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Seven Expert Tips For Outstanding Web Writing

Today Ali from Ali Adventures (and other blogs) shares some tips on writing for the web.

You’re an experienced blogger. You know all the basics: you’ve read all about writing useful and unique content, and all your posts use subheadings, thoughtfully bolded text and bullet-pointed lists to be as reader-friendly as possible.

But could you be doing more? I spent two years working in an IT company, with overall charge of documentation, and these are some of my top tips for outstanding articles that deliver a brilliant experience for your readers.

In a world of Stumbles, Digging and Tweets, the few seconds after a reader arrives on your blog are vital, and the first post they see must provide a great reading experience.

1. Set Line Spacing to At Least 130% (1.3em, 16pt)

One of the most irritating mistakes on a blog – and one of the easiest to fix – is having lines of text that are too cramped up. Small clear text is fine, but scrunched-together lines make your posts look heavy and uninviting.

Check your blog’s stylesheet and look for a section (probably in “post” or “entry”) which specifies the default line-height in posts on your blog. It should look something like this:

.entry { font-size: 1.4em; line-height: 1.65em; }

If your lines are too cramped, change the “line-height” to a higher value. It’ll be an em (like mine), a percentage or a pt value (like font size). You can find out more on the W3Schools line-height page, or convert between em, percentages, pixels (px) and points (pt) at http://pxtoem.com/www.pxtoem.com.

2. Offer a Printer Friendly Version of Posts

With longer posts, or a series of post, it’s nice to provide a printer-friendly or downloadable version. One simple way to do this is to compile the post(s) into a pdf, and offer a downloadable link. (You can use software such as pdf995 to create pdfs for free.)

Think about which posts readers might want to print: perhaps detailed instructions, or posts which require a lot of concentration when reading.

Another ways of doing this is to install a plugin such as WP-Print that automatically generates a printer friendly version. A lot of big sites (such as newspapers’ websites) offer a “print this page” button, so it could make your blog seem more “pro” to a reader.

3. Mix Lists and Paragraphs

Bullet-pointed lists are great for getting your message across quickly and clearly. But if your whole article consists of lists, readers are likely to feel as though you’ve just written an outline and presented it as a complete post.

A lot of lists can also make the text look “choppy” on the page, as the reader’s eyes will skip from one to the next.

Try having a few short lists, then a couple of full paragraphs. The variety both in the writing style and in the visual look on the screen will help keep the reader’s attention – increasing the chances that they’ll read right to the end of your posts.

4. Use On-Page Anchors

If you’ve written a long post with several subsections, it’s worth putting links at the top so the reader can navigate around the post easily. These are called “anchors”, and you can find out full details here.

To use an anchor in your post, switch to the HTML view, and put the following near the top of the post, where you want the list of links (the “myanchor” text can be anything you want, but it should be preceded by a hash symbol):

<a href=”#myanchor”>Jump straight to an anchor</a>

Then, wrap these tags around the heading of the relevant section. (Note that this time, “myanchor” does not have a hash symbol.)

<a name=”myanchor”>Section heading</a>

Using anchors is particularly important if some of your post might not be relevant to everyone reading; for example, if you’ve written a list of “Online resources for designers, writers and programmers”, it would make sense to save your readers from wearing out their scroll wheel. You could give links at the top like this:

  • Resources for designers
  • Resources for writers
  • Resources for programmers

5. Use Links Generously

As well as using links in places where they’re considered “necessary” (linking back to previous posts of yours on the topic, acknowledging the source of images, linking to blogs you’re quoting from), try thinking of links as gifts to your readers. One of my blogging friends, Sid Savara, wrote recently in an email to me:

I try to link not just as a source, but for sort of “Easter Eggs.” That is, each link in my article can lead someone down a whole new rabbit hole.

This is exactly the right attitude. Readers who feel delighted by the richness of your posts, and who have found extra resources through your links, are likely to come back to your blog for more.

6. Use the Title Tag for Links

If you put a title tag in your link, readers can get extra information about the link when they hover over it. This is especially useful if you’re linking words in the middle of a sentence to a different blog post, as the post often won’t have the same title as the linking word.

