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.
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.
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