This blog is now ad-free

As of today, I have removed all ads from this blog. I've used Google AdSense almost since the beginning of this blog. I have also experimented with some other advertisements and until today I had two banners to the affiliate program of my web hoster (clearly noticable as ads) on my blog.

Why I put ads on this blog

Running a self hosted blog comes not for free. The costs for hosting and domains increased over time, as more performance was needed and more websites were run on this single web server. I tried to cover some of these costs putting ads on my website. In the first years, I probably only got around 15% from costs back.

Why I removed all ads

In yesterdays blog post I wrote down my feelings about affiliate links in support forums and groups. I really don't like this. I also don't like websites which are full of ads, expecially within the content. That's why I tried to put them in places where they don't distract too much.

But with ads comes also a lot of overhead. I just check my blog before I removed the ads and it had around 70 requests from 19 different domains and weight around 1MB. After removing the ads, it only has 30 requests from 9 different domains and weighs aroud 640KB.

But not only the size was one of the reasons I planed to remove the ads. The privacy of my visitors is important to me as well as the security, as ads can be exploited.

How will I finance my blog

Last year I was able to cover all costs through Google Ads (43%) and the second monetarization: VG Wort. This is the german "collecting society" for authors (57%). Now that I drop one of them, I have to cover the costs in other ways. As I host the websites of some friends on my server, I can divide the costs a bit.

How do you finance your blog or website?

What do you do to cover the costs of your personal website? Do you also use some form of advertisements or affiliate programs? Do you use crowd funding plattforms or similar things? For me, only VG Wort and my wishlist will be left for the moment.

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Bernhard is a full time web developer who likes to write WordPress plugins in his free time and is an active member of the WP Meetups in Berlin and Potsdam.

4 comments » Write a comment

  1. Hey,

    personally, I have to say that I really like this (decision). Funny aside: just before reading this post, I read a pretty well-written technical post about JavaScript in English, which started with an English ad about some anti-virus software, and ended with a German ad about some … Fußpilz treatment. Yes. True.

    Regarding my blog, so far, I have costs for the hosting, and I have license costs for a couple plugins, but I am not making any money at all with the blog. Even though I thought a few times about affiliate stuff, I didn’t do any of that, or even some kinds of ads – which will get blocked most of the times anyway. Reason is that I really have no idea whatsoever how these things are working, tax-wise, that is. I’m not sure this will change too soon…

    I was pretty surprised, however, about VG Wort. Are you a member just because of your blog(s)? Never heard, nor thought about that possibility. I might have a look at that, although I am sure this is nothing for me. I write way too few posts, and also irregularly, and I write only in English.
    Can you share some experiences here, maybe?


    • I am just a member because of my blog. I first heared about it at WordCamp Cologne 2011 and signed up. It’s really quite simple to set up. But unfortunately only blog posts written in German count. Regularity is not a criteria. You only have to get at least 1500 visitors from Germany for a blog post.

  2. Hi Bernhard,
    I put ads on my personal blog because I am (ab)using it to test my own ad plugin.

    I could also cover the costs with them, but only because my hosting is very cheap. Still, I would not use ads if it wasn’t for testing. You either create a business or have a personal blog to share your ideas and thoughts, don’t mix them.

    Side note. a blog with ads on it is always a business, even if you only make 1 cent per day. If you happen to miss giving credits to an author of an image you used, you will end up with a much higher fine than as if this was really a personal blog without any business behind it.


    • Hi Thomas,

      I am well aware that my blog is considered “business” when it comes to taxes and other legal things. That’s why I declare every cent I earn 😉

      Still I would consider it private, as I am not a freelance web developer and I don’t use it as a marketing tool to attrack clients.

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