You can set the title to anything you want. It’s often useful to give the title of the post or page you’re linking to, along with the name of the blog it’s on (if it’s not your own one). If you’ve set the link to open in a new window, it’s helpful to mention this in the title tag too.

To add the title to a link using a visual editor, click to edit the link, and look for an option called “Title”.

To add a title in HTML code, add it like this:

<a href=”http://www.problogger.net” title=”ProBlogger site”>

7. Create a Style Guide

The IT company I worked for had a “style guy” that covered everything from how titles were capitalised to how “alt” tags should be used on images (for accessibility purposes). Your writing will look more polished and professional if you’re consistent: for example, do you use single or double quotes? Do you capitalise words like “Government” and “Senate”? Do you write “website” or “web site”?

It’s worth creating a simple style guide for your own blog. This doesn’t need to be a huge task – you can just add to it as you go along.

If you have guest posters, or if you employ writers to work for you, you could give them your style guide and ask them to keep to your house style – to make sure that posts are consistent.

Do you have a tip for writing outstanding content that wows readers by being easy-to-read and looking professional? Share it in the comments!

About the Author: Ali is a freelance blogger and writes for a number of popular blogs (see her current list here). If you’d like to hire her, drop her an email at [email protected]

Ninja Affiliate Plugin for WordPress – Special Price for ProBlogger Readers

ninja-affiliate.pngI’m about to head out the door for a 10 day vacation but before I do I want to pass on a special offer exclusive to ProBlogger readers (that I’ve just had offered to us) for a cool product that those of you who run affiliate programs on your blog might want to check out.

It is a WordPress plugin called Ninja Affiliate and you can have it for a third off the normal price.

I know some of you use this one already but I’ve only had the opportunity to check it out more recently and I have been quite impressed by it. In short it is a management tool that allows you to manage all of the affiliate links on your blog.

This product has a lot of features built in including:

  • Easy Affiliate Link Management – You can easily give each affiliate link an easy-to-remember name.
  • Flexible Link Management – Accepts every affiliate link format out there, so you don’t have to waste time with various affiliate marketing tools..
  • Create Professional Redirect Links – Use professional looking redirect links that let your prospects know you’re a pro marketer..
  • Manage Links by Groups – Too many affiliate links? Ninja Affiliate allows you to easily create different groups to manage your links..
  • Prevent “Affiliate Theft” – Cloak your affiliate links to prevent link theft and affiliate sabotage. No one will ever steal your hard-earned commissions again..
  • Insert Affiliate Links Directly – Add your affiliate links directly for your WordPress blog editor – you’ll never have to hunt for links again..
  • Transform Keywords to Links – Automatically turn keywords in your blog to affiliate links. You can set a limit too, so your posts don’t look like a spam blog!
  • Advanced Display Options – Ninja Affiliate allows you to display any text you want in your web browser’s status bar..
  • Use “No-Follow” Links – Control your link juice and escape punishment from Big Daddy Google with ninja precision. In fact, you can control your links any way you want to.

There is a lot more information on the sales page (the videos will show you how to use it and give you a good feel for whether it is for you) for the product and I’m not going to rehash it all here – except to say that I wish I’d had something like this when I started promoting affiliate products.

The special offer for ProBlogger readers…

is this – $30 off the plugin. It’s normally $97 and until midnight on 28th February it’s $67 – a third off. You can install it on as many WP blogs as you own.

You have 8 weeks to test it and see if it is right for you and then they offer a money back guarantee.

To get the discount you need to buy it from this special page that they’ve set up for ProBlogger readers.

PS: While I’m gone on my break….

ProBlogger will continue to have some great content. I have a few guest posts from some great bloggers already scheduled as well as a 10 part series of posts that I wrote over the last few weeks on ‘how to take your blog to the next level‘ – a series especially for bloggers who have moved past their launch phase and are wanting to step it up.

AdSense Lets You Change Your Font in Ad Units

AdSense have just announced a new feature that many of us have been asking for for a while – the ability to change fonts in ad units.

