Based on the feedback so many of you left on my First Monthly Income Report, I thought I would put together a “how-to” on how to get advertisers for your blog or website. As I mentioned in my income report, I made the bulk of my income from direct buy private advertising. However, if you are just starting out, this may not be available quite yet, but there are other options as well.
Here are some simple steps that I have taken to get advertisers for my website:
#1. Let Advertiser’s Know You Are Interested
The easiest thing that you can do to cater to potential advertisers is to let them know that you are interested in having advertisers. Make it easy on them – people are lazy! At The College Investor, I did this by including an “Advertise” tab on my navigation links. This allows advertisers a quick way to see that I want them to check me out.
On an average day, I would say that this page is accessed about 2-4 times, which is great. The more people/advertisers that are looking, allows for a potentially higher conversion rate. You can see the picture to the right of what I’m talking about.
#2. Get Your Name Out There
Another very easy strategy to attract advertisers is to get you name out there. By this, I mean get on every list possible of blogs in your niche. There are two main ones for all niches: Technorati and Blog TopSites. The College Investor is currently ranked #19 in Finance on Technorati. This has really proven to be a great source of income from advertisers. Many advertisers are looking at the top sites in which ever niche they are working in, and if you are ranked at the top, they will find you.
In the personal finance space, there are also two other great list sites: Wisebread Top 100 and MoneyCrashers Top 100. Both of these lists can also be useful, but only if you are on the first page. Both measure a site by a combination of Alexa, MozRank, Compete, Twitter, and RSS followers. These are all things that potential advertisers are interested in as well, and so it makes sense that the higher you are listed, the more likely you are to have advertisers flocking to you.
#3. Network With Other Blogs
Networking with other blogs is important for two reasons: first, you will improve all of your metrics, which, as I mentioned above, are how advertisers rate your site; and two, if you are part of a blog network, you can leverage that to put together great campaigns for advertisers, and make money in the process.
There are blog networks in almost every niche, but I’m a member of the Best Personal Finance Blog Network, the Yakezie. This network includes some of the best personal finance and lifestyle blogs on the internet, and they are a very active network. There are other blog networks in this niche, but the Yakezie is the only one that I have found to be very helpful.
By having an active network of bloggers with a common goal, you will see that your posts will get promoted and you will get site traffic, which in turn will boost your website metrics.
Also, advertisers like working with a proven group of blogs. By having a challenge to get in, having active members for quick responses, we really make advertising easy, which earns repeat customers and advertising renewals.
#4. Make It Easy On Your Advertiser
Advertisers are busy individuals. They have ads they need to place, but they usually want specific criteria to be met prior to placement. This is where your metrics come in handy! Put this information out there for advertisers to easily find. On The College Investor, I have a PDF file called “Advertiser FAQ” that I update monthly. You can see a snapshot of it here, or you can look at the main FAQs here: Advertiser FAQ.
You can find most of the metrics you want to include on Google Analytics (Visitors, Pageviews, Time on Site, Bounce Rate). You should also include your Google PageRank or MozRank. Finally, if you have a lot of subscribers, followers, or fans, make sure you highlight that.
I’m also very proud of my Technorati rank, so I include that as well.
It is also important to let your advertiser know what types of products you offer to them. This could be banners, sidebar widgets, text links, in-content links, sponsored posts, etc.
I also use an advertiser management plug-in called OIO Publisher. This plug-in is a great way to manage all of your advertisers, types of ads, and start/end dates. It also handles payment for you automatically to PayPal or several other services. It is a paid plug-in, but it is well worth the price for how much it allows you to manage of your advertising process. Also, you can usually search Google for coupon codes to get a discount on it.
#5. Treat All Emails as a Potential Deal
Once your website is up and running, you will inevitably get a bunch of spammy emails looking for a “guest post” or something similar. Many of these post offers are really businesses looking to promote their sites. I don’t call these guest posts, but I consider them sponsored posts. And sponsored posts cost money.
If you are getting these types of spam emails, you should craft a generic response to all of them that looks something like this:
I consider your post links to be business links, and as a result, I charge for these types of posts. For a one link article, I currently charge $XXX. Please let me know if you are still interested.
I get rejected 9 times out of 10, but every now and then I get a taker, and there is some easy money!
#6. Don’t Forget The Other Options Out There
And while I made the bulk of my income last month with private advertising, that wasn’t always the case. So, you cannot simply bypass the other options out there. In April, for example, I made a good amount of income from CPA networks – specifically TurboTax sales since it was tax time.
The main other options include:
- Amazon Affiliates
- Affiliate Links (Commission Junction and FlexOffers)
- Dynamic Text Links (InfoLinks and Kontera)
- Sponsored Tweets
I have put together The Most Comprehensive Affiliate Marketing Program List. Check it out, you may find an option to suit your needs. It is important to remember that to be successful with affiliates, you should place your ads contextually. So, if my post is about investing, I would link to Scottrade or another investment firm affiliate. That is how I’ve learned to maintain the best payouts possible.
Readers, do you have any tips or tricks to get advertisers to your website? Have you had success with something I haven’t mentioned above?