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How to Avoid Scaring Advertisers Away

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See what I did with the title? Because it’s Halloween??? I’m so clever…

Advertising isn’t the right profit route for every blog. In fact, if you’re selling products and services of your own, adding advertising to your sidebar or posts can actually take away from your income potential. But for some bloggers, it’s a great choice. I regularly sell $500+ per month in advertising on my anonymous blog, even though I’m not actively looking for sponsors. I know bloggers who make thousands by selling banner ads – and you don’t have to have millions of hits to make it happen. Here are a few tips to help you become more attractive to advertisers – and how to avoid scaring them away:

  • Pick a niche and stick to it.

Having a clear niche helps you more easily define your audience, and advertisers really love to know stats about your readers. Having a specific audience helps you find niche-specific advertisers. For example, if you write a blog about bird-watching, a great potential advertiser is a company that sells binoculars. If you just write a blog about your life in general, they wouldn’t be as relevant to your readers, even if some of them are bird-watchers. The more niche-y you are, the easier it is to find smaller, specific companies who are a perfect fit for your readership.

  • Be prepared with stats.

It scares potential new advertisers to not know your stats. Every company has to justify how they spend their advertising money, and not everyone has the money (or time or ambition) to do a few months of testing. Be prepared with stats from a trusted source (like Google Analytics). Your Alexa rating matters, but the more you can tell potential advertisers, the better.

  • Offer discounts.

Long-term advertising especially worries companies, since they can’t foresee the future. So, sweeten the pot a little. I offer a pretty good discount for advertisers who pay a year in advance – and probably half of them take me up on that offer. It can calm the nerves a little because not only are they taking less of a financial risk, but it also shows that you’re confident that you’ll still be around 12 months from now. Blogs tend to come and go pretty quickly, so offering the year contract for advertisers tells them you’re serious about the continued success of your blog.

If you’re not willing to offer a discount, at least offer multiple price options. That way, if

  • Load your site with testimonials.

Of course you’re going to say that advertising on your site is a good idea. It’s your site. Testimonials can help strengthen your case. If others are willing to speak out about how good their results were with an advertisement on your site, the move is less risky for potential advertisers. Often, if you’re willing to ask, advertisers who are happy with their results are more than willing to provide you with testimonials.

I don’t have tons of experience working with advertisers. So, I hope that if you do work with them or are an advertiser yourself, leave a comment with some tips of your own!

Allison Boyer freelance writer and content marketing consultant. She also runs the food blog The PinterTest Kitchen with her mom and sister. You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (@allison_boyer) or contact her at allisonmboyer@gmail.com.


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