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How To Sell Ads On Your Blog Even With Hardly Any Traffic – A Step-By-Step Guide

I really don’t want to keep harping on Blogrush. I don’t hate it at all, and I’m not trying to scare anyone… I just think it won’t work for the majority of my low-traffic blogging brethren.

jfk_lowtraffic.jpgTime will tell. But rather than keeping bitching about my opinion of it, I’d rather help you, the low-traffic blogger who isn’t making any buck with your blog, with a few better ways/ideas to make some money with your blog.

Here’s my first idea, put to you in steps you can/should follow. Give it a try and let me know how it goes. In my opinion, this is a much better use of your prime real estate to generate profit for you down the road.

The problem for you? You have a low-traffic blog. You’re not a marketer, or do you wish to be one. You just know you like blogging and you wish that you could make a few extra bucks a month from your efforts. You’ve tried Adsense, didn’t work. You’ve tried Chitika, didn’t work. You’ve tried them all, they didn’t work. So you thought, “why don’t I sell some ads on my blog?” But you don’t know how to do that because you’re not a marketer. Plus, you have hardly any readers, so why would anyone want to buy an ad on your blog? So what do you do?

Step 1 To Selling Ads On Your Blog: Make Some Room!
The first thing you have to do is make some space on your blog for some ads. I suggest you work 2-4 ad spots into the top of one of your sidebars. Pick a standard ad unit like 125×125 and reserve that space on your blog for those ads.

Step 2 To Selling Ads On Your Blog: Explain Yourself!
Now build a page on your blog discussing ad rates. Make sure to include your monthly traffic stats (even if they are low) and also write a paragraph about what your blog is and why people like to read it, and who those people are. Advertisers want to know who they are reaching.

Step 3 To Selling Ads On Your Blog: Track Advertisers Down!
The next step then is to identify some advertisers to pursue. Go to the more popular blogs in your niche and see who is advertising there. For example, if I wrote a tech blog, I would go over to Techcrunch.com and see who is buying ads there. Make a list of the top 10 companies to contact.

Step 4 To Selling Ads On Your Blog: Pitch Them!
Send an email, or phone call if you can, to those companies telling them you’re giving away a free banner ad on your blog for 3 months. All they have to do is send you a 125×125 banner and you’ll post it up for free. Send them your ad rates page and explain to them that you’re simply trying to get noticed and that your blog is a good target for their potential customers. Be honest with them. Let them know that you’re giving them the free ad in hopes that in months time they’ll be interested in buying an ad from you, but will not be required.

Step 5 To Selling Ads On Your Blog: Report & Track!
Now hopefully you’ve gotten some advertisers to take you up on your offer. Set their banner ads up and closely monitor how many clicks and impressions they are getting from your blog. At the end of every month, send a quick note to the advertiser letting them know how the free ad is doing. Make sure you’re using a tracking program if you can, like Openads.com which is free, but kinda complex to setup. Not totally necessary to use, but helpful.

Step 6 To Selling Ads On Your Blog: Close Them!
At the end of the 3-month free ad, or right before the end, send your advertiser a summary report. Make your case. Ask them if they’d be interested in purchasing that spot now on your blog for a very low rate. Make it $100/month or something, whatever. Even if only one of them goes for it, you’re now making $1200 a year more than you were before.

Summary: This, in my opinion, is a much better use of your prime real estate than something like Blogrush, and is hardly any work really. Give it a try.

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42 Awesome Comments So Far

Don't be a stranger, join the discussion by leaving your own comment
  1. Andy Beard
    September 18, 2007 at 10:41 am #

    Blogrush currently has 60-80% surplus inventory which hasn’t been earned by anyone. Whilst the percentage of that surplus inventory compared to users will decrease, a lot of that surplus is on the high traffic blogs.
    From what I can see that surplus is being shared out to everyone, thus the smaller blogs are gaining a benefit.

    A blog in the top tier with 30,000 impressions per day is giving the network 240,000 advertising positions that it is free to disperse however it chooses.
    John is perfectly at liberty at some time in the future to decide that blogs that are not providing inventory don’t get to spend their credits from downline or give them reduced exposure – I am not sure he will have to – if the top tier remove widgets, there would be a chain reaction.
    The top bloggers will get lower CTR because many people have already read their content.

    If you have followed anything about Income.com, John has stated that most of it will be free and there are going to be a number of services and community features.

    Over 3 days I have generated 70 targeted visitors – I need to improve conversion of that traffic. If I wanted to get that traffic from Adwords, it would have cost me between $7 to maybe $70 depending on niche.

    It is true that I could earn $70 from the same space, but probably not $700

    There are credits being wasted on blogs that aren’t relevant, foreign language etc that slip through, it is very early days.

