Selling Direct Ads – Making An Advertise Page

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.

With the release of the new theme, I have revamped my advertise page to show all the options available to my direct 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.

111 thoughts on “Selling Direct Ads – Making An Advertise Page”

  1. Shaun Carter says:

    That is impressive for a PR2 blog. I’ve been long awaiting a PR update so my newish blog gets some rank.

    1. Same here! I need better rankings! :mrgreen:


      1. Enwikopedia says:

        We’re looking to boost our rankings too.! First up is a contest to win the geekiest USB flash drive out there – a 2GB mimobot Darth Vader 🙂

        Enwikopedia – The paid encyclopedia

        1. Dave says:

          Yeah, PR is pretty useless these days, but it looks good to your advertisers

    2. Yeah it is quite impressive. I’m also waiting, and I’m getting a little tired of waiting.

    3. Well, apparently not everyone is buying ads for PR…he receives 300+/- daily uniques on his blog which is not bad at all, but for the rates of his prices…to be honest, I would rather advertise 1 month on John Chow instead of 2 months over there (but thats just me, and thats just because i value more the traffic the site can bring me instead of the link juice), and SiteFever’s blog is a proof that the traffic has more values in advertising terms than PR.

    4. Cash Quests says:

      Funny. I made over $200 in text link sales in *one day* and my site is PR ZERO!!

      1. Shaun Carter says:

        You must feel special… but I know your blog probably gets a significant amount of traffic, much more than the 300-500 daily uniques mine gets.

        1. Cash Quests says:

          That’s true. Does 500 a day even count as getting traffic?

          1. Dave says:

            yes it does, you can make decent money off of 500 visits a day.

          2. Cash Quests says:

            I don’t know. Seems like a pretty small amount of traffic to me.

          3. Cash, the jerk approach has been done plenty (remember the Rich Jerk?) so try something else. If you don’t realize you can make plenty from 500 uniques a day you’ve got a lot to learn.

          4. Geedos says:

            Yeah no need to stick it to people who don’t achieve 500 a day – congratulations you do so, but no need to make fun of people who don’t.

    5. Dave says:

      Yeah, sometimes being able to sell is a more important, it helps you convince advertisers of the quality of your product.

  2. Jerry says:

    I guess its proof that there’s life outside of pagerank… There is more to a blog (or any website) than a number Google gives you.

    1. KingJacob says:

      As long as you have other numbers to back up the price your asking like rss readers, alexa, tech,etc

      1. I agree with you on that, the more numbers one has, the more he can raise the price of the ads. But i prefer the site/blog statistics numbers more 😛

      2. All the same I’ll wait to for the next PR export before trying anything direct from my blog. Not long to go now.

        1. Geedos says:

          When does Google update? Is it monthly? ❓

          1. KingJacob says:

            Up till now its been quarterly though we are a little passed due for another update . 😕

  3. Glad you’ve updated your advertising page – needed doing.

    Think youre out of my league now though, youre an expensive site to get advertising on now….congrats.

    1. Jerry says:

      I don’t think Alexa is worth beans unless you’re up in the top 5,000 or so. Anyone can spend $5 for 500,000 fake hits on their site and up their Alexa by 100,000 in 24 hours.

      Alexa is too easy to manipulate.

      1. Eric says:

        Sweet – let us know where you can manipulate Alexa – I have been challenging people for years and no one has been able to show me proof.

        1. Order one of those (beep) traffic redirecting services and ask the owner to send you all the traffic within 2 days instead of to send the traffic each day of the month. Challenge yourself before you challenge others, and what will cost you for this test is only $20 i believe for like 10k (so called, uniques) visitors.

          1. Eric says:

            I call BS on this – I have been offering $100 reward to anyone who can prove it to me for years over at DigitalPoint and no one has even come close to being able to manipulate Alexa. If you honestly think you can do it for $20 – I will give you the website – you manipulate the Alexa – and I will pay you $100.

          2. Knuckles10 says:

            Step 1: Install Alexa toolbar for Firefox and enable it.
            Step 2: Make your own website your homepage (if its not already).

            Doing this made my ranking drop by about 20,000 in 2 or so days.

