This post is written with the assumption that the majority of bloggers are blogging away in the hope that somewhere along the line heaps of cash will start to roll in. I read many a post that will tell you that the most important thing a successful blogger should do is to market their blog. This seems logical, considering that you can’t make any money unless you lure unsuspecting readers to your blog. Whilst true I liken this to a store that placed ads of huge opening specials but forgot to stock the shelves or have staff on hand to take the sales. Taking that into consideration I reckon it’s better to get your blog in order first before you go out fishing for readers.
Although I reckon most of you are familiar with the following list, I would like to go through it anyway, for the benefit of those new to blogging the money way.
- Content: The most important thing has to be your content. It’s got to be informative and written well enough that it will captivate your reader. If done properly it will encourage the reader to subscribe to your blog, and if your lucky to promote it via one of the many social sites that exist. Naturally it’s easier if you provide the links for visitors to click on.
- Professional Theme: Very few people will look twice at a poorly structured theme and if your theme is really unprofessional it may actually scare people off.
- Ad Placement: This is very important and may need a lot of trial and error. What may work for one person won’t necessarily work for another. As far as Adsense is concerned, I’ve found the following positions to be the best;
- 336×280 ad placed at the top of my side bars
- 250×250 ad placed at the top of every post
- 468×60 ad placed at the bottom of the post
- I haven’t had much luck with the sky scraper ads but I persist with them in the side bar because I believe in getting as much exposure as possible
- Another good position would be the leader board add placed somewhere in the header. I don’t have any on my blogs as I much prefer promoting products that I hope to have a good conversion rate or ones that offer a high return.
If we were to consider the store analogy, companies will pay top dollar to get prime shelf position, usually those at eye level. When considering ad placement on your blog it’s best to place them in positions that are just as prominent. You will notice in the example above that my ad placements are where people are most likely to be exposed to my ads.
Sometimes if I write a particularly long post, I will even use one or two 468×60 banners to break it up.
Although we do not have much control, other than trying to choose the right keyword that Google may or may not target, over the ads displayed by Adsense, we do have total control over the ads we choose to display ourselves. Yet on more blogs that I care to number, including my own, we fail to display the right ads. This in itself is a failure to market our very own ad space.
Placing the right ad on a niche blog is relatively simple, but for those of us who do not have niche blogs finding the right product or service to market is a little more difficult. I feel that the difficulty of that task is what prevents us from doing the research required to find the right ad, and so we just place anything there in the hope that we may generate a sale. And then we wonder why our conversions are so low.
We should consider every post as having the potential to convert a percentage of our visitors into potential customers. We should remember that the customers more likely to buy or click on an ad are those sent by search engines and not our regular readers. Therefore what we should ask ourselves is what type of visitor are we targeting and ensure that they are greeted with the products they are searching for.
If you had a store, your wouldn’t advertise DVD players and then present customers a selection of vibrators now would you? And yet we will write a post about one subject and offer visitors something completely unrelated. Admit it, you’ve done it. I know I have and I continue to do it because I am the perpetual lazy blogger.
This is one situation where you should do as I say and not as I do. Take the time to research the right ad to display on your posts or blogs and I am sure that over time you will be rewarded for your efforts.
Naturally there may be times when certain posts do not offer the opportunity to display and when that happens I simply display rotating ads and hope for the best.