Top monetization mistakes publishers need to avoid

There are many monetization strategies publishers can implement to earn revenue from their content. From displaying ads and affiliate marketing to offering subscriptions and asking for donations – the possibilities are endless.

But not all publishers manage to successfully monetize their website, despite using any of the traditional methods. That is because a lot of content creators make easily avoidable mistakes with content monetization.

In this post, we will explore some of the most common content monetization mistakes, and share tips on how to avoid them.

Using too many ads (and ad formats)

There is a fine line between ads that do you good and ads that do you harm. Having too many ads on your website can negatively affect your user experience, and even hurt your rankings.

We’ve all had experiences where we enter a site looking for content, only to find ourselves bombarded with ads left and right, making the actual content get lost in the mess. Most likely, we will leave the page as soon as we have entered it.

Many studies have been conducted in the name of finding what is the maximum number of ads that don’t affect user experience. Generally, it is recommended to place up to 5-6 ads on an average length page. If most of your traffic comes from organic search, the recommended number of ads drops to 2-3.

too many ads cause irritation and make users leave the website

Another mistake that relates to this type of “ad-overkill” is using too many formats of ads at once.

Some ad formats are going to be more effective and profitable than others. However, it’s impossible to know how well one format is working, if another is pulling your audience’s focus.

I recommend testing each ad format on its own for about a week or two, then try and combine the types of formats that worked best and use them in conjunction. Then, try to mix ad formats that complement one another. Don’t mix multiple types of formats that’ll feel too intrusive or messy (like too many pop-ups).

The bottom line of these common mistakes is that you should always consider user experience when placing ads.

Giving up on a strategy too fast

Many publishers expect to see immediate results. They add advertising tags to their sites and then remove them right away because they don’t get results.

Monetization results appear rather quickly, but apparently not as fast as some publishers would like.

You need to be patient and allow tags to run for a bit before making any changes. If you start changing ad formats right away you’ll never get results because you won’t produce a consistent user experience. you’ll need some testing to understand what ad formats your audience prefers and which ones work best, bringing the most money.

The same applies to any other kind of monetization strategy. Patience is a must, especially if you have a smaller audience.

Not placing ad tags correctly

Technical mistakes are another thing we see publishers commonly do.

They make the mistakes of altering their adscript, using the same tag on multiple websites, placing the ad within the <head> section when it should be in a container, and the list goes on and on…

This type of manipulation can lead to scripts failing to serve any ads, which leads to zero CPM. Worst case scenario – when placed in the wrong part of the HTML code, they begin to conflict with the webpage’s settings.

At PurpleAds, we do our best to help you avoid this mistake. Each ad format has a detailed guide with instructions. Please read them attentively and place ad units precisely as recommended.

Sticking to just one monetization strategy

The first thing most publishers do is add banner ads to their websites. That’s not bad, considering how rewarding ads can be, with very little effort put in.

However, Advertising on the internet is not what it used to be. More people than ever are suffering from “ad fatigue”, and with the rise of ad blockers, display advertising has lost some of its power.

That is why every publisher should be looking for more ways to expand their monetization activities, creating new revenue streams that will help them sleep soundly at night even if one of the monetization methods will be gone the next day.

WordPress users, check out this in-depth monetization guide to learn all about the different ways you can monetize your website easily.

If you rely mainly on display advertising, you must put a lot of thought into the actual layout of your webpages – where the content, ads, CTAs, and media are physically located.

Bad distribution of ads can limit the revenue potential of your site, especially on a CPC basis. If you put your ads in a place where visitors are unlikely to notice them–and therefore unlikely to interact with the advertisers’ messages–the performance is going to be poor.

Various heat maps tools will tell you all about user behavior on each page. Check how your visitors scroll and use web pages, which spots are visible and which are ignored.

Following this heat maps guide for publishers, you can learn more about the importance of page layout, and how using heat maps can help you place banner ads more thoughtfully. As a result, you may see a significant improvement in revenue.

heat maps show which areas are most seen by viewers

Neglecting the audience

The biggest mistake most new publishers make is that they neglect their audience.

Instead of thinking about how much money you’ll earn if you do this and that, think about how it’ll affect your audience. You can still combine monetization strategies and use multiple ads together without irritating the people who you most want to buy your products.

Beyond considering your audience when it comes to UX, publishers need to recognize their niche – a particular range of customers and do audience segmentation. The more you tailor ads to your audience and target them specifically, the faster and the more you can monetize your website.

To pinpoint your TA, use your analytics to discover the following points:

  • Find which device they are using.
  • Their geographic location.
  • Their age group and gender.
  • Which type of content is most interesting to them?

All this information can help you better understand your audience. Then you can work on adapting your monetization plan to best suit the profile of your target audience.


It’s important to recognize and avoid the money monetization mistakes I’ve outlined here, and avoid them if you want your monetization efforts to yield good results.

The key, as always, is to put your audience’s feelings first and be willing to test, experiment, and be disciplined in your assessment of what works and what doesn’t.