          3. Knuckles10 says:

            Weird… my details didnt go through then. Just blank.
            Anyway, you dont need to refresh on your site or anything, just normal websurfing will do it.

        2. I will contact you after the weekend.

          1. Eric says:

            Excellent – I look forward to it.

        3. So what, you think Alexa is right on? What about all the examples people have posted about their site getting more traffic than some very popular site according to alexa?

      2. Dave says:

        Yeah, I was never too impressed with Alexa stats myself either.

  4. Rhys says:

    That’s rather impressive from a PR2 site. By my reckoning I should be on $930/month!

    Interesting with your adsite you say things like “Paypal me $500 and send your banner to the same address.”. With my direct advertising, people say to me “How much would it be to advertise on your site? What do I do?”. I don’t think my advertising page is hard to understand, and highlight how much it’ll be.

    Do you get clueless advertisers?

    1. John Chow says:

      That is a “Call to action” If you don’t have one, you lower your chances of getting a sale.

      1. Shaun Carter says:

        ABC – Always Be Closing!

    2. Well, shit, if Site Fever can do it, I certainly can.

      1. Dave says:

        So get up and do it! That’s what separated the successful from the not so successful. The unsuccessful talk about doing, the successful do.

  5. Jorge says:

    That’s pretty good to be honest. I can only imagine how much he’ll recover once his page does hit PR5 (whenever Google updates their PRs). Gives us little guys some inspiration.

  6. Israel says:

    john, how do you manage your banners placements. is it straight coded html in the theme that you have to change out once monthly or do you use some sort of ad server.

    Better yet, I think some wordpress coder should code a plugin to allow you to serve ads directly from your wordpress back end. when that happens, let me know. plus i want the credit for it.

    a wordpress plugin that allows you to serve your own ads and manage them from within your backend. awesome idea i must say.

    any takers? the person who makes that , if it already isnt made, will be famous. so many plugins for adsense management. ugh, none that allow you to be your manage your advertisers easily.

    1. Valentin says:

      “plus i want the credit for it.”
      :mrgreen: 😆 😆 😆 😆

      I only hope I missunderstand it and you don`t want credit for an idea is operational since ages ..

      Average coder is able to implement any of plenty of (free) ad management scripts are outthere. And is not necessary to be a wordpress plugin for an ad management script or any tool to grab statistics.

      1. Israel says:

        i searched and couldnt find any plugins that allow me manage any direct ad sales from my wordpress backend.

        if someone knows of one, please let me know. the plugin would be an easy to install plugin that lets people upload advertisers images/or img URL and landing page, plus keeps track of impressions, clicks, etc., if payment was made or not, subscriptions, what date the ad is to expire, all from within the backend. it would allow you to add advertising areas/blocks on the blog so that you only needed to mess with the html of the theme or blog one time, you would also be able to specify what kind of blocks , i.e. text or banners.

        1. Valentin says:

          I`m affraid that that you may not find as free plugin.
          Pay a coder to do it.

          The closest thing to your needs is

          yet far enough from what you request above.

          1. Israel says:

            yeh, thats not it. i did manage to find one plugin that i think i can get the coder to manipulate. this isnt only for me, its for all wordpress using bloggers to get their hands on to be able to easily manage direct ad selling from within wordpress.

          2. Dave says:

            We have several sites with custom coded banner systems. It’d be easy to get it changed to a wordpress script, we just haven’t had the need.

          3. Israel says:

            Hey Dave, do you think you we can work on getting that as a plugin?

    2. John Chow says:

      The sponsor ads buttons are hard coded. The 300×250 and 468×60 ads are served through the ad server.

  7. Israel says:

    i thnk john uses his own ad server from his other site, but not an easy to install plugin that lets people upload advertisers images/or img URL and landing page, plus keeps track of impressions, clicks, etc., if payment was made or not, what date the ad is to expire, and things like that.

  8. Great post and advice, John. I definitely agree that the price should be listed straight out on the page. Dealing with advertisers could potentially take up a lot of time, and it’s better not to just haggle and lower your prices anyway. Take it or leave it! 😉

    1. Dave says:

      A session at SES Toronto one of the companies that gathers information on the net did a survey and something like 80% of users said that a lack of prices was their biggest complaint about buying something b2b online.

