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LEARNING CORNER

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Leveraging your blog space to earn advertising dollars is a real possibility for mom bloggers, especially those who have cultivated a loyal audience and have a considerable amount of readers each day. As great as the prospect of advertising is, though, there are basic rules to follow in order to properly attract ads and display them on your blog.

Step 1
Tell readers you accept advertising. This sounds so basic, but letting people know you accept advertising is the first step to earning ad dollars. No one will advertise on your blog if they think you do not accept advertising or know how to inquire about advertising with you. So, right now, put a notice on your blog directing potential advertisers to contact you for your ad rates. On your blog’s sidebar you want to entice advertisers to contact you, so you’ll want to say something like:

1) Put your ad in front of thousands of my readers every month. Click here to request my ad rates.

2) Don’t let your business go unnoticed. Advertise here. Contact me for rates.

Step 2
Keep Your Rates Secret. Never put your ad rates on your site for all to see because you don’t want casual visitors knowing how much you charge or how much you earn from advertising. Always send potential advertisers a direct link to your media kit or send your media kit to them as an attachment.

Step 3
Develop a Media Kit. A media kit is simply a web page, PDF document or Word document that tells potential advertisers why they should advertise with you and how much you charge. These basics should be included in every media kit.

1) Your blog stats: Include how many people come to your blog every month (unique visitors) and how many page views your blog receives. Also, include your social stats and any engagement successess you have had like how many entries you can garner for a giveaway or how engaged moms are on your Facebook page, for example. You can also include your Google page rank and Alexa ratingif they are favorable. If not, leave them off.

2) In the press: If your blog has been mentioned or featured in the media, let potential advertisers know which publication you were featured in and the date it was published. You may even want to take a screenshot and provide a direct link where advertisers can see your media mention themselves. Media reviews or features let advertisers know that your blog has been noticed by readers and the press alike.

3) List your rates: It can be hard determining how much you should charge; you don’t want your rates to be too high where advertisers walk away and you don’t want them to be too low either where you cheat yourself out of valuable earnings. If you need help deciding how much to charge you can find a fellow blogger whose readership looks comparable to yours and request their media kit. That way you’ll be able to gauge the going rate for blog ads and avoid overcharging advertisers or selling yourself short. Or, find a web site that looks similar in size to yours, request their ad kit and determine your rates based on what they charge.

4) Ad sizes: Online advertising is pretty consistent across the board. Ad sizes rarely veer from these standard sizes and are written in dimensions "width x height" and are measured in pixels. Here are the standard sizes:

125 x 125
120 x 240
120 x 600 (also called skyscrapers or towers)
160 x 600 (also called skyscrapers or towers)
468 x 60
728 x 90 (also called leaderboard)
300 x 250

You will need to determine which sizes look the best on your blog and offer those sizes to advertisers. Leaderboard and skyscraper ads are extremely popular and can earn you more money, so try to work these sizes into your blog if possible.

5) Impressions Versus Monthly Rates: If there is one thing advertisers want to know it’s how many times their ad is going to be seen and how many times they can expect their ad to be clicked. Even though actual clicks can only be determined by how effective an advertiser’s message and banner ad is, advertisers do want the satisfaction of knowing how many times their ad will be seen and you can easily provide that peace of mind by selling your ad space in units as opposed to flat monthly rates.

Online ad space is sold in impressions, or how many times an ad is actually seen. And then impressions are bundled by thousands in order to be sold. This is referred to as CPM, or cost per thousand.

For example, you can sell advertising space for a small 125 x 125 banner ad at $3 CPM. That means an advertiser will have to pay $3 for 1000 views of their ad. Typically, publishers (you) will require a minimum purchase of 5,000 or 10,000 impressions. So, if you require a 5,000 minimum purchase the advertiser would pay you $15 because 5000 impressions x $3 CPM = $15.

Remember, you can set your pricing as high or as low as you think is fair. But do you homework and try to price your space as close to the going rate as possible.

Step 4
Selling Your Space
: We recommend using an online ad service called AdSpeed (www.adspeed.com) to help monitor your ad inventory. AdSpeed allows you to serve up 100,000 impressions on your site per month for $9.95. That’s extremely affordable and your ad revenue will easily offset the cost of the monthly service fee.

When an advertiser purchases ad space, you simply insert their ad into AdSpeed and then set the number of impressions they purchased. AdSpeed will then give you a code to insert on your blog’s sidebar where the ad will appear and the impressions and clicks will be tallied. AdSpeed also allows you to send daily, weekly, monthly, or one-time reports to your advertisers. This way they can see for themselves how well their ad is faring.

Step 5
Build Relationships
: Keep in touch with your advertisers and offer them monthly or quarterly sales throughout the year. And as a repeat advertiser, give them a special discount because it’s always nice to have a steady stream of advertisers who continue to buy space on your blog.

Congratulations on taking this all-important step. Now, go make some money!

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Comment by Mom Bloggers Club on August 4, 2015 at 9:56am

So glad this was helpful to you, Jazelle!

Comment by Jazelle on August 4, 2015 at 9:52am

These are great tips! A lot to process, but oh so good! ;)

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