This guest post is by Anup Kayastha of MoneyMakingModes.com.
Earning money through blogging is an attractive and viable income source. But it is not possible unless your blog have relevant, current, and useful information for your readers.
That will not only help increase traffic to your blog: it will also attract advertisers to buy ads. but to make that a reality, you need to know how advertisers are evaluating your site.
What makes them think that your blog is worth their investment? What they are looking for in your blog before offering you a deal for ad posts?
Here are ten factors that would help you understand what the advertisers consider before they’ll approach you about buying ad space.
1. Announce that you accept ads
Your blog must explicitly announce to the potential advertisers that it is ready to sell ads. Use an “Advertise with us” banner or message so that the advertisers know that they can buy space with you.
For example, look at the sidebar of this blog. There’s an image link which clearly mentions that ProBlogger accepts sponsor ads.
2. Create a specific page for ad information
Having a separate page that displays the information about ad space on your blog is very important.
Include information such as the blog’s niche, ad space rates, methods of payment, and your contact details. This shows how organized—and serious—you are about helping advertisers reach their audiences.
Take a look at the advertising page of John Chow’s site. When advertises land on that page, they can easily get the required information, like site stats, banner spot and sizes, space availability, and so on.
3. Concentrate on your niche
If your blog targets a particular niche, you must stick to it in all your blogging activities. The advertisers interested in your particular niche will critically monitor this aspect of your work.
Don’t go off topic. Your advertisers want to gain targeted visits to their product sales pages. You don’t want to disappoint them with untargeted traffic.
4. Work to increase traffic
Most importantly, the advertiser will want to know about the traffic that flows to your blog. The blog readership, subscribers, and your reputation within your niche are all carefully considered by advertisers.
These factors directly impact the cost expectations of potential advertisers. Most advertisers are more interested in the traffic that a blog attracts than many other factors.
5. Assess the positioning of ads on your blog
Prospective advertisers will analyze the placement of ads on your blog, to see if those spots will suit them.
First, they’ll ask if their ads will be visible without requiring a page scroll. If the space is above the fold, you should be able to charge more for it.
They’ll also want to know if the ad space is horizontal or vertical? Horizontal space is usually more costly because if has better readability. They’ll likely review the spot’s prominence and visibility too.
My blog, Hack Tutors is a good example of this point. You can see a horizontal (468x60px) banner at the top-right header. Typically, it gets sold as soon as the previously running ad has expired.
It’s the most popular ad spot on my blog, simply because it’s above the fold, eye-catching, and easily viewable without scrolling down the page.
6. Consider costing methods
Advertisers are very careful to review the terms on which ads are sold to the advertiser.
You may offer CPC (Cost Per Click), CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions), CPA (Cost Per Action), or some other method of selling space. The advertiser may be interested in a specific costing method, so be prepared to negotiate.
If you’ve no idea how to arrive at pricing for your ad space, you can get some ideas in this post by Hesham of FamousBloggers.
7. Establish your ad posting conditions
The ad posting conditions you impose will be taken very seriously by advertisers. Ad specifications—such as formats, maximum allowable file sizes, restrictions of animations, niche appropriateness, Flash requirements, and so on—are all considered by advertisers before they’ll buy.
You may not want to display colorful, blinking ads in your blog—but maybe your advertisers want to. It’s very important to clearly communicate your ad posting conditions so that your advertisers won’t be confused. Mention these conditions in your Advertising page, like iTrailMap have.
8. Provide special offers and promotions
Some advertisers also get attracted by special ad offers made by bloggers. Introductory or special offers can give an added incentive to the advertisers to give your blog a try. You can offer to give a free week or month for an advertisement, or provide some other kind of special promotion.
For example, you can offer to promote their product by writing a free review or sending their product newsletter to your subscribers. Such offers can come in very handy when advertisers are considering on buying ads in your blog.
9. Present your blog statistics
Blog statistics (other than traffic stats) are closely considered by potential advertisers.
If you’re proud of them, include your Google Page Rank, Technorati Authority, Alexa Traffic Rank, and others on your Advertising page. These ranks cement the perceived worth of a blog, and advertisers appreciate seeing blog statistics from established third-party sources.
If you take a quick look at the Advertising page on this blog, you’ll see that these statistics are clearly mentioned.
10. Provide discount offers to guarantee long-term business
Advertisers also consider the long-term advertising opportunities provided by a blog. Their fear may be that the blog may not allow more advertisement time after ending of first contract period. For that reason, they may want to book ad space for the longer term.
Discount considerations will also become a factor in these deals. If you’re securing ad revenue for couple of years instead of months, the advertiser will naturally ask for a discount. The terms should be flexible—again, prepare to negotiate!
There are many factors about your blog that potential advertisers will consider. You can start experimenting and getting to know your advertisers’ needs. If they get some good results, they’re more likely to become long-term advertisers with your blog.
Don’t forget to ask previous advertisers to write testimonials, since most prospective advertisers will want to know if others have benefitted from advertising on your site.
Do you offer ad space on your site? What kinds of things do your advertisers want to know before they’ll buy? Tell us in the comments.
17 year old, Anup Kayastha, has 3 years of internet marketing experience and shares his tips for internet marketing, making money online and blogging in his blog MoneyMakingModes.com.