While there’s not an extensive choice of fonts (they allow Arial, Times, and Verdana font faces) it is better than nothing and allows publishers to tweak the way their ads look to fit with the design of their sites.

Find out how to access the new fonts via the official AdSense Blog.

A Secret to Writing Posts that Go Viral on Twitter

There are many reasons that a blog post might get spread widely through ‘ReTweets’ (when one person passes on the tweet of another) but one fairly obvious, yet often overlooked one, has to do with the length of your blog post title.

Yesterday on TwiTip I published a post with a formula for getting ReTweeted on twitter. You can read the full thing for yourself but the author of the post (@louisedoherty) proposed that to increase the chances of one of your tweets being ReTweeted that you need to keep your own tweet shorter than the 140 characters allowed by Twitter so that the person can include other information (your username, the @ symbol and the letters RT).

I’ve seen the wisdom of theory of Louise many times in my own use of Twitter. If I tweet something that is the maximum of 140 characters it make it more tricky for followers to retweet – they either have to change my tweet or don’t do it.

OK – so this applies to bloggers how?

Twitter can send you a lot of traffic if a link to one of your posts gets spread around via ReTweeting. Just look at the Top 100 Retweeted Links on Twitter at the moment – as I write this the top one has been passed on 331 times which means it is a link that could have been viewed on Twitter by many thousands of people.

To help the ReTweet thing along a little keep your titles short. They don’t need to be 3 words long – but keep in mind that when someone is going to tweet a link to your post that they will usually include:

1. The title of your post

2. A URL (often shortened using tinyurl or some other shortening service which means it’ll be anything from 20 to 26 characters)

They may also want to include a comment about your link.

That’s not all you want to think about – you then should consider that for the link to be ReTweeted it will include all of the above information plus:

1. The username of the person being retweeted with the @ symbol (usually 5-12 characters)

2. The letters RT and sometimes a : as well as a space after it (3-4 characters)

You can see that the number of characters is starting to add up so shorter Titles can definitely help.

Lets workshop it:

  • The title of this post is ‘A Secret to Writing Posts that Go Viral on Twitter ‘ – that’s 52 characters (with space at end)
  • Lets say that the URL is shortened with Twurl – that’s 22 characters
  • Lets say that the person tweeting it adds the words ‘Reading: ‘ at the start of the tweet (9 characters with space) and ‘ – cool post’ at the end (12 characters with spaces).

So far the original tweet is 95 characters long.

And would look like: ‘Reading: A Secret to Writing Posts that Go Viral on Twitter http://twurl.nl/qejpzq – Cool Post’

Lets just say it was @chrisbrogan who made the above tweet. As Chris has a lot of great followers at least one of them is bound to retweet it.

At the very least their retweet would read:

‘RT: @chrisbrogan Reading: A Secret to Writing Posts that Go Viral on Twitter http://twurl.nl/qejpzq – Cool Post’

We’re still under the limit of 140 and with 29 characters to spare could have added a few words to our title.

This is not something that I would spend a lot of time on and I would not compromise my titles too much to get them down in character length – however as someone who has seen significant traffic from Twitter over the last 6 months it is definitely a factor that I keep in the back of my mind as I blog.

PS: another reason to keep titles down in length is that Google has a cut off of 70 characters when it displays page titles in search results. A title over 70 characters gets chopped off mid title which could decrease the chances of someone clicking it. I’m told that other search engines cut off titles at as little as 65 characters so perhaps that is a better cut off point.

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.

If Your Blog Died Today…. What Would It Be Remembered For?

If your blog were to die today – how would it be remembered?

funeral.jpg

Here’s a little 2 part exercise that might be fun (although slightly morbid) – and hopefully insightful. You’ll need half an hour or so to do it properly.

1. Write an obituary for your blog 10 years in the future

Project yourself forward 10 years, imagine that at that point you decide to end your blog having achieved everything that you want to achieve with it and write a short obituary about your blog as you’d like other people to have seen it to that point.

Keep in mind that your blog has been as successful as it can be and you’re ending it at the peak of its game.

