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Blogging for Profit – Part 7

I want to finish out this series on Blogging for Profit by talking about another way to monetize your blog– through selling ads yourself.

Once
you’ve built up a steady readership, one of the best ways to really see
an increase in income, is to sell advertising on your blog directly to
companies by-passing a middle-man. I’ve done this quite a bit in the
past and have been amazed at how much money people will readily pay to
have a good spot on your blog. It takes a little time and effort to
make the sale and to keep up with advertisers, but you won’t have to
give any commission to a company such as Blogads so your profit margin
will be much higher.

How do you go about garnering advertisers for your blog?

1) First off, you need a steady readership of at least 500-1000 visitors a day.
You might be able to sell ads directly when you are smaller than that,
but you’ll have much better success at going after advertisers when you
have larger numbers to show them. So, before you start chasing down
advertisements, first work on building up your readership.

You might
find, as I did, that you never need to look far to find advertisers
eager to jump on board with you. In fact, once you’ve built up a blog
"following", companies will usually be "courting" you right and left to
get recognized on your blog.

2) When you have developed a solid readership closing in on 1000 visitors a day or more, start looking for opportunities to network with other potential advertisers. If
a company contacts you about doing a review on your blog, build a
relationship. If it’s something you’re interested in reviewing,
consider doing the review, but don’t let it stop there. Offer them a
discounted advertising rate, give them the option of doing a giveaway
on your blog, encourage them to offer a special price or discount to
your readers only. Once you start working with them and they see how
effective targeting your readership can be, you may very well find you
have an advertiser for life.

3) If you a lot of companies aren’t contacting you about possible reviews or asking for your advertising rates, consider becoming proactive. Figure
out some great pricing and find some companies which would complement
your blog’s focus very well and go offer some incredible introductory
pricing to them.

I recommend you just send an email to their marketing
director. Keep it short, professional, and tell them how advertising on
your blog can benefit them. Give them an offer they can’t resist. Offer
to review their products and do a giveaway on on your blog. Go the
extra mile; they’ll take notice.

Send out 20 or 50 such emails
like this and you’ll probably see a nice trickle of response to start
coming back. Once you’ve sold some some advertising on your blog, put a little
link up underneath your ads with something to the effect of "Interested in promoting your product to thousands of moms? Contact me for a discounted pricing package." Sometimes companies wouldn’t think to consider advertising with you if you didn’t spark the idea first to them yourself.

4) Remember that your loyalties lie with your readership first. When you develop a blog readership, you are really developing trust in a brand and that brand is you.
Never forget this. When I allow an ad on my blog, it is somewhat my
stamp of approval on the company or product. Therefore, I often turn
down ads if I do not feel I can give my whole-hearted endorsement of
them or if I feel like they in anyway contradict with my blog’s purpose
or message.

Integrity and honesty are much more important than
making a quick buck. Always let that be your guiding principle when you
are working to monetize your blog.

There’s a lot more I could
say on this subject and on the subject of blogging and making money
through blogging in general, however, I think I’ll close here and open
up the floor for questions.

As
we’ve gone through this series, what questions have you had? Are there
things you’d like for me expound upon or explain more in detail? Here’s
your opportunity to ask! In a few days, if there are enough questions, I’ll
do a Q&A post on blogging. You can leave your questions in the
comment section of this post or email them to me.

Related: Amy has a great post here on blogging and gaining readership.

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14 Comments

  • Sienna says:

    I have been trying to figure out how to get a coupons.com coupon sidebar so that my readers can print coupons from my site – how do I do this?

  • Michelle says:

    How do you get your hyperlink to say “this” instead of theweb address?

  • Gloria says:

    Thanks so much for doing this series. It has been very helpful to me, as I just launched my first blog. Questions: Do you have a pricing policy for the ads that you solicit yourself? Or do you just price them on an invdividual basis? Also, how can I get those type of ads before I reach 500 visits per day on my site? How do I get to 500 sites per day? Should I spend money advertising my own blog in local venues, such as radio or magazine? (My blog is dedicated to local deals and events.) Thanks for all your help. I love your blog!

  • Julie says:

    I just want to say thanks for this series. I’ve had a personal blog for awhile now and had been thinking about a public one and your series finally got me to do it.

