The “Wizard of Ads” session was presented Saturday Evening at Blissdom 2010 and designed to help explain some of the mysteries around advertising and monetizing your blog. Speakers were @thestilettomom, @adramaticmommy, @michellelamar, @simplemom, @paulabruno.
Content is King
What are you writing? What is your information? What are you presenting? Is your blog cluttered? Clean? If advertisers are paying for real estate they need to be seen.
Clean up Your Act
Make it EASY for advertisers to want to advertise on your blog. Clean looking. (Angela’s Note – this is important I think. If your ad space is one of a million it isn’t as valuable. On Untrained Housewife, for example, I limit the side bar image ads to four. That’s it. Advertisers know that their ad will BE SEEN.)
Be Careful What/How you Review
Be picky and stick to your brand image. If, for example, I were to review Merry Maids service on Untrained Housewife, that might spoil the whole point of the entire site which is to empower moms with the knowledge they need to be succesful on their own.
Know Your Site Stats
Know your blog, audience and tag-line/elevator speech.
Be able to speak to your “influencer” status – Not just page views, also loyalty and influence in some way. In some ways you present yourself as an influencer and then you BECOME one. Look beyond *just* your blog stats.
Key Phrases you need to know to speak to advertisers -The Advertising Vocabulary
- CPM – Cost per thousand pageviews. It can be anything from $1-$15. Usually the CPM goes up the more focused your niche is. If the CPM pay is $5 and you get $5 for that month.
- Market averages
- Unique vs Pageviews – Unique is one person who comes to your site, they are counted ONCE PER MONTH and that’s it. Pageviews is the number of page views.
- CTR – Click Thru Rate – it’s how many times your audience clicks through from your site to their site. With a very low click-thru-rate you might contact the advertiser and suggest a new image.
- CPC – Cost per Click – You get paid only if/when someone clicks on the ad.
- Comscore – The Gold Standard among ad agencies.
Increase page views with “Linked Within”
Are your readers interested in your reviews or not? Not every site is an appropriate venue for product reviews and descriptions. Angela’s Note – You’ll notice I do very, very few reviews of any kind here on this site. But on Untrained Housewife the review articles can sometimes be some of the most popular pieces as readers are looking for helps and solutions for a particular problem.
An Ad Network or On Your Own – Which is right?
What is an ad network? Groups together a bunch of sites within a certain category and sell the sites together to create a larger base and then sells those sites advertisements collectively to advertisers.
BlogHer, Glam, JuiceBoxJungle, Lifetime, RGN (real girls network) (Angela’s Note – Did I miss any? If you know of a blog-friendly ad network please leave it in the comments section)
Pros and Cons – Pros, you have a team of seasoned ad sales executives selling your site FOR you. They collect the money. They pay you. They market the ad sells.
Cons – You don’t always have control over ads that are showing up.
(Angela’s Note – While Google Adsense was specifically mentioned as being an ad network that throws up inappropriate ads I contest this observation. Using even the minimum keyword research and basic SEO principles, as described in my Making Money Blogging ebook and on this blog, a website and blog owner can greatly increase the number of appropriate ads in a piece – and thus the number of clicks on those ads – and thus their revenue via Google Adsense.)
What does the network expect from you? Communication, timely placement, etc. Exclusivity usually.
Different ways to make money – through editorial postings on your blog about something.
How will ad networks pay you? About half of the income will be yours. You give them 50% to be your business manager.
When will they pay you? 90-120 days out. You won’t get a check right away.
READ THE FINE PRINT – what is your plan for the next two years. Compare some various networks to see which is most appropriate for your particular site, statistics, readership and situation.
Try to do two – above the fold and below the fold.
Compare multiple ad networks
Going it on your own – Setting up and Selling Ads on Your Own
– Where do you find the advertisers?
Find blogs similar in niche and readership and look at their advertising. Contact the advertisers about your blog and present your pitch. PITCH YOURSELF!
Develop a relationship with your client. – Easier to keep an advertiser than to FIND a new advertiser.
- Make sure you have a page set up for them to find information about advertising.
- Length of contracts to propose and how you price is.
She charged $1 per CPM to advertisers based on the past month. Offers 10% discount for three months or more or does buy three get one free.
Offers a small-business discount.
Cons – You do it yourself. Doesn’t take as much time as she thought that it would. Angela’s Note – I have found this to be true with Untrained Housewife as well – the actual installation of the ads and links, etc takes very little time for the return on investment. And I keep 100% of the ad revenue instead of splitting it. 🙂
Angela’s Summary – The one thing that I disliked about this session was the implication that Google Adsense is a waste of time and always throws up the wrong ads. If a blogger is getting unrelated ads on their blog posts it’s because they are not writing good quality SEO and using keyword research. In this case, you probably are not only getting unrelated Google Ads, but also getting unrelated READERS from Google. Your bounce rate will probably be very high because people are coming to your site expecting one thing, and getting another. Personally, my bounce rate is relatively low and my adsense account pays quite well as a residual income stream for me.
The solution? Not to self-promote but my ebook does cover this information in depth, including screen shots of a keyword research session I went through so you can see very step-by-step how to tailor your keyword research for your particular situation.
Also, I will be posting the session outline from Kelby and I’s SEO Wisdom Workshop for those of you who didn’t attend Blissdom or missed the workshop day. 🙂 So subscribe on the right hand side by typing in your email, and stay-tuned for that post.