What Do You Need to Sell Ads on Your WordPress Blog?
First, you need to make sure you are using the right blogging platform. There are two types of WordPress blogs, WordPress.com which is a hosted blogging service and WordPress.org also called self-hosted WordPress. See the difference in our comparison of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.
WordPress.com have their own WordAds program and only allows third-party ads if you sign up for the business plan.
On the other hand, you can run ads on your self-hosted WordPress.org website out of the box.
If you don’t yet have a WordPress.org website, then follow the instructions in our guide on how to start a WordPress blog, and you will be up and running in no time.
That being said, let’s take a look at what kind of ads you can sell on your WordPress blog.
Types of Ads You Can Sell on Your WordPress Blog
There are different types of ads that you can sell on your WordPress blog. One ad type may work better than the other depending on your website’s topic, audience, and overall traffic.
You can also choose to combine different ad types to create an effective monetization strategy for your blog.
1. CPC or Cost-Per-Click Ads
Cost-per-click ads are the most common type of ads displayed on the majority of websites. Ads are sold on a per-click basis which means you are only eligible to get paid when a user clicks on the ad.
The reason this ad type is so successful is that it works effectively for both publishers and advertisers. Advertisers get traffic to their websites which they can use to generate leads or increase sales. The publisher is able to get paid for sending traffic.
Advertising programs like Google AdSense allow you to easily sell cost per click ads on your website. Once you sign up with the Google AdSense program, your website will become available to Google’s enormous network of advertisers.
For more details see our guide on how to properly add Google AdSense in WordPress.
One downside is that if you have low traffic, or your ads are not placed at strategic locations, then you may get a very low click-through rate for ads on your website. However, many website owners quickly overcome this by optimizing their ads in WordPress.
2. CPM or Cost-Per-Thousand-Impressions Ads
CPM (cost per mille) or cost-per-thousand-impression are ads that are sold based on how many times they are displayed. This means you get paid for displaying ads on your website whether users click on them or not.
CPM ads often fail to generate the same amount of revenue as you would generate with cost-per-click ads alone. However, they can be a significant source of income if you have a high traffic website, and you don’t want to place ads too close to your content.
Advertisers are particularly keen on buying CPM ads on websites with a high reputation among their target audiences.
3. Flat Fee Ads
Flat fee ads allow you to sell ad spots on your website for a specific time-period. You can price your ads based on how much traffic your website generates on an average.
This type of ads provide more impressions and clicks to advertisers and allow website owners to know exactly how much they will earn at the end of the period.
Advertisers usually purchase this type of ads on websites with higher traffic matching their target demographics. You can sell ads directly through your website by creating an ‘Advertise Here’ page. Alternatively, you can also join programs like BuySellAds or DoubleClick by Google.
4. Affiliate Ads
Affiliate ads can also be called action based ads. Basically, you send traffic to an advertiser’s website, but you only get paid if a user completes an action. This action could be anything like making a purchase, downloading software, creating an account, etc.
Affiliate programs provide you a unique URL with your referral ID. You can then use this URL to create banners, graphics, or add links directly in your articles.
The benefit of affiliate ads is that you get paid substantially higher than what you would get paid on a cost per click or cost per mille ad.
You can sign up for affiliate programs of different products and services that you want to promote. Each product, service, and affiliate program comes with its own commission rates, terms, and conditions.
For example, WPEngine’s affiliate program allows you to earn on each new sign up you send their way. Your commission will be based on the user’s entire first month payment or fixed $200 whichever is higher.
You can easily manage your affiliate links in WordPress using ThirstyAffiliates. You will also find plenty of tools and plugins to boost your affiliate marketing.
Setting up Banner Ads on Your Website
After looking at the different ad types you can come up with a monetization strategy that works for you. Don’t worry if you are still not sure which is the right choice for you.
Most website owners use multiple ad types and then prioritize them based on their earning potential.
Once you have chosen a monetization strategy, you are now ready to add banner ads to your website. WordPress has several really good ad management plugins that you can use.
1. ADNING (WP Pro Advertising System) Premium WordPress Plugin
When your WordPress website hits a certain level of traffic, you can make some real money by placing ads on your website. This is nothing new, and many internet marketers have been building websites monetized by advertising revenue for years now.
The ADNING (formerly WP Pro Advertising System) plugin is a great solution for managing and display adverts on your website. Visitors are more likely to click on a beautiful, eye-catching ad, right?
