How To Sell Your Blog’s Advertising


I believe private advertising is the best way to monetize your blog without sacrificing the user experience. Private advertising is now the only way I am monetizing my blog, as I recently said goodbye to CPC advertising (Adsense and Konterra) because they litter the blog with low-paying and often irrelevant ads.

Over the past month, quite a few people have asked me how I sold most of my blog’s advertising spots without using Text-Link-Ads or any other ad-brokering program. There are many advantages of selling your advertisingly privately, most importantly being that you keep 100% of the income instead of having to split it with a brokering agent.

Think Like an Advertiser

You have to look at how advertisers choose to advertise – generally, it comes down to how popular a blog appears to be. Unless the blog is already receiving several hundred visitors per day, generally, it needs at least a PageRank of 4 to make any decent ad money. I waited until Google updated my PageRank before actively trying to push my advertising.

Advertisers will consider a variety of factors when deciding which blog to advertise with. Things that advertisers take into consideration include:

  • Niche of blog
  • PageRank
  • Alexa ranking
  • Technorati ranking
  • Number of RSS subscribers
  • Number of Backlinks
  • Age of blog
  • Posting frequency
  • Average daily visitors and pageviews
  • Number of comments left by community

Here are a few hints on how to sell your blog’s advertising quickly:

1. Competitively price your ads.
The best way to decide what to charge for your ads is to visit similar blogs in your community that have similar rankings. You can also scour the Link Sales section of forums such as DigitalPoint and see how much other blogs are charging per link.

If you have to, underprice all your ads in order to sell them out initially. You can always raise the prices once you sell out all your ads – that’s the rule of supply and demand.

Generally, if you are just starting to sell your ads, a competitive price for a text link on a PR 4 blog is around $10 per month.

2. Make it clear on your blog you are offering advertising.
This is obvious for most seasoned bloggers, but include a special page on your blog dedicated to your advertising options. Mention all of your rankings (Alexa, PageRank, etc.) and add a contact form to the page.

You might even create “Advertise Here” banners for all the blank spots you are planning to sell.

3. Offer multi-month discounts.
By offering slight multi-month discounts, you are giving your advertisers incentive to stick to a longer term contract. Many advertisers who buy text links would rather do so in three-month spurts, as that is how often Google’s PageRank is updated.

4. Actively seek out advertisers.
I have had great success advertising my advertising on the DigitalPoint Link Sales forum. I copied the text on my Advertising page and mentioned my pricing and discounts. Within a few hours, I had sold half of all my text links.

One thing to note is that in order to post in the DP Link Sales forum, you must have previously made 25 replies or posts in other sections of the forum.

5. Go above and beyond by showing your advertisers you truly value them.
Once a month, I like to write a post thanking both my advertisers and top commentators for their support. Going above and beyond is not something everyone does, so this kind of extra link love really shows that you appreciate their contributions.

Conclusion

Hopefully, by employing these techniques you will start to sell advertising on your blog or web site. I shared some of these secrets with David Wilkinson last night and he sold most of his ad spots within a few hours.

As I mentioned earlier, it is difficult to sell advertising without any PageRank. However, by competitively pricing your ads, you can sell ads on any blog. Don’t be afraid to set your prices low initially, because you can always raise them once your ad spots fill up.

Even though Text-Link-Ads and other brokers provide a great service, you do not need them to effectively monetize your blog.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me.

54 thoughts on “How To Sell Your Blog’s Advertising”

  1. It would seem as though blog owners are really starting to realize the benefit of their sites in relation to advertisers. I seem to be seeing more and more blogs that are handling th ad sales themselves like you’re doing Nate. I think it’s a great thing to not have to give a broker 50% of the fee and you gain control over the system. Hopefully this is the beginning of a very competitive time that sees Google and the other heavyweights sit up and take notice – and hopefully start sharing a higher percentage with the publishers.

  2. Hey Nate – I’ve been to your blog a few times now – great post.
    I recently added some advertising options, I think I need to lower the price a little now 😉

  3. Great tips. Will have to use them once my site has been established as one worthy of being visited on a regular basis by loyal readers.

    Thanks for taking the time to put this together for everyone.

    Stephen

  4. i guess i have my work cut out for me.. all i have to do is have 25 replies or posts in DP Link Sales forum..and of i go !! Thanks nate…some essential information!!

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  6. I’m nowhere near being able to sell space on the blog I am putting most of my effort into right now, but I found your artricle so helpful. I’ll be coming back to consult it again, but for now it really helped me figure out some of the direction I need have for the time being.

    I agree about Adsense. No good for blogs. I have one static site where it does VERY well, but other than that it’s just clutter.

  7. Nice wrap up and I agree 100% with everyhing you say – in fact I have used most of the techniques you mention to monetise a few of my other blogs – and they work!!

    1. OK, after doing a little research on your site, I see that you’re accepting PayPal. Did you have to become a merchant or do any special setup?

  8. I miss out this post. this is a great read for next action plan after buying your idea about private ads is the best:)

  9. My blog has yet to be ranked by google as its still only a month and a half old, but I’ll be sure to keep these tips in reserve for when I decide to go in the direction of private advertising.

    Thanks for the input
    Simon

  10. Great post Nate, thanks for the info. We will have to apply this method to our travel blog. Do you think we should go to a travel forum instead of DP to seek out advertisers?

    1. Hi Lizzie, I think that DP will work just fine for selling text links. However, if you are concerned with contextually relevant advertisements, I would seek out a travel forum as well. Good luck!

  11. Just signed up for DP forums…but will hav to wait 2 weeks before I can put my post on the Selling thread..
    I hope I will b able to sell off my links
    but nate,
    My Blog currently has a PR of 3
    it means the prices should be extremely low although , during this time’s BL export, I am getting some 800 Google Backlinks.My blog’s also ranked 800 in technorati

    once I go selling for lower prices, and PR export happens, wouldn’t advertiser consider my blog a poor quality 1 selling off links at that price?

  12. Thanks so much for this post. This is a very good primer on selling ads. I run a few blogs–the one I linked here gets the most traffic for me. I’ve been considering looking for advertisers directly rather than using adsense and CJ. Adsense works well for me, but CJ hasn’t converted once, which I’m surprised about.

    Your tip to go to the digitalpoint forum is good advice. I’ll start there. And I’ll be back to read more here.

  13. Thanks for sharing these tips on advertising. I am actually waiting to get a PR change before I offer advertisement on my new blog…

  14. Hello NWH, I still do not understand, selling links is the 100% black hat tactics, so why to follow advertisement tactics, Google rules now a days, still if one wants to sell links on his blog not much more effective if Google panelized it. what do you think for the same.
    Is there any way to handle this problem?

  15. I have free hosted blog on which every right within the community website, so i can not sell advertisement till now, but i have promoted my blog a lot and now it had 3 pr as well as good rankings in serp, than how can i get now advertisement through it?

  16. So..how can I tell what my traffic is for my blog in order to start selling Ad space? How do I find out what my PageRank is? I’ve listed my blog space above for you to view.
    Thanks!!! 🙂

  17. I too am having a hard time determining how much to charge based on the amount of traffic I get. My site has very high targeted traffic, but I honestly have no idea where to begin from an advertising cost standpoint.

  18. I found it was more porfitable to sell my own body wraps on my site then try to get advertisers. We found the best body wraps in the world and made them available through the website and our business has gone through the roof versus what we got for advertising!

  19. We also went from advertising other peoples siding products to sellling our own. It also made a big difference on our bottom line. We still custom advertising quotes but the biggest part of our revenue comes from selling our own products like the lingerie girl does.

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