Ads on your Church Website?

I recently ran across a post on the Linkedin Group, Association of Catholics Exploring Social Media, where someone was looking for a Catholic Alternative to Google AdSense.  For those that don’t know, Google AdSense, is Google’s platform that allows you to place Google ads on your website and lets you earn (hopefully) revenue from having your viewers click on those ads.

If you’ve never tried Google AdSense, but are currently managing your website, you’ll find it incredibly easy to use and implement on your website.  There’s simple plugins for all major blog platforms like WordPress and if you don’t have a readily available plugin for your site’s platform, Google AdSense provides a few lines of JavaScript to easily implement it on most websites.

So its really easy to get up and running, but the real question is, why bother?  If your church website is like most sites you get a few hundred visitors a week.  Unfortunately, to make money with Google AdSense you probably need to have thousands of visitors a day.

I run across a few church websites that have Google AdSense running on them and would be curious to see if anyone other there believes there’s value in this?  Is anyone making any money with it and feels its worth the effort?

Based on my experience, I’d recommend bypassing AdSense.  If you’re trying to build a little revenue on your website my recommendation would be to sign up for an account on Commission Junction which is a 3rd party advertising broker.  You can be very specific of what advertisers you want to work with.  The most relevant to a church website would be  TrinityRoad (the parent company of  You’ll receive a 10% commission for every purchase you make and as a church website, you may also be providing a valuable service.  Most churches today no longer have a store attached to them for purchasing religious items.  My wife recently had to drive half way across our city to the one remaining Catholic store that we know of to pick up a cross necklace for our nephew’s first holy communion.  So in addition to perhaps a little extra revenue, you may just be providing a valuable service to your parishioners.


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Author:Joe Luedtke

Joe Luedtke is LPi and is currently leading LPi’s efforts to move into the on-line world. Joe works for the world's largest and oldest social network, religion, and believes that this social network could benefit tremendously from the the proper use of Internet technologies.
  • Meredith Gould

    Useful post, Joe. You might be interested in reading through the transcript from last night’s #ChSocM (church social media) chat on Twitter:  Topics focused on advertising, FB and otherwise. And you are most welcome to attend and participate. We meet every Tuesday night at 9PM ET. 

    • Joe

       Meridith, thanks for the reminder.  I’ve been meaning to join in!

  • Eric Gallagher

    @Joe:disqus – I have also recommended Beacon Ads.  It let you sell ad space in an automated way.  Great automation and also allows you to approve ads before they are shown.  

  • flocknote

    I’m a big fan of discouraging any parish from these kinds of ads on their site. As you said, it is a rare (very rare) parish that gets anywhere near the traffic to make it worthwhile from a revenue standpoint. So making money is not a worthwhile focus for their website and it’s a task that inevitably takes away from the primary purpose and function of their website.

    If they want to promote good Catholic content for their parishioners, there are other ways to do it.
    The only exception I could see is if the parish connects with local/parishioner businesses (basically a transferring of their bulletin advertisers to their website) and ran ads for those in exchange for support/revenue. But it would be largely a charity effort by those businesses, as they would probably not get their money back in terms of an ROI of their ad dollars.

  • Online Storage

    Thank you Joe for sharing this informative content. Keep on sharing..

  • Daniel With

    I wouldn’t recommend any type of banner ads on a church website. That would only serve to reinforce the stereotype that the church is just out to make money. The only thing like this we have setup is for churches that have a recommended reading list. We added amazon affiliate links to they could get a little money from that. But for the most part I don’t see this as the main goal of a church’s website. We focus on giving the existing members of the site information on events and activities. And then on attracting new people to the church. We also provide online donations that can be set to automatic weekly or monthly donations. When it coms down to it you just have to define the goal of the website. And for a church website it shouldn’t be ad sells.

  • M. Bizzaro

    If you’re at all interested in knowing . . . the Catholic Dogma . . . that we *must believe* to get to Heaven . . .

    I list it on my website > > >

    The Catholic God knows . . . what we think and believe . . .
    Catholic writing of Romans 1 : 21 >
    “They … became vain in their thoughts, and their foolish heart was darkened.”

    Catholic Faith (pre-fulfillment) writing of Deuteronomy 31 : 21 >
    “For I know their thoughts, and what they are about to do this day.”

    Catholic Faith (pre-fulfillment) writing of Job 21 : 27 >
    “Surely I know your thoughts, and your unjust judgments against Me.”

    And no … the vatican-2 heretic cult, founded in 1965, *is not* the Catholic Church since it has been *screaming* the opposite, opposite, and opposite of the Catholic Dogma since it’s founding on 8 Dec 1965.