  • What do you want people to say about your blog?
  • How do you hope it will have been perceived?
  • What will people miss about it the most?
  • What ground has it broken?
  • What has it achieved?
  • How has it helped people?

Take 10 minutes to write this obituary and dare to dream big.

2. Write an obituary for your blog as it stands today

OK – back to the present. Lets just say that you blog ended today. Perhaps it was hacked, perhaps you just decided to delete it or perhaps your server died and you didn’t have a backup – the reason doesn’t matter – the exercise remains the same.

Write an obituary for your blog as you think others see it now.

  • What would they say about it?
  • What would people miss about it?
  • What has it achieved?
  • How has it fulfilled a need or service in people’s lives.
  • What ground has it broken?

This exercise is one I did a few years back in another context and it was a powerful and motivating exercise. The key to it is to look at the two obituaries (the one you want people to write in the future and the one that people would write now – and to compare them and to sit with the differences.

The reality is that most of us have not yet achieved what we want to achieve with our blogs – however the question is, are we moving in the right direction to make our dreams a reality?

Many bloggers that I talk with have grand dreams and hopes – but their day to day blogging doesn’t take them closer to them.

Once you’ve compared your two obituaries – the next step is to start to put together some concrete steps that will enable you to move from the present reality to the dream for your future. These sorts of dreams don’t just happen – rather they are the result of taking daily steps towards your goals.

If you’d like to share your obituaries (or at least what you discovered in writing them) in comments below I’d be interested to see what you come up with.

Learn how to Launch the **** out of your E-Book

While many bloggers are monetizing blogs with direct methods like advertising and affiliate programs another method that more and more bloggers are making good money by selling their own e-books. Today Jade Craven of The Prolific Writer reviews a new resource that is written to help bloggers wanting to do exactly that – How to Launch the **** Out of Your Ebook.

How to Launch the **** Out of Your Ebook.gifDave Navarros prelaunch of his latest ebook was so successful that he had to delay the official launch. Why? He was too busy earning thousands by coaching others on how to launch the **** out of their ebook.

This review examines the five modules of this workshop and gives you the foundations of how you too can conduct a killer product launch.

Module 1: Analyzing the market for your ebook

Most internet marketers know the basics of researching a niche and ascertaining competition. Fortunately, the authors were aware of this and kept it short.

Put simply – the one purpose of this chapter is to give you the tools to ascertain whether there is a market willing to pay for your product. This point seems obvious, but is one that is often ignored. People get swept up in the excitement of product creation and don’t bother questioning if there is even a demand for it.

Its unlikely established bloggers will discover new methods, but it did allow me to view the research in a different context.

Module 2: Finding and Wooing buyers.

This module contains two steps that would be second nature to many Problogger readers:

  • Make Your Blog Attract Your Target Audience
  • Drive New, Targeted Readers To Your Existing Blog

The emphasis is on creating relationships with your prospects “far in advance of your product going on sale.”

The tips included:

  1. Using twitter and social media
  2. Prolifically commenting on other blogs within the niche
  3. Guest posting on other blogs
  4. Using forums.

I was disappointed in that they didn’t provide any guidance in how these methods compliment each other. While it is beyond the scope of the ebook to provide comprehensive networking advice, I have found that repeated exposure to an audience – via all the methods listed above – is what converts the best.

If you find the information too basic, Dave and Naomi also included a section on how to leverage your existing blog.

Module 3: Setting Up Your Mailing List

This module alone was worth the $97. It showed me how to set up an email list that feels ethical. It is explained how to segment your list and create a positive audience that likes being sold to. Dave also gives the foundations of setting up the list so as to continue to woo the reader.

It was during this chapter that I really started getting excited about the possibilities available during aproduct launch.

Module 4: Writing Your Ebook

I’ve tried writing an ebook before. I gave up immediately because I had no plan, and no focus. This module made me realize the many ways I went wrong and gave a solid blueprint for successful product creation. I learned how to:

  • Create an killer ebook outline
  • Develop a work schedule you can stick to
  • Get others to help you out with the editing.

Naomi and Dave provided their own perspective when it came to creating a product. Some of it is conflicting, but it helped to show you that you have to develop your own style during the planning and writing stage.

