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Improve Your Site! Tips Directly from My Advertising Contacts!

Whether you blog or not, hopefully today’s post will at least be a little interesting for you.  :-)  One of my blog advertising clients inspired me to email a handful of the advertising contacts I work with the most to ask for some tips that bloggers can use to make our sites better overall.

After the big Google crack down April and May 2012, direct advertising (ads paid for to be placed for a certain term) slowed down significantly.  After seeing what my contacts sent back, I realized that these tips can be used to look tastier to advertisers or just to grow in general.  Hope this helps!

Tips to Look Tasty from My Direct Advertising Contacts

-          Make sure your design and header look updated and professional.  First impressions matter online too.  A great design will give your website value in the visitor’s eyes.

-          Don’t display too many ads, even affiliate banners.  After the Google slap, advertisers are told to look for sites with less obvious advertising.  One contact suggested only leaving up ads that are actually making you good money and cutting out the rest.  This actually helps a site look less cluttered too, so it can be a win-win.

-          The main data that gets looked at on a blog seems to be our Page Rank, Domain Authority, MozRank, Page Authority, External Backlinks, and Referring Domains.  You can find most of this info at http://www.check-domains.com/website-analysis/website-analyzer.php.

-          Post regularly.  Specifically, they mentioned that you needed to post at least once a week.  The more often, the better.

-          Increase your backlinks (the amount of links that lead back to your site).  One contact specifically mentioned commenting, guest posting, and blog carnivals.  I am trying to ramp up my commenting again.  I used to comment on at least 20-30 posts a week, but got sidetracked last year.

-          Get listed in blogrolls as much as possible.  Many advertisers find their next targets based on the blogrolls of previous bloggers that closed deals with them.  Here’s a tip though, instead of just emailing random bloggers to get added to their blogrolls, reach out to ones that you make connections with.  I am way more likely to link to you if I know you via commenting or forums.

-          You may want to consider “baiting” your site since some advertisers look for what sites to advertise on based on competitor’s backlinks.  Like padding a tip jar, you may see more activity if you work in links to sites that are ranking well in big niches such as loans, etc.  For example, work in an insurance link to a big company if you would like more insurance advertisers to contact you…

-          Avoid mentioning that you blatantly accept cash for ads on your site.  Even writing that your site contains advertising is better than spelling it out since it attracts Google’s attention.

-          Stay on topic most of the time.  Some advertisers are told to avoid sites that frequently post about topics outside of their target niche.

-          The higher your social media numbers, the better.  And they suggest actually using those avenues to network, not just link to posts.  I really need to concentrate on this one myself since I rarely communicate via anything other than my blog, my newsletter, and direct emails.  I am going to make an effort to get more involved with Twitter and Facebook…

-          One contact mentioned getting active in sites like Pinterest, Instagram, or LinkedIn depending on your site.

-          One general point was that advertising changes a lot year to year.  So even if sponsored posts start dying down, other opportunities may arise.  One contact’s specific example was that his company is buying fewer links but hiring more ghost writers to provide better content.  My bet is that the better the content, the less often he is asked to pay for providing it…so remember to charge for non-personal guest posts or you are giving up money opportunities.

Main Points

As usual, the key to creating a solid blog really boils down to posting, networking (like commenting), and building up a name so you will have readers.  I was not hugely surprised by any of this, but I really appreciated some of their specific suggestions since it made me look at BFS again.  Sometimes it is just awesome to be reminded to get back to the basics.

Do you have any other suggestions?  What was the most interesting point to you?

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29 comments to Improve Your Site! Tips Directly from My Advertising Contacts!

  • Thanks for sharing a ton of valuable insight on the mind of the advertisers. I have found that the biggest thing is to treat them professionally and try your best to reach some middle ground on an arrangement.

  • Thanks for this, Crystal. It is interesting to hear what it’s like from the point of view of the advertiser. It’s also fairly straightforward stuff, but we don’t tend to think about it from their point of view.

  • These are all great tips, thanks!

  • Perfect tips Crystal. It is good to go over these, especially since it is a new year and you can make these changes gradually over the year.

  • Thank you very much for these tips. As a new blogger it’s really helpful to know what to do and what to avoid. It’s also great that these tips were from the advertiser’s perspective.

  • Some great reminders! Thanks Crystal!

