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Why Big Advertisers Avoid Your Blog … (The Ugly Truth)

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… by Scott Fox, ClickMillionaires.com

Are you praying for big name advertisers to show up to make money on your new blog? It’s not going to happen.

I recently had a Private Coaching Call with an entrepreneur who is starting a blog to serve the needs of the parents of kids with special needs. It’s an admirable cause but her business model strategy was way off.

Why? Because her assumption was that advertising from the major drug companies would be her primary revenue stream.

Unfortunately for her that’s not likely to happen, at least not yet. If you are like her, counting on advertising revenue to support your blogging habit, here’s a smarter way to plan your advertising sales strategy.

Big Brands Spend More On Advertising Than Your Blog Can Handle
It’s a nice fantasy to think that your niche-targeted blog can attract advertising from Fortune 500 companies. Big companies seem to be your “dream advertisers”. They spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year to attract more customers. Why wouldn’t they be interested in reaching your audience, too?

Why Aren’t Big Companies Advertising on Your Blog?
Because it’s too much work! If your blog targets a niche audience then your audience is probably too small to interest corporate advertisers. The time it takes for their media buyers to find your site, verify your traffic, contact you, negotiate a deal, track the ROI, pay you, etc. is likely too much trouble for a small ad buy.

Big Brands Usually Buy Their Ads Through Media Buying Agencies
Multimillion dollar corporate advertising budgets are handed out to a variety of media buying agencies. Each ad buyer is in charge of attracting new customers through a specific “channel”. So a Ford Motor Company, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, McDonald’s, T-Mobile, or Apple Computer, might give $2,000,000 to a TV buying agency, $1,000,000 to a print buying agency, $500,000 to an online ad buying agency, etc.

In most cases the budget allocated for online advertising with niche audiences like yours is a very small percentage of those overall budgets. That means that the attention and time invested in such ad purchases is often handed to a junior account representative at a small agency that gets less attention than the bigger buys for TV or print ads.

So What Happens Next?
Just as you would do if you had her job, that junior account rep does her work as quickly as possible. That usually means spending the money allocated for niche online ads in as few ad buying transactions as possible, probably with an ad network that makes placing those ads fastest. Unfortunately, 1 or 2 ad buys with Google Adwords, Facebook, or a similar advertising network can spread their brand messages more quickly and efficiently across the web than working one at a time with small sites like yours.

Your Little Blog?
Until your blog gets enough traffic to demonstrate a real “return on investment” for the media buyer’s time and their clients advertising budget, the big companies are likely to skip over your web site. (And if you do see ads from big companies on your competitors’ blogs, those ads are likely affiliate ads, not directly purchased “real” ads.)

So How Can You Make Money from Ads on your Blog?

As I told my coaching client, don’t start your new blog expecting the “big boys” to show up and advertise right away. Advertisers large and small are simply seeking qualified potential customers. If you earn their attention by building an audience and traffic appropriate to their brands, they will actually start calling you as your traffic grows.

Today you can get started by focusing on publishing quality content, growing an audience, and earning ad revenues from smaller advertisers first. That is the foundation for a successful advertising-based business model.

For more details on these online advertising strategies, watch my video “How to Make Money with Banner Ads”, and see my next Guest Post “How to Start Making Money from Ads on your Blog” which will post NEXT WEEK.

What questions or suggestions do you have about this strategy?
Have you had luck recruiting big name advertisers to new blogs?

Please watch for Part Two of this post next week. I’ll discuss how to start making money from online advertising today if you have a small or niche web site like my friend above.

Scott Fox is the host of the online marketing success coaching community ClickMillionaires.com. He is a serial startup executive, podcaster, and author whose e-business strategy coaching helps solopreneurs, small business owners, and corporations make more money online. He is the best-selling author of two books: Internet Riches and e-Riches 2.0: Next Generation Online Marketing Strategies. Visit http://www.ScottFox.com for free email newsletters and http://www.ClickMillionaires.com for a free trial of his personalized coaching community.


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  • Katy

    I’m no expert in monetization, but I am a parent of a special needs child. I’d caution anyone in that arena to be very cautious of who you take money from with regards to potential content conflict. If you take money from a pharma company, will they still allow you to write about alternatives? Or will you be locked in with their product?I think that’s another consideration when you decide to work with a bigger company–how will this effect my audience and my community? If an advertiser effects your content, then you’re serving them and not your community.

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