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Do you Advertise Your Blog

Do you advertise your blog?

I’ve noticed quite a few bloggers experimenting with advertising on AdWords, Adbrite (aff), BlogAds and Text Link Ads (aff) over the last few months.

Perhaps it’s a symptom of the massive increases in numbers of blogs out there competing for readers – or perhaps it’s a symptom of the increased focus on blogging with a commercial edge – or perhaps it’s a result of something else.

Whatever it is, it’s happens more and more and I’m interested to hear the experiences of those who are running ads in the hope of bring in traffic.

Here’s a few questions for you to answer (feel free to answer anonymously if you wish and to tackle one or all of them):

  • Why do you advertise your blog?
  • What ad programs do you use?
  • What impact has it had?
  • What tips would you give others wanting to do the same?

My own experience with advertising my blogs is reasonably limited.

I have experimented with using both AdWords and BlogAds – especially in the launch phase of new blogs – but have not had massive success with it to this point.

I’ll write a post in the coming days with a few tips that I’d advise bloggers wanting to advertise their blogs but would be interested to hear the experiences of those who’ve been doing it a little more seriously than I am.

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. I haven’t yet found a site I would want to advertise on, that I can’t already comment on for free.

    Not that I’ve been looking hard for sites to advertise on, but I find that interesting comments on other sites bring a constant trickle of new people to my blog.

    I am seriously considering a low-budget advertising campaign here in Brisbane once I have a decent amount of articles for people to read.

    Community newspapers and radio, ‘Street’ magazines, even low-budget campaigns on ‘real’ radio, those giveaway postcards in coffee shops…just a few ideas I am toying with.

    TV shows advertise on billboards, and newspapers have TV ads. Bloggers should remember that ads might be relevant in older media as well. There are plenty of low-budget options if you start looking around – many community radio stations will sell you ads for $20-$50 per run.

  2. I don’t currently, however, I am seriously thinking about giving it a go with Text-Link-Ads especially now that they are offereing $100 in free advertising when you sign up.

    It cannot hurt to get a one-way link from another site in your niche if you don’t have to pay for it.

  3. Not to suggest my mountain is bigger than anyone else’s mountain but I have a tough row to hoe. My ideal blog reader is not a heavy web user. They may have email but they don’t live out here (like some of us). To make my blog successful, I have to do 2 things:
    1. Make my blog known to them outside of the internet because they’re not surfing it or making use of its resources and
    2. I have to convert them from strictly email user to web user.

    I am not advertising yet. When I do, my first efforts will be writing for offline trade publications. I may consider print ads but editorial content will be my focus. It won’t help me to advertise on other people’s blogs because the blogs are inappropriate (fashion for consumers); my core audience (fashion designers) don’t or rarely visit those kinds of sites (most fashion designers care a lot less about “fashion” than consumers do). As it is, many consumer sites link to me already (for free). Now, I would expect to get a lot of traffic from a link from Women’s Wear Daily (number one) but who could afford advertising there? Besides, I’m hoping they’ll be running an interview with me soon (I’m number two or three) so I just have to be patient for that to come out (if the interview gets ink). If it runs, I’d expect most of the traffic to come from off-line, the ones who get the print edition.

  4. The blog itself is your advertisement. By networking and with just a little SEO you can get more traffic than any paid ad will bring in. Probloggers live by attracting advertising, not spending on it.

  5. brem says:

    I think the best advertisement for blogs is from word of mouth.

    However if you have a product to sell, via a blog, I can understand how it can be profitable to advertise it on an affiliate program.

    Otherwise, what’s the point really?

  6. veridicus says:

    I tested this with one of my sites. My only income from the site is AdSense. I bought $100 worth of AdWords for one month. Since it didn’t bring in an extra $100 in income in that or the next month I stopped. I can imagine it working for some blogs, but not for most. I also think TLA might work better in many situations.

