We might all start our developer humble beginnings on Github, but what happens if the posts and apps you send out become uber-famous and you want to start monetizing your GitHub pages? Can you? Or should you? Here’s what we’re going to address with advertising on GitHub pages.

Here’s the quick takeaway answer, then we’ll go a little deeper into the subject…

Can you advertise on GitHub pages? The short answer is yes, GitHub does allow you to advertise certain methods on GitHub Pages. The real question though, is given the open-source nature of the platform, is it right to advertise on GitHub pages? If you’re wrestling with this dilemma then here are your answers and your options…

Advertising Through GitHub

Advertising on GitHub can work for anyone, but it is mostly used to promote source code projects or relevant material. HitHub’s policy maintains that: 

‘’We do not generally prohibit the use of GitHub for advertising. However, we expect our users to follow certain limitations, so GitHub does not become a spam haven. No one wants that.’’

That being said, anything of worth can be shared on the subdomains created by the users, be it personal content as well as company pages, so long as one adheres to the rules and is cautious of the legalities.

Tools developed, and corresponding codes can be made available for everyone to benefit from. Additionally, one can also monetize projects by adding adverts, donation buttons and through a multitude of other ways, without exceeding the defined limitations.

The Science Behind GitHub

Before delving further into the intricacies of advertising, it is important to understand the purpose behind GitHub.

Essentially, the American company provides internet hosting on an open-source platform where programmers and aspiring coders from all over the world convene to work on projects and software development tasks.

They collaborate with like-minded individuals on this source code repository which is reputed to be the largest in the world. Although primarily used for code, GitHub serves multiple purposes, the use of which is defined ‘by the people’.

Promoting Content On GitHub

For advertising to be successful, smart and effective strategies need to be employed to reach the target population. One of the more conventional methods to gain viewership is to develop a revolutionary project and then have people see it.

Of course, it goes without saying that the greater your popularity is online, the more people will be aware of and interested in what you put forth.

One of the things to remember in marketing is that you need to be adding value to the market. Your work needs to be trending or providing some solution that makes it attractive in order to generate waves of interest among the masses.

If you’re advertising something that is of use to a community, you can be sure that people will look into it.

It’s essential to recognize the channels where your work will be in the spotlight and be given due appreciation. These are generally websites that are frequently visited by the masses and publishing your project to these channels will work in your favor. 

Through GitHub Pages

Through GitHub Pages, one can easily generate a subdomain website to market original content publicly. These are specifically designed to present personal work and projects and can be further enhanced to garner more attention, even finances, through the implementation of crowdsourcing methods as well as donation links.

Using GitHub Repositories

The user repositories are made available for the purpose of hosting content, be it ongoing projects, successful ventures or even promotional content. GitHub allows you the option to include images, texts, and other miscellaneous documents to showcase your work in individual repositories, but only those that serve a purpose and are related to the projects being hosted.

With that being said, it is against policy to promote your endeavors on repositories of other users, whatever the purpose may be.

But so long as you utilize your own space, and for pertinent information, you are good to go. Similar limitations exist in terms of spamming. GitHub reserves the rights to remove the indiscriminate activity of any kind, be it advertisements or other forms of data.

Employing Buttons

A relatively easy method to increase viewership is through the GitHub: buttons, which function much the same as similar buttons available on social networking websites.

The buttons are linked to a user domain such that when a person clicks on these customizable prompts, they can perform a series of different functions. They can be used by viewers to follow, watch, and star a repository among other activities. 

Locating Corners

GitHub Corners allow you to create corners that serve as a link to your repository. Corners can be made in one of two ways; the modern sort allows you to develop more aesthetically pleasing and refined graphics that can be incorporated into your code, while the ribbon kind is the more rudimentary in nature, but more straight forward in the grand scheme of events.

Simply copy the code corresponding with the corner that you prefer, and you can easily add it into your code, as simple as that.

These methods are extremely nifty and are a sure way for you to successfully advertise your work to the best of your capabilities. You can employ one or a mix of all these to achieve the best results to your liking.

Surpassing Limitations

GitHub allows us to navigate through a wide range of avenues all for the purpose of increasing our outreach and putting our projects in the spotlight. However, as liberal as GitHub is, there are distinct boundaries that one cannot cross, not without swift action being taken against them. To step outside such bounds and more freely publicize content, other ways of advertisement are always open to us. 

Personalized Website

While there may be policies about advertising on GitHub, there is nothing that says one cannot share or move their GitHub profiles to alternative websites to further their advertising campaign.

A separate website can be designed where instead of the simple ReadMe file to serve as a guide as allowed inside the GitHub repository, the bulk of your project, extended details, and extra material reside.

A unique URL to this website can be marketed on your less elaborate GitHub repository. Furthermore, your website can also be showcased on social networking sites to get the word out. Enlist the help of prominent influencers and bloggers to spread the news and gain an audience.

Find a New Web Hosting Service

Many users have actually moved their GitHub pages to Netlify for added benefits and freedom. The platform gives you more control and is indicated to be easier to navigate. The process of migration is straightforward, and you can have your website ready in no time at all.

Should You Advertise on GitHub Pages

Something seems inherently wrong in advertising on Github Pages. Mainly as this is a free domain site, given to you for the purpose of sharing and collaborating with others on projects for the greater community good. It’s a ‘platform for giving!’

Therefore, it seems somehow offensive to GitHub to use their platform for monetary gain over and above perhaps contribution buttons.

Also, when we look at the demographics of Github users, they are made up predominantly of the like of programmers and aspiring Web Developers.

This is a community of people who understand when they’re being used for advertising and affiliate marketing and are inherently turned off by the thought. You would have to give a lot of valuable free stuff before anyone was to be happy with your advertising. Indeed, on balance, there are better ways to deal with this.

Ultimate Ownership

The other factor to remember is that ultimately, you do not own the platform. Therefore if GitHub died, or if they decided to throw you out then there isn’t much you can do about it.

As mentioned earlier, the one saving grace, perhaps, is that you do retain ownership of your projects, posts, and IP. 

What Is the Best alternative?

I normally recommend another route on my course, that is a more independent route. Assuming you have a following that would be happy to arrive at your own website – that you own, and are happy with you adding advertising.

Or assuming you’re able to answer valuable questions through Google and provide real value, then you might want to think about setting up your own website. If you want to get started, then you could check out my course for a sure-fire method to get you the traffic and monetization you want.

Parting Note

So my advice is, use GitHub for what it was intended for, a platform for giving and sharing. Taking advantage by adding anything other than a donation button is not following the essence of the site. If you really want to monetize with ads or other methods, then check this course link for more info.