How to find advertisers for your blog or website?
This is a basic check list for any new website owner, publisher, or blogger to sell ads directly to advertisers.
Understand your audience
Before advertisers sign the contract, they will want to know who will be viewing their ads. In order to provide potential advertisers this information, you need to know who visits your site, reads your blog and uses your products. Demographic data with age, gender, income, and interests are useful to match ads' targeted audience with your visitors. This information can be obtained from user registration data, surveys, polls and your own interactions with visitors.
Think about relevant products and potential advertisers
Your blog and website might have a strong focus in a particular industry. In such cases, potential advertisers are easy to identify. For example, a travel blog should target airlines, hotels, destinations, attractions. Some websites need more scouting than others. General social networks and portals target a much broader audience.
Determine your ad rates
This is one of the most frequently asked questions from our clients. We wish there was a machine that outputs a specific number for how much you should charge for advertising. Too bad such machine does not exist as there are too many variables for it to consider. However, you have several questions to answer before setting a price:
- How much do your competitors charge for a similar campaign?
- How many visitors, pageviews, impressions do you get daily?
- How much does it cost you to design, develop, operate and maintain the website, or blog?
- How long is the advertising contract? Are they likely to continue their ads after the first campaign?
Prepare a media kit
Once you understand your audience, you can show off the value of your advertising program. The media kit should describe your website and its audience. Additionally, it should list all available ad placements and ad specifications (ad dimension, file size, animation length).
Make the first contact
It all begins with the first message, so do your own research and understand the advertiser's company, its products and target market. In your message, you should describe how advertising on your website will bring high quality visitors and customers to the advertiser. The message should not be from a long, standard template without any details about your website or benefits to this particular advertiser. The message should be personal, should describe your offer and should initiate an action within a specified time frame.
Reply and follow up
Once you get a response from your potential advertiser, be sure to respond in a timely fashion. Yet, do not respond aggressively because it makes you look desperate. Your reply must address all questions and should provide all the requested information. Be sure to be polite and appreciative of the person's time.
Negotiate and close the deal
If you took your time to determine your ad rates ahead of time, you know your lower limit and can walk away if appropriate. A deal can be very flexible: standard rates with a standard contract, lower rates for a longer contract, lower rates for an exchange of services or partnership. Negotiation should end in a win-win situation for you and your advertiser. Ideally, the new contract will allow both parties to meet most, if not all, their advertising goals. To avoid possible legal problems, make sure there is a written agreement between you and the advertiser. The agreement can be formal (signatures, stamps, approvals) or informal (email messages from both parties acknowledging the details, length, and amount involved).
- Don't be afraid to approach potential advertisers if you believe you have a great website with quality contents and quality audience
- Don't send a message for the masses or it will be marked as spam and simply ignored
- Do check out your competitors or other sites in the same industry to see what advertisers they have
- Do use an ad management/tracking system to increase your productivity and provide accountability and transparency to your advertisers
- More helpful tips on finding advertisers
Español: Como encontrar anunciantes para su página web o blog?
February 25, 2009 (updated June 30, 2017)
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