  • Jaycie says:

    I just recently started my blog for fun. I just wanted a place to share my Total Money Makeover journey with others. And in the meantime, post some deals, recipes and craft ideas. I was so glad you posted how to add Sitemeter. I’ve been able to see that there are people reading. (With few comments left, it’s hard to tell sometimes) My question is, at what point do you know that you should try to put ads on your site for profit. Do you ever feel this can take away from a site? At this point I really want to leave my site as just a “for fun” place. I guess I just want people to know that I’m not trying to sell them anything. But at the same time, I wouldn’t mind making money to pay off our debt. Can ads ever be bad? How do you (and your readers) feel about looking at sites with ads?

  • Nisha says:

    Crystal,

    Thanks again for taking the time to do this series. Currently, my challenge is building up my readership. I know this takes patience! My question is: How long did it take you to build up your readership, and what specific techniques helped you in increasing your traffic?

    Thanks so much!

  • Natalie says:

    I just started blogging last week and the content, ideas, and timing has all come fairly easy for me. On the other hand the technological aspects have been a REAL challenge and I am not computer illiterate. My question is, what helped you to learn how to work with html code, links, layout, etc. ?

  • Kathryn says:

    Thanks for this series!I have two questions. How do you keep your blog unique and true to yourself, while at the same time staying within the niche you’ve chosen?If the time comes where blogging is no longer something that is fun and worthwhile to you, what is a good checklist to go through to figure if you want to quit or just take a break or just need inspiration?

    I’m sorry if that is confusing.

  • Jennifer says:

    I’d like to know more about the issues that you had when you used Blogger/Blogspot as your blog provider. What were the downsides of doing that? You mentioned something about spam. I want to avoid problems, so your advice would be helpful.

  • Sheri says:

    Hi, I am Sheri and I am new to the arena as well. I started swaggrabber.com as a complete money saving website targeting people that are new to the whole process. I found it was really confusing and difficult when I first started discovering this whole new world of saving so I thought I would do something to help everyone else out. These kinds of articles are great! Curious if you have any suggestions for companies that might be willing to advertise? I am amazed that I have been getting a thousand hits a day and I have only been up and running a little over a week! I really do strive to keep the content fresh and up to date and have been working on getting the forums going so I hope to see an improvement over the next few weeks. I really do want to make this a site that is easy to use and easy to navigate. So any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated.

    FYI – about coupons.com I have them as an advertiser and while you don’t make much it is a great benefit to those that visit. The ability to print out coupons while on your site is wonderful. The company name is Brandcaster. Check out their affiliate program https://brandcaster.coupons.com/publisher/ I have been quite pleased with them so far. Good luck to everyone, I hope you are enjoying this as much as I am!

  • Amy says:

    You are so sweet to link up to my article- I wondered where the new comments where coming from. I love your heart and the fact that you are willing to share this information with others. I know these posts are a lot more time-consuming, and that shows how generous your spirit is. ((hugs))

  • Richael Durdin says:

    What a great series, thank you so much for all the information. You are such a blessing to all of us. I’m wondering…how do you know what is a good “price” for advertising? How much should I expect a company to offer for advertising?

  • Kendra says:

    Crystal, thanks for this motivational series 🙂 Income-earning potential aside, I know keeping a blog (and having an audience) will definitely help keep me accountable to the goals I create for myself. So I’ve started mine and am having a lot of fun! I even created a link to your blog today 🙂 Thanks again for the inspiration.

  • Tina says:

    Hi, Crystal
    I wanted to say congratulations on your news. Both my babies, now adults, were wonderful surprises, and now I am still plenty young enough to enjoy my two grandsons!

    I wanted to also let you know that I am faithfully getting through your “summersale” special on money saving and home spending information. I have lots of ideas and things I am trying. I also have saved and printed the Blogging for Profit and WAHM series you have recently posted. Although I am a full-time employee, I want to start incorporating more money earning potential into our household.
    I have revamped my blog (URL attached) as I would like to expand my quilting endeavors. I am taking an online course through Quilt University (dot com) that introduces ways to set up your business online and lots of options to explore. So between your great info and QU, I am on my way. I also added Google Adsense to my blog, referencing you as my “inspiration.” I know I don’t have many visitors yet, but hope to as I begin my networking with others online.

    I hope you can take a quick glance at my blog. I will continue to use your tips, advice, and expertise to enhance my online experiences.

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