It’s approaching that time of year that my children are forbidden to mention until December the 14th.
That also means a lot of bloggers are looking at ways to earn a quick buck from their blog, whilst providing the utmost value at the same time.
One of the things that you might consider is advertising on your blog.
Types of blog advertising:
- Ad Networks such as Social Spark and Ebuzzing.
- Sponsored posts
- Affiliate ads
- Skimlinks and Chitika
- Google Adsense
- Advertise your own products
There are others, but these are the main ones I’ll touch upon in this post today.
Ad Networks are an interesting way of meeting advertisers in the loosest sense – most are like dating sites.
There will be a publishers section where you join up and add your blog’s details and advertisers will get in touch if they like the cut of your jib. Yes, I’ve been watching too much Blackadder again .
Pretty much all advertisers like to know a few things about you – how much traffic is usually the first thing, followed by how many Twitter followers and Facebook fans.
Some like to know where they will be placed on your blog and others can be very specific about where they would like to be placed. Most advertisers pay the Ad Network direct and you are paid by the Ad Network.
Sometimes you might not see any money for 60 days, other times you may have to trip a payment threshold.
Some Ad Networks are better than others, so try a few out and see which ones you like best. Try out their support, their responses and examine their community. Stay where you feel the most comfortable.
Sponsored posts are an interesting one for bloggers, they can come from out of the blue by email or through a third party site such as SponsoredReviews.com . The prices offered for sponsored posts vary from $5 (I laugh at this point) to $200 (that’s more like it! but these are rare).
The average we get per sponsored post on Birds on the Blog is £75 / $US 100. The links are no-follow and all the posts are declared sponsored posts. If you are contacted direct for a sponsored post, you can usually have the money paid into your bank account or Paypal account straight away.
Some advertisers will contact you directly and then there will be at least 5 emails, a small bit of swearing and a fair bit of haggling. Or you can go and chase a few advertisers yourself. Some advertisers will come through SEO companies (see sponsored posts) and others will come via PR companies.
We work with a few PR companies that have products related to our niche, and it’s always good to hear from them how their blogger outreach is going, it gives me the opportunity to recommend other sites.
I know a lot of bloggers hate list posts of who people think are great bloggers but some PR companies love them; it makes it easier to reach out to bloggers in certain niches. Advertisers also like them and it makes their life easier.
Next time you curse seeing one of these lists, remember, it helps put bloggers under the nose of people who can help them earn money. I create one once a year with all the wonderful women bloggers, and I have an inbox full of thank-yous from PR people for the next week.
Sometimes I get them from the bloggers on the list
When you see ads in the sidebar and/or header of a lot of blogs, they’re usually affiliate ads (although the FBBB WordPress 30 day course is our own). You only get paid upon purchase of the product, so you are creating a lot of ”brand awareness” for free when you advertise this way. The payouts tend to be quicker when compared to an Ad Network.
Affiliate ads tend to convert better when the products are related to the content on the blog. If you are a food blogger and you promote website hosting you may not get many conversions, but if you promoted a recipe book or cooking equipment then you would earn more.
Skimlinks and Chitika
These are ways of monetizing your existing content. Links are inserted into your existing content and if someone clicks through and buys you get paid. This can be an interesting way of monetizing your content.
We’re currently trying this out on Birds on the Blog and I’ll let you know how it goes in a few months. Sometimes these ads are links, and sometimes they are pop up images. Both Skimlinks and Chitika offer great support to help you make the post of their service.
We all know this one…. It’s the one that some bloggers plaster all over their site and hope to get rich in their sleep by using. For some bloggers Google Adsense is a great thing. We have one Google Adsense block on Birds, and for all our traffic we’ve yet to make a minimum payment this year, I must try harder.
You can also add Adsense to your RSS feed and under posts as well as sidebars. It works best when fully integrated into your site, but sometimes that feels like a full time job.
If in doubt, stick to simple image only ads in your sidebar. And no, you won’t be paid in time for the C word, but you might get the money in January .
Finally, advertise your own products
Why bother advertising someone else’s products and earning pennies when you can advertise your own products and make more?
Look over your stats and see what are your most traffic’d posts. Is it worth inserting a call to action to buy a related product that you’ve created? Is it worth adding adverts for your own products to your autoresponder? Try it and see. If it works, fabulous and if it doesn’t at least you’ve tried.
Over to you, what do you do to earn more on your blog at that certain time of year?
photo credit: Orí