Advertising on WordPress.com Blogs

profitTo off-set the costs of providing free hosting to millions of bloggers, WordPress.com has been running advertising on our free hosted blogs since 2006.  Many bloggers do not know this, despite the fact they ticked the box required to get a free blog, because they did not read the ToS.  Many also fail to read the advertising entry in the support documents after registering their username and blog(s).

Also note that as the ads do not display to us when we are logged in, and as many use browsers with ad blockers when logged out, they may not realize they are there at all.

10. Advertisements. Automattic reserves the right to display advertisements on your blog unless you have purchased an Ad-free Upgrade or a VIP Services account. http://en.wordpress.com/tos/

If the ads you see are found at the end of blog posts then what you are seeing is WordPress.com generated advertising.  Look for the About These Ads link.

WordPress.com does not use text enhance or text link ads or pop-up ads or links in comments. If you are seeing those then that’s a browser-ad-on issue, or in some cases, it’s from adware embedded into free games downloaded from the internet. See here: Bloggers: Beware of Adware.

If what you are seeing whenever you save or update a post or page is an automatically added code/script block at the end of posts and pages that you can’t delete then see here: Malware Targets Macs and Windows PCs

All of WordPress.com ads are family-friendly. If you feel an ad is inappropriate please take a screenshot of it, upload it via Media -> Add New to your Media Library and let Staff them know it’s there for them to view.

To eliminate all advertising on our free hosted WordPress.com blogs we can purchase an annually renewable No-Ads upgrade.

Monetizing Your WordPress.com Blog

There is only one advertising program called WordAds at WordPress.com for blogs on their own domains. No blogger initiated advertising, retailing or reselling the work or products created or services provided by anyone other than yourself is allowed on free hosted WordPress.com blogs. E-commerce transactions via shopping carts and the like cannot be conducted on free blogs from and being free hosted by WordPress.com. Affiliate Marketing blogs, paid content and/or sponsored content is not allowed. For details click these links:
advertising
types of blogs
affiliate links
terms of service
suspended blogs

On free hosted WordPress.com blog we can use a contact form and/or a PayPal donation button for sale of only products or services created or provided by ourselves.

There is no upgrade you can purchase that changes any of foregoing. If you do require an eCommerce site, advertising, affiliate links, paid and/or sponsored content you can hire a web host and get a free software install from WordPress.org.

Related posts found in this blog:
Federated Media Offers Ad Rights for WordPress Bloggers
WordPress.com Partnerships: Popping Up All Over
Adsense and Ads Of Upgrades

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35 thoughts on “Advertising on WordPress.com Blogs

  1. My apologies for resurrecting this old thread but I didn’t find an answer in the comments or in the links to wordpress.

    I purchased the No Ads upgrade after banners that looked really sleazy started appearing on my dashboard. Obviously, since my blog is also my business website this is not good and I was worried that potential clients might see them too.

    I still see them on my dashboard even though I paid for the upgrade and I see them on the wordpress site too. Are they for my eyes only or is everyone who looks at my blog seeing them?

    I haven’t seen any ads when I log out and check my blog but I just wanted to know whether you had any experience with this phenomenon.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

  2. Well today I got a pingback for the experiment. It has links to 5 blog posts including this one. Wait for it .. Mark.
    None ie. not a single one of them is in fact being hosted by WordPress.com.
    None of them are blogs I would select to link to.

    http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/?attachment_id=17332

    But wait this isn’t advertising. Yeah right …
    My blog is being used to pimp links to sites I did not choose to link to but that’s not advertising because it’s not commercial ie. paid pimping'; it is promotional pimping, don’t you know?

  3. There’s no free lunch, and we all need to be reminded (constantly, it seems) of that basic fact of blogging and life. Many thanks, TT, for always telling it like it is.

      • What a nightmare– unbelievable. Staff either a) doesn’t have enough to do, or b) they’re trying to boost the overall #views to make WP appear more attractive to advertisers.