  7. gaman says:

    I’ve tried BlogAds and AdWords before. I’ve written about my BlogAds advertising experience here: http://www.sabahan.com/2006/04/01/my-blogads-experiment-%E2%80%93-a-further-analysis/

  8. Mike Werner says:

    Yes, I use Adwords. I started last month, first just with content ads, then search result ads.

    I’ve limited my budget to 150 US$/month, and, although still having some learning curve issues, it’s paying off.

    On the content based ads, I’ve got more than a million impressions (which on its own doesn’t mean much), but on clicks, I rake up 1000′s of new readers. Not many stay, but my monthly figures are up 15%. If you take normal growth, which in my case is about 10%, that still leaves 5% extra.

    I decided to go for ads, since I realized that despite my site spiking up to 70,000 individual IPs on several days, and averaging 10,000, it only represents a small drop in the internet motorcycle market (my blog is motorcycle related).

    So, in theory, there is a very large untapped market for me.

    I’m now on a search results cycle only, but those results are not good. But that could be my learning curve, since it’s not that simple with Google and their keywords. I’ll try to fine tune, but failing that, it’s back to content only.

  9. I thought about it, but I think it would be some VERY expensive traffic. I agree with Dave. You use other free methods that are just as effective.

    I leave the adwords stuff for the Ecommerce guys.

    - Bryan
    http://www.BryanCFleming.com

  10. pcunix says:

    I do advertise (Adwords) though with a very small budget – max $8.00 per day spread across several different types of ads. Most of the budget is for consulting services ads, but I do allocate part of it to the freebies my site offers (skill tests, and of course thousands of articles).

    Results? I probably get three to four calls a week on the consulting stuff (and even one of those can pay for all the Adwords for the month, so that’s definitely worth it.

    The “other” ads brings me 100 – 200 extra visitors per day.. who knows what that might be worth? If some percentage become regular visitors, they are well worth the $50 -$60/month it costs to get them.

  11. Matthew says:

    It’s probably not necessary for my blog as it is mostly personal, but I’d be interested in hearing about people with personal blogs and their sucess with advertising.

  12. Gleb Reys says:

    Bloggers turn to (or at least consider) advertising twice in the lifecycle of each blog:

    1) When you’re just starting a new blog – and ANY kind of traffic will do. This is when you enthusiastic enough to become a member of many blog networks and rings, and start using websites like BlogExplosion, where you don’t have to spend money, but can simply browse someone else’s blogs to earn points and convert them into visitors.

    At this stage you’re not making any serious money off your blog, and you just want more traffic to refine your blogging strategies.

    2) When your blog is successfull and popular, and it’s making you a substantional sum on a daily basis. Eventually you grow curious whether attracting traffic with some ads program will create anonther one of them growth spikes, and conveniently enough you can afford to buy some traffic using just the money you have already earned.

    I’ve been through the first stage, and I sure am looking forward to the second one – but until then, I don’t think I’ll be paying for any advertisement.

  13. Brad says:

    My advertising “campaign” is fairly limited right now, since I don’t have a large budget to throw into ads. I stick to free online classifieds, mostly. I also belong to a message board that deals with the same topic I write about, so I have a link to my blog as a signature. Be carefull though, comments on message boards should have value, not just promoting your website.

    I also started dropping a small business card with my website address in coffee shops, bookstores and other places. Since I write about literature and writing, I try to find places where people are interested in both of those subjects. I’m not sure how effective it is, but at least it’s getting my blog out there in front of the public.

    I’m planning on expanding my blog, so it’s more than just a blog. When that happens, I’ll step up my advertising a little by using adwords and even making some fliers to post in and around town.

    The best advertising, at least when getting started, is just posting regularly and having quality content. If I can make a good first impression on a reader, then I can count on them to be coming back again and again.

