As you can see from my sidebar, I have been very fortunate in my direct advertising sales. None of the links in my current sidebar are affiliate links (check out my Selling Advertising post where I was unsure about being able to fill my inventory). How did I do it? Don’t skip this article…
One of the smartest thing you can do to monetize your blog is to research your competitors. What are the other sites in your niche doing? Where do you stand in terms of traffic, subscribers, comments, and number of posts per month? Look objectively at the information you collect and write a short message to yourself of the stats, and try to sell yourself on how great your blog is.
Then look at who is advertising on your competitors sites. Take out all the affiliate banners and links, get rid of anything that doesn’t interest you, and look at compiling a list of around ten different companies worth contacting.
Let the companies know how smart they would be to advertise on your blog, and if you have done your research, and chosen well, then you will be telling the truth. Never sell a lie! If you approach a company, sell them on advertising on your site, the best thing you can do is to make sure it is a good fit so that they will want to stay on as an advertiser. The longer they stay on, the less work you have to do to keep your advertising inventory full.
Most likely, if you have done everything well, you will receive around one “yes” out of every ten companies you contact, and while this can seem like a waste of time, I assure you that this works, and can work really well at providing a strong source of monetization of your traffic and site.
Direct ad sales have the advantage of making sure every dollar goes into your pocket rather than some faceless advertising service but of course the downside is the amount of time it takes to contact a variety of companies.
One other special note that might help you convert each e-mail into sales is to make sure you personalize your contact with each company. Why did you contact them specifically? What can you offer them? What advertisement option would work best for their product or service? Make the whole process easy, and you will have a better chance of selling them on your opportunities.
The worst they can say is “no”, and then you just thank them for responding and move on, but if you never ask, then you’ll never get a “yes”. I have tried numerous times to post on my blog hoping that a company will see it and spend some money advertising here, but that was very rare, and despite being fairly passive, I wasn’t reaching the right companies. An advertising page isn’t enough. You have to get out there and let companies know about your advertising inventory.