  9. Israel says:

    john you misspelled RSS on the advertising page “RRS Sponsorship”

  10. Cyrus Nguyen says:

    Very useful information. I’ve just started my blog not long ago but haven’t add an advertising page because of not enough traffic yet. But when I do I’ll take your advice into account.

  11. Valentin says:

    @ John Chow

    Questions :

    A: Why rss readers`s number is or should be a sign of good traffic ?
    B: Why any and all gurus recomend testimonials, while testimonials are or could be so easy fake, while 99.99% of testimonials are only positive, while majority of them are imposible to be checked as real.

    To support doubts from second questions, here`s a couple of testimonials.

    I want to thank Valentin for this great reply-comment. I was able to avoid loosing millions of dollars by sometime following, sometime not his ideas, which ideas I allready had myself but never say it in public.

    Bill Gates

    Valentin ahd best ideas about and I want to say he is best. His comments really saved for me lot of time – and time is money. Practicaly, half of my fortune I made using his advices. Thanks, mate.

    Aristotelis Onasis

    I really badly want an answer to both questions.

    1. John Chow says:

      RSS is a sign or a loyal reader base. This is why you should try to increase it.

      When using testimonials, I always link to the post where the testimonials was made. This prove I didn’t make it up.

      1. Valentin says:

        1- RSS readers are one who give you a number of loyal readers, yet it ain`t give you :
        – visits on other pages
        – feedback (as comments)
        – feedback (as behaciour)

        Unless you have also discovered how to check, see, find, control rss resders feedback (as behaviour), the ree figure is plain just a figure good to make impression on advertisers but else exactly the exception to the “figures don`t lie” theory.
        RSS reader is just another wheel in mechanism of automating human life, while human is not a machine. If rss readers is one of tools making one or another be rich, then I`m happy being poor while I count more on real visitors (readers-commenters). After all, the meaning of a blog is to be into a community of people, not necessarely to lead them …

        2- testimonials are also tools to automate humans, indulging them the false impresion that others have allready made the thinking for them. Obviously, testimonials may be sometime real, but are 99.(99) positive, as they serve to the one using them to determinate people to do a certain action. But again, there are people who do belive they don`t need others to think for them.
        So, is not a matter of trust that testimonials are true (which is a shallow approach). Is a matter of what purpose testimonial serve, deep behind them nicely appearence and eventually being true. If you want proofs testimonials are “naturaly” positive, just see this, for a start :

        iDevil`s Advocate ©

        ps : I suddenly remembered that I have an ex-high-school coleague in British Columbia 😛
        ps2 : last time checking (few secons a go), this picture is stil valid for 1024/728 :

        1. Cash Quests says:

          I guess that you don’t make much money online 😀

          1. Valentin says:

            Instead of guessing, you may better ask yourself if I WANT (subjective reasons) to make money on line and if I CAN (objective reasons) make money online, dear Cash “I-have-a-web-1.0-style-site-often-updated-but-I-think-is-a-blog” Quest.

            More even : I don`t sleep with a copy of e-book under my pillow. Well, maybe because I don`t sleep to much. I prefer to learn something instead. Or read a book. Or go out with friends.

            And whorst than you think : I don`t worship none. I can think myself time to time, I don`t let 100% others to do the thinking for me. Therefore I try my own way without copying others .. I learned this style from a guy I never meet and he`ll never know me – Miyamoto Musashi.

            Sorry if I was either to deep, either to “numbskull” for your taste.

          2. Cash Quests says:

            I accept your apology Mr “my-site-is-so-web-1.0-it-looks-like-it-was-made-in-1991” Valentin. It was a little “numbskull” but I forgive you. 😀

          3. Valentin says:

            Thank you, MyLord, for being so kind to forgive me.

            Can I dare with 4 small questions, MyLord ?

            1- Good mimics of something, in today`s world, have been proved to be :
            a) copiers
            b) faxes
            c) scanners
            d) monkeys
            If you imitate-copy John Chow way-style, which one from above list are you (one option only, please) ?

