For those that say you can’t make money blogging, must not be aware that you can make it indirectly. While some set up a blog just to make money, it’s easier to generate income if it’s not your main goal. When I set up this blog, my goal wasn’t to make money, it was to document my journey of being an Internet marketer. After a while I started serving ads, and selling private advertising. As a result of my frequent and useful content, advertisers were more willing to spend some dough to get the word out about their product. Like I said, it was indirectly.
Those who create a blog with the hope of serving ads right from the start are mostly always disappointed. “Why won’t anyone advertise with me?!” is the question I often see being posted in forums. The answer is simple… newbie bloggers don’t have a reputation or any credibility and rarely have sufficient traffic. It takes a while to build your blog up to the point where you can go out and grab advertisers.
Some may ask how established your blog must be before generating an income. That answer varies on many different factors, such as your traffic numbers for one. If you’re getting 25 hits a day, chances are you won’t see a lot of revenue. I like to use the number of 500+ unique hits a day as a starting point. It’s a solid number, and while that number should be greatly higher, it’s a fair place to start. Some advertisers may also look at your Alexa ranking and Page Rank when considering to advertise as well. There’s great debate over how much those numbers actually matter, because your Alexa rank can be manipulated using a number of factors. As for Page Rank, it doesn’t really matter anymore. This blog used to be a PR 5, PR 2, PR 5 again and now it doesn’t have a rank at all. Google is mysterious in its ways, so don’t put much thought into that. Some of the best blogs out there have a low rank or none at all.
What type of ads should I sell?
When it comes to deciding on what kind of ads to sell, the most common are 125×125 ad blocks (as seen in the sidebar). This size has almost become the universal standard in ad formats for bloggers to use. They’re small, clean and easy to stack in narrow spaces. While you can still use any format you wish, you’ll often notice they don’t have as much success when it comes to CTR as a 125×125 ad block does.
If you don’t have private advertisers to host, consider placing affiliate ads in the spaces in the mean time. Networks such as MarketLeverage, Convert2Media or Neverblue Ads are great places to start.
As a rule of thumb, I always like to have one available ad block saying “Your Ad Here.” It lets advertisers know that there is an opportunity to advertise if they want to.
Create an Advertising Page
To give the advertiser some background information on your site, create an advertising page that lists your traffic numbers, the demographic of your blog and the available advertising options. The more information you provide, the more comfortable the advertiser will feel when considering whether to give you a try or not.
What about empty ad blocks?
If you have a couple of ads, but still have space available, ProBlogger.net has come up with a list of 5 Ways to Make an Empty Ad Slot on Your Blog Work For You.
How to Accept Payment
So now that you’ve established yourself as a blogger, have good traffic numbers and are beginning to accept ads, how do you accept payment? The easiest way is simply PayPal. It’s easy, secure and trusted by mostly everyone. You can automate the process for each ad by setting up a shopping cart or subscription button to bill advertisers monthly. You may also look at creating an upload page for advertisers to be redirected to after they buy an ad. Such a page would serve the purpose of accepting the creative graphic to be used for the ad, as well as the URL. cforms II is a great WordPress plugin (free of charge) that allows your users to upload direcly to you.
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