In one of my featured posts, I discussed about how this blog currently makes money including all the tools and the reasoning behind the monetization tactics I use and how I do it. The post was received so well that I got some questions asked privately asking for some more additional clarifications. I love helping people out so I did walk them through as much as possible but of course time is so limited that I can’t do that to everyone.
In the last post, I did make mention that direct advertising sales is highest source of income for this blog. I know a lot of bloggers have this as their primary monetization model as well but also I realized that a lot of other bloggers are having so much trouble with it.
In this another lengthy post, I’d like to discuss how I literally doubled my advertising income through the past few years. And here we go:
Pre note: This is not, at all, a walk-through on how to do blog advertising. Its mainly a post where I share how I doubled my advertising income. That being said, consider this post as a post targeted to intermediate to advance users who may probably be already making money with blog advertising. Also there’s no traffic tip in this post.
Getting the right tools & technology
When I started, I installed OpenX on this blog primarily because I have been using it on my other blogs created before this one. And OpenX is really an awesome free tool because they have all sorts of features that are available on so many other paid tools.
Not too long, I realized that I have to jump on the OIO Publisher bandwagon. Again in case you don’t know, OIO is an advertising manager platform that handles the advertising for you. This means that you no longer need to manually accept payments, add banners, track expiring date and stuffs because OIO does that all for you.
It costs $47 with an unlimited use so you can pretty much use it on every of your site. It’s beneficial first because, you can manage ads literally with your hands tied back (heheh, a marketer’s usual hype) and second because it pretty much works alongside any other networks and integrates well with almost all payment processor. It does also have tons of features like geo-targeting and stat-tracking.
Note: If you still does not have OIO Publisher on your blog, you are very fortunate because OIO gave me a coupon code that entitles everyone to a $10 discount. By signing up with OIO Publisher under me, you get the unlimited usage license for just $37 which is definitely a huge steal. Click this link now and make sure you enter BLOOM-MELVS to claim your discount.
Alternatively there are other third party networks that you could look as well like BuySellAds and AdvertiseSpace.com, both of which sell your space for you in exchange for a revenue cut (50%). Some people do well with those networks and while other prefer using OIO to keep profit 100%.
Setting Up the right Advertise Now Page
It’s funny but one of the most viewed pages in this blog is the advertise now page which goes to show that potential advertisers really care about the stats. The mistake that I mostly see with other bloggers advertising page is that the statistics are not as comprehensive as it should. Usually they just put paragraphs with no proofs at all or worse they don’t even use any screenshot from Google Analytics and other logs.
You have to understand that advertisers spend soooo much money in their campaigns and as a wise person, what they want is to get a good bang for their buck. Oftentimes they buy space from as much blogs as possible and then track what’s doing well and what’s not. By having a “proper” advertise now page you’re giving them a clear and concise information of what to expect in your blog.
Don’t Direct Link to the Payment Page
Most people who use OIO Publisher or other third party tool does the mistake of linking their Advertise now box directly to the payment. Why is that a problem? It’s a problem because there’s really no value from the advertiser’s side. I mean if you put yourself in their shoes, you don’t want to buy an ad space without knowing the stats first right?
I conducted an test last year and found an interesting result to where a lot of advertisers will buy an ad space when you direct link it to the payment page while a good number of advertisers will buy but then subscribe for future payments when you send them to the advertise page. You see, a good advertising page builds trust and I have some advertisers here who are advertising ever since last year which I thought was pretty cool.
Giving them reasonable pricing
I understand that all bloggers value their traffic as much as they could but sometimes you have to bent a bit to make things work. It’s not really that you’re selling yourself cheap but its more of determining how the marketplaces prices it. Jeremy Schoemaker even told us before that he is selling initially his ad spots for like 2/10 the price.
Another reason is that you want to build relationship with these advertisers. A lot of times when an advertiser talks with me, he usually asks for an initial month discount and most of the times I accept it. I understand that banner ads have very poor clickthroughs and as a blogger, you want to establish that relationship where you can let people know what they can get from you and how they can benefit.
Stalk, look around
The one thing that’s so good (or so bad depending on where your siding) about online business is that it’s very transparent. You can easily stalk on what others are doing, how they are doing it and stuffs.
Just the same with direct ad sales. One of the tricks is to always look on blogs within your niche and observe who are the advertisers advertising. Then contact them up and tell them you’re offering advertising as well. There’s a good chance that they will respond since most of them are just small business owners and chances are they’d negotiate with you to push their campaign through. That’s because they understand it’s all about market penetration and branding. Once a brand gets through these markets, it’s amazing how it spreads like fire without that much effort at all.
I have pretty come to a point now where I have already appointed someone to do things for me. For instance, every two week or so a person I hired would go to all webmaster forums, find advertisers looking for related advertising and offer them the space. He also does a listing on big boards highlighting advertising on my blog and the benefits of it.
If you’re going to chase advertisers (there’s no need to when you have a nice blog like me. 😉 ), it’s almost essential to have someone working for you, contacting advertisers, flaunting the benefits and such. That makes the process very automated at the end.
Blog Advertising is STILL hit & miss.
In this post I didn’t hold back anything, I completely shared to you how I grew my blog advertising income. But still at the end of the day, it’s still a hit and miss income opportunity. A lot of people still claim it as an unstable way to make money from blog and that’s true. If you’re into making more, you would want to definitely work more on a more “in-house” and consistent money maker w/c can bring you more money without having the need for tons of traffic.
But of course if you’re like me and you have those wide sidebars and nice spacings, you might as well just leverage your traffic too and benefit from selling these spaces. After all, probably 80% of blogs still make money from blog advertising. And do take note that they are doing it, without really sacrificing their more profitable monetization ways.