First, you’ll need to decide what type of ads you’d like to offer on your site. There are a few options: in-line text ads, banner ads, or full page ads. Different ad providers will offer different types of ads or combinations of these types. Figure out which one you want. As described below, some will be more work, while others might be more obtrusive. Ads are not a one-size-fits-all solution.
Sites like Blogsvertise will provide assignments which consist of keywords you need to work subtly into your blog content. You then link those keywords back to the advertiser’s site. While this may take a little more effort than banner ads or full page ads, it is unobtrusive and you are not expected to endorse the advertiser’s product. Payment is usually a flat-fee (I’ve seen anywhere from $2 to $15 per assignment) and is paid out 30 days after your post is accepted. What’s nice about this is that you do not have to depend on readers clicking through to advertisers’ sites in order to get your payment, or to figure out how much you’re going to make.
AdBrite will serve banner ads, in-line text ads, or full page ads to your site, based on keywords that you set up. This allows the ads to (ideally) relate to your content. AdBrite pays on a pay-per-click basis, so make sure you optimize the location of your ads.
Google AdSense operates in a similar fashion to AdBrite and is much more well known because of the brand name. These sites will automatically push ads to your site without you having to review each individual ad, but be careful of this with other advertisers unless they pledge to not send adult content to your blog (unless that’s what you’re going for). Both of these sites will not push adult content.
Sit back and collect. While Blogsvertise pays a flat fee 30 days after your post is accepted, AdBrite and Google AdSense will pay-per-click. These sites either set or allow you to set a threshold at which they cash out your account. Be reasonable. If you set it at $1000, it could take eternity to receive a check unless you’re getting millions of hits to your site. On the other hand, it could be annoying to receive a payment every $1.25. AdBrite sends a check, while others will deposit into your PayPal account. If you don’t have a PayPal, spend the time to set one up and hook your bank account to it.
Promote, promote, promote. If your payouts depend on how many people click through to your site, the more people that visit your site, the better. For some ideas on how to do this, see my article, How to Promote Using Social Media.