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5 Ways to find Direct Advertisers for your Blog

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.

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 love this tip: “…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.”

    With this tactic I found several sites which I think would appeal to my readers and therefore whom I’d be willing to approach. I’m holding off on finding sponsors for now though until I clean up my template and increase my readership. There’s nothing worse than a slowly loading page. Who wants to come back to that? It’s getting urgent that I work on technical aspects to retain and grow my readership. Sponsors will be next in line after that :-)

  2. Tressa says:

    Hi Darren, I love your blog. I think joint-venture partnerships are great. I joined commission junction and couldn’t be happier. There are 1000s of products online that you can start promoting.

    Thank you for your tips, I’ll have to see what I find googling.

  3. Sticker Boy says:

    @ Lindsay – I advertised on PW and got some good quality (i.e. buying!) traffic to my site. Not lots, but the right kind! And it was very cheap.

  4. axel g says:

    What a burst of inspiration!

    It’s great to get new ideas about how to locate potential advertisers.

    Checking the Adsense ads on your own site is a classic +_+

  5. ed says:

    Thanks, good tips for the homework file.

  6. Trina says:

    Good tips. Number one is so simple. I’ve done that for topic research but not for ad research.

    Thanks!

  7. Rob Mitchell says:

    What kind of plan did you have before looking for direct advertisers? How did you determine how much to charge for the ads you were going to run?

    Great tips by the way.

    Thanks

  8. Gennaro says:

    Building relationships with advertisers when your blog is still young with relatively little traffic is a smart idea. It will likely give the advertiser a comfort level with you as an individual and the blog’s content over a period of time. Things like consistency and professionalism.

  9. Manuel says:

    There are also several webmaster forums (forum.digitalpoint.com, sitepoint.com …) that have Buy / Sell Advertising sections

  10. Agent 001 says:

    I never did any of the aboves. Looks like I am not going right. I need to follow these tips. Thanks for making me realise.

  11. smartvergin says:

    I really like the fourth option there. I mean, I do sales for a living. You think I could turn that around to mean I can sell some adspace for a simple blog.

  12. Bariski says:

    Hello.
    First of all thanks for this useful article. I started blogging back in December 2008. Had my exams in that month so I stopped it for some time. Then I came back in Jan 13th this year and since then I have been getting quiet decent traffic from search engines and other sources.

    So can anyone of you please review my blog and tell me if I can now add a advertising section to it. I got a alexa rank around 280,883. Got around 220 rss readers in all these month + few my articles are in top position on Google, like Increase Firefox Speed, Hidden Yahoo Emotions, Etc.

    Any comment or compliment would be highly appreciated.

    http://i333.blogspot.com

  13. Bingo says:

    Like the chap above comment says, Digital point is a good place to go. Some good tips in the above article. thanks.

  14. amirulcyber says:

    thanks for sharing this info.

  15. brooke says:

    Just started up a frugal blog and found your post interesting. Hadn’t really thought of something like this for myblog but maybe someday I can do it.

  16. Ishan says:

    Thanks for sharing this tips. What about using Commision Junction as first step? It also gives you an almost direct relationship with advertisers, and once your traffic grows, you can get connected with advertiser directly, instead of commision junction. That’s what I have done on my blog as well. For each article, I put the ads of related advertisers from commision Junction, and the click through rate of such ads is high (but one thing to remember is that CJ pays only when a sale is completed, and not just on click).

  17. Jay says:

    Also, If you know a niche-related company or advertiser that is close by to where you live, it wouldn’t hurt to drop by and inquire in person. Just like a job, you have a better chance if you go straight to the one who makes the big decisions.

  18. Thank you , Darren .. I still learn and get magical knowledge from your articles ..

  19. Free Xbox360 says:

    Hmm, this is a very interesting post. I’ve used a method from this list before and it has worked good in the past. The blog topic method has helped greatly.

  20. dev says:

    I like the 2 and 4 method

  21. Yogindernath says:

    The option “Visit other blogs, forums and websites in your Niche” seemed best to me.. I also agree with this.. I think digitalpoint forums is also one of the ways to get direct advertisers…

  22. TipsGoda says:

    im looking forward to get advertisers on my new blog.But i guess i have to get the rankings up and traffic flow first.Thanks for this great post!

  23. José says:

    Hi,

    The first method is so simple and yet seems so logical that I haven’t thought about that. Shame on me :-)

    Kind regards,

    José

  24. I love the consistently intelligent advice on this site.

    Thank you for advice I can immediately apply to my own blog!

  25. My first time visit here. You have some excellent information for the blogger. I am going to read more of your blogging info.

    Thank You

  26. These are very good tips on getting advertisers for your website. Since this can be quite a good source of income, next to adsense
    http://www.icantinternet.org/category/adsense/

  27. emi says:

    if you have good relationships with other bloggers you can directly ask them e.g.via an email about advertisers.

  28. SB says:

    That was pretty useful information for the beginners. In fact, what you said are the basics which most of us forget while dreaming high.

    Looking forward for more useful articles in this area.

    SB

  29. alex says:

    this is real cool.

  30. alex says:

    cool.

  31. Randy Shamak says:

    The content you have provided is pretty interesting and useful and I will surely take note of the point you have made in the blog.

    While I was browsing the Internet for ways to boost my website exposure, I read about how effective offline media is for getting additional exposure. Since online media advertising has become so competitive, I thought I will complement the online marketing efforts of my products with offline media advertising like newspaper and magazine advertising. This can be the best way to get a wider coverage for a website and draw additional traffic. I think it is a great marketing strategy to use both online and offline advertising to get more customers.

    I thought this information might be useful for anyone looking for solutions to get me-ore traffic to their website.

  32. Free DSi says:

    I would think tip 3 would be hard to come by in many niches, there are only a few that instantly pop into my mind that you would be able to omplement this. However, on the whole a very good post

  33. Free iPhone says:

    I find the biggest hurdle is getting and maintaining the readership to make it worth having adverts. My blog was getting around 800 views a day but has really dropped recently to around 100. I guess I need more unique and timely content..

  34. I really like the third option there. I mean, I do sales for a living. You think I could turn that around to mean I can sell some adspace for a simple blog.

  35. sandy says:

    Very useful info. Covers all possible ways that you can look for a sponsor for your blog.