Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Let's talk about Sidebar Advertising...

Today's post is inspired by one of you!  While I may not always be able to get to all of the questions I get in my Inbox, some do inspire me to write {smile}.  If you have something that your curious about, feel free to fill out my Contact Form.  I promise to do my best to get back with you or share my two cents here with all of you!  Sound like a plan? 

Reader question:  At what point would you recommend side bar advertising? And, could you explain what "text link advertising" is? I've had quite a few people asking if I would do that, but I'm not sure what or if there are dangers in that type of advertising?

Alrighty, here we go.  In my humble opinion, I don't think there is any right or wrong time to start side bar advertising.  I think it's when you believe you have something to offer and you're comfortable having your sidebar take on a new role.   When I say that you have something to offer, I don't necessarily mean pageviews either. Some blogs don't have a lot of pageviews, but there community is STRONG.  Every post has comments, social media is active and the blogger has influence.  So, it truly is determined by you.  Do you have something to offer bloggers, etsy shops, brands? Do you have a voice?  Do you have influence?  Are you being notice by the press?  Do you have the pageviews?  Are you active with your readers by replying to comments, tweets, etc?

When I first started advertising on Live Laugh Rowe, I did ad swaps.  Both bloggers get a little extra exposure and you'll make some new fabulous blog friends along the way.  This is also a great way to get a feel for advertising and seeing buttons in your sidebar.

When you're ready to take the plunge in charging for the sidebar ads, do a little research.  Ask some of blogs that are around the same size as you what they charge and offer to their readers.  This will give you some bases as to where you might start.  When I first started offering sidebar advertising, it was an overwhelming amount of work -- getting the buttons, uploading them or getting the code and then remembering to remove them at the end of the month.  Thankfully, Passionfruit Ads entered the wonderful world of blogging and made it so super easy!  They do all the work for you and for a minimal fee.  You know what?  That fee is worth every penny. You'll add code to your sidebar in a widget/gadget/or whatever it's called (hee-hee) and Passionfruit Ads does the rest!  Fabulous.  Over time, you'll decide to offer more to your advertisers such as social media shout outs, guest posts, giveaways, etc -- so your packages and price points will change and evolve into what you want them to be.  Something to remember is that your sidebar is a part of your on-line retail space!  So, you may start with a few ad swaps -- but after awhile, nothing should be in that sidebar that isn't making you money.  I heard that said somewhere awhile back and it has stuck with me.  However, be reasonable about what you charge AND be sure that your sponsors are going to get a return on their investment. 

Another form of popular advertising is text link advertising.  Friends, be VERY careful here.  A lot of these can be very spammy, particularly those inquiries coming from outside the USA.  IF you agree to partner with a brand for this type of advertising, be sure they are going to allow you use 'no follow' links.  Here is a must read for those of you considering text link advertising:  Google Webmaster: rel='nofollow'.  The money is not worth being penalized by Google.

I hope this helps...  and if you should have additional questions in regards to sidebar advertising, don't hesitate to leave a comment!  Have a fabulous week. 

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