    -Brad

  14. Patrick says:

    No I don’t advertise my blogs per se. I only have one blog that is on my official business web site but I advertise the site and not the blog. I have a blog on a sister site (the .org of the same name) but is connected to that site. The other blogs are either experimental or targeted to specific audiences. I like the idea of the “blog community” where people comment either directly or with trackbacks of relevant information. I firmly beleive blogs should take advantage of the guerrilla marketing concept. For some reason I am always suspect of blog that use traditional paid advertising as it feel more like a scheme that the communication it is supposed to be.

  15. ShoeMoney says:

    I use textlinkads (affiliate), yahoo, and direct advertising with sponsors

  16. Brian says:

    BlogAds is working quite well, very smooth so far. Much better than dealing with AdSense headaches.

  17. Rob says:

    I use adsense on my site, not adwords (so I advertise other peoples stuff) and I like it. My blog is NOT a personal one so I really care less if there are ads. The ads are always relevant and I make just around .20 – .40 per click. I have made 12 bucks in 15 days without doing anything, now for the next 15 days I am advertising, and I am seeing the difference it makes. ((edited by Darren))

  18. My above comment is making my point – 8 visitors from this story have clicked through to my site in the last 8 hours.

    To actually pay money for web advertising, I would have to:

    1) Carefully select the sites myself, working out who gets the traffic who would be interested in me.

    2) Write excellent link or banner ads that sold my site very well.

    I have not yet met anyone I would trust these jobs to (once again, not that I have been looking).

    I would certainly not spend money on online advertising unless I had total control over which sites had the ads spent on them.

    I had Adsense on my site briefly. But the context was not good enough. I am writing articles about how left-wingers have to grow up and stop complaining – but most of the Adsense ads were aimed at exactly the people I was saying need to grow up.

    This is not surprising, because I am in a niche of a niche.

    I suspect a similar thing might happen if I trusted someone to place ads for me:

    “Dude, we’ve put your ad on some great sites: Green Left Weekly in Australia, and DailyKos in the USA!”

    “Um…they are exactly the places I think are stupid, and I say so many times in my blog. Why would an ad there be a good thing?”

  19. James says:

    * Why do you advertise your blog?

    To get more traffic, and hopefully gain a following and ultimately…hopefully more ad revenue.

    * What ad programs do you use?

    Blogads primarily. I’ve tried others but not very impressed with the results. If you do your homework, there are some good deals on blogads

    * What impact has it had?

    I recently bought a blogad that brought in around 8,000 visitors in one week. But, it did cost me $225. :(

    * What tips would you give others wanting to do the same?

    I think the best way to go is with blogads. I have a theory I’m testing and I think the best approach is to create an ad that matches the content of the blog you are advertising on. Don’t just put an ad up. Create a special post or section on your site and offer something for the readers of the blog you are advertising on. Then, on that site, perhaps put an ad up…or, maybe they will like what you have put up so much they will bookmark your site. I’m still testing this, but do think it is a good way to approach things.

  20. John Hood says:

    I prefer viral marketing, posting, reciprocal links and forum signatures! :-)

  21. Duncan says:

    I’ve used Adwords before when launching some new blogs in the past, I find that if you’ve got a decent site it’s a nice way of building up a new audience for the site….but again, I’ve used it as an long term audience building term as opposed to just getting people to click on ads…that sort of thing which seems to be the dominant form of Adwords/ Adsense advertisers these days.

    I agree with many of the other thoughts though that word of mouth is best, but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to give a blog a kick along as well with a little advertising.

  22. My site above is a content-based site, but not a blog. I’ve been advertising it on Text Link Ads (taking advantage of their $100 off for new clients offer) this month as a test. Traffic has gone up marginally, but certainly not enough to bring in the income to cover the cost of advertising ($130).

    Text Link Ads (the company) seem to position themselves more as a way to build high-quality backlinks to improve your own search results than as a direct traffic source. That certainly meshes with my experience. While it might be worthwhile for sites selling products/services, I don’t think it will help blogs very much. You’d probably be better off using the money to pay someone to write a couple of kick-ass articles for you that will bring in a ton of backlinks and traffic from other bloggers.

