For some reason, we have always been a bit reluctant to add advertisements to our blogs…and when I say ‘advertisements’ I mean the square 125×125 ads that you normally see in the sidebar of most blogs. But since we have just recently signed up with Yaro Starak’s Blog Mastermind and as he recommends it, we thought it was about time to do so.
I see it as another way of diversifying our income. We tend to make most of our money on affiliate links. It’s worked well for us but we’re kind of putting all our eggs in the one basket by doing this. So it’s time to start making money from a few more sources.
So Where Did We Start?
The first thing we needed to do was find a plugin that does all the work of receiving payments. In the Blog Mastermind course Yaro recommends using a free piece of software called OpenX. I had a quick look at it on their website and it looked okay but it wasn’t quite what we were looking for and in fact it looked like it required a bit of work to maintain. We wanted something that did everything from start to finish so all we really needed to do was approve the payment.
In the meantime Wanda had found a product called OIO Publisher. This wasn’t free but as I was to find out later it was an absolute bargain. The piece of software has an enormous number of features and can be used on both blogs and regular websites.
I loaded it up on this blog and you can see it to the right in the sidebar. It just loads as a plugin if you are using it on a blog or if you have a website then OIO has an automatic installer to make it real easy to upload.
Once installed it was simply a matter of editing the settings in the admin area and then dragging the widgets over to the sidebar.
Here are just some of the features:
- it allows you to use a nofollow tag on all your ads (or remove it if you prefer)
- the ability to add both banner and text links PLUS inline ads ie. ads within blog posts
- you can charge more for ads with the nofollow tag removed
- you can choose the size of your ads
- you can choose how many ads to display
- payment test mode option – to test if it is all working correctly without making a payment
- an inbuilt affiliate program which you can opt into in order to make money from referring people to OIO Publisher
- the ability to change the currency code for payments
- subscription payment option
- the ability to allow image uploads by the person buying the ad space
- the ability to redirect buyers to another page rather than the standard payment form
- you can choose to include your own banners and text links – this is a good way of filling up ad spaces that are empty
- a space to add purchase instructions for buyers
- a variety of payment methods – you can use one or more of the following Paypal, Google Checkout, EntreCard, Offline Payments, Authorize.net, 2Checkout
- you can change the email templates that are sent out automatically when a purchase submitted, approved or rejected.
- there are 3 options to change the theme for the actual payment page and if you can also make your own custom changes to the theme if you like
- you can set your own ad prices and the number of days the ads will run for that price AND you can set multiple prices for different lengths of time
- you can choose to rotate ads ie. in the same ad spot you can have two ads rotating
- purchasers can reserve ad spots in advance
- you can set up ads to display in certain categories (WordPress only)
- you can create a link exchange text links which will display a persons link as long as they are linking back to you
- you can choose the amount of spacing between ads
- you can choose to show ads in your RSS feed
- I also just noticed a Posts tab – this is supposed to enable you to sell posts or paid reviews directly through your website – I haven’t looked into that yet so can’t comment at this point in time but I like the idea
- lastly it has a Custom section which allows you to sell whatever you like – this is great if you have an ebook
I just love this piece of software! CLICK HERE to read more…
So How Do You Go About Getting Advertisers
Well you could just sit back and wait for them to come to you. This can work well if you have a high-traffic blog but if your traffic is limited then your next step is to go actively searching for advertisers. This is what we will be doing over the coming weeks to fill up our ad slots not only for this blog but some of our other niche blogs and websites.
One of the best ways of doing this is to find blogs that already have paid advertisers and email those advertisers to see if they want to advertise on your blog. If they are already putting their ads up on websites around the net then they are more open to the concept and therefore more likely to accept your offer.
Another way is to do a search in Google for your keyword. Then take a look at the Google ads that show up on the page. These advertisers obviously have some sort of advertising budget so would be in the right frame of mind to receive an email from you asking if they would like to advertise on your blog.
You can also just type a related keyword into Google and just trawl through the businesses that come up in your niche.
How Much Should I Charge for Ad Spaces?
Good question and one that is hard to answer. The reason being is that there are so many factors involved that can affect the price including:
- your blog/website topic
- how much traffic your site receives
- your sites pagerank
- your Alexa rank
- the size of the ad
- whether the ad is a text link, banner ad, inline ad
- whether the links are nofollow or not
For this blog we are going to start with $30 for a 125×125 ad for 30 days. That may be too much or it may be too little. We won’t really know until we get any bites. If nobody is interested in that sort of rate then we will reduce it. If instead we get a lot of interest then we may increase it.
For one of our other blogs which has very high traffic and good pagerank we are going to start at $80 for a 125×125 ad for 30 days. Again, we will see how it goes before adjusting the price if needed.
For some of the blogs that are getting low traffic volumes we might stick with around $10 a month.
So there you have it. Adding advertisements to your site is not difficult especially if you use the right software that does everything for you.
Do you advertise on your blog? Let us know in the comments below…