Selling Ads: Is It Becoming Harder?
There’s money to be made selling ad space on your blog. For some bloggers this is their main source of income. However, it’s not quite as easy to sell that ad space these days. Here’s what you need to know to make money with direct ads.
Advertisers Are Hesitant
There’s a whole list of reasons why advertisers are more hesitant about buying direct ads:
Google Algorithm Effects: More than one high-quality, high-traffic blog has been brought to its knees by one of Google’s recent menagerie of updates. And it’s not something that can be predicted. Do they deserve it? Who can really say? But the fact is, advertisers are being more careful when they purchase ad space. If they see something questionable on your blog they’re likely to move on.
Your Audience: Even advertisers have to pay attention to the bottom line. As search results improve you may see a shift in your traffic. Numbers may rise or fall, but more important, your demographics may change. You need to be ready to react to these changes, too, but so do the advertisers.
Advertisers have learned a thing or two over the years, too, and as they sharpen their online marketing skills they move their advertising to blogs and websites that offer higher visibility and better targeted traffic.
Publisher Confidence Level: Blogs come and go and bloggers can easily disappear with advertising dollars. And then there’s the whole tracking and stats issue to worry about. Advertisers aren’t as comfortable handing over their money to unknown bloggers these days.
More Reliable, Cost-Effective Alternatives: All those Google updates have improved click-through rates and keyword targeting capabilities for PPC advertising, too, making it much easier for advertisers to target their market and effectively bid on high-conversion keywords. Why take a chance on a blogger when you have Google’s technology available at the click of a button.
What Can You Do To Get Those Direct Ad Sales?
Learn to target an audience: Obviously, high-quality SEO content should be at the top of your list of things to do. If you really want to learn how to target an audience put at least one block of Google Adsense ads on your site and start watching the ads you pull in. The ads that appear on your blog are triggered by keywords and they’re directly related to your content.
Once you start pulling in relevant ads, then start monitoring your audience. Are they clicking on those ads? Are they sharing and engaging with your blog? If they are, then you know you have a highly targeted audience. The only thing you need now is numbers.
Advertisers look for sites with consistently high traffic numbers. In some cases, 10,000 unique visitors per month may be all it takes to convince an advertiser to buy that available space, but that number has to be consistent or growing from month to month.
Next, make sure you have Google Analytics installed on your blog so you have accurate stats to show potential advertisers. Google Analytics is free and nothing else is acceptable, so don’t put it off any longer. The more history you can show the better.
If you’ll be selling multiple direct ad spaces you should also install some type of ad server software to monitor payments and stats. This will show advertisers that you’re serious about your ad business and you’re committed to doing everything in your power to make it beneficial for both parties.