When I began Christian Work at Home Moms in late 2000 it seemed like a natural thing to include advertising from moms who wanted to reach other moms with the business opportunities. I didn’t really have a strategy in mind; I simply stuck some ads on my website and waited for new advertisers to contact me. If you run a website or blog and would like sell ads on your site, here are a few tips from what I have learned over the years.
1. Assess your website
The first step to take to get ready to sell advertising on your site is to assess your website. Here are a few questions to research and think about:
* Does your website’s layout have room available for ads? If not, what changes need to be made to accommodate advertising? Premium advertisers will want to be towards the top of the page. You can still sell ads below the fold (the part of the site that visitors must scroll down to see), but they will need to be less expensive. Make the best use of the space you have available.
* What does your website traffic look like? Take a look at your statistics – how many visitors, unique visitors, and page views do you average each month? These are questions your advertisers will ask. The higher these numbers are, the more you can charge for ad placements.
2. Start Cheap
When I began offering advertisers I put several ads out there for at highly discounted rates. Since I had never sold advertising before I had no idea how visitors would respond to the ads and my advertisers were taking a risk just giving me a try. So, we started out very lost cost and built from there. In order to build your advertising base, don’t be afraid to do things like:
* Offer free advertising. There is no better way to make it known that you are now offering ad space then to simply start putting ads out there. Find causes you support, people you want to help out or even affiliate programs that you are comfortable with and go ahead and get some ads out there.
* Sell ads at discounted rates. When you’re starting out, it’s normal to offer advertisers low rates to get things started. Then, as your website grows offer monthly or quarterly advertising specials to reward advertisers and keep customers happy.
3. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask
I often get emails from magazines or other websites asking if I would be interested in advertising with them. If you are just starting to offer advertising, this can be a great way to recruit interested advertisers. In order to be successful this way, there are a few steps to take:
* Research and find your target market. Contact people and businesses that make sense – those who will want to reach your audience.
* Draft a well written email explaining your new advertising options. Include website statistics and ad placement rates.
4. Consider a Newsletter
If you don’t have a newsletter, my recommendation is that you begin one. Today. A newsletter does several things for your website: attracts repeat visitors, offers a way for you to contact your audience in order to make sales, and begins to establish you as an expert in your chosen field (if done properly).
A newsletter is also a great place to sell ads. The larger your mailing grows, the more you are able to charge for ads within. You can also offer special mailings so that advertisers can reach your mailing list directly.
Advertising sales start out slow for most of us. Unless you have a major audience that many advertisers are looking to reach, you will experience spikes and lulls in your advertising sales. However, if you stick with it and continue to grow your audience by offering great content you will eventually reap the benefits of your hard work.
About the Author:
Jill Hart is the founder of Christian Work at Home Moms (http://cwahm.com), a website that provides resources and encouragement for women who work from home. She is the author of So You Want To Be a Work-at-Home Mom and has been featured in places such as The Wall Street Journal and FIRST magazine. But mainly Jill is a wife and mom of two. She lives with her family in Nebraska. Learn more about Jill at JillHart.com and connect with her on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/SpeakerJillHart) and Twitter @cwahm.