the impression of that ad will be impacted. Because you can imagine if you’re watching a video ad and you only see one second of it, it’s not going to be as impactful as if you saw 15 seconds. So the idea of a collapsible video player is important in order to increase the viewability of the video ad.

Bjork Ostrom: Now one thing I will say with this is, it’s early on and some of this is depending on the ad network you’re using and where they’re at. It could be beta, it could be not out yet, maybe it has been out for a while. But the point is that it’s important to think about not just ads that are display ads within your content, but how can you introduce other types of ad like video ads. Now, I know a lot of people will say, “Bjork, I can’t do that. It’s way too much for me just to create content. I’m stressed out and I don’t want to think about also doing video. That would just be way too much.”

Bjork Ostrom: My case for you, I’m going to make a case and the case would be to not think in black and white. I do video or I don’t do video. But instead, think selectively about how can you maximize the way that your ads are structured on your site. One of the ways that you could do that is to find your most popular pieces of content that don’t have a video and maybe you or you could work with somebody, you could hire it out. You go through the process of creating a video or hire somebody to create the video because you consider it to be important enough to maybe hold off on creating content in your normal schedule. But to say, “This is a really popular post and I believe that I have the ability to earn more by creating a video and then having this video display ads along with it than it would if I, let’s say, publish a new post or worked on social media or whatever it would be.”

Bjork Ostrom: So there might be a way for you to focus on your shining star, the content that’s doing really well and to figure out ways to optimize the ads that are on that page. An example being including a video. That’s number four. Figure out ways to introduce video content and along with it ad supported video content on your posts and focusing first on those shining stars, those popular posts.

Bjork Ostrom: Number five, this actually connects to that idea, get sticky. It applies to videos, it applies to traditional display ads, but another way that you can maximize ads is to think about sticky ads. Now, what is a sticky ad? An example would be on any Pinch of Yum recipe posts. If you go on and you scroll through that content and you’re looking at the sidebar, and this would be on a desktop computer. So this isn’t mobile, but on desktop. If you continue to scroll at a certain point, you will get to the end of the sidebar and on Pinch of Yum, it’s on the right. You get to the end of the sidebar and what will happen is that last ad will stick in the sidebar. And my question to you, I’ll give you three seconds to think about it. Why would that be a valuable ad for people? Why would that be a valuable ad for you as a publisher and for advertisers? Three seconds to think about it.

Bjork Ostrom: If you said, because it is a highly viewable impression, you are correct. Not only that, but it’s also an impression or an ad that will have the ability to refresh and you will have another impression that comes after that. We talked about that idea of engagement, why engagement is important and we also talked about why viewability is important. That’s why a sticky ad can be so impactful. Is because not only is it highly viewable, but the ability for that to refresh and to show additional ads is very high. How does that also apply to video?

Bjork Ostrom: Well, like I mentioned, a lot of the ad networks are creating collapsible videos and you’ll see this on the web a lot, especially on desktop, but in mobile as well, it’s starting to happen more where you will scroll past a video and it will collapse into the sidebar and it will continue to play. Or on mobile, different sites handle it different ways, but a lot of times it’ll fold up into the content and it will stick to the top.

Bjork Ostrom: Now, not only does that allow people to continue to see the video and watch the video as they scroll through the content and maybe look at a recipe or read the post, but it also allows if an ad plays, for that ad to play all the way through, which is valuable for you as a publisher from an income perspective and valuable for advertisers to get a full play on their ad. So that is why we talk about number five being important, getting sticky both for video if it’s possible with the ad network you use and traditional display ads. That’s something that we are starting to specifically with video, starting to look at with Pinch of Yum. Traditionally we’ve just done YouTube videos, but now that there’s some capability to have these sticky collapsible videos that play for the specific recipe that you are looking at. It’s not a general video, it’s specific to the recipe. There’s some exciting potential there, both from an experience standpoint for people who are watching it as well as the potential for ad revenue.

Bjork Ostrom: Number six. This I think is the most underrated piece of advice for many different industries, ask for advice. The advice is to ask for advice and it’s amazing how many resources we have and how little we use them. True for myself as well. But if you are at the point where you are working with an ad network and you have signed up to have your ads be managed by an ad network or an ad management company, chances are they have a support team and they have somebody who has a mutually vested interest in the success of your blog. These people, they are in the business of ads and the more that you make, usually the more that they make.

Bjork Ostrom: And so if you are struggling to figure out different ways to optimize, maybe you’ve thought through a few of the different things that we talked about on this podcast and maybe you’ve implemented those and you’re out of ideas. Just reach out and ask for advice. Say, “Hey, I’m thinking about ways that I could further monetize my site. Can you give me some examples of things I could be considering? Any advice for me and my site?” It never hurts to ask for advice and like I said, this goes into multiple different categories. It could exist in personal, your personal life, your business life. I think as much as possible we should be asking for advice and seeking the opinions of people who have experience in certain areas and expertise in certain areas. That is number six.

Bjork Ostrom: Number seven is actually to delay the start of using ads. Some of you are like, “Wait, what? We just talked about ads for this entire podcast episode and now you’re telling me to wait to use ads?” This is actually specific for people who are in the early stages of building your site. And I think sometimes what can happen is we can get too anxious to start monetizing our website, to start using ads and creating an income from that and we get distracted by the ad side of things. When especially in the early stages, we should be hyper focused on figuring out how to create content that is effective and impactful as possible because that’s what we do.