    If you look at my blog you will notice that I have removed a number of widgets. Spicypage has never really brought any traffic, the Technorati links without being able to edit or add to them weren’t giving me any control. They will come back in another format later on.
    Bumpzee is missing only because of the server problems recently, it will be switched on again today or tomorrow. I don’t class Bumpzee as wasted real estate and have a lot of time invested in the community.

    There are some interesting things happening in internet marketing, the “closed” landing page is opening out. Blogrush is going to help bridge communities which is good for blogging and for affiliate marketing in general, of all persuasions.

    John Reese isn’t new to the blogging game, some time ago he purchased Pingoat.com – I am not sure how long he has had the squeeze page at the top, but I am sure he has a large database of bloggers already and already had a huge list anyway.

  2. Andy Beard
    September 18, 2007 at 10:47 am #

    Oh, just to be clear, the $70 or $700 that could possibly be earned is over a 30 day period, the traffic was a 3 day example, it is too soon to tell.

  3. DayJobNuker
    September 18, 2007 at 12:26 pm #

    I’m confused how you go from having a “low traffic” blog and giving the ads away to suddenly charging $100 a month. That seems like dreamland to me. Shouldn’t it be more like $10.00 a month?

  4. YC
    September 19, 2007 at 12:52 am #

    Brilliant – I’m working on some of these – and it’ll be a useful reminder for many! Thanks for writing this, Jim!

  5. cardiogirl
    September 19, 2007 at 7:29 am #

    Wow, that’s an awesome idea and I will be implementing it soon. Thanks for the step-by-step clear instructions!

  6. Adam
    September 19, 2007 at 10:19 pm #

    Certainly some good material there for us bloggers. Thanks for providing the information plus the clear, meaty instructions. So many times, i’ve seen good content, but its rarely backed up for the easy to follow ‘to do’ steps.

  7. Jim Kukral
    September 19, 2007 at 10:21 pm #

    @YC, let me know how it goes.

    @cardiogirl, as I said above, let me know how it goes. Glad to help.

    @Adam, I’m happy to assist. Tried to make it as easy as possible to follow.

  8. Chris
    September 20, 2007 at 12:17 pm #

    Any opinions about just how soon you should start this process, if you are starting a brand new blog? I’m guessing you should wait a month or two till you have a good cache of articles and a few regular readers?

  9. Jim Kukral
    September 20, 2007 at 12:26 pm #

    @Chris, yes, you should probably have a few months of content built up on your blog first.

  10. Jason Golod
    September 20, 2007 at 6:59 pm #

    Simple is usually the best way to go. Good list. And, I agree that blogrush is the next over-hyped thingamajig. Sounds great on paper, but I have not read any of the links in any of those boxes I have seen on people’s sites.

  11. Novice SEO
    September 21, 2007 at 8:28 am #

    I am one of those blogs that has low traffic. I have only been around since may. My blog documents what I have learned to increase the ranking on google of one of my websites in a very competitive arena. I was zeroed out on RSS subscribers until last week when my blog was featured on a video by WebProNews.com. Now I have 30 subscribers and about 70 visitors a day. Still very very low but it is a start. I think one thing that is very important at this point is not to get discouraged and quit but press on. I am at a point where many bloggers quit… that six month period with no income and low visitor rate. I have a feeling if I continue to blog daily with constructive content that eventually the blog will pop out. Patience is the key…..

  12. Jim Kukral
    September 21, 2007 at 8:31 am #

    @Jason, yes, simple and high quality content!

    @Novice seo, continue to write content that solves problems for people and you’ll be on your way to success. Stick with it.

  13. Matt Jones
    September 25, 2007 at 7:13 am #

    Interesting idea, but if I had a low traffic blog, I would focus on building traffic so people would want to buy ads. I wonder if your idea would work…

  14. Supernegro.com
    September 25, 2007 at 10:07 pm #

    I’m curious…what exactly is considered low level traffic? Less than a 1,000 visitors a day? If so, will companies realistically fork over at least $100/month for such weak numbers?

  15. Jim Kukral
    September 25, 2007 at 10:09 pm #

    @Matt, it does work, try it.

    @Super, I say low-traffic is like 100 visitors a day, or less. That’s 99% of all blogs my friend. If it’s in their niche, and you make it easy for them, and you can prove that it’s worth a few bucks. Why wouldn’t they do it?

  16. custom tailor
    September 27, 2007 at 11:04 am #

    thanks for writing this jim

  17. Howard
    September 29, 2007 at 9:18 am #

    Howard can I add these standard 125×125 ad spaces without using AdSense or another provider?

  18. Mike Pedersen Golf
    September 30, 2007 at 10:17 am #

    I’ve sent you an email and a contact form inquiring about your services with NO response. You must be too busy for new clients…good for you!

