Have you found yourself wondering whether or not it’s too early to put ads on your website?

You may be at the point in which ad networks (such as Google Adsense) will begin accepting you into their programs, yet wonder if it’s still too early to bother spending the time to setup advertisements. At the same time, you may wonder whether or not putting up ads early will harm the user experience, or prevent your website from growing during its early stages.

In this article, I’d like to share my philosophy surrounding this issue, share what I look for before putting up ads on my own (and my clients’) websites, and the logic behind it all.

Finding Your Magic Number

I’ll come straight out and say it. I don’t monetize many websites with ads. Personally, I think affiliate marketing and creating your own product is much more profitable, with less traffic.

Still, the passive aspect is nice, and I understand this may be the type of business you’d rather run.

I’m with you.

On my own websites, I previously skipped Google Adsense entirely and waited until I’m eligible for Ezoic’s ad platform, which used to require 10,000 sessions per month (though this requirement has since been waived.) The reason for that is that I have found there to be a massive increase in page RPM (as much as 10x) when switching from Adsense to Ezoic.

I’m also in a position where I’m already earning a good amount of money through my websites, so I can afford to run websites at a loss without worrying about the little bit of money Adsense can provide up until that point.

However, I’m not suggesting that you wait to that point, necessarily.

There are a couple of downsides to running ads, which we’ll get to in a moment, but I understand how difficult it can be to start a website in today’s day and age. Especially when you’re putting a lot of work in, with little or even no payout.

Psychologically, this can be really difficult to justify and it can be incredibly demotivating.

In the past, it never made sense to me to monetize so early on, where at most, you would only be making $100 a month (and usually much less.)

However, as I’ve worked with more people, I’ve began to realize something important – early on, it’s not necessarily about the raw dollar amount you’re bringing in. It’s about seeing progress, and seeing some sort of reward for your effort.

It makes the work that you’re doing feel that much more real, and this can motivate you to continue putting out and marketing content. You see tangible results, and this can be key to staying motivated and productive (especially if you’ve never built a profitable blog before.)

Therefore, if you feel like you need to see some money coming in order to stay motivated with your work, there really isn’t any reason to wait. Turning on ads as soon as you’re approved with Google Adsense isn’t going to break your chances of growing your website to massive success.

And if for whatever reason you decide that they’re not right for you, you can always turn them off.

The Downsides Of Ads On A Growing Website

I wanted to highlight a couple of the downsides of running display ads on a new website, so you can factor these into your decision.

User Experience

The first and perhaps the most obvious one, is that ads have a negative overall effect on user experience. Of course, you already knew that. For the most part, people rarely enjoy ads after all, yet we put up with them as a necessary evil.

How does this affect your website, though?

Simply put, early on in a website’s life, it’s unlikely to have a strong backlink profile (or other external signals) that indicate to Google whether or not a website is a quality resource. Therefore, Google has to rely almost entirely on internal and user engagement metrics to judge a site.

If people land on a website and immediately leave because it’s bombarded with advertisements, Google knows this and will judge your site accordingly.

Therefore, it may be beneficial to run fewer ad units on your website early on until your website is more established.

You’ll also want to make sure your advertisements load below the fold, and don’t take up large amounts of screen real estate  – especially on mobile.

Site Speed

Even when used sparingly, advertisements can still have a large effect on your overall site speed.

Speed is another metric that Google uses as a ranking factor, although the data shows that does not have as big of an effect as many people originally thought.

As your website grows, you’ll be able to justify purchasing better hosting in order to help mitigate the effect that advertisements can have on your website’s speed.

If you’re just starting out and you’re on a shared hosting plan, unfortunately it’s hard to justify the expense.

Still, there are a few things you can do, such as running a caching plugin and compressing your images.

Click here for more tips to speed up your website!

It Can Take Focus Away From What Really Matters – Growth

One of the most exciting parts about running a website is well, making money from it.

If we’re honest with ourselves, that’s probably one of the main reasons we’re doing it (and hey, there’s nothing wrong with that.)

Early on though, it’s easy to get too caught up in monetization, obsessing over things like ad placement, which ad units to use, which programs to opt into, and so on.

And for what? An extra few dollars a month, maybe.

Later down the line, when you’re making thousands of dollars per month through display ads, these sorts of things can add up to sizeable increases in revenue. Early on though, you’re far better off actually focusing on growing your website – releasing more content, and getting it in front of more people.

Ads early on may not be so bad if you’re disciplined, but if you let yourself obsess over them they can hurt you more than they help you.


When it comes down to it, there really is no right or wrong time to begin putting ads on your website. If you’ve met Google Adsense’s requirements and your website is approved, you’re free to do so.

You may not make very much, but that initial bit of revenue can be encouraging, and motivate you to continue pushing on with your work.

By the same token, there are many other profitable ways to monetize your website, that don’t require large amounts of traffic to scale. If you’re building an email list or selling your own product or service, ads may not be worth it regardless of your website size, as they may distract people from your offers (after all, you get paid when you send people away from your site.)

Still, if you’re going to put ads on your website anyway later down the line, there is no reason you can’t do it now.

I hope that you’ve found this article helpful. If there are any questions that I can answer for you, please feel free to let me know using the comment form below.

To your success,

– James McAllister

About This Section:

I personally believe that running an online business is one of the greatest ways to support your family, granting you the freedom to spend more time with your children. Therefore, I occasionally publish some business articles that will help parents with their entrepreneurial ventures.

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