Bjork Ostrom: We’re not in the business of ads, we are in the business of creating content and the ads come after the fact most of us are creating content that’s free. So we need to figure out a way to create income from that. It could be sponsored content. So occasionally getting paid for that content. Most often it’s through ads or affiliate or relationships. And so the point is sponsor content, affiliate ads, display ads, traditional ads, these are all ways or things that enable us to do our craft. But the important thing is to focus on our craft, to get really good as a creator, as a publisher, as a business owner in the publishing world, to get really good at the craft of creating content that engages people, that helps people, that reaches people. And if you get distracted too early on, I think you can lose some of the traction and speed that would be available to you from a resources standpoint. You only have so many resources when you’re starting out early on in the game.

Bjork Ostrom: When do you make that leap and actually start to think intentionally about using ads? I think that’s really up to you as a creator and as a publisher, but a really good starting point I would say is some of the entry level numbers that some of these companies use. The most popular in this niche, you hear Mediavine a lot, you hear AdThrive, you hear Sortable. These are all ad networks that you might consider working with and almost all of them will have a minimum number of pages that you need in order to start working with them.

Bjork Ostrom: There are ways that you can use ads earlier, you could use something like AdSense, there might be some other ad networks that would allow you to join a little bit earlier even if you don’t have a certain number of page views. But my advice would be, in the early stages, to really think specifically about your craft getting into a routine of publishing and to start building up those page views to get to a point where you could at least apply for some of these early access or minimum level page views for some of these ad networks. So if you’re in the early stages, don’t feel the burden of needing to apply to an ad network right away and to start creating money from your blog. You can delay that and focus on just publishing content and don’t get too bogged down with this idea of needing to create an income too early.

Bjork Ostrom: For some of us, it might be really exciting. I was one of those people and even if I saw that I was earning 50 cents a day from the site, that was inspiring. But it’s also has the potential, especially if you’re doing it all on your own to be distracting. That’s number seven. I wanted to point that out. So for those of you who are earlier on, you don’t feel the burden of needing to start using ads right away. It’s definitely not something that you have to do right away or even later on. I know bloggers who have delayed that decision for a really long time because they just wanted to focus on growing and so they did that and eventually started using ads once they got to a point where it made sense.

Bjork Ostrom: A quick recap, the seven different ways to increase your earnings with ads. Number one, understand viewability. Make sure you’re understand why that’s important and think about that and as it relates to the ad placements on your site.

Bjork Ostrom: Number two, think about engagement and keeping people around longer. It’s not just about page views, it’s also about engagement.

Bjork Ostrom: Number three, use overlay ads if you aren’t all ready doing so. And those are great because they are viewable impressions and viewable impressions are valuable for you as a publisher as well as for advertisers.

Bjork Ostrom: Number four, consider using ad supported video players if you are with an ad network who has that as an option.

Bjork Ostrom: Number five, get sticky. So think about ways that you can use a sticky video or sticky ads in your sidebar or potentially on mobile as well.

Bjork Ostrom: Number six, ask for advice. It’s kind of low hanging fruit. The great thing is it’s not too hard to do.

Bjork Ostrom: Number seven, if you’re early on, considered delaying when you start using ads in order to focus on growth.

Bjork Ostrom: Those are the seven things I wanted to talk about here today on this solo podcast episode. This podcast is one of the great joys that we have in doing every single week. Alexa is a huge part of it. So if you get anything from this podcast, please give a remote round of applause, a digital round of applause to Alexa for all she does for the podcast and the entire Food Blogger Pro team who helps to make it possible. And our encouragement to you is to continue to get a tiny bit better every day forever. We call it 1% infinity, and that is my hope for you this day, this week, and this year. Thanks guys.

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5 Comments

  1. Awesome podcast Bjork!! For the life of me, I can’t figure out how to add the overlay ad at the bottom of the pages. You mention that as being a great placement. I assume that is set up on google adsense? I don’t see an option there for overlay ads. A simple tutorial on how to do the ads would be so helpful! 🙂

    1. Hey there, Matt. Great question. We actually run all our ads through AdThrive, so they implement this for us. I’ve never actually used an overlay ad directly with AdSense, so I’m not positive on the process, but this post leads me to believe that overlay (or sticky, as they call them) ads are invite-only on AdSense.

      To ensure a safe and positive user experience, we restrict the use of ad implementations on desktop which cause the ad to appear in a “sticky” or “floating” position on the page as the user scrolls or navigates through the page. While we allow Google anchor ads on mobile web, please note that publisher-created mobile implementations are not permitted as we cannot ensure they have the same quality protections we’ve built into our product.

        1. Hey there, Geoffrey. AdSense is probably the best bet for starting out.

          If it was me and we were just starting out I’d consider holding off on running any ads until I got to a certain traffic level (maybe 50,000?), just so I wouldn’t have to deal with the reality of page speed issues that ads introduce.

          You’d obviously miss out on some early income by not running ads, but it’s possible you’d grow a bit fast and in turn be able to work with one of the higher earning ad management companies a bit soon.

          My $.02s. 🙂

    2. Hi Matt.
      Following up on what Bjork said… We have Adsense and I tried to get the bottom overlay also. I figured out that if I turn on AutoAds it will put one at the top of the page on mobile. But AutoAds created way too many ads on our website and I turned it off. If you figure out how to do it separately, I’d love to know.
      Thanks
      Geoffrey