You finally have enough traffic to test your hands at selling direct advertising. What do yo do now? The first thing is the create an advertise page. Many bloggers think an advertise page is to get leads to follow up on. I believe an advertise page should get the sale.
Unless you have a sale staff to keep busy, the last thing you want to do is take time away from writing content so you can go make ad sales. By spelling everything out in the advertise page, you weed through most of the advertisers who just wanted to get a price. Here are the elements that should go into a blog Advertise page.
Your Blog Stats
The blog stats are what advertisers are most interested in and should be placed at the top of the advertise page. Information to include are page views and unique visitors, target audience, PageRank, Alexa rank, Technorati rank and anything else you can think of that would impress an advertiser (maybe a picture of the office building).
The key here is to establish your authority and trust. You may want to show screen shots from Google Analytics or link to your Alexa or Technorati page so advertisers can see you’re not inflating your numbers.
Show All Your Advertising Options
This blog offers seven different advertising options but most people looking at the blog for the first time will think I only accept banner and button advertising. It is the job of the advertise page to explain all these additional options. This is also a good time to get creative and see if you can come up with new options for advertisers.
Include Your Ad Prices
I include the price of the ads because that eliminates a lot of the sales time. Some publishers think it is better not to do this and to ask advertisers to email you for prices. The reason being someone might see your rates and decide that they are too high. However if they have to email you to get your rates, you are engaging them in communication and even if they still think your rates are too high you have the opportunity to try to change their mind or drop your price.
I say screw that! Your job is to produce content, not sell ads. Why would you want to engage in communication with an advertiser who thinks your rates are too high? Spell it all out in the advertise page and save yourself a lot of time and headaches.
Include a Few Advertiser Testimonials
A few testimonials from past advertisers can go a long way towards getting you a sale. Advertisers are like normal people – they generally hate to be the first to try something. When they read the results others have received, it helps to put their mind at ease.
You Can Succeed Without Ad Networks
John Robinson wants to prove that you can succeed without the help of any ad networks. He has removed every advertising networks from his Site Fever blog and is trying to sell all ads directly. So far, he’s doing really well.
It’s only been four days, and we’ve already had more income in-house than we’ve had from the ad networks over the past 6 weeks! Here’s a breakdown:
Sitewide header banner (1 month): $250
In-content text ad sales: $180
Sitewide 100×40 sidebar banner: $35
Total income: $465
Four hundred sixty five dollar from a PageRank 2 blog with only 134 RSS readers. That is a great accomplishment. Site Fever’s goal is to hit $1,000 a month from private ad sales.
While the idea of selling all advertising directly maybe appealing, I prefer a combination of direct and ad network sales. Ad networks have access to a huge customer base and I wouldn’t want to kill that off. This is why my link sales are still handle by Text Link Ads and why reviews are done through ReviewMe.