Here are answers to some common questions that we’ve heard.

Ad Options on WordPress.com

Q: What are my options for advertising on WordPress.com

A: There are currently three options. 1) Sites can get the No Ads option by itself or via our Value Bundle. 2) The default free option. At WordPress.com, we sometimes display advertisements on your blog to help pay the bills. This keeps free features free! 3) WordAds is the option where we can run ads on all of your pages and you share in the income.

Ad creative and placement

Q: What do the ads look like?

A: WordAds currently has two placement options:

1) The Simple Ad option appears both at the bottom of the first post on the home page and at the bottom of the article pages. The ad size here is called a Middle Rectangle. An example of a site with this ad unit is Seth Adam Smith | on a LITERAL odyssey.


In the US and Europe in particular we run a lot of video ads. Here are examples:

2) In addition to the Middle Rectangle unit mentioned above, the Optimized Ad layout has one or both of the following additional ad units: a Leaderboard horizontal unit in the header and a Skyscraper vertical unit in one of the sidebars. Optimized Ads requires approval for each site by our advertisers. There are also limitations on the themes that can run here as some themes will not accommodate these additional ads. You can view a list of Optimized Ads themes here.

An example of an Optimized Ads site is Jon Negroni | Enjoy the Words.


We occasionally test new types of ads for brief periods and will update this list if any are successful enough to continue with.

Q: Can the ads be more contextual to the content on my site?
A: Our advertisers are targeting your audience and covet being on your page because of the passion that your visitors have for your site. So the ads tend to be broad national campaigns, rather than highly targeted local or topical campaigns. We have found that the broad campaigns pay better. That said, visitors from countries outside the US and Europe will often see highly targeted local ads.

Q: Can I choose which ads will run?
A: While you do have limited control over the display of your ads via Settings -> WordAds in your blog’s Dashboard, picking certain advertisers is not currently an option, but rest assured we do our best to maintain the highest standards for WordAds creatives. We do have the¬†ability to block specific ads network-wide, so if you see an ad¬†featuring sex, drugs, or violence, please make a screenshot and right-click the ad to copy the URL it’s linked to. Don’t click the ad directly, as it will probably redirect to a different URL. Once you have those, please feel free to contact us.

Q: Can I have fewer ads per page, more ads per page or different placement of the ads?
A: Some bloggers would like different ad placements. WordAds is constrained in offering unlimited options as we need to customize each of the dozens of WordPress.com themes to accommodate ads.

Q: What do the ads look like in other countries?
A: While the ad placements are the same globally, we have different advertising partners from country to country, which means only the advertisements themselves differ.

Earnings & payment

Q: Where can I see my earnings?
A: After your first month with WordAds, you’ll be able to see your earnings via the Earnings tab at Settings -> WordAds in your blog’s Dashboard.

Q: Can I get more information to explain to my earnings?
A: There are many variables that determine your earnings beyond traffic, including which ad campaigns were active during that month as well as the countries in which each was active (advertisers pay more for North American and European users). We continue to upgrade with new ad partners to increase payouts so that will change over time. All of this translates into an earnings number that depends on your traffic as well as a number of other factors.

  • Generally, we are paid for impression, not by click. That means the more visits you get, and the more each visitor uses your site, the more you will earn.
  • US ad placements currently pay-out at a much greater level than international ads.
  • After your first month with WordAds you will see your earnings in your WordPress dashboard which will give you an indication of your earnings potential. We expect that with time we will optimize earnings so that you will earn more from each page served.

Q: Do ads run in emails or mobile phones?

A: WordAds does not run in emails but do run on smart phones, which is a fast growing traffic segment.

Q: Why do you need my Social Security number?

A: We would prefer not to have to ask for it but the IRS requires that we do as WordAds needs to send you a tax form at the end of the year. If you live outside the US we do not need this.

Q: How and when do I get paid?

A: WordAds pays once per month via Paypal. After the month, WordAds will send you an email with a link to your dashboard indicating that your prior months earnings are live. We will PayPal your earnings to you around the last day of the following month. If you did not earn a minimum of $100 in that month, Paypal will not go out and your earnings will carry over to the next month.


Q: My site is self-hosted on WordPress.org, can I still run WordAds?

A: WordAds is currently not available for self-hosted sites I’m afraid. Some sites are moving to hosting on WordPress.com and WordAds.

Q: I applied to WordAds. When will it be available to me?

A: We have been rolling out the program in beta but have not been able to launch it for all interested sites yet. We need to make sure that ads look good on every theme and site so are progressing at a measured rate.

Q: Why do I need a custom domain name?

A: We are unable to provide WordAds for blogs with the default free [example].wordpress.com URL, so you’ll need to either register a new domain name or map an existing domain name to your WordPress.com blog of choice.

Launching and pausing

Q: What do I need to do to launch WordAds.

A: After you have filled out our Apply form, we will review your site to make sure it complies with our publisher standards. We will then launch WordAds and send you a notification that it is live.

Q: Can I stop WordAds?

A: You can pause or stop WordAds any time at Settings -> WordAds in your blog’s Dashboard. Be aware that if you pause WordAds you may still see ads on your site, unless you have the Value Bundle or No Ads package. WordPress.com runs a limited number of ads on sites in order to pay for the free features. Your options then are: 1) No Ads package 2) Limited ads or 3) WordAds on 100% of pages and shared revenue.

New features

Q: Now that WordAds has launched what new features do you plan to offer?

A: Much of the work that WordAds does is on the back-end, negotiating deals with ad partners globally. Our primary goal today is to increase the payments per page for all of our sites. We also are putting energy into customizing new themes for WordAds.

WordAds is conceived as a trusted advertising advisor rather than as an open marketplace for advertising products. We have tested and continue to test dozens of ad partners and products so that our bloggers do not have to. Some sites have asked if they can add a specific affiliate or ad network or if they can sell ads themselves. WordAds is not a good fit for sites that want total freedom to run whatever ads program they please.

We are very interested in your input and will be placing a poll in this site to help us to rank which new features are most popular.

If you have any more questions about WordAds, or need further help with your WordAds account, please contact us through our inquiry form.

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