    Next month I’m going to test an ad on BlogAds and see how that goes. They look to be better for driving direct traffic to your site.

  23. Ricemutt says:

    I haven’t bought any ads, nor really thought about it seriously, so appreciate all the comments I’ve read here. Linkworth keeps sending me reminders that buying ads might make my site more attractive to advertisers, but I haven’t bought into their argument yet.

    The only advertising money I’ve spent was a one-time (so far) $10 contribution to PFblogs.org, which is a personal finance aggregator. It was a donation to become a “friend” of PFBlogs (which has no ads and runs entirely on user donations). In exchange, everyone who’s a friend received highlighted placement on blogrolls on the site, as well as any other finance blogs who also used the blogroll, and their posts stand out in a maroon color.

    Since the aggregator is exactly for my niche and I’ve been writing regularly, I’ve seen my traffic quadruple and earnings start to come in as well. Granted, I’m just starting out, but it’s the best $10 I’ve spent.

  24. Jon Y says:

    The bloggers I have met ensuing the launch of AustralianBlogs mostly do so because of a genuine desire to express themselves and share their expertise (commercial blog or otherwise). It is unfortunate that mainstream media do not recognise this.

    As per some of the previous comments from your readers, I haven’t used paid ad services given the volunteer nature of our venture, but word of mouth has been very kind to us (ie. Yaro and yourself).

    As for advice to others, I would recommend to bloggers to split their marketing efforts the old-fashioned way:

    50% passive – generate helpful content (and they, eventually, will come)
    50% active – build a network of referral sites, eg other bloggers. This can be done by engaging in true conversation with them (not comment spam), as well as showcasing your blog on free blog directories (such as ours! ‘scuse the plug)

  25. I have used AdBrite but did not get any success becouse I picked the wrong site. Nowdays I’m considering to start using Text Link Ads. Does anybody know if you can spend publishers money to buy links with Text Link Ads?

  26. Jill says:

    I’m experimenting with advertising right now on the Exponential Blog Experiment.

    I haven’t yet placed an ad, but I’m chronicling my research as I go.

  27. Dave says:

    I used adwords briefly when one of my sites was new, to drive through a bit of traffic, but I didn;t feel the returns were sufficient to continue.

    Because the site in question isn’t selling a physical product, the only reason to advertise is to drive traffic and hopefully retain some of those visitors. If the cost of that traffic exceeds the revenue made from generating it, then it doesn’t make financial sense to continue doing so long term.

    However it may be worth while advertising for a short period if it generates the interest in your site that can lead to increased traffic via word of mouth and inbound links.

  28. James, if it’s not confidential, how many of the 8,000 would you say keep coming back?

    Jon Y, while I don’t agree with the romantic myth that blogging will ‘destroy’ journalism, I think it will become a significant new source of commercial writers, able to prove that they have an audience and therefore in a better position to bargan with media companies.

    The more that happens, the more the mainstream media will be noticing the positive community spirit that makes us more powerful.

    I’m not actively trying to make money off my blog (the whole thing is publuc domain, and text afilliate ads are the only ones I think are worthwhile at the moment).

    But I AM trying to spread a certain set of ideas, and so many of the articles on this site are very valuable.

    For instance, the entire ‘above the fold’ layout is directly influenced by a couple of things this site mentioned – especially having RSS and email subscription links there.

    I tend to ignore the Adsense stuff, but the articles on promotion, design and getting your point across are vital to making me a better blogger.

    Which is a long way of saying that, like you, I like the community spirit that Darren is showing by letting us have some of his knowledge for free.

    It’s not just a good thing to do, it is, as you suggest, a new business model that will get more important.

    BTW, the link to Australianblogs is broken. Is this the right place?

