Selling Ads Directly to Advertisers

Chrispian at Web Dev Source has a good, simple tip on how to find private advertisers for your blog. Here’s the crux of it:

‘The bottom line is that people are out there advertising already, find them and get them to spend some of their advertising dollars with you! ‘

It’s a good tip and one that I’ve used from time to time. The key is to find advertisers advertising on websites, magazines, newspapers etc that are similar to the niche you’re blogging about and to develop a relationship with them. This often takes time and energy – I know that some of the bigger campaigns that I’ve negotiated directly with Advertisers or their Ad Agencies have take a lot of work and negotiation.

Also keep in mind that in many cases advertisers set budgets well in advance of their actual campaigns – you may have to wait a while before it pays off – but its definitely worth making enquiries with such potential advertisers.

Read more of Chrispian’s tip at Making money beyond adsense by selling ads directly

Tell me a Story

Dave Taylor has written an interesting piece today on story telling and blogs that has resonated with me. It’s at “Don’t sell me a product, tell me a story!”:

‘What stuck in my head, however, was that his background gave him a unique ability to tell an interesting story. After all, isn’t the best marketing and, yes, even public relations, fundamentally all a throwback to our days around the campfire trying to influence and sway people based on our ability to communicate in a more interesting and engaging manner than the next person?’

Dave heads in a slightly different direction with his post than the thought process that I then went of on but it’s worth the read none the less.

What it made me think about was that one of the things that I think has grown the most has been this idea of ‘story’.

I am getting daily emails from people around the world who have been drawn into the community here not just because of the tips and information that I write – but because there is something about average people sharing their experiences with other average people that rings true and draws people in.

I may not be the most proficient writer in the world (I know this because of the numbers of proof reading type emails that I get) but I purposely write in a way that attempts to weave together my journey as a blogger with the theory and tips that I’m presenting. I’m telling my story.

The other thing that I’ve been attempting to do here is to create spaces where others can tell their stories. This has happened through the occasional interview but increasingly happens in the comment sections of posts.

I guess what I circling around here is that one way (and it won’t work on every blog) to build a more engaging and interactive blog is to consider not only selling something to your reader but to find ways to engage with them in more of a narrative form.

What do you think?

Quotable Seth Godin – From ‘Who’s There?’

Here are a few take home quotes from Seth Godin’s “Who’s There?” Free e-book which I read this afternoon (and ask usual with Seth’s writing – enjoyed):

‘People have a choice (4.5 million choices, in fact) and nobody is going to read your blog, link to your blog or quote your blog unless there’s something in it for them.’

Spot on the money here. The take home question here is ‘what do you readers get out of your blog?’

‘Blogs work best when people read them over time. One frame of a movie isn’t enough to win an Academy Award, and one post on a blog isn’t enough to make a huge difference.’

I love this concept. Too often I see bloggers posting in haphazard ways that seem to have little forethought for the overall strategy and direction of their blog. One of the things I’ve noticed over my years of blogging is just how quickly you can lose readers simply by posting one or two posts that are out of character or which offend your regular readers.

While sometimes its tempting to post in the heat of the moment in response to something that gets you worked up – perhaps a better blogging practice would be to take a deep breath and give such posts a little time to sit with you before posting. This could decrease the chances of alienating your readership with posts that detract from the overall direction of where your blog is going.

Connected to this idea is this last quote:

[Read more…]

ReveNews Additions

Revenews has relaunched with a new look and feel. They’ve added a new Premium Member Program as well as a new renowned author – Joel Comm – author of the successful Adsense Secrets e-book (aff link).

Revenews is a daily read for me and with additions like Joel to the team becoming an even more worthwhile feature in my RSS A-list.

Adsense and YPN on the Same Blog?

Speaking of Creative Weblogging – in writing the last post I decided to take a wander through their network – which has been redesigned in the past few months (boy did it need it). It’s scrubbed up ok – but I can’t help but notice that they are running Google Adsense Ads and Yahoo Publishing Network Ads on the same page on every blog that they own.

This is in direct violation of both Adsense and YPN’s TOS and I’d recommend they make up their mind and just use one system before getting themselves banned from one or both.

I’ve tried to email them to let them know of the violation but for some reason my email bounced – if somoene knows the guys behind it you might want to let them know that they are flirting with danger.

