The Ins and Outs of Selling Ad Space on Your Blog

You have probably put hours of work into your blog and now expect to reap the rewards. Well, you can start with selling ad space in the blog, as advertisers love blogs. This is because blogs are known for their rich content and are definitely more attractive to readers than other commercial sites.

The Ins and Outs of Selling Ad Space on Your Blog

You can, of course, go through Adsense and other networks for advertisements on your blog or you can opt for Banner ads, as networks can charge you around 20% to 50% for automatic placement of advertisements in your blog or web page. By directly finding advertisers, you can have more control over those who advertise on your site.

There are two primary means of getting revenue from your blog: You can sell ad space to third party advertisers or you can choose the advertisements of the products and services of the buyer. You have to first start thinking about the kind of companies that would be interested in readers of your blog. Companies will look at your blog and its contents and then compare it with other competitors in your niche. They will then consider which blog or site has a better and further reach to their target audience, so your blog needs to stand out in its particular niche. You have to first start making your blog unique, so that it can be leveraged by the corporate who advertises on your blog. The blog should basically fill a need, for both the buyer, which is the advertiser, as well as the reader.

How to Get Started

instantShift - How to Get Started

The first option considered by bloggers while trying to sell ad space is banner advertising. You can use Adsense or sell it yourself. You need to have a good niche audience and traffic to the blog in order to make the site more valuable for the advertiser. There is no specific cut off for this kind of traffic, as it depends on the nature of the particular market. Some sites might have a smaller amount of traffic, but it might be more dedicated. So in this case, it does not matter that you have low traffic numbers, as you can still sell ads successfully.

You can then start finding advertisers directly by looking for websites that come up for your blog key words. You can then contact these websites and find out whether they are interested in advertising in your blog or site. You can just send them an email informing them of the reasons why it would be a good idea for them to advertise on your blog. You can also suggest some pricing options along with other statistics of your blog, the traffic and so on. You will also have to create a page for the advertisements to appear in your blog and you can link this page while approaching the potential advertisers.

There are also ad space auctions that you could use to showcase the advertising space in your blog. Here, you will be selling ad space. There are several options available in such auctions, such as the buy out for a specific price or allowing advertisers to make an offer, which you can accept or refuse. Such auctions also allow you to place a link to your blog, so that potential advertisers can view the contents and then make an offer. You can also specify the terms and conditions and the statistics of the blog and upload the screenshot. You can do both direct sales as well as use an ad space auction to more exposure.

Fixing a Price

instantShift - Fixing Ad Price
caffeinating, calculating, computerating. Image Source

You may next like to consider how much you should charge for the advertisements. This again depends on the other competitors in your niche. The charge is usually done on the basis of cost per impression (CPM) or it could be a flat monthly rate. Other basis for charging are cost per click, where you get paid every time a visitor at the blog clicks on the advertisement or cost per thousand impressions. A flat fee can be charged for every time a visitor to the blog clicks on the banner ad, subscribes, registers or does some other action. The charge can also be on the basis of cost per time, where you sell the space for a certain price for a week, a month, or any other period.

You can even offer to feature the advertiser in your email list, so that they get more frontages, or you can write a post announcing the sponsor or advertiser and giving more details about his product, service, etc. If the traffic is too low, you cannot charge too much. You can even go into your Adsense account and check out the average CPM that is being paid to you for the advertisements. You could ask almost double of what was offered to you for direct sales. This is because Google pays you only half of what they make out of your site.

However, make sure that you don’t overcharge for your blog, as this will turn advertisers away to more competitive sites. You can also find information about what other bloggers in your niche are charging by requesting a media kit or looking in their ‘advertise’ page. You need to know certain pricing indicators:

  • Positions that can be viewed without the need to scroll are worth more.
  • You can get more value with less advertiser competition on the blog.
  • You can charge more for horizontal banners, as they are more easily readable.
  • If you have niche content on the blog it can be more valuable to some advertisers, rather than just general content.
  • Visitor counts and traffic levels are important, but targeted visitors are more important.
  • A bigger banner ad should be charged more.

Selling advertising space directly can be quite time consuming and you must specify the format, the flash requirement, the size of the file, the restrictions on animation, and the ad dimensions while selling ad space.

Ad Sizes

The size of your ad can be of any type, but the standard banner sizes are the best. This is because most advertisers have already created the standard sized banners and will find it easy to purchase such an ad space, as they already have it prepared.

