Ads and accepting advertisements is just one more way of monetizing your blog, however if done right, it can be one of the most effective ways of making some money online.
In order to do so, you need to turn your blog into an attractive-enough prospect for potential advertisers. This includes a number of different steps, such as letting them know that you accept ads, building a reputation and a large, growing base of visitors through your content, and so on.
Your blog needs to be worth their investment. But above all, your blog should be such an attractive prospect; advertisers should seek you, rather than the other way around.
The following set of points illustrate how you can do just this.
Choose a Niche
As far as blogging goes, make sure that you identify and start off with a niche, which your blog operates in. All your posts need to be related to this particular area of interest. Doing so will make your blog more appealing to a certain specific group of readers. Depending on the niche, this could allow you to attract a fairly large group of readers. From an advertiser’s perspective, your blog now represents a ‘market’ where people who share a similar interest come together. Any ad that goes up on your blog will be extremely targeted and will be seen by visitors who will be interested in it. For instance if your niche is sports, or soccer, you might attract ads by advertisers such as Nike or Adidas. Similarly, tech blogs might attract advertisers such as Intel, Microsoft, Apple, or Google, for instance. It all starts off with the niche that you choose. And in addition, it is also important to stick to your niche, as one thing that advertisers love is targeted traffic!
Advertisers would want to associate themselves with top blogs in a certain niche or industry. They would want their ads to go on blogs that are considered to be the leaders in their niche; a blog that has been able to build authority, a strong (and growing) base of loyal readers and is a respected source of news and information. If you’re able to build such a blog, advertisers will be not only approach you themselves, but will be willing to pay to be seen on it (unfortunately, the same cannot be said about small blogs). Building authority takes time, and the best way to do it is through content marketing! But once you have an authority blog, advertisers in your niche will notice you, and approach you.
Advertisers will look into the some of the vital stats of your blog, most notably traffic, page views, subscribers, activity (comments), social activity and the like. If an advertiser had the option to choose one blog from a list of 10, they would most certainly go for one which had the most impressive stats, especially in terms of traffic, page views and visitors. More traffic, quite simply, equals more exposure, and an advertiser would want a potentially large amount of people to see their ad. Therefore, in order to be an attractive-enough prospect for organizations and advertisers, you need to have a lot of traffic, it is as simple as that.
Getting the Word Out
Potential advertisers won’t know you’re open to putting up ads on your blog, unless you make it explicitly clear that you are! Let people know that you are ready to sell ads or advertisement space. Announce it on your blog – through a blog post, a ‘sticky’ announcement, a banner or something else that says ‘Advertise With Us’. Make it very obvious for potential advertisers to know that you are interested in selling an ad space. Even if it’s a small blog, that doesn’t get a lot of traffic, doing so might attract small advertisers looking to give you enough money that covers your hosting costs. I would even go as far as recommending a separate ‘advertising page’ in order to attract advertisers. This page would list down the different ad spaces available on your blog, the kind of ad it is (CPC, CPM, CPA, etc) as well as the price for each. It will also be a good idea to put up your traffic stats, Google PR and Alexa Rank here.
One of the “4 Essential P’s” of marketing is placement. Advertisers will look at the placement of ads on your blog in order to see if it suits them. Advertisers will want their ads to be seen without any need of page scroll (aka. above the fold), therefore the most valuable real-estate on your blog lies above the fold, i.e. that banner area. This part of your blog is essentially the first thing a visitors looks at when he/she visits it. In addition, any ad placed here will be eye-catching and easily-viewable (not to mention more expensive for the advertisers!). If possible, make sure you offer some ad space above the fold. However the area will only be suitable for horizontal ads; for vertical ad-space, the sidebar makes for an ideal location.
Another one of the famous 4 P’s of Marketing, letting advertisers know your costing methods is essential. Split costs according to ad-space, as well as ad types (CPA, CPM, CPC). Be open to reasonable negotiations. Use the Advertise Here page to put this information up.
Make sure that you have developed a set of conditions for advertisers and any ads that go on your blog – stuff like dimensions/size, allowable formats, file size of the ads, text/image/animation ads (or a combination of these), and any other requirements you might feel would be appropriate. Send this document in if/when a potential advertiser gets in touch with you.
…to keep your current business, as well as attract more potential advertisers. For instance you could give advertisers a one-week/month free-of-cost ad placement on your blog, write a free review – or just a few good words in one of your posts – for their product, or send out an email to your list about them. Furthermore, make sure that you try your best to keep current customers happy, and concentrate on developing long-term business; for this purpose, for instance, it could be a good idea to provide them with a discount for signing up for a longer term. However after all’s said and done, the best way of getting and keeping business is by doing what your blog ought to do – provide its users with high-quality content and build and grow is visitor-base!