Module 5: Launching Your Ebook

It’s in this module that everything in the previous chapters comes together. Dave provides a complete framework for the entire launch process. He discusses:

  • How to make your first batch of money during the presale
  • How to build up the buzz around your product and increase your mailing list
  • How to organize the content for your mailing list
  • Ongoing ways of earning money after your launch.

The information is rock solid and much of it is also relevant to someone who is trying to launch a successful blog.

For instance, in the section on getting big names to review your book, he suggested that you “find out who their online friends are and focus some attention on building them up.”

I have personal experience of this working. Recently, Darren hopped on twitter, asking his followers what they were blogging about. I replied instantly, raving about this awesome product I was about to review. It’s that review your reading now. I turned from an impressed consumer to product evangelist just by the full attention Dave gave me in a couple of tweets.

Would I recommend it?

I was that impressed by this product that I immediately brought another of Dave’s products – and have the intention of buying more from both him and Naomi.

I would recommend this book to anyone who plans to release an information product. New bloggers can learn how to optimize their blogs to woo potential customers. Established bloggers can discover a launch method that resonates with market savvy audiences

If your unsure, you can check out his information for free at his new blog, The Launch Coach. The information is top notch and is a clear example of how to effectively launch a new product.

In conclusion.

I tweeted Dave immediately after purchasing this product, thanking him for changing my perception of an entire industry. He replied by saying that he “wants to make ebooks fun again.”

He did. You can do the same by reading the ebook.

Read more reviews and posts from Jade at her blog The Prolific Writer.

5 Ways to Make an Empty Ad Slot on Your Blog Work For You

Yesterday I published a guest post here on ProBlogger that gave 7 Reasons to not have Empty ad Spots on your Blog. Today I want to build on this post and give you 5 alternatives to simply removing an empty ad slot from your blog.

Removing the ad is one valid option (especially if you already have a lot of ads) but it isn’t the only option. There are other ways of using the slot to either to earn an income or do something else to build your blog.

When I have an empty ad spot on one of my blogs I generally do one of these five things:

1. Put up an ‘advertise here’ Ad

As Ben says I would only want to have one of these showing per page. Too many of them looks a little desperate. However having one of them shows you’ve got an empty spot and calls potential advertisers to action. I link this ad to an ‘advertise with us’ page that outlines how people can purchase advertising on the blog.

2. Run an Affiliate ad

Just because you don’t have a paid advertisement doesn’t mean you can’t monetize the position. I recently had a spare ad spot on my Twitip Twitter Tips blog (the sidebar one which is now sold) and instead of an ‘advertise here’ ad I slotted in a large ad for a resource that I’d previously recommended on the blog called the ‘Twitter Survival Guide‘.

I was a little dubious about whether it would convert as I usually find affiliate programs work best within a post (as I’ve written in this post on affiliate programs) – but at the end of the month realized that the affiliate program had earned me about 80% of what selling the ad to an advertiser would have – it was a great way to earn something from the position while I negotiated the next advertising deal.

3. Run an Ad Network Ad

Another way to make at least some money from an empty ad spot is to consider placing an ad from another ad network. I generally start with AdSense or Chitika – depending upon the blog and then will begin to experiment with other ad networks to see what converts.

While these ad network ads might not earn you as much as a private ad sale (although they might) they can actually be quite worthwhile using because they’ll give you information on how well an ad spot works and what it earns. This information can actually be helpful in selling future ads in that spot.

Picture 8.png4. Run an Internal Ad

Another option that I use quite a bit is tocreate my own ad for a section of my blog that I want to drive traffic to. For example – currently here at ProBlogger in my sidebar I have an empty ad spot halfway down the page. If you scroll down there you’ll see that at the moment I’m putting an internal ad into the slot for the ProBlogger Job Boards. In effect I’m advertising my own site (or a section of it) to my own readers. Other internal ads that you might run would include:

  • Ads for your blogs newsletter
  • Ads for your RSS feed
  • Ads for a category
  • Ads for a ‘sneeze page
  • Ads for a forum area
  • Ads for one of your best posts
  • Ads for a competition you’re running
  • Ads for your business or a service that you offer
  • Ads for a series of posts that you’ve run
  • Ads for an e-product or resource that you’ve developed
  • Ads for your Twitter or account or some other social media connecting point

Essentially any important part of your blog is a good place to drive readers to – particularly if it is something that will drive revenue or increase reader stickiness /loyalty.