        I’m so sorry. Who’d want to be put in the position– even indirectly– of recommending blogs they’d consider offensive or worthless?

        • It’s a jaw dropper, isn’t it?

          Their focus is on promotion ie. increasing page views and revenues news to the site but at what cost to us bloggers.

          I don’t want to drive traffic to any other blogs and/or sites that I don’t personally select to recommend to my readers.

          I paid for elimination of ads but a No-Ads upgrade does not exempt my blog from being a guinea pig in the testing of this promotional widget (it’s not advertising per say) that I did not know was going on.

          Not being informed my blog was a guinea pig for this testing has a creepy feel to it.

          If the widget is implemented and the choice to display that widget on blogs is not optional, and/or if the display of the selected blogs in the widget is not under my control then I’m back to self-hosting.

  4. Timethief, You were nice enough to provide an answer to a question I had today about editing a post. I appreciate the comeback. It did make me want to know more about you, so I clicked on your picture and came to this page. Doing this I discovered how big a help you’ve been to so many other bloggers. This is a vastly different world I’ve stepped into, and any bit of advice or encouragement shuttled my way will be taken with the utmost gratitude.

  5. Hi Timethief.

    My blog is now fairly successful. I’m now confident that I will get over 20,000 hits a month. My highest day is over 33K and my blog has been in the wordpress top ten.

    My question is this; Is it worth it ?

    If I invest would I get a return ?

    I would conservatively estimate that from this point onwards my blog will get atleast 50K per month.Nov I had 113,204 hits, Dec, 3 days in, I’ve already had 54,827 hits. So I am being cautious in my estimations.

    I don’t want to upset those that come to my blog but if I can give up work and blog then I could concentrate on being a better blogger.

    PS, Thankyou Timethief for all your help. I don’t often comment but I do read and appreciate everything you do to help idiots like me.

      • Thankyou TT,

        Great link and advice.

        I won’t be giving up my job :-)

        “I don’t blog for money and never will.” I respect that and money is definitely not my motivation but if WordPress are sticking ads up on my blog anyway, even a small amount would allow me to upgrade to pro even pay for a online research tool..

        • Being part of the WordAds program means splitting your income with WordPress.com 50% – 505 and it’s not much money that we are talking about. Read threads in the WordAds Forum http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/are-the-earnings-on-my-blog-correct?replies=26#post-1070603

          Upgrading to pro amounts to spending more money and to what end?
          The “pro” label is a promotional hype that makes us long time bloggers LOL. There are no upgrades that make you a professional or your blog a professional blog. You either have university degrees or you don’t. Your blog content is either authoritative content published by a professional in a professional niche or it isn’t.

          Also look at what that upgrade package includes knowing that purchasing any package of upgrades containing any individual upgrades you do not need is false economy. Currently the $99 Value Bundle includes a 1 year subscription to:
          Domain Name & Mapping
          Space Upgrade
          No Ads
          Custom Design
          VideoPress

          http://en.support.wordpress.com/bundles/

          “… even pay for a online research tool”

          I don’t have clue what you mean or why you think you need any such tool.

  6. Please excuse-me ‘timethief’ for I don’t reply to your issue here, but it appears I haven’t been permitted to enter the dashboard of my 1st blog myproblemsinromaniaandabroad.wordpress.com, since the 1st of November a.c. What is more, since I’ve communicated with Paul who is one from your colleagues, about 2 weeks ago, I could not enter my both blogs i have on wordpress, as the computer did not reply to my comments. All in all, since I’ve used my both passwords and 2 different e-mail addresses, I cannot imagine why I’ve been obstructed and not permitted to log on my personal acxcounts and write new issues, onto both my blogs. Please help me, as that happenned to me many time these years since I began my on-line activities with wordpress, first. Regards.

  7. Thanks for this TT. It’s all info I know already but it’s very helpful for people who don’t know (and will be a post I can refer to via the forums, I’m sure!)