            2- Are you awared that copies would NEVER have the value of original ?

            3- Many years from now, when you`ll be close to legal adult age, would you learn that if one start a thread with
            @ NAME
            means, according to internet politness, that he address to only that person ?

            4- Do you belive in magic ?

            ps : sorry for offtopic, JC. Due to respect for you, I have put only about 1% acid in above reply and I wont continue after, in hope this comments area will be how suposed to be – ontopic. Thank you.

          4. Cash Quests says:

            My servant,

            1 – If I were to copy John Chow, I would definitely fax him. 😉

            2 – I am aware. That’s why my site is 100% original.

            3 – I doubt that I’ll learn it. I hope you will learn that if you wish something to be private, you will conduct it in private. That’s why we have email. Have you heard of it?

            4 – Yes. Abracadabra….pwned.

          5. Valentin says:

            3) well .. what to say, you try hard to look like you are right, but as allways, you end offering more reasons to be disconsidered .. 🙁

            I started that with a “private” post HERE and not in email for 2 main reasons :
            1- (not so important) that my questions (email) may end as spam or get an answer after some time, maybe a day, who knows when and if ..
            2- main reason, in fact, I was thinking that JC`s answers would be appreciate as usefull by ALSO OTHERS. But now I understand that that answer could not be usefull to you. Because :
            1), 2) Quote from a certain site =
            “I live and breathe the words of John Chow, have read his entire site twice and sleep with a printed copy of his e-book under my pillow at night.”
            So, are you original ? Then you lied your readers there.
            You are not original ? Then you lied here.
            Btw, I was not pointing to originality of your site .. is not the shiny clef or aestetic screwdriver what makes a mechanic to be good …
            4) I asked about magic because, if remove one letter from, would end on a site full of hypes … among them :
            “to build ANY online business, including MLM, and traditional businesses! ”
            End of subject.
            My conclusion :

            Above article (J.C.`s article) is actualy good and well structured, well balanced. Maybe best article I read in this “space” by now (yet I haven`t read it all 😛 ). On a certain level, certain testimonials may have them role in building a business relation.
            Rss readers number is or may be related to business relations building, same as Alexa rating – some found it at least controversial, yet is taken as reliable.

  12. HMTKSteve says:

    I think those stats over at site fever are bogus. 341 uniques and over 8,000 pageviews a day??? Sounds like someone is counting bot traffic and not real user traffic.

    1. sitefever says:

      First, J. Chow: Thanks for mentioning my blog in your post. I appreciate it.

      Secondly, HMTKSteve, I replied to your question on by blog regarding the traffic I report:

      Screenshots of my AwStats are posted on my blog at the end of each month.

      1. HMTKSteve says:

        awstats and webalizer both over-report page views to the tune of 20x real traffic. If I went by my webalizer numbers I’d be reporting over a million page views a month! I use Google Analytics and I know that my actual page views are under 50K.

        Another reason (aside from bots) is that awstats and webalizer report EVERY php page being requested as a different page view. One page served from your blog can result in 10+ page views because of all of the php files being called.

        I’m sure John’s awstats for this blog show 10 million or more pageviews every month.

        1. sitefever says:

          I installed Google Analytics on my site today, so once it starts gathering data I will note any differences it has with AwStats and report them on my monthly stats report.

        2. Good catch, Steve. Although in Sitefever’s defense, if he posts his stats at the end of every month advertisers should know that he’s using AWstats.

  13. Jay Tillery says:

    Is it me or did get hacked?

    1. John Chow says:

      Either hacked, or out for linkbait.

      1. Jay Tillery says:

        Shoe needing linkbait?

        1. John Chow says:

          His blog is down now, so it looks like he is reloading and re-imaging.

        2. Why wouldn’t Mr Shoe need linkbair ?

          1. Typo, linkbait*…crap isn’t there a plugin to edit posts?

          2. Knuckles10 says:

            I missed it, appears to be ok now. What was Shoes site like when you said it appeared “hacked”?

