How many ads should I have on my site?

If one ad unit is good, two ad units must be twice as good.  Right? Not exactly.  One common mistake made by noob bloggers looking to start monetizing their sites is getting over excited by how easy it is to put up ads.

9 time out of 10, the new blogger joins every ad network they find and starts putting up one skyscraper after another.  Before you know it, there's 8 ads on a single page from 4 different ad networks.

It's a flashy, animated, blinking, weight loss, acai berry drinking good time all right.

Unfortunately, that means they've made one of the critical mistakes in blog business.  They took their eyes off the ball.

Content is your #1 priority.  Your users come first.

Don't get me wrong, it is really exciting.  Here's all these companies that want to hand you money just for putting their ads on your website.  Who wouldn't get excited.  That's why I can't believe everyone isn't blogging.

However, focusing all your time and attention on stuffing every available inch of your site with ads is a proven way to drive away the traffic you have worked so hard to attain.

When users feel like they are being bombarded with advertisements, they are going to get distracted from your content.  Eventually, they will lose interest.

Another problem that is often overlooked is the page load time of your site.  If you have a lot of different ad networks running on your blog, you have to make sure that they are not causing any page load delays.

Remember that each time your website is loaded by a user, a number of call outs to the ad network server are happening.  Each call out can ad loadtime and overall page weight to your site.

You can pretty easily spot these issues when you visit a poorly optimized blog.  The body content will load almost immediately.  Then it might be another second or two of delay before the right sidebars finally load.  Or perhaps only part of the sidebar loads followed a couple seconds later by the rest of it.

Page load time is a great way to drive away even more users.  The longer someone has to wait to surf around your site, the less likely they become to ever do it again.

When you are first starting out, try to resist temptation and just go with one ad network.  You can always switch or add more later.  From there, just pick 2-3 ad units and leave it at that.

There is the IAB standard pack that includes:  729x90 Leaderboard, 160x600 Skyscraper, and a 300x250 Square.  Just go with those and you will have all of the basic IAB standard sizes covered.