    I hope it is, because I have just signed up there on the strength of your above post.

    Regards David

  29. Patrik says:

    When I signed up with my webhost I got $70 worth of free advertising on adwords. But since the site in question is about poker, I couldn’t use adwords to advertise for it. So instead I used it for my blog.

    My daily budget is very low, $2, and I don’t pay much per click. I experimented with increasing the ammount I was ready to pay for clicks, and also my daily budget. But it didn’t have much effect. Probably because I write lousy ads :)

    Joining hte Problogger group writing project had a much better effect. In the future I will concentrate on joining blog carnivals and commenting on blogs that I read if I think I have something useful to say. Oh and I need to write more posts too…

  30. Vexx says:

    Hey,

    I run a download site,on the wordpress platform,so i think it can be called a blog due to the fact that i birng my readers the latest software downloads.

    Anyway,i didn’t signed up for any ad campaigns but i was thiniking of AdWords.The main point is that there are hundreds(or more) download sites and blogs out there.Readers have become more and more selective and if they find a good reading spot,they will stick to it,as i noticed.

    Also,as a little suggestion to all the bloggers out there,do NOT fill your blog with adsense ads or other ads,your readers will get bored and they will have a hard time finding the informations.

    You can also advertise for free,mainly in the blogging business.Try to get as many backlinks as you can and get involved on other blogs also.Get links,link exchange..and so on.

    FileCluster – http://www.filecluster.com

  31. Lee says:

    Goodness gracious,

    I’ve tried a bit of everything. From the older days of banner ads, to text ads, on down the line to classified ads in local and national newspapers aswell as online classifieds.

    At 22 years old Ive been in the online advertising hunt for close to 7 years now! Heck, at 16 I had my mother setup a business so that I could run it because I was not quite old enough to meet the merchant requirements. :)

    The best advice I can give to anyone is to stick to it! Believe in your product or service. Believe in yourself and for the love of all things holy stick to it. Treat your business as a business, it isnt going to function on its own, and it isnt going to grow on its own. Get out there on the grind, network wih fellow business men and women, find out if there are people doing similar work, find those doing work that could be of complimentary benefit to your target customer, reader, or client whatever the case my be and link up. Get the word out! by any means necessary. Keep your costs down as much as you can but dont fear taking the risk. Trust your gut, know your business, and be confident in your abilities. Plan, Plan, Plan.. then execute.

    Sorry, Ive gotten myself a little worked up here guys hehe.. I just enjoy this so much and I love the freedom having your own business can bring, so I drift off the subject a bit :) . If you’re advertising a blog I would suggest you just link up with other bloggers if you believe their readers may enjoy your writing aswell. I’d stay off the pay-per-click stuff unless you’ve got high earning potential from your blogs from products or ads.
    Hope I helped atleast a little bit.

    Lee
    http://www.hotwebwords.com (my new baby)

  32. Partha says:

    Sifting the comments here is like playing soccer with so many balls around. I like what Gleb Reys’ saying (June 22) that you advertise when your blog debuts if only to spread word. Which is what I did a few months back when I chose adwords with $100 to spare for a month.

    Nothing much happened, with visits not exceeding 30 a day. This may be because there are not many sites that deal on my blog-subject, which is about life in Kolkata, an Indian city. It may also be for the reason that the sites that do deal do not have much traffic themselves.

    Even as I heed Darren’s suggestion of single-mindedly building contents, I’m still in dark about what fetches people queuing up to spend time at my blog. Perhaps more adwords, or is it ads in sites like exactseek.com?

  33. Casey says:

    I am a total newbie at blogging so mostly just my friends and family have been visiting my blog about Racism in britain http://racisminbritain.blogspot.com I am considering about trying adwords but I am worried about the cost (since I am a poor student) For my other blog I am considering investing a bit more in since I am more likely to make some money from it http://money4tuition.blogspot.com
    Cheers

  34. Kevin D says:

    I recently launched a website (Christmas Eve 2006) aimed at ‘advertising Blogs’. What it really does is sort and organise blogs in an easy yet informative way.