Ad sizes have been standardized to some extent by the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau). Following are IAB standard Ad banner sizes:

instantShift - IAB standard Ad banner sizes

Name Width (px) Height (px) Aspect ratio
Rectangles and Pop-Ups
Medium Rectangle 300 250 1.2
Square Pop-Up 250 250 1
Vertical Rectangle 240 400 1.67
Large Rectangle 336 280 1.2
Rectangle 180 150 1.2
3:1 Rectangle 300 100 3
Pop-Under 720 300 2.4
Banners and Buttons
Full banner 468 60 7.8
Half banner 234 60 3.9
Micro bar 88 31 2.84
Button 1 120 90 1.33
Button 2 120 60 2
Vertical banner 120 240 2
Square button 125 125 1
Leaderboard 728 90 8.09
Skyscrapers
Wide skyscraper 160 600 3.75
Skyscraper 120 600 5
Half page ad 300 600 2

Top 6 Services to Use While Selling Ad Space

1. AdSense

AdSense can be a great option for making money from your blog. AdSense crawls over your blog content and then delivers advertisements that are related to the content, offering targeting advertising to advertisers. It is a simple and easy method for bloggers to earn money by showing the targeted Google ads on their blog pages. You can choose the kind of ads you want. Advertisers bid in the inventory and you can see the highest paying advertiser bid. The payment is through Google, which bills the advertisers and the ad networks and pays the blogger through several options of reliable payment.

2. Banner Ad Networks

You can join a banner ad network. They will recruit the advertisers suitable for the blog and also keep track of the earnings. They provide services and take a certain percentage of the money generated through the advertising. However, such banner networks can be quite choosy and they set a minimum monthly traffic, which may be quite high. Some of the top banner ad networks stipulate at least 250,000 visitors for a month in order to join the CPM program. They also stipulate some restrictions on the content to see that there is no socially offensive content, adult content and so on. All you need to do is to put a piece of HTML code in your blog ad space and the network takes care of it by placing appropriate ads. They also track the number of clicks or impressions to pay you the correct amount. However, sometimes, the banner ads might not be very suitable and the blogger does not have any control over the process. The network might also take about 30% to 50% of the earnings.

Some of top banner ad networks are:

BuySellAds: Here advertisers can target on the basis of site, by interest category, or specific demographics in all their sites. They take 25% of the commission and offer many ad options.

Tribal Fusion: They take about 40% of the commission and it is an advertising network based on performance.

Some others are AdACe, Ad-Net, ADSmart.net, BannerAdNetwork, BURST!Media, DoubleClick among several more.

3. Websites Where Buyers and Sellers Meet

There are several websites where buyers (advertisers) and sellers (bloggers) can meet. These websites help advertisers find the website and make it easy for them to contact the blogger’s site. There is no need to waste time in researching web sites that can offer the target audience in case of advertisers. They can find the exact niche site that they are looking for, which is relevant to their product or service. These sites offer features, where the blogger and the advertiser can search by means of website topic, the ad space that is available, the traffic to the site, and the size and kind of space available on the site or blog page. Many of these websites are free, while some are paid sites. For instance, there is Adbrite Bidvertiser, Infolinks, and several others.

4. Hosted Ad Management Platforms

Such platforms, for instance Chitika/AdPro, offer a platform where bloggers can work directly with the advertisers. In this case, the bloggers can keep the entire amount of 100% of the revenue from the ad posted on their blog. They don’t even need to have any software installed, as it is a hosted service. The host service takes care of the payment processing and the billing services. The blogger can remain in full control of the advertising campaigns and approve it before it is placed on his site. The service is offered to publishers of the hosted platform. They can also be used along with Google AdSense. Such platforms charge the advertiser and the ad is featured along the content of the site. The blogger is paid every month.

5. AdSense Alternatives

Use Adbrite and Chitika, which are good alternatives for displaying context-related ads. The payment made by them is also quite competitive. In case of Adbrite, they offer 75% to the blogger. Chitika displays niche ads are able to complement the existing blog scenario. You can capitalize such platforms for earning excellent revenue from ads.

6. In Text Ads

You can publish In Text Ads by using the services of Infolinks. Using this, you can get the highest revenue share from relevant text ads. The service delivers only the most relevant ads. This improves conversion rate and increases earnings.

