Another recent question:
We’re now up at an average of 1,500 hits per day at the blog. Any advice on how I can go about looking for advertisers?
First, congratulations on building and sustaining a solid audience. Many people have trouble reaching those levels.
My first suggestion is that you should put a button or link prominently on your blog that says “Advertise on This Site.” Link to a page that gives a few details about your readers, visitors per day, anything else you can glean from the referrer logs and traffic stats, and that sets out your rates.
(This is a good time to point out that you should start to look for information about your readers. If you can create a simple, friendly survey and ask readers to fill it out, that will help. Make clear how you’ll be using the information you gather and that you respect your readers’ privacy.)
As for what your rates should be, that’s up to you. You might base them on a cost per view, or a cost per click. I’d suggest the former, so it’s not your loss when someone creates an ineffective banner and no one clicks on it. For cost per view, consider $8 per thousand views for a banner, or $6 for a smaller button, pretty standard web ad rates for a site with a targeted audience.
You might want to set up an ads management system that will help you place and rotate banners on your site, and help you create reports for the advertisers. We have been playing with phpAdsNew — now called OpenAds — and it’s working well. Using a system like that requires that you have access to hosting space with a MySQL database, but it’s otherwise not hard to set up and use.
If you don’t get the response you hope for when you invite people to advertise on your site, check out sites that are similar to yours and see who’s advertising there. Then contact them and invite them to look at your site, and tell them about your traffic and your rates. As with all sales: Always be closing.
At BootCamp PGH, Gene Bromberg, Justin Kownacki, and representatives from Spreadshirt talked about monetizing your blog or podcast. There’s an outline of the discussion online, and we may soon have video for that session available. Check out the BootCamp PGH site for updates and other useful tidbits.