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How to manage your blog advertising

Posted by on 14th Sep 2007 | 10 comments

Tara from Graphic Design Blog today emailed me with the following question :-

How do you manage your own blog advertising? What I mean by that is when you are selling ads personally (not through Text links) what are the ways you find best for keeping track of when payments are due etc.

Whilst Blogging Tips has only recently started selling advertising, I have been selling advertisements on some of my other sites for 4 or 5 years. I don’t think there is a right way or wrong way to deal with your own advertising ie. as long as you are maximising sales and bringing cash in you are doing something right.

Over the years I have set up my own rules and habits to deal with advertising. Some may deal with my points differently but as I said before, if it works for you then it works!

First Come First Serve

When I first started selling advertising I was too nice for my own good. Website owners would contact me asking about a banner ad spot. I quickly found that a lot of potential advertisers are complete time wasters and they would come back to you in 3 or 4 days only to say they aren’t interested or that they want the ad at a lower space. During this time though I had turned down other advertisers.

After this happened time and time again I introduced a ‘First Come First Serve Basis’ on all of my websites. I don’t reserve any ad spaces and if they take too long to come back to me and the ad is sold, then that’s just tough luck for them. Of course, I have potentially lost working with good advertisers over the years due to this but all in all I truly believe this stance has made me thousands more. For example, with my gambling sites I get emails from potential advertisers every day of the week and only around 20% actually send the money for the ad space (ie. the rest are time wasters!).

Look after your current advertisers but look after potential advertisers too

It can be a difficult job trying to look after your current advertisers and your potential advertisers as there is only so much ad space on your site.

I’ll explain this point with an example from this week. HostColor contacted me about advertising on our top banner spot on the home page 4 days ago. However, it wasn’t until 3 days later they finally confirmed that they wanted the ad space and by this time Success for your Blog had snatched it up.

I always do my best to look after those who advertise on my sites as those are the people paying your bills so I usually give current advertisers first choice of renewing it. This rule may benefit me sometimes but it hurts me other times. For example, HostColor asked if they can advertise in the top spot in 1 months time but I had to inform them that the current advertiser has first choice.

This is the kind of position where you need to make a point of looking after a potential advertiser as they have made it clear they want to advertise on your site in the future. My tip to you is this, try and accomodate them as best as you can so that in the long term they become an advertising partner. For example, I usually try and persuade them to take another advertising position and give them a reduced rate.

Set reminders

There are hundreds of fantastic diary and scheduling scripts listed on Download.com but I personally just use the calendar function in Windows Mail. It isn’t the most advanced diary system but since my email program is the first thing I load up when I start my computer it makes it easier to keep it integrated with that.

When I sell a text link or banner ad I diary two dates. First, I set a reminder 5 days before the ad is to expire with details of the advertiser (name, email etc) so that I remember to contact them about renewing the ad. I also set a reminder on the day the ad is to be removed (however I remove this reminder if the advertiser does renew).

I’m sure a lot of readers will thing that this is common sense but I know a lot of websites lose out on potential income by forgetting to contact their site sponsors. Remember, your not using a network like Text Link Ads, your selling ads yourself. This means more money for you but it also means you need to do all the work which the ad network used to do for you.

Overview

As I said at the start of this post, some of you may disagree with the way I deal with advertisers however it seems to work for me. I’d love to hear how you handle your blog advertising (I may even implement some changes if I see a better system).

A big thank you to Tara from Graphic Design Blog for sending me this question :)


Kevin Muldoon is a professional blogger with a love of travel. He writes regularly about topics such as WordPress, Blogging, Productivity and Social Media on his personal blog and provides support to bloggers at Rise Forums. He can also be found on Twitter @KevinMuldoon and Google+.

10 comments - Leave a reply
  • Posted by Tara1 on 14th Sep 2007

    Thanks for answering the question and the mention. I think I need to come up with a better way to handle advertising. The email reminder to yourself is a good idea and something I will give a try, I think ical can do this on the mac. It sounds a bit more efficient than my current scribble in my filofax :)

  • Posted by Steven Snell on 14th Sep 2007

    Kevin,

    Thanks for the info. I don't currently sell ads, but these are some issues that I probably wouldn't have thought about otherwise. It will be good to know when the time comes.

  • Posted by Dave RH on 14th Sep 2007

    Just along the lines of taking care of your advertisers. Every now and then give them a little something extra. John Chow is an expert at taking good care of his advertisers, and it shows :)

  • Posted by Rhys on 14th Sep 2007

    Interesting post.

    I pretty much deal with advertisers in the same way. I have had quite a bit of success, and do use the two dates to plan removal of ads.

    One thing I do recommend if you're feeling brave is OpenAds. I run them on my blog and it just makes putting ads that little bit easier :)

    The other thing I use differently is Google Calendar to track chase ups. It is because I travel a fair bit, and I am not guarenteed to find a computer where I can check my Thunderbird calendar. You should be able to sync it with Outlook :)

  • Posted by Rhys on 14th Sep 2007

    Apologies, got confused, assumed you used "Outlook" when you mentioned "Windows Mail". That is probably Hotmail or something? :P

  • Posted by TextAdSearch on 15th Sep 2007

    I use a spreadsheet to track advertising. It's useful because you can use a separate tab for each site. Because it's a spreadsheet it is also useful for working out numbers and totals as well as storing ad hoc information such as email addresses and notes.

  • Posted by Adnan on 15th Sep 2007

    Great post Kevin. It's very interesting to know how other people are managing their private ad sales. I too use an Excel spreadsheet to manage my ads and to check how long it is before they need to renew. It isn't the most automated or efficient method, but it ties in with my "monthly income" spreadsheet.

    I reckon using Gmail to send email notifications would probably be a good method, so I should try and find out how to take advantage of it.

    Thanks for the post,

    Adnan

  • Posted by Kevin on 15th Sep 2007

    Rhys – I’ve used phpads, phpadsnew and a few others in the past but I usually don’t use something like that if I’m selling ads on a monthly basis. I only add it if im rotating ads. No, I didnt mean Outlook. Outlook Express in Vista has been renamed Windows Mail :)

  • Posted by Joshua Dorkin on 15th Sep 2007

    You've got the right idea about how to deal with advertisers. A publisher can't sit around waiting for an advertiser to pay or complete a transaction. If someone takes their time getting back to you, of course you should fill the ad space. Otherwise, you may sit another day and another with nothing but empty space, and a hole in your wallet.

  • Posted by Negotiation Trainer on 13th Dec 2007

    “First Come First Serve” is a little too risky in my opinion and looks a lot like “Take What You Get”. That's not a good way to do business.You might get a client but more often then not is not the best one you could had.

    Taking decisions fast is important in the negotiations process, but taking it too fast could be a disaster.

    You need to have some time to gather offers, then select the best one. Let your clients know that you are taking in consideration their offers and compare it to the other offers that you have.Also, very important, let them know the exact time when you will come back with an answer, in this way even if you will have the answer in one week,it will not look unprofessional.