Multiple Ad Types
ADNING creates uber-clickable ads with six stunning ad types:
- Standard ads: displayed within your content or in widget areas
- Fly in ads: slide into view in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen
- Popup ads: jump out at visitors to generate maximum attention
- Corner peelers: the top right corner of your website is “peeled” back to reveal an ad
- Background ads: a full-screen ad sits behind your content
- Newsletter ads: integrates with MailChimp to place ads in email newsletters sent to your list
You can play around with different types of ads until you find the ones that generate the most clicks. In my opinion, though, the corner peelers and the background ads look stunning.
You can place ads on your website in a variety of shapes and sizes, too, so you can potentially monetize any area of your website. This includes an “Ad Grid” which lets you display multiple banners in one ad space. The plugin supports shortcodes, iframes, and widgets, giving you a variety of ways to place ads on your website.
To prevent your visitors suffering from ad-blindness – a disaster if ads are your main method of monetization – the plugin can also rotate your ads using stunning transition animations. ADNING is compatible with several major plugins, too, most notably Visual Composer and Slider Revolution. This means you can place ads anywhere on a custom layout, or even inside an image slider. The plugin is fully responsive, is super-easy to configure, and includes a detailed analytics function for tracking how your ads are performing.
2. AdSense Plugin WP QUADS (Freemium)
AdSense Plugin is probably the simplest integration of Google AdSense in your WordPress site. With the free version of the plugin, you can display ads in multiple regions in your WordPress site including:
- Sidebar widgets
- Beginning, middle and end of post
- After the “more” tag,
- After images in posts
To display the ad, simply paste the Google AdSense code snippet in the widget. You can also insert ads between any paragraphs in a post using the <!–Ads1–> <!–Ads2–> snippets.
The premium version of the plugin WP QUADS Pro includes additional cool features such as:
- AMP Ads that displays ads in AMP versions of your pages (check out our guide on getting started with AMP in WordPress)
- Responsive Ads – so that the ads look pixel-perfect in phones, tablets and desktops.
- Visibility Conditions – which enables your to selectively display ads in either mobile, tablet or desktop, or a combination of them.
Pricing starts at 49 EUR per for a single-site license and comes with a 30-day refund window, making it a good choice for affiliate marketers and bloggers alike.
3. WordPress Ad Widget Fre Plugin
WordPress Ad Widget s a seriously simple plugin that enables you to display both Google Ads and custom ads in your WordPress site. If you were to sell ad-spots in your site, you could offer a variety of options to your customers. How? With over 55 ad-formats you can advertise Facebook pages, Instagram profiles and many more.
4. Sam Pro Free WordPress Plugin
The Sam Pro Free Edition displays ads with banner rotation. Which means that the plugin cherry-picks an ad from a bunch of ads and displays them in your site. The cherry-picking is however, based on a flexible logic which calculates ad weight (or priority) and predefined restrictions. With predefined restrictions, you can selectively display ads in particular pages, posts, categories, custom post types, etc. You can also schedule the and limit the display of ads based on number of impressions of clicks.
The premium add-ons include pop-ups and fly-in ads, and geo-targeting. Personally, I would not use pop-up ads or fly-ins unless it’s a newsletter signup box, preferably with a free e-book or similar offer.
5. AdRotate Free WordPress Plugin
AdRotate makes ad management easy. You can display your own adverts or from third party networks such as Google AdSense, DoubleClick, etc. AdRotate enables periodic scheduling of ads and accurately calculates clicks/impressions and displays the top performing ads in your site.
The premium version includes cool features such as geo-targeting, ad-blocker detection and others tools which enable you to easily sell and manage multiple ad campaigns. Pricing starts at 29 EUR for a single site license and comes with a premium support.
6. WP Bannerize Pro – Free WordPress Plugin
If most of your custom advertising is done via non-Adobe Flash banners, WP Bannerize Pro might be your answer. The plugin creates a custom post type called “Banners”. This enables you to create banners like you would create a post or a page.
To create a banner, you first upload/import the banner image and select if you want to track the impressions and CTR and then publish the banner. Once done, a banner shortcode is generated. Now you can display the banner in any post, page or widgetized area using the shortcode.
Additional features include geo-targeting, IP restrictions, role-based ad targeting, and a fully stacked analytics dashboard.
7. WP Advertize It (Free)
WP Advertize It is your standard ad management plugin that enables you to display third-party ads from Google AdSense, as well as self-served ads. You can choose from over 10 places to display your ads, including sidebar widgets. Moreover, the plugin also enables you to disable ads in particular post types, tags, IP addresses, post authors, etc.
