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Old 17th May 2008, 06:12 AM   #1
Valto
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Question Why Does So Few Blog Have A Advertising Rate Card, Done For Potential Advertisers?

This one is a HUGE question mark for me and I would like to get your feedback.

I have worked as an entrepreneur for most of my life, big and small, local and international. And for past 5 years I have been working as a business consultant and consulting more than 600 new entrepreneurs to help them get started and established. One thing I have learn to be very common, is that doing price sheets for their products and service is a difficult task, so difficult that most would like to avoid that and many times those are not done properly or done at all. So selling becomes request/offer based, and that slows them down and created less selling opportunities.

This same thing I see with small print publishers and with bloggers. In print it's generally more common to have ad rate cards done that it is in websites. But even there small publishers don't really have ad rates clearly thought out. And if there is an ad rate card (big or small publication), it's usually done in PDF format, that is not very usable tool online.

So what about blogs? Huge majority of blogs don't have any kind of ad rate cards done at all. And I think that it's for the same reasons as those new entrepreneurs I have consulted.

But if a blog don't have an ad rate card, how can it expect for advertiser to buy any ad's from there? Everyone should make the buying process as easy as possible for any kind of sales. Selling ad's is no exception.

I have seen this rate card issue as such a big global problem for small publishers (print or web) that I have decided to start doing something about it. I may even have to become full time entrepreneur for once more, to get this moving.

And I'm now talking only about direct ad sales, not about the hundreds of other options that exists (tradedoubbles, adsence etc.).

My questions to you are:

a) if you have a blog and want to get direct advertisers, why don't you have an ad rate card?

b) if you don't have a blog, why do you think that blog's don't have rate cards?

c) if you are a potential advertiser for any size of blog and would like to advertise, do you feel that ad rate card, would make your buying decision easier?

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Old 17th May 2008, 04:27 PM   #2
RayGoneFishing
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Maybe because many blogs don't have enough traffic to make selling ads worthwhile? And some bloggers also don't want to sell ads to keep their blogs pure and un-commercial...

I agree, though, that bloggers who do want to sell ads should make the whole process as easy and painless as possible, both for themselves and for potential buyers. Having a rate card looks like a good way to do just that.

By the way, you have a couple of typos in your sig. The links point to ratecrads.net.

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Old 21st May 2008, 09:33 AM   #3
Valto
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Default Thank you ;)

Thanks to pointing out my error in signature. Boy I feel stupid

Yes I too agree that if you dont want to sell ad's you really should not. Also I think that showing adwords ad's may feel like "non commercial", but we all know that's REALLY not the case (for google)

Also everyone should understand that when they sell their ad's directly, they can choose not have advertising that don't fit to their blog, readers will also like this more and advertisers will also get better results.

Another thing. Knowing how much bloggers spend time to get visitors, so that they can get ad revenue, they also should think of cutting corners. ie. let advertisers know about their blog too.

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Old 23rd May 2008, 12:35 AM   #4
RayGoneFishing
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valto View Post
Thanks to pointing out my error in signature. Boy I feel stupid
Don't. It's so easy to switch a couple of letters. I won't say how many misspelled URLs I've posted around the web over the years...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Valto View Post
Also everyone should understand that when they sell their ad's directly, they can choose not have advertising that don't fit to their blog, readers will also like this more and advertisers will also get better results.
Yes, that's certainly an important point. I agree that handpicking your ads is more effective -- in terms of both revenue and user satisfaction -- than letting an ad network choose which ads to display on your site.

However, you also have to look at the time and effort you need to put into it. If you use an ad network, you just throw a few lines of javascript on your page and you're done. Working with advertisers directly takes much more time and for low-traffic sites the additional revenue may not be enough to pay for the additional work. In this scenario the ad network may in fact be the better solution.

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Old 23rd May 2008, 06:10 AM   #5
Valto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayGoneFishing View Post
However, you also have to look at the time and effort you need to put into it. If you use an ad network, you just throw a few lines of javascript on your page and you're done. Working with advertisers directly takes much more time and for low-traffic sites the additional revenue may not be enough to pay for the additional work. In this scenario the ad network may in fact be the better solution.
I agree with this thinking, but I want to point out that this should not be a question of what is better or to have to choose one over the other, but to think both. Also I agree that if your site is just too small, itís not worth the effort, but whatís too small also depend on the topic of your site. If your site is about very generic subject with low traffic itís perhaps not worth it, but ifí itís a very niche subject, then even with lower visitor numbers it can be quite valuable for someone selling something in that subject area, particularly if things sold are some what expensive.

Also there are free tools like openx http://www.openx.org/ that after you have set it up, it will allow you to easily manage your own direct ad positions

Hereís is how I see it:

First you should start with choosing one or few ad networks and design you ad positions in your site/blog layout on all pages. Via ad networks you can get all position filled out and your ad revenues started.

After you have done this. You have already done big part of what you need have to show to advertisers, where in your site the ad positions are etc.

Depending on what ad network you use and what tools you are using, you will get lots of statistics of your ad's performance on your site and what kind of ad's and advertisers will start to pop up in your site.

Using this information, you can pick up the best performing ad positions and start creating your own ad rate card to promote and attract direct advertising for those.

For pricing. From the statistics you are seeing what the average revenue per position is. Start by multiplying that by two to five. And then offer 20% from that price to first time advertisers. You can search online to see at what prices others are offering, but the right price depends on your audience and readers. The more targeted your site/blog is to particular topic, the more valuable it is for advertisers. So price depends on the volume and profile of your readers.

After you have your ad rate card visible on your site, you can ad that to directory, where advertisers can search for sites to advertise. Now you have done the minimum to open up the door for direct advertisers to find and contact you.

And as you can see it's not really a big step or lots of work if you already have some ad network ads on your site. And naturally you only replace direct ad from network ad's if/when you get them.

The next step beyond this is to promote/sell your ad space, but that's only if you choose to go this far. Creating advertisers an option to buy direct, does not mean you have to start selling too.

If you would also like to sell, then the next step from this is to see what ad's are performing well on your site from these ad network ad's and contact them or their competitors directly to offer your best positions to them on fixed term. For advertiser this allows them to "own" your best position and shut the competitors out from that.

oooops - this became a bit of a long post

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