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Blogging,  lifestyle,  Rants

Wednesday Deep Thoughts

This is something new I’m trying. The weekly deep thoughts are whatever is on my mind at that time. Whatever has me thinking and wondering. This week, what I’ve been thinking about is ads on blogs.

What is the issue?

I understand why bloggers Have ads on their sites and that signing up for one of the major ad networks is a simple way to monetize a blog. What I don’t understand is why they put so many ads on their posts that the content is hard to read.

This especially applies to pop-ups and pop understand, and video ads that autoplay and cover part of the content on the page. So many sites have pop-ups that show up shortly after the page loads or video ads that play in a box that moves as you scroll and covers some of the text or images.

This makes it very difficult to read the article that I came there to read. On a desktop or laptop it is tolerable. On a mobile device, I am more likely to leave the page rather than playing whack a mole closing ads while trying in vain to read or look at posted pictures.

Here is an example of what I find annoying. (And this isn’t the most egregious overuse of ads I have run into. I am usually able to read the articles on this blog.)

Here is another example of what I find really annoying. Large ads interspersed with the text. Even more annoying is that they aren’t relevant to me at all. (I’ve never searched for diet or weight loss information, nor do I have any interest in it.)

Now, I could use an adblocker but I shouldn’t be forced into doing that just to view content. Not to mention that I do want to support sites that I visit. People deserve to be compensated for their work. It’s just puzzling that bloggers seem not to think about user experience and try to find a happy medium when it comes to monetization. (I bet less people would use adblockers if more websites did that.)

I’m wondering if having a few less ads or having no video ads would really make that much of a difference. I’m also curious why bloggers don’t have a donation option available. I realize that wouldn’t be enough to sustain most sites but it would be an extra source of income, and it would allow people who use adblockers to support sites they visit.

What can be done about it?

I’ve been thinking, what would the ideal amount of ads look like? For me it would be sidebar ads and maybe an ad or two at the top and bottom of the content. No pop-ups, no ads in the middle of the content, no autoplaying videos. (Even if they don’t cover content I find video ads annoying.) This would still allow the ads to be there but they wouldn’t distract from the content. It’s possible I’m more sensitive to this because I have some degree of ADHD and I find all the ads interspersed with the content distracting. (This goes double for video ads and ads that blink or move.)

Here is an example of a blog that has ads I consider reasonable.

There still are ads in the middle of the text but they aren’t moving ads or videos and they can be ignored. There are no ads covering the text.

It is a conundrum because there aren’t a whole lot of ways for bloggers to make money apart from ads and maybe sponsored posts. (Other options include merchandise, donations, Patreon, subscriptions. Whether these are successful depends on your following and the type of content you create.)

I wish there were some easy answers. Unfortunately there aren’t. There also aren’t any magic solutions. It reallyseems like a somewhat unwinnable war. On one side are bloggers who want to make money. On the other side are blog readers who don’t like excessive ads. What can be done? I wish I knew. (It’s definitely something I’ll keep in mind if and when I decide to monetize this blog.

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