Blog Monetization: To Plugin or Not To Plugin?

One of the great things about WordPress and the WordPress community is the abundance of plugins available that help extend the capabilities of your blog. So one of the questions people might ask is:

What plugin can I use to help implement my advertising code?

When I started blogging several years ago, when WordPress was still young and plugins were springing up left and right, I tried to monetize my blogs by entering my advertising code directly into my posts. It soon became apparent, back then, that pasting my code was not going to work. Of course there were several solutions available. You could either, break into your theme code and customize things, but that required coding knowledge. You could build your own theme (which also requires a lot of coding) or you could download a plugin and hoped that it worked for you. In the early days of WordPress, I settled for the easy route, download and install a plugin.

I must have tried many plugins back then, but I eventually settled with “Advertising Manager”. It is a plugin that is no longer supported and the plugin website is no longer available. At the time I felt it was a great plugin, because it auto-detected your advertising code and imported it into your blog. Then through a handy-dandy shortcode, you could stick your advertisements anywhere on your blog. It also came with a great widget feature. Alas, it is now a relic of the past.

[ad name=”post ad links”]

To Plugin or Not To Plugin?

Fast forward to the present and here I am seeking to monetize more blogs. But what has changed since those early days of blogging and today? Well, today, the latest version of WordPress can handle direct advertising code into it’s posts. In addition you can paste your advertising code into a widget text box and add it to your sidebar and it will work just fine. So the question might arize, “Why need a plugin now-a-days?” The answer depends on your situation.

If you are like me and built various blogs over the years, you might have content that is a wealth of knowledge that is waiting to be monetized. If you use an old plugin which requires you to add your code in manually, then you’ll spend many hours and days trying to paste your code in. Luckily today, the WordPress’ Plugin Directory has many good plugins to choose from. Many of them will auto-insert advertising for you. This is good if you have many articles that need to be monetized. But if you are starting out on a clean install of WordPress, then you could easily live without any advertising plugins and fill in your code as you like.

So what plugin do you use to monetize your blogs? Or do you manually enter in your code? Or do you rely on customized themes or advertising ready themes?