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Blog Tip: Hire someone for ad sales

The following blog tip has been submitted by Jon Gales – the editor of the wonderful MobileTracker blog. Learn more about Jon from this interview we did with him earlier in the year.



It’s very tempting to try and sell ads yourself—afterall, since you do all of the work why shouldn’t you get all of the ad revenue? Other than DIY programs like Google AdSense, I suggest that you let someone else take care of ad sales. There are a couple of reasons:

  1. If you hire a (good) professional, they are bound to be better at selling ads than you are. You could probably blog circles around them, but they can outsell you with their eyes closed.
  2. Separation of church and state. By this I mean the editor of the site isn’t the one collecting ad dollars. There’s a separation (though a loose one, you still have the final say over advertising deals) between your site’s content and its advertising. You wouldn’t want your newspaper’s writers also selling the ads. No investigative reporting would ever happen!

Since this is a comission business, your representative has it in his/her best interest to sell the highest dollar amount.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Heat says:

    The question is: can you allow yourself to hire someone like this?

    1. Alot of blogs don’t get enoug traffic to get advertisers.
    2. Alot of blogs don’t have enough income from their blogs to invest in a good, reliable agent.

    Allen Heat

  2. David says:

    Also, who would you hire? Traditional advertising marketers/sales people might not be as effective on the web for blogs. It is a great theory, but in practice it is probably not very good for most people, as Heat already pointed out.

  3. I think that was the “good” in good professional. I’d love to have someone who was commission only who was good at selling blog ads. Even better, they could manage my transactions, contracts, etc…and just send me a check each month!

    :)

  4. Jon Gales says:

    I’m not talking about hiring someone for sales for your cat’s blog–I’m talking about for a site you run as a business. If you’re trying to do something professionally, there are professionals to do ad sales. Simple as that. If you can sell ads as well as they can, you’re probably in the wrong biz (unless you’re writing a site like AdRants).

    But you’re right, it’s not for everyone. There is a divide.

  5. Tony E says:

    I think what Jon Gales was pointing out was aimed at popular blogs, that get lots of page views like his excellent mobiletracker blog. Readers should just take note of his point while trying to reach that level. His ad strategy made sense to me.

  6. Bondi Tram says:

    True I think Jon’s advice only applies to popular blogs (how many page views per day would make one popular? 5000? who knows?) My only thought is that people running “professional” blogs are probably professionals and probably already do this. I’m sure Gawker et al already had figured this out. This is maybe a useful tip for a blogger whose blog has become popular but who never thought it would be so and who wants to monetarise that popularity. Hey! that’s my first comment on this blog.

  7. Josh Hinds says:

    Where in particular would a person look to find qualified sales folks? I know they are out there, but where do you suggest starting the search? Would it be places like, elance.com, etc.?

  8. Jon Gales says:

    Most individual sites like ours aren’t going to provide a full time income to a sales person, so they will work for multiple parties. Look at some sites you respect (probably not in the same area as yours) and see who they use. Personally, I use BlackInc Ventures, known best for working with Gawker Media.

  9. I’ve started approaching sales folks for Ensight. Haven’t found anyone I’m 100% satisfied with (yet). Still looking :)

  10. Jon Gales says:

    I think this might be a lucrative position over the next few years. Selling for 5-10 medium (500-1000CPM monthly) sized blogs could net a nice wage. (Let’s say $5K/monthly per site, which would make 30% comission be $1500 or $7500-$15000 monthly for the sales guy.) It really depends on the site if it can be monetized well.

  11. Jon, are you volunteering? I’d give you 30% ;-)

  12. Jon Gales says:

    Jeremey, not at all, especially since I hired someone to do ad sales for me :P. Besides being a little hypocritical, I’m sure someone else can do a better job at it. Not that I don’t like to sell things, but I don’t have a rolodex that is up to the task (yet).

    I just think it will be a pretty good gig for sales people tired of working for “the man”. It’s hard work, you have to go get the clients, but I think it can also be lucrative.