5 Simple Ways to Increase Your Blog Ad Sales

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Image Source: Info Carnivore

“How can I get more advertisers?” Most every blogger who’s chosen to monetize will ask themselves this question at some point in their career. IFB has a ton of amazing advice for bloggers who’ve opted to sell their own ad space, but what happens when you’ve got the basics down and are hitting a brick wall anyway? Is there anything you can do to jumpstart your ad sales and turn some of those potential advertisers into committed advertisers? Take a look at these 5 tips and then tell us your thoughts:

Follow Up!

It may sound obvious, but follow up is so important when it comes to closing the deal. Why? Because people are really, really busy. Most folks have more on their to-do list than they could possibly achieve in a given day, and the brands wanting to advertising with you are no different. Don’t let your e-mail get lost in someone’s inbox; be proactive by following up on interest. My personal rule is to wait until a week or so after my initial reply, and then send out a brief e-mail (usually just a few sentences long) that asks if the brand received my media kit and if they have any questions or would like to have a conversation about it. If you follow up a second time and still don’t get a response, it’s probably safe to assume the brand isn’t interested in advertising with you at this time. But you won’t know for sure if you don’t follow up.

Vary Your Ad Sizes.

Instead of making all your ads available in one size at one rate, play with offering different sizes and different rates. Can you sell 125×125 ads in addition to 300×250 ones? Can you make most of your ad space available to larger brands with larger budgets, but keep a few reserved ad spaces for independent brands with smaller budgets? Can you offer ad space in increments of weeks instead of months? There are lots of ways to implement this kind of strategy, but the most important thing is to give brands choices so they can purchase the ad that’s the best fit with their strategy and their budget. A variety of ad options gives you more opportunities to attract advertisers, and when you widen the net, you’re often more likely to catch what you want.

Offer Incentives.

Incentives are a great way to convert a potential client into a paying client. Some people automatically equate incentives with discounts, but an incentive can also mean giving away complimentary extras. For example, offering a client bonus ad time if they pay by a certain deadline (such as within 48 hours) is an incentive. So is throwing in a gift package of sponsored posts or sponsored social media updates if they take out a longer term contract. If a potential client seems hesitant about advertising with you, talk with them about what their concerns are and what they’re hoping to get from the advertising relationship. Then brainstorm ways to help make that happen.The key here is to be creative (but, of course, ethical) and to come up with ways you can both get brands to start advertising with you and keep advertising with you.

Be Selective.

Bloggers sometimes make the mistake of placing any and every ad they get on their site. While it may seem like a good idea to generate more revenue, placing ads that are actually relevant to your blog and readers is much more effective in the long run. Research your audience demographics and make sure that the ads you choose fit with that audience. If you’re on a fashion site and see an ad for fishing products, it might change the overall look and feel that you are trying to convey. Not only that, but it could also turn readers off from your site which is definitely not a good thing in the blogging world.

Hire a Media Rep

The advertising world just like blogging comes with its own set of rules – which if you are unfamiliar with them, may end up costing you money, readers, or both. Hiring a media rep helps make your transition into monetization easier. Because they are trained in sales, you are guaranteed to get ads that fit with your blog; they may also be able to get you a better deal with advertisers they may have used in the past and have formed a relationship with. For more information on hiring a Media Representative, email info@hautevisual.com and one of our knowledgeable sales staff will get in contact with you.

Have any suggestions for bloggers to increase their ad sales? Comment below!

Sources: IFB.com

 

Things a [Fashion] Blogger Should Never Say

We saw this list on IFB.com and couldn’t agree more with this article. Although this article was meant for bloggers, I think that these are some rules that apply to everyone.

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“I already know everything about [blank].”

You wouldn’t believe how many times we at IFB have heard this from bloggers in our community. Obviously, no one likes a know-it-all, but more importantly, there’s far too much new information, technical advancement and change-over in this industry to really know it all. Not surprisingly, that’s why we continue to hold the IFB Conference every season. While it can feel stagnant at times, everything from photography style and monetization methods, to brand partnership trends are constantly in flux. Opening discussions and offering (and asking for) advice about the big and little changes in blogging will always be important.  Keep your mind (and your business) open to new information and possibilities for success.

“I don’t need to be a part of the community.”

The act of blogging can be a solitary activity. We sit alone at our desk, on the couch, in an office — writing, editing photos, promoting on social media. For the most part, we are indeed individual entrepreneurs creating businesses on our own. And that’s a fantastic thing.  We can create on our own, but we can’t grow without each other. Exchanging knowledge, providing support and inspiration, making friends — that’s what the blogging community is all about. And strengthening these connections is what the conference is all about.

“Working with brands & getting gifted products is how you become successful.”

Jennine wrote a poignant post yesterday about the ways that fashion blogging has changed over the past few years, especially the way that brands and publishers work together. ROI is more important than ever, which has some brands scaling back their PR efforts with fashion bloggers. The good news is that we don’t need endorsement deals or event appearance fees to sustain financial growth. More and more, bloggers are building their business from the inside, with affiliate networks, advertising and services they provide. In every niche, bloggers are making a living without the celebrity status.

“I just want recognition for what I’m doing.”

Of course, we all want to have our hard work acknowledged, and it can be frustrating to feel like you’re working your a** off only to be wading in obscurity, wondering why you aren’t getting the traffic or social media traction that you want. The thing of it is, recognition, while often deserved, has to be earned. Asking for it (or worse, demanding it) is never the way you want to receive attention. Instead, keep your nose to the grindstone and your heart full of positivity and hope. Work hard, create brilliant content and keep putting it out there. The recognition you receive organically may take time – but patience is a key component to success as well.

“I’ll never be as successful or popular as BryanBoy or Cupcakes & Cashmere.”

The first and biggest problem with this statement is comparison. While assessing the competition is healthy, constantly comparing yourself (and your site) to others is not. If you look at the top 1% of successful fashion and style blogs, their commonality is actually the diversity of their content. Each stands alone in their niche. It might help to think about the fashion blogging community like the acting industry. You’ve got your unwavering Hollywood stars: your Julia Roberts’ and your George Clooney’s. Just because they’re in the business – making money and maintaining notoriety – doesn’t mean a bright young thing can’t burst on the scene out of relative obscurity, like Jennifer Lawerence or Jessica Chastain – and blow everyone away. There’s room at the top for each of us, as long as we’re ready to do what it takes to hold our place. One great role (read: post) might turn the spotlight on you for a moment, but sustained talent is what will keep you in business and earn you a career that lasts.

Source: IFB January 2013