5 Common Mistakes to Avoid While Selling Ad Space

Selling ad space to advertisers can be the easiest way to make money from your blog or website. However, it is not a very easy task to get advertisers, if you don’t know the proper strategies of selling ad space. Niche based bloggers must keep the following points in mind while selling Ad Space. It is not enough to just create an ‘Advertise Here’ page.

  1. You must be aware of all the jargon and terms, such as ad space, CPM, CTR, conversion tracking and so on.
  2. Be sure to review the ad along with the advertiser. Get all information about the ad, so that there are no mistakes.
  3. Wait until you have a substantially large subscriber following or traffic before you start advertising for selling ad space.
  4. Understand all aspects of the contract, the charge by the services, and whether you are allowed to work with other ad networks. Find out the charges of services and publishers along with the percentage offered to you.
  5. Sometimes advertising agencies place the advertisements instead of the company directly placing them. In this case you can be subject to a 15% commission payable to the booking agency.

13 Tips to Sell Ad Space Effectively

instantShift - Tips to Sell Ad Space Effectively
Smileys. Image Source

1. Branding the blog

Take care to show your blog as a brand, as you can get awesome advertisers and unique recognition in the niche market that is full of competitors. Brand the business, so that the advertisers can realize that they are dealing with a specific brand and not just any other blog or website.

2. Explain Benefits to Advertisers

People advertising on the blog need to see some benefits. You must, therefore, mention the advantages of advertising in your blog. You can provide your pagerank, the number of Twitter followers, and fans on Facebook, etc.

3. Offer Options of Customization

Offer multiple options for customization by means of different formats. Different types of advertisers have specific needs in case of ad format.

4. Mention All the Terms and Conditions

Make all conditions clear while selling ad space. You can also mention any specific requirements, such as details of the termination and the notice period, the ending date, and so on.

5. Mention Other Specifications

You can mention whether you will allow only image ads or animated ads. You can specify the advertisement language and rules regarding adult ads, along with links such as ‘Do Follow’ or ‘No Follow’.

6. Offering Discounts

Allow discounts to advertisers in order to provide them with motivation to place increasing number of ads on your site.

7. Do Proper Research

Before setting your price, do proper research in the niche market. If you set the prices lower than the actual worth of the site, you lose money. On the other hand, by overcharging you will get fewer ads. Check the statistics of other blogs and sites before deciding the price.

8. Offer Special Features

This attracts advertisers. You can offer a special deal to the first five advertisers who sign up for the ad space. You can offer them a premium template along with the space.

9. Running a Contest

You can attract more advertisers by running an attractive contest. When an advertiser buys the ad space, they can be gifted a raffle entry in a monthly lucky drawing. You can even offer extra features or space as gifts.

10. Options for Long-Term Advertising

Many advertisers want long-term space. They might pay you a bulk amount and book it for several months and even years. You can offer a discounted price in this case.

11. Find the right space on the site or blog.

You must decide the number of ads you will have and where they are going to be located. Have a nice and clean layout that is well planned to make it stand out from the rest.

12. Offer standard banner sizes.

When considering the size of banners in your blog, it is better to stick to standard sizes. It is recommended that you offer several standard sizes, so that it can easily meet the advertiser’s requirements. Advertisers usually prepare standard-sized ads beforehand and find it easy and quick to have such sizes available at the blogger’s site, instead of having to make changes to their ad banner size. It is also difficult to find websites and advertisers who will accept non-standard banner ad sizes.

13. Don’t have too many ads.

The readers can barely find the content on the site without clicking on some ad. The site tends to look spammy in this case.

Conclusion

If you have a blog that is dedicated to a specific niche, you are sure to attract the attention of marketers and get their advertising campaigns by selling ad space on your blog. You can sell ad space either by directly approaching niche advertisers or by going through other services. In the latter case, you will have to pay a certain percentage to the service. However, you need to remember that you need good, rich, niche content and lots of targeted traffic. Make sure you know your visitors, the statistics of your site, the price quoted by other competitive sites for such ad space, and other details. You can also find potential advertisers on your own through linked blogs and even in your own community or business. You can also do research and look at other blogs in your niche and find out which advertisers would like to place their ads on your blog and then contact them. You can do all of this even if you don’t have a ‘super duper mega’ website or blog.

 

Image CreditsBlythe a day 17 ~ Money

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One Comment

  1. WoW!!! this is amazing. Thanks for sharing. But i also want to know, how do i upload the ad (240*400) without it shrinking to another size. Regards and God bless.

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