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5 Things To Be Included In My Forthcoming FREE Guide To Selling Private Ads

5 Things To Be Included In My Forthcoming FREE Guide To Selling Private Ads

Today I’m excited to let you all in on a project I’ve been working on lately: an ebook that compiles all of the information I’ve gathered on selling private advertisements for blogs, as well as other forms of more experimental private blog monetization. This ebook will not only put all of the stuff I’ve already written on monetization here in one handy spot, it will also expand on that information, based on the experience I’ve gained over the past few months and fill in some gaps based on different backgrounds, traffic levels, and numbers of advertising prospects that people have. My goal is to have this ebook ready to launch by the time of BlogHer (at the beginning of August), but I need your help to make it more complete. Below I’ve listed some of the more general concepts I’ll be covering; in the comments or in email, I’m hoping you will let me know what I’ve overlooked or what you guys would like to see in a book like this, keeping in mind that if it’s not something with which I have personal experience, I am happy to try to track down the information to the best of my ability in order to include it in the book. I’ll keep you all up to date on the project as it progresses, and I hope everyone will spread the word once it launches, because I think it’s something that will be really useful to many people in the community.

  1. Topic Area One: How To Put Together Materials, Plus Record Keeping And Billing. This section gives ideas and samples on all of the various web sections and documents you need (or would have, ideally, anyway) in order to launch a private advertising venture such as: a media kit, a pitch letter, some kind of guidance to advertisers about how the ads are displayed, the more technical elements of things, how I keep records of advertisers, how I code the ads, how I bill people, all of that kind of stuff.
  2. Topic Area Two: How To Find Potential Advertisers. This section talks about various different ways to find potential advertising leads, in addition to the ways that have already been discussed here (mostly the PR email mining method).
  3. Topic Area Three: How Much To Charge. This section talks about how to balance your advertiser and your blog and the circumstances and come up with an appropriate price for the placement. This is more complicated than just coming up with a set of prices, because though you will want to do that, there are different advertisers who have different priorities and who are using you for different things, and you need to treat those people differently. (One of the reasons I want to do an ebook is so that I can talk about these issues at length without having to be so cryptic like this. Sorry for this kind of language, but I promise this will make sense later.) I’m hoping to help make more sense out of the puzzle of pricing in this section, with attention to niche, traffic level, and also the needs of the advertiser at the same time.
  4. Topic Area Four: Closing the Deal. This section talks about how to convince advertisers that they should buy an ad with you, based on a variety of different factors. It also tells you how to approach people, based on the basis of their objections to buying an ad.
  5. Topic Area Five: Alternative Ideas. This section talks about new ideas for monetizing that are being experimented with and how you can go about implementing them yourself, with some examples of people who have done them successfully, and how they have gone about doing it. Plus, ideas for how monetizing might look in the months/years to come, and how you can sell small businesspeople on getting involved.

I also will include some kind of discussion of when using ad networks is constructive and how to decide when it is working for you and when it isn’t. What else am I missing, peanut gallery?

Comments (11)

  1. Jun 14, 2010

    Sample contracts, though ideally they’d be downloadable as Word or text files, so one could customize without retyping the whole thing.

  2. Jun 14, 2010

    ooh, good idea. I’m hesitant to do this because of liability but I will look into that. At the very least there’s probably some guidance I can give that will be helpful.

  3. Jun 14, 2010

    I can’t wait for this, as I’m fumbling through it at the moment – hit and miss.

    Will “negotiation” be covered under Topic Area Four?

  4. Jun 14, 2010

    Yes! Everything that I can offer for help with that topic, anyway. A lot of this stuff is still hit or miss, of course, because we’re all just finding our way. But I’ve found some things are a little bit more effective than other things, so I’m trying to write down all of those things and organize them in a coherent way.

    I hope everybody will help me spread the word about it once it’s done, too.

  5. Jun 14, 2010

    I really need to choose an e-mail address to use to comment on sites with. I am so used to my main I always forget to use the one for my site. A dedicated e-mail address is a good idea to utilize. Silly I know but still…

    In your record keeping and billing maybe suggest Quickbooks. I know it’s giving them free advertising but really for a small business it can’t be beat. It’s so user friendly and simple and relatively affordable. Tax time is a breeze with it. Anyone can use it.

    The rest of it I can’t help with because I am learning everything from you! 🙂

  6. Jun 14, 2010

    1) Re-negotiating rates with long-standing advertisers once your stats go up and they have more to gain from it

    2) From the posts you did on Blogher vs your traffic spikes etc.: I think people would really benefit from learning how to (and the purpose) graphically compare the money they’re getting from ad networks against the progression in their traffic. The data usually makes sense to people better when it’s evaluated visually. This would allow people to make informed decisions about whether or not the ad network is appropriate for them or not.

  7. Jun 14, 2010

    What about a way to help advertisers measure ROI? That’s one of the things the big networks can give — number of impressions, etc. etc. We can give traffic reports, but is there a deeper look they need? I really don’t know, I’m just asking.

  8. Jun 16, 2010

    This could certainly prove to be an incredible resource. Especially to monetizing a blog.

    Personally, I wanna get this sort of thing automated; one of those flat rate ad sites seems to fit the bill for me better. But I may have to resort to manual sales in the mean time.

  9. This may be too basic, but I would love to have someone spell out for me something along the lines of “Don’t even begin to approach anyone with private ad sales until your blog has X, Y and Z.” Not necessarily numbers, but certain design elements, specific pages, that sort of thing. And maybe list things that you’ve found to be an immediate turn-off to potential advertisers in a blog.

    I’m waiting on pins and needles for this to come out – and I’ll definitely help spread the word.

  10. Jun 17, 2010

    Yes, metrics. Definitely.

    Also, tips on what your strategy should be at various traffic levels. It’s hard to know how big you are relative to others, so getting a sense of what constitutes a tiny, small, medium, big site (in a niche and/or in the larger world of mommyblogging) is helpful. I’ve been at it for 18 months and am only just now figuring that out.

    Also, various way to measure your sphere of influence…like, page views is one, but what about number of subscribers? How relevant is that? Like, I have 615 subscribers…what does that mean in terms of my sphere of influence? Big or small? Do advertisers even care since some of those people won’t actually see the ads?

    So, basically…metrics. Lots of ’em.

  11. Aug 23, 2010

    Ditto on what Angie said, although I am still trying to figure out how to increase my blog traffic. Until I can’t even think about monetizing.

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