How to Effectively Sell Private Advertising on Your Blog

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.

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  1. This is a great follow up to your comment on my last post. I will be sure to link to it. Thanks Zac!

  2. Glad you mentioned the multiple open ad slots. That is something I have seen far too many blogs do. There is no harm in only having two slots, then adding another two etc as and when you need them.

  3. Ive been a bit lazy, but you are right Zac, better to fill the default with something. I have my prices at what I feel my blog is worth, not at the industry standard for current traffic levels as any minute now i plan on running some promos

  4. Nice article , I took your advise about "Don’t Leave Multiple Open Ad Spots"

    Zac, would you offer a review me even doe is not related to Making money?

    iam in the boxing industry, I notice ShoeMoney talks about MMA a lot , he even started his own MMA website, I think you should talk about Boxing, you could link to me.



  5. Hmm…interesting points brought up in this post. I'll make sure to remind my self of this. Thanks!


  6. With regards to pricing, I don't take any notice at what other blogs in my niche are charging. Instead I started off just with affiliate banners and then checked to see what I was making off those and when I openend up advertising I charged at least as much as that. I dont fill all my ad spots with real advertisers but each spot makes me money.

  7. Now that was a great read Zac, keep it coming.

    I have only reached the point where I am ready to start offering an ad spot on a couple of my hobby blogs and you have given me some good pointers.

  8. This really spawns an interesting thread… So far my preference has been to go for pay per click as opposed to CPM or a link for a flat rate by the month, the reason being that one month it seems like a deal and the next overcharging when the traffic doesnt come through. At least with PPC the advertiser is only paying for actual performance.

  9. i don't like to see open ads slots. I currently have all of them filled but none are paid though 🙁 despite the cheap prices…

    you mention reciprocal links… aren't they a bad thing to do? isn't better to receive links from sites that we don't link to?

  10. It is wild that anyone would NOT use up valuable space on their blog, like that.

    Fill it with something: a link to an article on your blog, aff banner, adsense, picture, quote, put something valuable there, but don't leave it blank.

  11. Private advertising is surely one of the best ways to spread your eggs across several baskets. If you have at least a thousand visitors a month, you could sell enough private ads through the month to pay for dedicated server hosting.

  12. Another great post, when I get to the point when I can try to sell ad spots I will have to keep your tips in mind.

  13. Excellent post Zac, I will surely keep these in mind. I do agree about the empty ads stops. People have 6 spots, only 2 are sold and the rest 4 show the same banner. That just looks cheap. Why not just make that 3 available because then people would want to get that 3rd spot. Its psychologically getting your users to buy that spot. Just like saying this is the last one come get it now and everyone wants the last peice because they don't want to miss out.

  14. Zac, found this post from your March sales review. Excellent post and I had not thought about filling the spots with other ads. I'm trying to redesign my site so it has some of those 125X125 spots available.

  15. Thanks Zac!

    Great info there, as usual!

    I absolutely LOVE your site!

    Would you please have a look at my newly redesigned 'Money' site and leave a comment if you would be so kind. <a>''MONEY'

    Thanks a lot! And here's to your continued success!


    Dave Braybrooke.

  16. Thanks for so much valuable nuggets..This will be an added internet income stream. not bad at all.

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