8. Advanced Ads – Ad Manager & AdSense
Advanced Ads is your go-to ad-management plugin with tons of useful features ranging from basic ad creation, to displaying third-party ads, to geo-targeted, highly customizable ad-network. With Advanced Ads, you can build, display, configure, filter and target ads based on your visitors.
A full description for the free features in available in the plugin’s WordPress repository page – I suggest you give it a quick read before moving to the next plugin on this list.
Advanced Ads also has a range of premium add-ons available such as Selling Ads, which helps you sell ad-spots in your site. The premium version allows essential features such as advanced aj-injection, innovative ad-placement areas such as side header, or floating ads and many more.
Pricing for a premium copy of the plugin start at €29 EUR for Advanced Ads Pro (single site license) or €69 EUR for the Advanced Ads Bundle, which includes all add-ons and future updates.
9. AWPCP – Classifieds Free WP Plugin
Another WordPress Classifieds Plugin is your classic plugin designed to run a feature-rich online classifieds page from your WordPress website. Classifieds can be made searchable by, state, country, username, or keyword. On top of this, you can display ads from Google AdSense. Take a look at the full list of features for running your WordPress-powered classifieds page.
A number of premium modules such as Authorize.net and PayPal payment gateway integration, campaign manager and coupons module, amongst others can come in very handy for running a rich classifieds website.
10. Advanced Advertising System Free Plugin
Advanced Advertising System supports multiple ad-spots, ad-rotation and campaign scheduling and budget threshold, amongst other features. You can sell ads based on CPM, CPC and CPP. The premium version of the plugin supports filterable campaigns, an AJAX loader, advanced scheduling and beautiful charts in analytics and statistics section.
11. Ad Inserter Free WordPress Plugin
Ad Inserter Pro is the only WordPress plugin you need to insert any code anywhere on WordPress website: ads, banners, widgets, forms, tracing code, header/footer code, shortcodes, etc. It supports practically all WordPress positions available for automatic insertion: before/after the post, before/after the content, before/after paragraph, before/after excerpts, between posts on blog pages and if your theme has some special layout you can use manual insertion via shortcode, widget or PHP function call.
Ad Inserter Pro is especially good in inserting ads like AdSense and Amazon. You can choose paragraph number (or relative position on the page) and alignment for each block. You can also specify clearance options to avoid insertion of ads near images or headers. You can make Amazon Native Shopping Ads contextual and display products related to the page content. Ad Inserter Pro supports ad scheduling, ad rotation and country-level GEO targeting (works also with caching). You can also serve different ads to different devices (desktop, tablet, phone) and you can define exceptions for individual pages or posts where ads should not be inserted. There are also additional options for multisite installations to limit settings on the sub-sites.
Debugging code insertion is where Ad Inserter Pro shines. There are many functions that can help you to find out why the code was not inserted. On each page you can preview positions for automatic insertion, visualize HTML tags or highlight inserted code blocks (ads) for easier configuration of ad placement. And there is also a detailed insertion log where you can find information why some block was not inserted. And finally, each code block can be previewed in a window where you can customize alignment and style with visual CSS editor.
And guess what? Ad Inserter is officially endorsed by Amazon to add Native Shopping Ads to WordPress posts. Ad Inserter Pro starts at $20 (for a double site license) which enables you to display geo-targeted ads and supports IP blacklisting, amongst other useful features.
12. WP-Insert Free WordPress Plugin
WP-Insert is by far, one of the best free ad-management plugins out there. Similar to most plugins in this category, WP-Insert supports multiple ad-networks such as Google AdSense, Clickbank, etc. However, unlike other plugins, it offers free geo-targeting, which means that you can display AdSense ads to visitors from US and Clickbank ads to UK visitors. Other cool features includes Google Analytics integration, displaying of legal notices, ad split-testing and dynamic ad-placement in the middle of any article.
13. Corner Ad Free Plugin
Corner Ad is a simple ad-management plugin that displays an ad in the top left (or right) your WordPress site. It’s designed to be minimally invasive in order to prevent a bad user experience. When a user hovers over the ad, it flips open and displays the ad in the full viewport. As soon as the mouse is removed, the ad returns to its former self. You can use this plugin to display important announcements, upcoming promotions or run a “secret-sale”.
14. Meks Easy Ads Widget for WordPress
Meks Easy Ads Widget is a simple plugin that enables you to display unlimited ads in a widget. You can select limit number of ads per view, rotate ads and randomize the ad display order. You can also define your own custom size or choose from a number of predefined (and standardized) ad sizes.
