It is the goal of many bloggers to move from monetizing their blogs with ad networks like AdSense into selling ads directly to advertisers. But getting into this game can be difficult – particularly in the early days while you’re still growing traffic.
Below are 5 ways that I secured direct ad deals with sponsors in the early days of my first blogs:
1. Type your blogs topic into Google
What advertisers come up above and to the right of the search listings? These products and services obviously have budget for advertising online and are looking for exposure and could be open to a direct relationship.
2. Visit other blogs, forums and websites in your Niche
Who is advertising on them? These advertisers are targeting sites on a similar topic to you and are more often than not willing to test new sites that have relevance to their industry.
3. Identify Affiliate programs in your niche
Some affiliates will also be interested in an advertising relationship with your blog. This may or may not be in your best interests to pursue depending upon whether your readership converts with affiliate products.
4. Hit the Classifieds
When I first was looking for advertisers I looked at what local photography businesses were advertising in magazines and papers here in Australia and I got on the phone and rang them to see if they’d be interested in placing an ad. Most had never done anything online before and quite a few took the step in buying an ad.
5. Online Stores and New Sites
This is another tactic that I used early on also with some success. It involved googling the keywords associated with my topic and not just looking at who was advertising (as in point #1 above) but looking at what businesses were listed in the search results, particularly those below me in the rankings. I paid special interest in online stores who had a direct revenue from their sites and contacted them to see if they’d be interested in advertising – quite a few did. I also noticed that new sites who were still getting established were also sometimes more willing to buy advertising.
It should be said that when you have a blog with relatively low traffic that none of these methods are going to earn you a fortune. You’ll need to be willing to price your ads relatively cheaply until your traffic grows – but securing these types of ad deals is better than no income for your blog and means that you already have relationships with advertisers to grow as your traffic increases.