A simple and obvious way to make money online is dedicating space on a website for selling ads. Google makes is super-easy to do and thousands of websites make passive income from Google AdSense. However, I have seen it time and time again where the ads contradict the theme of the website. In many cases Google AdSense hurts your brand.
Your brand is everything
A niche website such as mine has a centralized theme. MoneyPlan SOS is known for helping people to get out of debt and living on a moneyplan.
This includes getting away from debt products of any kind – including credit cards. This online personality must remain consistent for its readers and podcast listeners – wavering in any direction would break their trust.
Imagine my surprise when I saw this in a guest post I wrote for another get-out-of-debt website:
One of these things just doesn't belong!
What the? I was quite angry when I saw that.
I wrote a brilliant post about the problems these cards cause and how consumers have been brainwashed to believe credit cards are good for their finances.
At the end of the article, just before the comments, the Google AdSense shines brightly for all to see – and it hurts my brand.
It's like a Ford assembly line worker arriving to work in a Toyota Camry, a shop teacher with missing fingers, or a Priest convicted for molestation. To sell an add for credit cards within a post railing against their use is just wrong.
This single ad makes me look like a fool. Google AdSense could hurt your brand too.
Bloggers: Respect your readers and get rid of the ads
I know of many personal finance blogs who fall victim to this mismatch. They write about living on a budget or pinching pennies – then a big, fat Payday loan ad gets stuck right in the middle! It's sending mixed signals and is hurting their brand.
My promise: You will never see a random advertisement on my website.
I don't need the money that bad.
Affiliates for integrity, AdSense for everyone else
You will find some items on this website that are for sale. These are affiliations to services or products that I use myself or would recommend to my mom. I care about my visitors too much to let them stumble across a product or service that I don't personally believe in.
Yes, Google AdSense can help bring in some extra dough but my integrity isn't for sale!
Bloggers: If you are trying to make money with online sales without creating your own products then consider listing affiliate sales for items that fit your brand.
If you don't care about your readers or your brand then feel free to put AdSense all over your blog.