OK, you’re ready. You’ve set up your blog and you have this nice, clear sidebar over there. Now you’re ready to start selling advertising and rake in the big bucks like those big-name bloggers you’ve been reading about. Well, not so fast, friend. There’s a lot more to finding advertisers for your website than simply setting up a blog and a Paypal button.
Things you need to do before you begin
An About page: Advertisers need to know what type of traffic you attract, what audience you’re targeting. If you’re pulling in readers interested in your How To Build Chicken Coops plans then why would HostGator want to spring for an advertising spot on your blog? And since advertisers aren’t going to be contacting you in the beginning, you have to put this information out there where they can see it.
An Advertising page: Sure, you think you can get $300 or $400 a month for the prime ad placement, and that’s fine. But you need to set up an advertising page that lets the advertiser know what he’s going to get for his money. What’s your blog’s ranking? How many unique monthly visitors do you get? And don’t fudge these numbers because advertisers talk among themselves, and most of them are smart enough to know how to check your stats.
An Established Blog: Most advertisers won’t even look at your blog until you’re getting at least 1,000 unique visitors per month. That’s a minimum number and, at that, you’ll only get a few bucks per ad space. If you don’t already have that traffic then do the work to build it up first before you start fishing for advertisers, otherwise you’re just wasting your time.
Now that we have that out of the way, how do you find advertisers?
A lot of bloggers put an advertising image in the sidebar or wherever the space is available and then link it to their advertising page. But some people who might be interested in advertising don’t even think about it because they think it’s going to cost too much. Small, local businesses for example, or up-and-coming bloggers, might really benefit from an ad on your blog but because they’re unfamiliar with Internet advertising practices they think it’s going to cost an arm and a leg so they don’t even think about it.
If your blog appeals to a local crowd, approach the small businesses in your area. As an upsell, you can even offer them a sub-domain on your blog where they can set up a mini-site to link to their ad if they don’t already have a website.
Check your Google stats and see where your traffic is coming from. Chances are there’s a blog or two out there that’s linked to you. If they like your content well enough to link to it, they might be interested in advertising. Contact the blog owner and ask.
Look at your regular commentors. Do any of them have a business or service they’d like to advertise? Look at your competitors or other blogs in relevant niches. You don’t necessarily have to get cash for your ad space, maybe you could work out an ad exchange.
The most important thing to remember is: Nobody’s going to pay for advertising space unless they see some potential benefit. And they won’t pay for it again unless they see results. Once you start selling that advertising you’re not done. Now you have to deliver the traffic.