  14. Raymond says:

    Love your site John Chow…. Lots of great tips for blog building! 😛 😀

  15. The Wolf says:

    What about billboard ads? Can’t someone buy a physical bill board and post there web address and get traffic?

    1. Jay Tillery says:

      Waste of money dude. I tried it. The best places are taken already by HUGE companies.

    2. KingJacob says:

      Im not too sure the ROI would be good enough for most sites.

    3. John Chow says:

      Billboards are used more for branding than selling stuff. That’s why all you see on a billboard are well know brands.

  16. Very informative post John. I just added an advertise post on my blog, lets see what happens.

  17. orha007 says:

    I must wait for more traffic 😉

  18. Very cogent advice. While it’s certainly wise to keep options open, the very short tem memory of most Internet wannabes forgets that it has only been a few years since there weren’t many ad networks at all. people made good living by promoting space on their sites and cashing the checks.

    the more things change, the more they stay the same.

  19. Gonefishing says:

    Having great traffic is one thing.. getting consistently high traffic is the hard part :mrgreen:

  20. Alan says:

    I’m testing out some private-sales ads. However, at first I am giving them out free to those who use tools of mine on their site, as a promotion. That way, I can get testimonials from them which would make people more likely to advertise.

    1. Ryan Shamus says:

      Sounds like a good idea Alan. I’ll head over to your site and see what kind of tools you offer…hope they are useful! 🙂

  21. Do keep in mind that in order to get advertisers your blog must get a lot of traffic. Otherwise it won’t do you much good.

  22. bob cobb says:

    Great post John, perfect timing for me. I’m going to be trying to sell an ad spot on my site very soon 🙂

  23. I havent heard about agloco on here for a while. Whats going on with them?

    1. John Chow says:

      I am waiting for more news before I post another AGLOCO update. They recently signed a new major revenue partnership but other than, not much to report. I am closing in on 24,000 sign ups however. 😀

      1. Click Input says:

        I’ve been eagerly awaiting a new story on that from you for a while! Everything has seemed to die down alot.

      2. I’ve binned it. Solely on the basis that the toolbar doesn’t work most of the time. I know it costs nothing but i’m enjoying having my 40 or so pixels back at the bottom of the screen.

  24. Click Input says:

    You should spell out what Technorati means on your advertising page – some people might not know what it is?

    Also very impressive that SiteFever is doing that well!

    1. John Chow says:

      I would hope most advertisers understand what Technorati and Alexa are.

  25. Hi John,

    I’m building my blog to start earning on paid advertisements as well.
    Thank you for the encouragement for us small time bloggers.

    Carlo Selorio

  26. will says:

    Wow nice thorough post! so much info here. :mrgreen:

  27. Hola!
    I noticed you post much less frequently on weekends. I’ve been trying to figure out the most ideal posting frequently….do you think every 2 days is good enough? I do this part time..but I do spent a lot of time researching and writing when I sit down to post.
    😐 😐 🙂 😕

    1. sitefever says:

      Posting frequency has a lot to do with the subject matter of your blog and your audience. It also has to do with how much time you need to write quality content.

      You have to make a decision based on your unique personal circumstances, and once you make that decision STICK WITH IT!

  28. max says:

    great idea, I think a lot of blogger don’t advertise their own advertisements enough. (like me…) 😀 💡

  29. simon says:

    I think direct sell only works when you are in top Alexa 10,000. 🙁

  30. ashxx says:

    direct sale is hard if you dont have a high alexa or good proof of your traffic… plus the time you spend selling them you could spend with SEO and make your adsense spots more valuable

  31. max says:

    BUT, I think direct sale can work well if your blog topic is a niche such as an iPod or somethin’ where you can be within 100,000 Alexa BUT you know that all your audience is your target audience so it is worth to the advertiser to spend extra money for quality target audience…(well this is just my experience)

  32. why dont you paste screenshots of anaylitics on your selling page…..

  33. That’s a great accomplishment.

  34. That is very well done for a PR2 blog. Thanks for the link to the post too, as I’ll be referencing that post (along with many others) in one of the upcoming posts on my blog.

  35. Would you recommend putting an ads page up straight away, or just once your blog is packed with traffic? How do you know what to charge?

Comments are closed.