Creative Weblogging launches Creative Reporter System

Creative Weblogging has just launched the Creative Reporter System where they are inviting people to submit posts to their system and will pay them $10 per 1000 page views of their posts. They explain:

‘Creative Reporter is your online reporter desk that allows you to share and contribute news with the audience of Creative Weblogging. In exchange all contributors will be mentioned when published and rewarded based on their contributions Page Views (actually US$10 for 1,000 Page Views). As a reporter you will get access into our newsroom and see statistics incl. comments on your contribution.

You may submit text, video and audio content – wherever you see a fit. ‘

$10 per 1000 page views – sounds like worthwhile pay. I’ve just taken a look over a few of my blogs and $10 per 1000 page views is about the average earnings via Adsense on some of them. I guess the big question one would want to ask is just how many page views would an average post on the Creative Weblogging Network attract?

I’ve chatted with a couple of their bloggers off and on over the past year and have heard that they don’t do massive traffic – but I guess maybe things have changed.

Six Figure Blogging – What it is and What its not

Just a reminder to those of you who have signed up for the free preview call of six figure blogging that it’s happening in less than 24 hours time.

Andy just told me that there are over 700 people registered for the call! Wow – I’m starting to get nervous now.

If you can’t make the call when it happens live – you can still listen to it later if you register. In fact I know some of you have fed back that you’ll probably not do the course because of time zone or schedule difficulties – a way around this is to sign up but instead of logging into the live calls simply do it at your own convenience by using the transcripts of the calls as well as the downloads that we’ll release to participants in the 24 hours or so following each of the six calls.

Also people have been emailing me to ask for clarification of what the course is about and what level blogger it is ideal for. Let me write a few points that might help with this:

Six Figure Blogging IS for
– beginner or amateur bloggers who want to learn some techniques for setting up blogs that have the potential to earn money.
– bloggers who currently have blogs and want to learn how to monetize them
– people who want to hear Andy and I talk about the topic rather than just read it in our archives. (ie – a lot of what we talk about I’ve covered from time to time on ProBlogger – the beauty of this course is that we’ll be actually unpacking it verbally and cutting straight to the most important parts. A lot of my readers complain about the vast quantities of posts here at ProBlogger – this course will help get to the most important bits. It will also be more up to date information than archives can be.
– people wanting a little personal attention – Andy and I would like to interact with participants. The level to which we do this will depend on the numbers who sign up for the actual course (it won’t be the full 700 – so don’t worry about that!). At the very least you’ll be able to submit questions for Andy and I. We can’t guarantee we get to each one of them but we’ll use these questions as a base for teaching in future shows. If the numbers are quite low we might even be able to have live question and answer times.

Six Figure Blogging IS NOT for
– get rich quick junkies (we’ll tell you how to make money over time and with hard work)
– spammers (we are not selling an automated blogging tool)
– people who don’t know what a blog is – we won’t be covering the basics of ‘what is a blog’ or how to set one up. Andy has other courses for this type of thing.
– people who are not willing to work hard at their blog. I know I’ve said this already – but I want to continue to emphasize that whilst we’ll share our experiences and lessons learned as bloggers making money from and through our blogs – we’ll not be giving you a passive income making scheme.

I hope this clarifies some of where this course is headed.

“Who’s There?” Free e-book from Seth Godin

I’m a fan of Seth Godin’s writing and so when he points to a new (and free) e-book on the topic of Blogging – I’m going to download it for a read!

‘Who’s There is not an ebook about how to write better or how to follow the traditional conventions about formatting and building a blog. It’s not designed to sell you one service instead of another, either.

Instead, I divide the blog world into three groups and turn my attention to one. And in particular, I try to sell you hard on how building a blog asset can have a spectacular impact on you, your career, your organization and your ideas.

I promise this ebook is incomplete. I hope, though, that it encourages you to pay attention to some of the underlying forces at work online and off. And it’s small enough to email to your colleagues or to post on your own site. Hey, it’s free and it comes with its own carrying case.’

I’m yet to read it (will do so tonight) but you can get the free e-book here (PDF). Tell us what you think of it once you’ve read it in comments below.

Blog Reinvention

One of my favorite bloggers, Jennifer Rice from What’s Your Brand Mantra?, is reinventing herself as a blogger after some time away from her blog. She’s decided to take a simpler, more personal approach to her blog and will be breaking some of her rules of blogging:

1. No more blogroll

2. New photos which reveal personality

3. Less rigid posting schedule

4. Posting on a wider array of topics of interest

I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes for Jennifer – hopefully she finds the new approach a refreshing new start.

I think reinvention from time to time can be a great thing. For me its something I’ve done a number of times, often accompanied by a new design, a new blog, a new blogging platform, a new category etc.

Have you ever reinvented your blog? How did it go?