By Holly Reisem Hanna
Recently, I ran a survey asking readers what types of topics they wanted more information on and “how to make money with your blog” came up over and over again.
It seems like it would be easy enough – place some ads on your blog and watch the money roll in, right? Unfortunately, securing advertisers is not as easy as 1-2-3. For potential companies to even consider advertising on your blog, you will need to have the right target audience, LOTS of traffic, great content, and an overall plan.
Here are some tips on how to get advertisers to purchase advertising space on your blog.
1. Getting Traffic
So before you even try to get companies to advertise on your blog, you need to create focused, quality content that will attract readers, but you will also need to post regularly so that readers continue to visit your site.
To start tracking the number of visitors that you are receiving, you will want to install some sort of site analytics on your blog. The industry standard is Google Analytics, but you can also get traffic stats from your web hosting company, various WordPress plugins, or you can use some free traffic metric sites like Alexa, Cubestat or Peekstats.
2. Set Up Your Blog For Advertising
Once you have some decent numbers, you will want to clearly indicate that you accept advertising on your blog. On your advertising page you will want to let potential advertisers know why they should advertise on your site;
do you have an award-winning blog, good stats, and testimonials from previous advertisers – what does your audience look like, this is all information that potential advertisers will want to know.
You will want to include information about the ads, do they rotate, where are they located, and what size ads you accept — all of this can be done on an Advertising Page or Media Kit.
3. How Much to Charge
Pricing will be another area that you will need to address. Are you going to charge on a CPM model where advertising is bought on the basis of impression – Example: 125 x 125 ad @ $5CPM for a site with 200,000 impressions a month = $1,000. Or will you use a Period Purchase Model where ads are purchased on a fixed price point? Example: 125 x 125 ad for $99.00 for 30 days. Once you have decided on which model you will use, you'll need to figure out how much to charge, a good way to do this is to find other blogs in your niche and see what they are charging for ad space.
4. Where to Find Advertisers
Now that you have all of the basics in place it’s time to find potential advertisers. One easy way to do this is to do a Google search for keywords that relate to your blog and target niche. Once you have found some companies that you would like to work with, send them an introductory email with your direct advertising marketing package.
With this step, make sure that you have thoroughly done your research, find a contact name, and understand the company’s products, services, and mission, and make sure it aligns with your own. Make sure you send a follow-up email to ensure that your message has been received.
Another way to find potential advertisers is to search for companies who are already advertising on sites that are similar to yours. You can also do a Google search for your specific keywords and click on the sponsored links on the right-hand side on the search results – these are companies who are paying Google for PPC advertising, and there is a good chance they will want to advertise with you too.
Sound like a lot of work?
It can be. Maybe you just don’t have the time to search for advertisers. Well, there is good news, selling your own ads is not the only way to generate income from advertising on your blog. Instead, you can decide to work with an ad network.
5. Working with Ad Networks
Because ad networks are doing all of the legwork in securing sponsors, your cut of the pie will be smaller than if you were selling the ads directly yourself. However because ad networks have name recognition and strength behind their brand, they tend to work with larger companies, who would have been out of reach for the independent blogger trying to secure them as a sponsor.
- Adblade – They only evaluate publishers that generate over 500,000 page views a month.
- Ad Thrive – Must have at least 100,000 page views a month. Ad Thrive offers DFP setup, monitoring, and ongoing adjustments.
- Bing Network – With Bing's network you can place text and banner ads that are relevant to your content, and you will be paid per impression.
- Blogads – Is an ad network where you can name your price. However with this model — you may often have vacant ad space on your blog.
- BlogHer Publishing Network – Not currently accepting new publishers, but you can sign up to be on their waiting list.
- Chitika – Uses a real-time bidding platform that makes it easy to connect the right advertiser to the right publisher. The company claims in has 300,000 publishers on their network.
- Exponential – Claims to offer the highest CPMs. Must have at least 500,000 page views a month.
- Fairfax Digital Network – Focuses on Life & Style, Small Business, Digital Life and Baby.
- Google Adsense – Probably one of the most popular ad networks out there, Google allows publishers to place both text and image ad on their blogs. With this network, you will be paid per click (PPC).
- Gorilla Nation – Rated up there with Federated Media, Gorilla Nation requires all Publisher Partners to have a minimum of 1 million page views per month.
- GumGum – Is an ad network that uses in-image advertising to help publishers turn photos into profitable advertising inventory.
- HotChalk Media Group – Focuses on educational publishers.
- Hyfn – Formerly, Federated Media, Hyfn works with established bloggers and web publishers.
- Meredith – Works with sites like Divine Caroline, Martha Stewart, Better Homes and Gardens, All Recipes and many other big-name players.
- Mode Media – Focuses on lifestyle, cooking, design, fashion, beauty, or other topics primarily geared toward men and women.
- RhythmOne – Must have a minimum traffic of 25,000 monthly page views or 5,000 monthly unique views.
- Sovrn – Works with publishers of all shapes and sizes.
- Sustain Lane Green Ad Network – Featuring high-quality, original content covering Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability.
- The Blogger Network – Offers everything from display ads to sponsored posts and videos. For display ads, you must have at least 10,000 page views a month.
- Yahoo Publisher Network (Media.net) – With Yahoo's network you can place text and banner ads that are relevant to your content, and you will be paid per impression.
There are literally hundreds of ad networks that you can work with — join some blogger groups and ask around. Some ad networks are known for low payouts, untimely payments, and massive restrictions, so do your research.
At the end of the day, a good blog monetization plan includes using multiple streams of income, so experiment with both direct ads and ad networks — I currently use both those methods, as well as affiliate marketing to monetize.
If you want to know how I got my first paid advertiser — here's the story.
Do you want to start a blog, but you're not sure where to start? This post has a free step-by-step blog setup tutorial that can get you up and running in no time!
Do you sell direct advertising on your blog? What has worked well for you?
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