Ads in your sidebar – Should they be considered the eighth deadly sin? I wouldn’t go this far, but they could be deadly to your website if you’re a new blogger. I’ve already given you the first reason. All ads, banner and text, screw up your blog. If you’re struggling to make your online business a success, and asking yourself WHY, you’ll have many answers to your questions after reading this. You’ll know how to make money online, and how to create a website that your visitors will love, and you’ll be proud to call your own.
12 more reasons you should never put ads in your sidebar
Ads in your sidebar waste good website space. In business, time is money. Space is just as important as time. To be successful, you must have a comfortable working area. If you’re not comfortable, you won’t be productive. Can you imagine working on your dining room table cluttered with papers, utensils, dishes and other distracting things? Or suppose you’re working in an office filled with boxes stacked up with stored items. You can’t work in a place that’s cluttered with things that don’t belong there. Your website is your work space, and your sidebar is part of your work space. Things should be where they belong, and with ads, it’s not in the sidebar.
Your sidebar is the place to brand yourself. If people don’t know who you are, ads aren’t going to do you any good no matter where you put them. The sidebar is the place to put everything that will let people know you’re the best at what you do. Put your bio information, newsletter subscriptions, Social Media Icons, testimonials, search bar, and anything else that lets people know you’re good, and not just another cow puncher. You can even put offers for a free e-book you’ve written, This is not an ad. It’s a testimonial that you are an authority in your field. Ads are out of place here. Your sidebar must flow naturally, because it’s an archive of you, as the expert in your niche. Something that doesn’t belong here would thoroughly confuse a visitor to your blog.
Things cause too much clutter when they’re in a place they shouldn’t be. Look at the pretty lady in the picture to the left. She’s about to make a copy of a document. She’d better be careful, or she’ll trip over those boxes stacked up behind her. With those high heel shoes, she could really hurt herself. She could even break her leg or ankle. Then when she recovers, and goes back to work, she may never want to go into that copy room again.
Now imagine a visitor to your blog looking at your sidebar and learning about you, as an authority in your niche. He’s really getting interested in who this guy is and what he can do. Suddenly, he trips over something that has nothing to do with your expertise. Out of nowhere, he sees a banner ad advertising an affiliate product. He’s distracted from what he’s doing like the pretty lady in the picture. Would he want to come back to your website? I doubt it.
Ads in the sidebar make you look desperate. Your sidebar is the place to get yourself established. It is here where you plant the seeds, and let them grow in large quantities. When it comes to money, there are two mentalities. Some people have wage mentality and others have dream mentality. People with wage mentality are always, gimme, gimme, gimme! They work, and want a quick payoff. If they don’t get their money right away, they feel threatened. The person with dream mentality is willing to forego a little money now, knowing there’s a lot more to come later.
No one will see the ads if they’re in your sidebar. Not one time have I suggested that you shouldn’t place ads. Just don’t put them in the sidebar. Put them in a place directly in front of eyes. People come to your website to read your articles. What’s in your articles is what gets them there from Social Media, comments, guest posts and other sources. Have you ever told someone on Facebook or Twitter that you have the greatest sidebar ever created, and they should come to your site to see it? If you did, I want to see it. I’d even like it, because it’s so funny. People will be looking at your article, not your sidebar. That’s where your ads should be.
Ads must be relevant. In my last article about my friend Karlton, I told you about how he solved a serious, life threatening problem. I directed you to his blog post where he described the product that saved his life. The ads he placed were for the actual product. The many who were interested in his article most likely had the same problem. The ads were directly related to the content in the article, and were more likely to be successful, which they were. People who read your website’s sidebar have different interests. If a hundred people read it and see an ad, one person might be interested, with no guarantee that he’ll take action. Ads in the sidebar are worse than trying to find a needle in a haystack, in a dark room.
Ads in the sidebar are in bad taste. This is your website, your business, your livelihood, your life. Your success will establish you as one of the leaders in your community. Everything in this website reflects on you as a person. This is how you present yourself to people, how you handle yourself, how you want other people to see you. Imagine a salesman making a cold call and coming to see you. When you meet him, suppose he greets you with a Coke in one hand, and a cigarette in the other. Would you take him seriously? An ad in your sidebar is just like this sleazy salesman.
Sidebar ads make your website look spammy. No one likes spam. Some people don’t even know what spam is, and they still dislike it. Spam is as bad as junk mail. And you know from a previous post that junk mail can get you into trouble. People generally don’t like to receive junk mail in their mail boxes, or from emails. Many feel threatened by them. To them, the people who send them are only after their money. Putting ads in your sidebar will cause most of your visitors to see you as a spam artist. If someone believes you are creating a website only to take his money, that’s not good. They’ll know right away that you’re not interested in helping them, and are more interested in helping yourself.
Ads in the sidebar may you look like you’re trying to sell someone. I published a recent article telling you about 4 bloggers who became multi-millionaires. These four people had many things in common. One was, they didn’t start their blogs with the thought of selling to people and making money. A blog is supposed to be created in order to share your passion about something with other people. To do this, this passion must be contagious, and they must catch it. The sidebar is where you show what you, the person with so much passion, is all about. If you try to sell them, and they see it, the passion is gone, and so are your visitors.
Ads in the sidebar is a turn off. The truth of the matter is, they just plain don’t look good. They look cheep, and the blog looks like it was created by a six year old. When I see a blog with no Page rank, no Alexa ranking, and numerous ads in the sidebar, the first question that comes to mind is, “Who is this guy?” I’ve seen ads in the sidebar in blogs of successful bloggers. This doesn’t mean I agree with what they’re doing, but you can’t argue with success. My guess is, when they started their blog, there were not many ads there, if any. When you’re successful, you have a much larger margin for error. But if you’re a new blogger, or trying to build your business with your blog, every little thing you do is going to make a difference in your success. Don’t turn people off when you are trying to establish yourself.
Ads in the sidebar are not professional. I’m sure you’ve seen TV commercials by attorney’s, saying they can get you a settlement of half a million dollars if you are personally injured. There was a time when professional people, i.e., attorney’s, CPA’s, architects and engineers were not allowed to advertise, because of each profession’s code of professional ethics. I haven’t noticed any professions advertising, other than the many attorney’s. But the other attorney’s who have spoken about this don’t like their colleagues doing TV ads, because it takes away the professionalism. More disturbing to the attorney’s who advertise is, people who see these ads prefer to go to another attorney who is more professional. Professional people should rely on their skills, expertise, credibility and reputation to attract clients. This is why your website has a sidebar. Use it wisely.
People using mobile devices won’t see your ads. I have presented many good reasons to never place ads in the sidebar. In my opinion, this is as important as any, if not more important. People are doing more Google searches today on mobile devices than desktops and laptops in 10 countries. Included are the US and Japan, two of the most industrious countries in the world. Because of this, your blog must be mobile friendly to rank with Google. More important, the sidebar doesn’t even show in most mobile friendly websites. Putting ads in your sidebar instead of your content means you’re leaving a whole lot of money on the table.
I hope you have enjoyed this article as much as we’ve enjoyed bringing it to you. More important, I hope it has been a great deal of help to you. Stay with us. We’re going to show you more exciting ways to monetize your website, and establish yourself as the best in your niche. Thank you for spending this time with us.