If you’re a blogger who’s taking your first steps into the world of advertising on blogs, you may be confused and overwhelmed by the plethora of options available to you, and might even be questioning whether advertising is a good idea in the first place. The truth is, every mainstream media website, news site, top blog, YouTube, and social media site uses advertising, and it’s because advertising is a proven moneymaker. If you’re a blogger with an audience that companies want to reach, you have the potential to make money by selling ads.
For more information about the types of ads that bloggers commonly use to make money for their blogs, and some guidelines for getting started on maximizing your advertising revenue, read on:
Types of Ads
If you want to sell ads on your blog, you have quite a few options available to you, ranging from pay-per-click ads to affiliate ads to direct ads and more. Here’s a quick rundown of the most common type of ads that bloggers use to make money—
Direct ads: Direct ads are pretty much exactly what they sound like; a space on a blogger’s site where advertisers can place their ad for an agreed upon price per month. Usually, this ad is displayed in the form of a banner, and the price is dependent upon a number of factors, including the number of page views per month.
Pay-per-click ads: Again, there’s no misnomer in the name of this type of ad—site owners (bloggers) are paid an agreed upon rate each time that a visitor to the blogger’s site clicks the advertiser’s ad.
Affiliate ads: An affiliate ad can be a pay-per-click ad, and simply refers to the fact that it’s an ad that gives the blogger a choice of ways in which to provide links to the advertiser’s product. When a user purchases the advertised product, the blogger is paid.
Pay-per-impression: In a pay-per-impression type of ad, the advertiser will pay the blogger (site owner) for each and every time that their ad appears on the blogger’s site.
Other types of ads include reviews, contextual ads, text link ads, and pay-per-action ads. However, the ones above are the most common and typically the most lucrative.
Know Your Audience
If you’ve decided that advertising on blogs is the best way to make some money, it’s important that you know what type of advertising is going to sell best to your specific audience. As such, learning stats about your audience through a program such as Google Analytics can help you to learn the basic demographics of your audience.
Additionally, a reader survey can provide you with even more pertinent information about your audience, ranging from demographic to psychographic questions. The more you know about your audience, the better you’ll be able to sell advertising to them.
Once you’ve given the type of advertising some thought, as well as your audience, it’s time to start planning what kind of advertising you want to use and how much you’re going to charge for it. At this point, it’s important to consider the stats that you just learned, most important of which is how many site visitors you have each month. The amount that you should charge should be dependent upon the number of site visitors your page receives each month.
If your page receives 5,000 page views or less each month, then you probably shouldn’t charge more than $10 per ad. However, the price is entirely up to you, although staying within the realm of how other bloggers are advertising on blogs is advised.
The Next Step: Advertising on Blogs
Once you’re planned and ready to go, it’s time that you do a little advertising yourself in order to attract advertisers who will be willing to pay for space on your blog. To do so, you can either create an advertising page on your current site, or you can send out an email with information about your blog, or do both. For best result, both are recommended. Here’s what your information should include:
Site stats, particularly the number of visitors to your page each month;
Your prices, or how an advertiser can contact you about prices;
What types of services (ad spaces) you’re offering;
Your number of social media followers;
Your disclosure policy;
Why advertising with you will be beneficial to the advertiser; and
Any other pertinent information.
A disclosure policy is recommended before you begin selling ad space on your page. Since advertising is equivalent to financial gain for your content, disclosing the purpose of your blog to readers can be helpful. You can make your own disclosure policy at disclosurepolicy.org.
In addition to sending out an email and setting up an advertising page, you can also let advertisers know that you want to begin advertising by setting up ad buttons that say things like “your ad here,” or “advertise here.”
Retaining Advertisers for Your Blog
If your blog is receiving in the ballpark of 5,000 page views per month, you probably won’t have too much difficulty in attracting advertisers. That being said, it’s still your job to actively pursue and attract advertisers. To do so, you can contact small businesses with your advertising proposal, blog about it, trade advertisements with other bloggers (you advertise their blog if they advertise yours), use social media sites to talk about your plan to advertise, or offer a special deal or discount for those who start up the advertising now.
If you’re okay with paying a commission--usually around 25%--then you should sign up for an advertising service. An advertising service will not only help you to find advertisers for your page, but they’ll also handle finances for you so you don’t have to waste your time with invoices. While the commission’s a little bit high, the time saved and opportunities maximized can make it well worth it.
Finally, a last tip for retaining advertisers is to do so on the basis of a 30-day trial offer, or an agreement between you and the advertiser that if they advertise for 30 days and it’s not beneficial to them, they can pull the ad from your page without any strings attached or hurt feelings. This will not only make advertisers feel more comfortable in advertising with you, but it will put more ads on your page than ever before.
Take it Easy and Keep at It
One of the most important things to remember when trying to make money by advertising on blogs is to relax and take it easy. If you have great content, a high number of visitors to your site, and a great offer that advertisers can’t resist, you won’t have any problem in raking in the cash from advertising.
Once you have some ads up and running, it’s your job to continue to grow your site stats by keeping your blog current and up-to-date, using social media sites, and looking to other bloggers for tips on what they’re doing right.