What Is Ad Revenue? Definition, Benefits and Helpful Tips

Updated June 24, 2022

Ad revenue is one method creators can use to make money online. By selling space on your website or monetizing your content on social media, you can place advertisements that earn you money per impression or click. If you're a content creator or social media manager, learning more about ad revenue can be beneficial. In this article, we explain what ad revenue is, detail where it comes from, describe how it works, compare the benefits and disadvantages and offer helpful tips for increasing your ad revenue.

What is ad revenue?

Ad revenue is the income you can earn from advertisements being seen on your content. These ads can appear on websites, videos and social media platforms. Advertisements like the ones that appear on videos and web articles are similar to advertisements in magazines and on television because including the ads is usually what allows the content to be free.

Related: How To Make Money on YouTube: 8 Strategies for Success

Where does ad revenue come from?

Ad revenue comes from companies that want to promote their products and services on your page or content. You can often work with advertising programs that negotiate with companies and choose those willing to pay the most for the space. The advertisements on a web page can include banners, corner videos, sticky ads and takeover ads.

Related: Types of Advertisements and What Makes Them Successful

How does ad revenue work?

You can earn ad revenue by owning content that receives enough attention for companies to purchase space on. When the visitors to your webpage or viewers of your content click on or experience the advertisement, you often receive payment for that. The specific type of advertisement can vary depending on your niche and audience.

Related: How To Calculate ROAS (With Tips and Examples)

Benefits and disadvantages of earning ad revenue

If you have a website or social media profile with substantial traffic, you may be eligible to earn advertising income. These are the benefits and disadvantages of earning ad revenue:


By adding ad revenue to your income streams, you can monetize your content and increase your earnings. These are some benefits of earning ad revenue:

  • Simple process: Unlike other online business models, choosing to earn ad revenue can be simple and easy to begin. Advertisers and advertising programs often manage the setup and implementation of the ads, so you only have to sign up and give permission for the ads to be on your content.

  • Easy to increase: Ad revenue can be beneficial because to increase it, you may focus on increasing your traffic and viewership. This makes it straightforward to increase your revenue and can help you in setting goals.

  • Attracts viewers: Offering free content can attract viewers who may not pay for a paid version of your materials. By offering content for free and agreeing to advertise in your space, you can attract followers and offer them quality content while earning income.

  • Adds to diversification: Adding ad revenue to your online income sources can help you diversify your income. For example, you may earn ad revenue from your website, receive paid sponsorships and sell courses online.


It's important to consider the disadvantages of using ad revenue so you can learn to avoid them These are some disadvantages of earning ad revenue:

  • Unreliable money: Ad revenue can fluctuate with the traffic to a website or viewers for content, which can make it an unreliable form of earnings. To avoid this problem, be sure to diversify your income so the fluctuations don't affect you.

  • Specific terms: The companies that want to advertise their products on your website often have specific terms for the content they advertise on, which can make it difficult to find advertisers that work. Consider ensuring you avoid problematic content and make your site appropriate for company advertisements.

  • Your reputation: Depending on your online persona or brand, including advertisements on your site may affect your reputation. You can use nuanced and unobtrusive advertisements to ensure you maintain the image you want.

  • Lack of control: Depending on the advertising service you use, you may not have control over the ads that show on your page. Communicate with different services and specify your terms for showing marketing materials in your space.

Related: Understanding Revenue vs. Income (With Examples)

Tips for increasing ad revenue

These are some helpful tips for increasing ad revenue:

  • Focus on the user experience: One important tip for increasing your ad revenue is focusing on the user experience for your site or content. If you earn ad revenue from content, ensure it's high quality, and if you earn ad revenue from a website, ensure it loads properly and offers quality information.

  • Upload content regularly: If you earn ad revenue from uploading content on a social media or video-sharing platform, uploading regularly can help you increase your revenue. Consider creating a content calendar and following it to ensure your content uploads regularly.

  • Experiment with ad placements: For websites, consider experimenting with different ad placements and types to see what best works with your layout. This may include banners, sticky ads and video ads.

  • Create original content: By creating original content, you can draw more viewers and visitors and show advertisers the unique value of an impression on your page. Consider problems to solve or specific pieces of information you can easily find online.

  • Use an ad management service: Ad management services can help you oversee your advertising practices and can show you changes to your revenue. Consider using one once you begin earning a substantial amount of revenue from your ads.

  • Learn about ad placement: Study ad placement practices and find the balance between earning more income from ads and retaining your visitors. You don't want to overwhelm visitors with advertisements, and learning to place them well can help you avoid it.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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