There are many different ways to monetize your blog, one of the most common ways is to offer ad space or sponsorship spots on your blog. You can do this through an outside company that will charge a commission or you can do it yourself. This is a complete guide to offering ad space on your blog yourself at a flat rate.
The main thing you need to ask yourself before you get started is
Is your blog ready?
If you are brand new to blogging now is not the time to jump into offering ad space! Advertisers need to know that your blog will give them exposure to new bloggers, clients, etc... this can not be done if you are new to blogging because you yourself have not established a reputation or readership. Instead, take this time to build up your blog.(Check out: Earning Money From Your Blog: Tips To Getting Started).
When you feel that your blog has something to offer advertisers and you are ready to start offering ad space here is a simple guide to get you started:
DETERMINE AD SPACE SPECIFICS: POSITION AND SIZE
Where will you offer ad space? In the sidebar of your blog, the header, the footer? Most common is adverting in the sidebar however if you have space in the header section of your blog you can charge premium rates for that spot.
You will also need to decide the size of ad spaces you will offer. Ad space use to be very standard but is becoming more wide ranged in that bloggers are altering ads to fit their blogs, which I think is great! It looks better when the ads fir in perfectly to your sidebar so try to offer what will fit nicely. For example if your sidebar is 290-300px wide you could do side by side ads of 140 x 140, then longer ads of 290 x 100 and an extra large ad space of 280 x 160. Play around with what will work for your blog. You will want to come up with a few size options, usually- small, medium, and large. Here is what the set up would look like for the above example:
You will need to decide on prices, this is often the most difficult part. There is no set in stone, fixed amount- which makes it even harder. You don't want to set your prices too high to where no one wants to advertise with you but you also want to get what you are worth.
Deciding what to charge can get very overwhelming so we have dedicated an entire post to this topic! Check out "How Much To Charge For Ad Space On My Blog".
How will you accept payment? Paypal is a common way to accept payment, they allow you to create invoices for free and anyone can pay through Paypal with a credit card, even without an account. Paypal does charge a small fee based on amount of money they collect for you but again it is a small fee.
Recurring invoices with Paypal- you can also set up your ads to be subscription based so that a invoice will be sent out each month. To do this simply click on "Merchant Services" and then "Subscribe" under "Create Buttons".
Let advertisers know your terms, length that the payment covers them for and if they have the option of renewing.
Your advertising page will be how prospective advertisers can find out more about your advertising options. You can either list the information directly on this page or offer the option of advertisers being sent a media kit. BE SURE TO LIST A WAY TO CONTACT YOU- either through email or contact form. Here are some basics you can include on your advertising page if you do not plan to offer a media kit:
What your blog is about. Who is your target audience.
Page views per month
Followers via GFC
Followers via Twitter
Followers via Facebook
You can also list:
Google Page Rank
You would then list your sizes and rates
and then contact information.
Some bloggers do not want to list advertising prices directly on their blog so they create a media kit which is basically an overview of your blog that lists your stats, prices, and any further information you think an advertiser may want to know. This is usually saved as a .pdf file and emailed upon request.
Media Kits vs. Posting Directly On A Blog Page
This is more a personal choice. Some may argue that not everyone needs to see your advertising rates but the truth is if someone wants to see them bad enough they will request a media kit anyways so not posting them is not stopping anyone from viewing your rates. However, I do think media kits are a great idea, they offer a great deal of information, they are professional, and can be customized to fit the look of your blog. My only concern, is that often prospective advertisers may be intimidated and feel your rates are high if you are publicly displaying them so be sure to be inviting when offering advertisers to contact you for a media kit. You may want to include a statement that assures advertisers that your rates are affordable.
POST AN ADVERTISING INFORMATION LINK
Create a link either in your navigation bar or sidebar that leads prospective advertisers to information on advertising. Simply label it "Advertise" or "Sponsor". Don't assume that just because you have ads in your sidebar others know you offer ad space. They may think you are full or selective on what you advertise so if you are seeking advertisers make it very easy for them to find the information they need to get started advertising on your blog.
CREATE SAMPLE BUTTONS
1) MAKE SURE THESE BUTTONS LINK TO YOUR ADVERTISING PAGE. When an advertiser sees a button on your blog that says "Advertise Here" they click on it, there is nothing more frustrating than clicking on a ad space button and having it open the image that links to the image source and NOTHING else. Link the button to where they can find advertising information.
2) Make sure the buttons are the same size of the space you are offering so advertisers can see how there ad will be displayed.
3) Place these buttons where the ad will actually be displayed.
4)Even if you fill up your ad space make sure you leave room for at least one of these buttons so new advertisers know that you do indeed accept outside advertising.
SPREAD THE WORD
Let readers and others know that you know offer advertising. Write a blog post or 2, tweet about it, post it on Facebook, we even have a group here on BSN, Blog Sponsor Connection, that is dedicated to seeking and finding sponsors so you can write a post in that group that you now offer advertising!
OFFER AN OPENING INTRODUCTORY RATE- A great way to get off to a good start is to offer an introductory rate. So for the 1st month the 1st 5 people to contact you can advertise for 1/2 the price or something similar to this.
This should cover the basics of getting started selling ad space on your blog! If you have had success selling ad space on your blog we would love to hear your tips- simply leave a comment to share!