I get emails all the time from bloggers and web site owners, asking how they can get more advertising for their site, when they should start placing ads and how much they should charge. Since there is always such a high demand for advertising and answers to these questions, I thought I would write an article which might help you out. Here are a few ways you can start monetizing your blog or web site with advertisements and paid sponsorships.
Quality Content & Traffic First, Ads Later
Often, too many people start a web site or blog with the intention to immediately start making money. While this is a great intention, it usually isn’t likely… especially if you are focusing on a blog. When I first start my blog last year, I wanted to have a clean design and focus on my content. The blog went ad free for nearly 8 months, till I had an established reader base and over 1,000 rss subscribers. Once I went live with a new design, I was able to monetize the site design with different ad spots, while still focusing on content and key points to the site. In the beginning stages of your blog or web site, you most likely won’t be receiving a lot of traffic, so don’t start off with a design full of ads. Wait until you have an established blog with decent traffic, then advertisers will want to start advertising on your site.
Don’t Leave Multiple Open Ad Spots
I’ve seen this on so many blogs… and it just doesn’t make sense! For instance, say you visit a blog and they have four or six 125×125 ad spots. Only a couple of them are an actual advertisement, then the rest of them say “advertise here”. This is just a loss of potential earnings. If you have six advertisement spots and only two of them are actually sold spots, fill the other three with cpa offers or referral ads. You can then leave only one of the six ad spots open as an “advertise here” spot. Not only will this make it look like you have advertisers, but it really looks a lot more professional. No one wants to see a bunch of blank ad spots.
Limit Your Advertising Spots
You must remember that the only reason people are coming to your blog, is because they want to read your content. Most people aren’t on the hunt for web sites and blogs oversaturated with banner ads. Every week I am getting emails from new advertisers who are interested in getting listed on this blog. Unfortunately, I am sold out for quite a while. I have limitations on how many advertisements I will place on my blog, even though it would help the blog earn an extra thousand or so a month. Look at your blog/site design, and make sure it’s not distracting your main content and interest of the user from what counts. Provide a quality experience and an overflow of advertisers will be there waiting.
Bargain a Deal or Trade Links
Going back to my previous point. If you have some open ad spots, it’s better to try and negotiate a lower price with an advertiser or setup a reciprocal link with another blog related to your content. At the very least you will get some free traffic from the blog you are linking with. When looking to make a deal or bargain with a potential advertiser, you can offer them a discount, or give them a trial run for a week. Once they have seen how your traffic has performed, re-evaluate the situation and try to keep them as a long term advertiser.
Price Your Ad Spots Accordingly
Finding the right price for your ad spots can be very tricky. The amount you can charge, while keeping your advertisers happy, is something you will have to base off your current site traffic, ad location and a comparison of rates of other blogs related to your size and niche area. Discounted trial advertising and long term deals are always great, and advertisers will usually buy an extra month or two if you can offer them a 25% discount. This is something I usually offer to long term advertisers. It much easier and beneficial to have a long standing advertising at a discounted rate, than having to search out a new advertiser each month.
I hope my advice has helped you on your journey to effectively selling private advertising on your web site. There are still many other ways for you to profit with your blog, such as rss advertising and text link advertising. The key points to running a successful and profitable blog are to have a passion for what you write about, and to continually provide quality content. Once you have both of these down, readers will flock to your blog, along with many advertisers along the way.