  19. Jim Kukral
    September 30, 2007 at 10:27 am #

    Not true Mike. I did email you back. I said I wasn’t doing any of my free consulting anymore which you mentioned you wanted. If that wasn’t you, than I never got your email.

  20. Ownemanappeby
    February 15, 2008 at 11:25 am #

    Just discovered a complete list of all marked down products at Amazon, sorted by category
    and % off, ranging from 50% off to 90% off (thanks Sonja for the effort).

    Actually I never thought Amazon would have articles with 90% off, but only in the category
    Electronics there are more than 3000 of them – look for yourself, the list is on
    Bargain Hunter (which is a blog of a woman who specializes in finding good deals at
    Amazon, like Britain’s “Jeanie”).

  21. vrajesh
    July 11, 2008 at 3:26 am #

    I DON’T WANT TO MAKE MONEY FROM MY BLOG,BUT I LIKE TO PUT SOME ADVERTISEMENT BANNER ON IT.WHAT CAN I DO?

    vrajeshs last blog post..THALASSERI CO-OPERATIVE HOSPITAL

  22. Aura
    July 15, 2009 at 11:24 am #

    hello

    I want to start selling ads on my blog, and I'm wondering how people deal with this:

    Say I have 5 ad spots to sell, they all get sold out, how do you deal with remaining companies/clients who are interested in buyin an ad? do you keep the selling the space to the first companies until they are no longer interested, or do you place ads in accordance to some place in line? i would like to know more about this, maybe someone could suggest where I can read more on this topic?

    Thanks in advance

  23. Jami Graham
    July 17, 2009 at 6:39 pm #

    This is great information! Honestly I've never thought of selling ads on my blog till someone suggested it last night. I'm thoroughly intimidated by the idea and I can't quite grasp the concept. I just added a link for subscribers so I think I'll wait and see what they have to say first!

  24. mayhemgaurd
    August 2, 2009 at 2:38 pm #

    well, just aswell cheap mobiles uk stock really cheap electronics products. Make me looking foward to xmas already :)

  25. 2Φ3Σ27Φ (\)λ√λ22Φ
    September 8, 2009 at 6:21 pm #

    I sold my first 2 ad spots last week to local businesses in my area for $20 dollars a month each, but it took 2 years of building my audience and paying very close attention to my audiences reaction after every post (what got the most hits, coments, and bounces, etc.).

    I recently came up with the Idea to branch out in to a magazine and pull resorces with the smaller local blogs and have them all wright under my umbrella, so that what ever profit is made off ads in their section of the magazine will be shared, giving them an incentive to wright and make their section stand out.

    I know $40 a month won't be enugh to quit my day job but it's a start, considering i live in Mexico and $40 to me is like $400 dolars to some one living in the U.S.

  26. BloggerDude
    October 8, 2009 at 8:24 pm #

    I don’t know If I said it already but …Excellent site, keep up the good work. I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, :)

    A definite great read….

  27. elie palima
    November 23, 2009 at 5:15 pm #

    hi, thanks for these tips, Really helpful and it got me to think more.. anyway, I'll post results here..

  28. Trafficspaces
    December 28, 2009 at 8:35 am #

    Hey Jim,

    I agree with all the points above.

    However, “Step 5. Report & Track” seems very manual. There are tools that can automate all that now.

    For additional info How to Sell Ads Online, read this – http://bit.ly/8pPCP8

  29. viclogic
    February 16, 2010 at 8:10 am #

    That a nice idea. But since this article was written in 2007. I don't think this will still give an edge to the high competition that is existing nowadays – 2010. Anyways, this article still has its top position in Google for the keyword -where to sell your blog's ad space. Thanks for the tip.

  30. elie palima
    March 1, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    hey man it's me again, 3 months ago I had hardly any traffic on my website but now that I'm receiving a decent ammount of traffic, I've managed to sell the first 3 ad spots on my blog by following this post of yours. :D.. this truly proves that “implementation is the key” nwei, Thank you very much for your advice!

  31. James
    March 3, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

    I have a Scottsdale SEO company that has been doing my Internet Marketing and I am impressed at the amount of search engine exposure I have received and the value it has brought to my marketing efforts.

  32. Mike
    April 9, 2010 at 9:39 am #

    Thanks for this. Great advice. God I hope I win the million this weekend.

  33. Shennan T.
    August 17, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    Really great tips. I will try to implement that in my blogs. Great idea!!!

  34. Jason
    November 30, 2010 at 7:16 pm #

    Can this be done on any Blog platform?

  35. Tabby
    March 23, 2011 at 3:28 am #

    Thanks for the idea of pitching trial ads to advertisers! I've been getting some interested parties approaching me about advertising, and was looking to up that number. I think I will put your ideas to use, and try building my advertiser list this way! : )

    Thanks, Tabz.

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