    It is still a new site and I wanted to share it with those sceptical about advertising. My blog has had a huge increase in hits since I launched. At only £5 per year, it is not expensive. I am investing a lot on PR so it hopefully will be big. Eventually, I will have all blogs in various categories. Ultimately, a blog is useful to find out real comments. http://www.fuelmyblog.com .

    Thanks

    Kevin D

  35. I’m curious..are the majority of you blogging for profit or fun?

  36. Kevin D says:

    I blog for fun but want to research blogs for fact.

    An example would be that I want to get a job in France, where do I get the best advice? From a sponsored website or a blog with somebody talking about real experiences?

    A blog.

    This is why I set up fuelmyblog.com.

  37. Hisham_h says:

    hi guys if you want to advertise your site for free i could help you advertise on my blog which doesn’t has that much hits but if we traded advertisment on blogs our blogs will eventually we will have enough hits visit my blog and see it and then decide your advertisement.

    http://www.techworld06.blogspot.com

  38. Blog Opinion says:

    What reponse we can get from such advertising service like adbrite, will it increase number of subscribers

  39. William says:

    Hi,
    I have bought a few blogroll links.
    They are usefull to increase your PageRank.
    - William

  40. Dev says:

    I’ve dabbled with Google Adsense a bit but it hasn’t really been successful for me. However, my blog is fairly new so I’m going to give it some time before I make a decision. Right now my main focus is on generating a reader base. I actually got a lot of great ideas from this blog, thanks!

  41. JP Ferreira says:

    I don’t advertise… I have some adwords accounts for my clients (i run an advertising agency) but it’s not worth it if you have a personal blog or not a business oriented blog.

  42. davie says:

    hi i have just started up my own blog and was wondering how i would go about making some money online i have tried all the pay per click sites and advertise some of them on my blog take a look tell me what you think

  43. Mark says:

    I definitely advertise both on my blog and for my blog. For example I google “advertise your blog” I get the top result and I post a comment that has my blog on it… http://oehlberg.com

  44. DigitalMind says:

    I’ve had a couple of adsense link boxes on a few sites that i’ve tried. I get very little traffic. I’ve generated like 11$ in 6 months. I guess i’m not retiring anytime soon. :) Although I can’t help but feel that Adsense would be a good thing if I had more traffic.
    http://www.techienation.com

  45. I get very little traffic, in fact, probably none, but my blog is new. I need ways to get some free traffic to my blog as I have no money to put in it now, but how do you get known without advertising?

  46. Ron says:

    I have done some advertising with google ads. Have gotten plenty of hits but hardly any subscribers. Adbrite program has had better results but I would exhaust all free options until you decide to throw money in the wind and get the same result.

  47. Rick says:

    I’m new also and have yet to have a visitor. I wonder if leaving a comment here will generate any traffic?

  48. Franklin says:

    I’m with Rick. I’ve been journaling for years but now have turned to a blog to see how that goes. I’m using google’s ads on the site.
    I’d appreciate any feedback from any of you as to the blog itself.
    TIA!
    Frank

  49. Lid says:

    I’m contemplating to use Google Adword. But I feel kinda silly if I go ahead with my plan as the only revenue I get from my site is from Adsense. I try to advertise my site using bookmark sites but I haven’t seen any improvement on my site traffic yet. Most visitors come from forum that I frequent to and from Google search.

    I’m still doing research on means to advertise my site without blowing up my wallet.

  50. Mike says:

    I’m very much interested in knowing everything about this topic, because I recently started a blog. I know my content would attract many people! But getting the word out there isn’t very easy. Doesn’t really matter that I got number 1 in Google with my heading, because I guess no one is ever searching with that sentence.

    But going to try those tips! Thanks

Trackbacks

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