    One observation I have is that over the years since I’ve been using WordPress.com I’ve never seen ads on completely new blogs, only on ones which have acquired some followers – so even logged out people might not see ads, because they’ve not yet been put there. Myself, my last blog only acquired ads when I got my 50th follower! (Which is not to say that people won’t get them sooner).

    When I started my current blog I chose to buy the no-ads upgrade (and a domain). It probably wouldn’t matter much to visitors to see ads on the blog, but I wanted a cohesive ‘feel’ to it all and ads just don’t fit in with my thinking!

    • Hi Val,
      This subject comes up over and over gain on the support forums so I felt it was a good idea to publish a post on it. You point about when ads are likely to appear is a good one. That’s a good point. It makes sense that ads don’t appear until you have a traffic flow. I have a No-Ads upgrade on this blog and have been considering purchasing one for my personal blog too.

      • I think that’s a good idea for your personal blog, TT, as it would make it ‘calmer’ without them, I’m sure! (I don’t see them, however, as I have adblock!)

        • I hope the readers I have on that blog are not experiencing ads. I’m pretty sure most are running ad-blockers. At least I hope they are as I haven’t purchased a No-Ads upgrade for that blog.

  8. I was shocked the first time I saw my blog with adverts. As you note, when on another PC to do some work I browsed to see how it looked and found the adverts. I am wondering about the options but free is still a good deal.

    Jim

    • Hi there,
      I know what you mean by shock when one sees anything on their blog that they did not put there shock and panic ensue. I was shocked way back in 2006 when the announcement was made. Until that announcement was made I hadn’t realized that they were ‘testing” advertising. I have checked out the other blogging options and was not impressed. I believe this is the best place to blog so that’s why my blogs are here.

    • I started using this handle long before the whipper snappers came along and provided their connoation. I chose it after I had escaped death twice. I’m living on borrowed time and I’m keenly aware of how precious life is.

  9. On the No-Ads page it says that “We only run them in limited places, and we do not show ads to logged-in readers, which means only a very small percentage of your page views will actually contain ads…”

    I looked at my site in another browser (so that I was not logged in) and clicked to view the first three posts. All three had ads – for Sky TV, the Mini motor car, and Aunt Bessie’s

    Perhaps the wording on the No-Ads page is out of date, and WordPress no longer only run ads in ‘limited places’?

    Or perhaps WordPress expects that most readers will be logged in to WordPress?

    • Hi David,
      While logged out and when using my husband’s computer I looked at some friend’s blogs. I saw ads at the bottom of all 7 posts on their front page. I did a random check of posts deeper in their blogs and did not see any ads. I also ran my browsers without ad blockers for over a month while answering support forum questions. What I observed is that the ads on WordPress.com blogs were more tasteful than those on Blogger blogs.

      The limited places could refer to the placement of ads only at the end of posts as on other blogs like Blogger ones I see ads at the beginning of posts under the title and before the body, in the body and at the end of posts. In some of those I also see ads in the sidebar too.

      Younger bloggers don’t object to ads the way older bloggers do and there is research that reflects that. I have answered questions on other forums I won’t name here where most bloggers were from third world countries and all had ads on their Blogger blogs. They were so focused on making money that if they had a drop of passion for their subject matter it wasn’t evident to me. Many were sploggers with stables of free Blogger blogs they pimped out for profit. Some boldly stated their blogs were enhanced by ads and appeared more professional with them – no kidding! There are cultural differences between bloggers and some went on about how making a little money couldn’t be a bad thing. They were the kind that flipped out when they realized their regurgitated make-money-blogging content would not attract high payout advertisers. Many were click fraud bloggers and I turned every member of a click fraud circle I detected into Google.

      I’m a control freak who does not want anything on my blog I did not choose to place there. My opinion is that advertising on blogs is ugly and I pay to keep that ugliness off my blog.

    • Hi Varun,
      Creating the right advertising mix for a self hosted blog is challenging. I explored that and it didn’t take me long to decide against it. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t put together a combination that suits your content.

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