5. Swap Ads with another Blogger

I don’t do this one these days but another option is to do a deal with another blogger and arrange for them to show an ad for your blog in their empty ad spot and for you to show an ad to their blog in your empty slot. This way you’re promoting another blogger in your niche and hopefully expanding your readership by the traffic that they send you. This would work best when you do it with a relevant blog to your audience.

Another variation that is a combination of this and option #4 above is to do it with another of your own blogs (if you have more than one). Many blog networks do this – they run ads for other blogs in their stable of blogs in the hope of cross promoting and driving traffic from one blog to another.

What do You Do with Empty Ad Slots?

I’m certain that these are not the only 5 things to do with empty ad slots and am keen to hear what you do with them?

7 Reasons not to have Empty Ad Spots on your Blog

This is a guest post written by Ben Barden, developer for the CMF Ads advertising network, which offers low cost, no-nonsense advertising.

Blog advertising is an excellent way to reach a wide audience without breaking the bank. It can also make money for your own blog. There is a mistake that quite a few blogs make – using a lot of empty ad spots. There are a few reasons why I think this is a bad idea.

1. It devalues the ads.

If nobody is buying ads on your site, perhaps the ad price is too high for the traffic your site receives. This suggests your site doesn’t provide value to advertisers. Who wants to be the first to buy an ad when there are 5 empty spots?

2. It makes you look desperate.

I’ve seen sites with a whole row of empty ad spots – to me, this looks like the blogger is begging for money. Let’s face it, a lot of people want to make some money from their blog – simply saying “I have ad spots for sale” isn’t enough of a reason for most advertisers, unless they already know your site.

3. It’s a negative lifesign.

It’s like seeing 0 comments or 0 views on a post. If you come back and see the same thing again, the blog is probably dead. Don’t leave empty ad spots on your blog for long.

4. It’s a waste of space.

Some blogs like to put a lot of widgets on the page. But how many of these are worth having? If you have an empty ad spot that just isn’t getting filled, could you put something more valuable in that spot?

5. It puts a limit on the number of ads you’ll accept.

If you have empty ad spots, it suggests there’s a maximum number of ads you’re willing to display. So if you have 6 empty spots, you might not sell more than 6 ads. But if you have 2 running ads and no empty spots, advertisers can just contact you about buying an ad on your site. Also, if you get a very generous offer to advertise on your site, you may want to consider pushing the limit. This is less likely to happen if you limit yourself with empty ad spots.

6. It makes it harder to promote different ad placements.

If a site has different ads running on each post, this suggests the blog is open to flexible advertising. If you use the same “empty ad” image for every ad spot then this doesn’t give the impression of flexibility, as it suggests you can’t buy ads on specific posts. However, you can get around this by using a different “empty ad” image for each zone, or specifying the available ad spots on your Advertise page.

7. It limits you to certain ad sizes.

If you have loads of empty 125×125 ad spots, advertisers may not realise that you offer different ad sizes. Empty spots can show advertisers where their ads will appear, but this could be done just as effectively with an image of your blog, highlighting the various ad spots.

Is one empty ad spot acceptable?

Sometimes it helps to have one empty ad spot if you don’t have any ads up yet. This shows you accept advertising. It’s just better not to have a lot of empty ad spots.

What you should do:

Create an Advertise page that specifies what you allow and what you don’t allow. Advertisers can contact you with their requirements and you can decide if you wish to accept their ad request.

That’s my opinion – what do you think? Do you have empty ad spots on your blog? Why/why not?

Note from Darren: Thanks to Ben for this post. Tomorrow I want to follow it up by sharing 5 things that I do with empty ad slots on my blogs – alternatives to simply deleting them. Watch the Problogger RSS feed for this post.