Serving third party ads on your community website

by Martin Reed on 8 June 2011 in Snippets

Your goal should be engagement and content discovery – advertising doesn’t really do that. When a visitor clicks an ad, it’s a wave goodbye. Is the revenue you receive in return worth it?

For some of us, it is. If you need to serve ads to keep your online community afloat, at least avoid placing ads on your homepage. The purpose of your homepage is to lure visitors in. You want them to see just how great your community is. You want to highlight your best content and make joining and getting involved in the community irresistible.

If you really can’t avoid advertising on the homepage, make sure it’s only your members who are exposed to the ads. Most online communities do this the wrong way around – they serve ads to visitors and make the removal of advertising a membership benefit. That’s a mistake. Show ads to your members – if they click and disappear, they’re more likely to come back. Visitors with no vested interest in your community probably won’t.

Share this community building advice


Similar Posts

Previous post:

Next post:


Sue June 10, 2011 at 6:08 am

That’s a great prospective Martin, but I’d counter that by adding for many the “visitors” or “lurkers” are the ones that generate a large percentage of the advertising revenue a site receives. Plus some advertisers like to target the “unique” visitors rather than regular visitors as they get different “eyes” on their ads. Maybe an alternative would be to display different ads for logged in and logged out readers.

Tommy T May 10, 2012 at 11:43 pm

Unfortunately, sometimes ads are just necessary.

However, I would never recommend a new community to place ads up after just launching.

For my new project it’ll be many months, perhaps even early 2013 year before I place ads.

But yes, I’ve always followed the rule – NEVER on the homepage!