I have to admit something: this is going to be based entirely on research rather than my personal experience. That’s because I myself have never purchased any advertising. I prefer to work with free advertising (aka SEO) to get my sites noticed as opposed to paid advertising. That said, from everything I’ve seen, text link ads are extremely effective. Here’s why:
Advertising, Advertising Everywhere
Let’s face it: the vast majority of blogs and websites we visit these days tend to have plenty of advertising everywhere.
It’s not that blog owners think all those ads are a good thing – we all know that they’re not really the best thing to add to our blogs. However, we also need to make a living and when we give away quality content for free, someone has to pay the bills. That someone is usually advertising partners.
The thing is, because the ads are so ubiquitous, most people tend to tune them out, not even noticing them. I know I do when I visit some of my favorite websites.
As an aside, this simple fact is the reason why pop up flash ads which take over the screen have started to become popular – because you can’t ignore them. For me however, unless it’s a site I really want to see, in which case I just click close as fast I can, I tend to just click away from the site altogether and look for my information elsewhere.
Text Link Ads Are Unobtrusive
The nice thing about text link ads by comparison is that they are unobtrusive – you don’t tend to notice them because they look like a link. This means that more people are likely to click them because they want to know more about a particular subject.
In fact, small text link ads are often so effective that many people make their entire living from nothing but text link ads, shunning the fancy creatives that we tend to see plastered onto most websites and blogs.
Add Them to Your Blog Posts
One of the best practices with text link ads by the way is to add them to your blog posts. They are unobtrusive and they won’t make your readers feel as if they have been inundated with advertising.
You can even purchase various plugins for WordPress which can automate the process for you, placing the ads with your affiliate links (or product links) wherever a particular keyword is mentioned.
Just make sure you don’t go crazy with them or it can get pretty annoying to the reader as well (imagine if I had a link here for every time the word text link ads appeared for example – it would get pretty annoying as well).
Text link ads, like any other kind of advertising medium can be a great resource and should be part of your monetization scheme. I personally feel however that they shouldn’t be the only thing you do to make money from your website or blog though.
After all, if the fancier ads never got any clicks, no one would use them at all. Since most blogs have a mix of text link ads and graphical ads, it seems to me it’s best to use both kinds…