15. Google AdSense Free Plugin
Google AdSense by BestWebSoft is another entry in the pro-AdSense plugin party with the ability to directly import ads from your AdSense account and displaying them in multiple regions of your site, including before/after posts, pages and sidebar widgets.
16. Ads Pro Premium WordPress Advertising Manager
Ads Pro Plugin – Multi-Purpose WordPress Advertising Manager is the second most sold ad-management WordPress plugin on CodeCanyon. Simply put, it helps manage your ads in your WordPress site. The plugin supports filterable ads based on categories, tags and devices. It can be configured to display ads only after visitors have spent a particular amount of time on the site and restrict the number of times ads are shown to a user per session. Finally it has geo-targeted ads with 20 different display styles that can be placed over 25 different placements.
In case you wanted to create a self-serving ad-platform, the plugin allows you to sell three different billing models – CPC (cost per click), CPM (cost per 1000 impressions) and CPD (cost per day). Supported payment gateways include Stripe, PayPal, WooCommerce, and Bank Transfer.
17. Aparg SmartAd – Premium WordPress Ad Management Plugin
Aparg SmartAd is another strong contender in the ad-management plugin space. Noteable features include 75+ popup and embed animations, 25 ad placement regions, and 5 supported ad types including image, video, Flash, code and iFrame. Similar to most plugins, this supports ad-rotation and advanced filtering options based on tags, categories, etc. Additionally, it also supports filtering based on language.
The plugin also supports three campaign types – background ads, popup ads and embed ads. And it ships with an advanced stats dashboard. The PDF export feature comes pretty handy when sharing reports with your ad-spot buyers. You can schedule ads and configure auto-suspension of ads based on date, views and clicks.
18. AdPlugg Free WordPress Ad Plugin
AdPlugg integrates the AdPlugg ad-management service into WordPress. Think of AdPlugg as an online SaaS ad-management platform. You can configure and schedule multiple ads, setup ad and banner rotation, track clicks and other stats -for all your sites – from a centralized dashboard. If you own multiple websites (running on WordPress or other content management solutions), AdPlugg can display ads in those platforms too via their respective plugins!
The plugin is free till 100,000 impressions per month and supports only image ads. Paid plans start at $10/month and supports multiple ad-types including video, interstitial, third-party ads (Google AdSense, etc.) and more.
19. WordPress Dynamic Keyword Insertion Premium Plugin
If you’re running AdWords campaigns with Dynamic Keywords then this one is for you. For those of you who don’t know what that is, Google AdWords lets you replace specific portions of your ad’s text with the search keyword used.
For example, let’s say you’re running an ad with the keywords leather iphone cases. If someone searches for red leather iphone cases, your ad would show up if you’ve kept your ad in medium match. Now, with Dynamic Keyword Insertion, Google would modify your ad by adding or replacing the ad’s copy, with the searched keyword. In our example, the word red would be dynamically inserted in the ad’s text.
Imagine the same thing with your landing page. If a visitor arrives at your landing page from a specific search keyword, the WordPress Dynamic Keyword Insertion plugin would change the landing page copy dynamically to include the same keyword.
How can this be used in Ad Management?
If you’re selling an CPA based ads in your site, getting hyper-targeted clicks from Google AdWords improve your chances of conversion.
20. Adverts Detector Ultimate Premium WordPress
Simply put, the Adverts Detector Ultimate plugin enables you to show or hide content on your site depending on where the user came from. Detectable sources include search engines such as Google and Yandex; ad-networks such as Google Ads and Yandex Ads; and social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, etc.
Now with this plugin, you can show a different page for your Facebook fans and another for your Pinterest followers.
21. Insert Post Ads Free WordPress Plugin
Insert Post Ads is a very simple yet effective plugin. It simply inserts your Google AdSense ads in between paragraphs in your posts and pages. This is an effective way to automatically insert third party ad codes into any post, page or custom post type. There are options for ad placement in relation to the content as well as automatic Googel AdSense injection.
Concluding the Best Ad Management WordPress Plugins
Ads are one of the simplest ways to monetize your website. Selling advertisement spaces in your site is great way to amplify your earnings and has a lot of benefits. Here are my top three reasons to love the business model:
- Selling ad spaces gives you the power to choose which ads to show in your site. This gives you the freedom to control your site’s user experience.
- For example, if you run a blog on fashion or makeup tips, you can show ads for products that are directly related to your website/business. This can potentially improve the click-through-rate of the ads placed in your site.
- The more targeted your website, the higher clicks (and conversions) your ads receive. Your ad buyers are happy, you keep the user experience intact and end up making a ton of money from the deal.