At some point of your blogging life, you might want to monetize your blog or perhaps some of you started a blog with the intention of making money from it. One of the ways to monetize your blog is by putting display advertisements, i.e. by banner, links or even interstitial ads. It might not be the best income stream for most of you, but at least it’s passive income. If you’re a new blogger, this article will teach you how to insert ads into your WordPress blog. It may not be comprehensive, but it’s sufficient for new bloggers.
This article is divided into the categories of sidebar, header, footer and content. To clarify, this “guide” is for those who have a self-hosted WordPress blog, or in other words, a WordPress[dot]org blog. What’s the difference? Read why I moved to a self-hosted blog.
Disclaimer: It doesn’t work on all themes. If you’re using a premium theme like mine (Genesis child theme), you should consult your theme provider on how to insert ads into your WordPress site. Editing on your premium theme’s framework might be detrimental to your blog. This guide works well if you’re using a free theme provided by WordPress.
1. How to insert advertisements into your sidebar
This one’s probably the easiest for beginners out of all of the categories listed.
The first step is to go to Appearance > Widgets.
Once you have clicked “Widgets”, you will see this screen.
You have two options, you can either add your widget directly on this screen, or you can use “Manage with Live Preview” located at the top. I prefer to use the latter as you can see direct changes.
Once you have clicked “Manage with Live Preview”, you will get to this screen.
Click on “Widgets”.
Next, click “Add a Widget” and find for “Text”.
Click on “Text” and you will get to this screen.
Now, just add your “advertisement code” into the Content area of the Text widget, and you’re done.
It will look like this. I used Amazon Affiliates’ code as an example.
2. How to manually insert advertisements into your header
Inserting ad codes manually into your header is slightly more difficult than using a widget. If your theme comes with a built-in advertisement area for your header, you don’t have to insert it manually. Use a “Text” widget similar to the example above.
If your WordPress theme doesn’t come with a built-in area for your header, you can insert it manually.
First, go to Appearance > Editor.
Click on “Editor” and you will see this screen.
As you can see in the image above, the theme that I’m using for another blog may not be suitable to be edited directly, as it may cause problems. If you’re unsure, do not insert ads manually. You probably won’t see this warning if you’re using a theme by WordPress, for e.g. Twenty Sixteen, Twenty Fifteen and so on. There is another safer way to insert ads which I will discuss after this.
If you’re certain of adding it manually, find your theme header, which says (header.php). Click on it.
You will get to this screen. Locate the code as highlighted above. It should appear right after the </head> code. Once you’ve found it, insert your ad code right after the “<body <?php body_class( ); ?>>” code on the next line. It should work after you save the settings.
Do note that banners from some advertising networks take some time before loading.
3. How to manually insert advertisements into your footer
This one is almost the same as how to insert ads into your header.
The only difference is you go to your footer theme (footer.php) and you basically perform the same steps as the above. Find the “<body <?php body_class( ); ?>>” code and paste your ad code right after, on the next line.
4. How to manually insert advertisements into your content
If you want to manually insert ads into your content, it’s really simple.
Just go to any of your post.
You will notice “Visual” and “Text”. Visual is the column where you normally type your content and Text is the html part behind it.
Click on “Text”.
You will get to this page. You can just insert your ad code wherever you want it to be. This only works for banner ads.
Once you’ve inserted the ad code, it should appear as a banner image in the “Visual” section.
Example of my Bluehost ad code where I’ve inserted within my content.
And you’re done!
Bonus Tip: How to insert ads into your WordPress blog with plugins
If you’re unsure after reading this guide on how to insert ads into your WordPress blog, you can download a plugin called “Ad Inserter“. I’m using this plugin for my blogs to insert ads and it’s working well.
To download, go to “Plugins” > “Add New”. Search for “Ad Inserter“, install and activate it.
After activating Ad Inserter, go to “Settings” and click Ad Inserter.
You will get to this screen after clicking on Ad Inserter:
- If you look at number 1, you will see lots of numbers, from 1 to 16. Each of those are blocks for inserting ads in different areas. For example, you can insert your footer ad under block 1, and you insert a header ad using block 2 and so on.
- If you look at number 2, you can choose whether your ads will display on the homepage, category pages, archives or search pages. You can choose any or all of it.
- If you look at number 3, it means that you can choose to display your ads only if your post is between a certain number of words. For instance, you don’t want to bombard your readers with lots of ads. Hence, you only display ads when your content is above 1,000 words. I normally display my “in between content” ads only if my content is above 1,500 words. It’s fully up to you. You can set it at 500 words. No problem.
Furthermore, if you look at the image above, you can see the choices that this plugin offers. You can display your ads before your post, content, paragraph or even after them. It gives you a lot of control over your ad placements.
Additionally, this Ad Inserter plugin also appears at the top of your WordPress blog. You can click on “Show Positions” and “Label Blocks” to see where your ads will probably end up. As you can see in the image above, you will know where “before content” or “before post” refers to, amongst others.
This guide on how to insert ads into your WordPress blog is not comprehensive enough to cover everything. There are all types of ads nowadays and most advertising networks will actually provide a guide on how you can display their ads. Hence, you don’t have to worry if you’re not familiar with using ads in your blog. I hope that this article would have helped some of you who are having difficulties in using ads or have no idea at all where to start. There are lots of other blogs as well that will teach you how to insert ads into your WordPress site.
If you need help in starting a blog, you can visit this link on how to start a WordPress blog.