Welcome to Sponsored Advertising 101!
Please excuse me while I set my Blogger Hat aside to put on my Search Engine Marketer Hat.
We’re heading straight to the meat and bones of how to entice your own advertisers and what to charge.
But first an unexpected change of plans (I’m adding this in after writing 1000 words). Sponsored advertising is now a 2 semester course. SO, today we’re talking about how to entice and impress advertisers and tomorrow we’ll discuss what to charge.
So let’s get on with the show.
Whether you’re a multi-topic blog or niche blog, you can successfully sell ad space and sponsored posts and be profitable at it, as long as you’re honest, you know your audience and you’re providing value.
What do advertisers want?
Having worked on search engine marketing campaigns for businesses, I can tell you first hand what these advertisers want.
They want traffic that will convert into buyers.
When working on a client’s SEM campaign, my first step is search engine marketing research to determine how much of our search engine advertising budget should go to Google Ads and how much should go to blogger outreach. When it’s a competitive niche, many times I prefer to invest the bulk of our budget into blogger outreach, if suitable and impressive matches are available.
In hopes to prepare you to impress the heck out of other advertisers, I’m going to share:
- what many advertisers look for when we visit your blog.
- what statistic advertisers want.
- what extra info you can add to impress advertisers.
What many advertisers look for when we visit your blog
- Fast load time.
- An attractive design that would appeal to our campaign’s target market.
- Easy and visible navigation.
- A short bio with picture in the sidebar.
- An “Advertise Here” page.
- Existing sponsored ads in your sidebar. (considering an ad swap with other bloggers until you have paid sponsors)
Many times I find bloggers to contact by Googling my client’s keywords and evaluating who ranks for it.
What statistics advertisers want
The Advertise Here page is a MUST, should be prominent in your menu area, and should be updated monthly if not weekly. The page should also include a prominent download button so I can download a pdf of the contents of the page.
Here’s what the Advertise Here page should include:
You’ve got 4-5 sentences to tell me what your blog is about and who it’s main audience is, to impress me with an achievement, and to tell me why I would benefit in investing my client’s money with you.
Your overall traffic.
List total visits, unique visits and pageviews for the most recent month.
Can be found in Google Analytics.
Your Referral Traffic.
Breakdown where your traffic is coming from. Search, SM Platforms, Networking sites. List them all.
Your Social Media Presence.
Stats from Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and Pinterest. Linkedin too if you have it.
Your Subscriber count.
From your rss feed and newsletter.
A quick breakdown of who your readers are.
Country of residence, gender, age and anything else that you feel the majority of your readers have in common (kids, pets, powertools).
Ad space and sponsored post pricing.
We’ll talk about this in the next post.
What extra info you can provide to impress advertisers.
Your newsletter and rss feed open rate and click through rate. Mailchimp is good with providing this info in the reports section.
A list of keywords (that relate to your audience and content) that you rank in Google’s top 20 search results for. As an advertiser that list is a happy surprise. If one of your posts is ranking on page one of the google search results for a keyword phrase I’m targeting for my client, I’m going to want to pay you to insert a banner on that post’s page. If you’re ranking for lots of my eywords, I’m going to want to pay you for a sponsored post or ad space.
Once upon a time you could compile this info from your Google Analytics. Now you need a 3rd party source. You may be able to compile this info if you’re using the Stats Counter Plugin to track your traffic. To have a list compile for you, you can sign up for a SEMRUSH account. Yes that’s an affiliate link. It’s one of my better investments.
A list of super popular blogs/news sites that link to you (via a post or their blog roll) and send you traffic. It’s nice to know others are recommending you AND sending you traffic.
Screenshots of your most impressive, best performing social media platform posts written to promote a sponsor. Pins, G+ posts, FB Stats Updates, Tweets…
If you don’t have any of these extras, work to at least better one.
Take. Action. Now.
Don’t wait for advertisers to find you. Hit the pavement man.
Compile a list of your google top 20 ranking keywords.
Confirm you’re on page one or page two of the search results (if you’re on page 2, the sites above yours need to be really really big competition for your ranking to be impressive).
Click through to page 4, 5 and 6 and find businesses/brands who are trying to rank for the same keyword phrase (or a phrase that relates closely, for example, if you rank for a lot of terms that relate to art project materials, look for an art store online to pitch).
Pitch the owner or marketing person.
Let the brand know that you get X amount of traffic monthly for these specific keywords that relate to their business. Attach a customized version of your Advertise Here pdf. SEMRUSH will actually list how much of the traffic you receive from search engine results is for that one keyword phrase.
This Screenshot shows What phrase I rank for, what spot in the Google Top 20, How many people search for that term monthly, the cost per click if they were to pay for a google adwords campaign, the url of the post and the amount of traffic i receive from Google for that keyword term.
Get to seo-ing sistah. I have a free training video and checklist available for subscribers. Grab it.
Ok, in tomorrow’s post I’ll go over what the heck do you charge…
Feel free to ask for clarification for anything, in the comments section.