  • I really appreciated that you emailed these out last week as well. Thanks Crystal!

  • Last week (before your email) I did a post asking for opinions on what we could do on our site as we haven’t quite rebounded since our last rankings hit. Your post is very timely and very appreciated!

  • Hey Crystal! I haven’t left a comment in a while! What’s new? This post caught my eye and I wanted to thank you for it. This makes sense. Too many ads can be a killer. Too few ads and you’re losing out on potential money. What’s a blogger to do?

    I personally try to audit my ads/headers frequently to see what works and what doesn’t.

    What do you do?

  • Thank you for this — these are hugely valuable tips. Seriously, I feel like you have lifted the curtain back so-to-speak when it comes to attracting ads in this field.

    Personally, I am trying to improve my back links considerably, by commenting more and also offering to do some guest-posting to get my name out there.

    I’m a bit of a ways off before attracting advertising offers, but I’m wondering if the format of my site — typical long-form personal blog posts sprinkled in amongst more linked-lists posts — would effect getting these offers, either good or bad,

    At any rate, extremely helpful post!

  • Thanks for the tips, Crystal! I’ll call this Appendix A to HIMMB =)

  • Thanks! I used to think it was much more random. I am concentrating on my writing and it seems the stats are taking care of itself.

  • I consider the first 3 months when I was blogging on Google a waste of time. I started to learn once I came to WordPress and my readers have increased from just a few a day to almost 200 each day.

    I may never have enough readership to monetize but your post here today will help me to continue to increase.

    I just emailed the link to my how to run a blog folder.

  • Great tips, especially for a beginning personal finance blogger like me. Still figuring it all out but with all the information that’s out there it shouldn’t take long.

  • Great post, Crystal. I haven’t really gone about monetizing my site (yet), but it’s true: great content that helps people usually sends everything else in the right direction!

  • Thanks for the tips. It seems just being consistent and getting your name out there is the big one. That’s great as I have no technical tricks!

  • Good information. I get a decent amount of comments on my site but I don’t get included in as many roundups (which I believe would create some incoming links) and I’m not sure why. Many bloggers seem to feature the same blogs in their roundups, but I would think that would actually lose effectiveness in the long run.

  • This is AWESOME! THanks! I know I don’t do some of these, and usually for good reason, but it’s good to know what advertisers are saying or looking for exactly.

  • They were all interesting to me. :-) I still can’t believe how awesome your idea was. I still have a ton more work to do, but it’s great to know what they’re really looking at. Thanks again, Crystal.

  • I have an specific question. You say that you asked you advertisers for suggestions.

    Does that mean that you are in direct contact with your advertisers?

    Do you use an advertising service?

    You don’t have to give away all your business secrets.

    I average almost 200 views per day but I am hopeful.

  • You’re welcome to everybody who said thanks! :-)

    @MMD, totally. Professional is the way to go.

    @Anne, I was surprised I had not thought to ask before…

    @Grayson, good idea!

    @Martin, I go through every main page of my site every 3-4 months and try to edit out anything that isn’t relevant anymore and I delete affiliate banners that aren’t making me money. Now I am trying to find an affiliate network that can make me the most and find products to promote that I love…

    @Mike, none of my contacts mentioned post lengths, so do what feels good. :-)

    @Mrs. Pop, I am actually thinking this will be a jumping off point for a 2nd HIMMB…

    @Money Beagle, I fall into that trap sometimes…including a core set of bloggers in my roundup because I like them so much. The last few, I’ve been consciously trying to branch out…

    @Jen, thanks for being the catalyst! :-)

    @Jane Savers, these answers were from ad brokers I work with directly. I run the advertising for myself and 300+ other bloggers, so I do form some relationships with reps I work with a lot. You may want to check out my Crystal-For-Hire page/tab there at the top of my homepage. :-)

  • These are great tips that I’m already working to implement; thanks for sharing (via email as well!) :)

  • I had to stop and take notice, as the title of your post drew me in. I too enjoy learning how to best optimize my blog for advertising, as it draws in quite a bit of interest. I have noted all your good tips.

  • Thanks for these great tips. Some of them I never knew about and others need to be continually readdressed and reworked. Thanks, I have bookmarked your page.

  • Hmm it appears like your blog ate my first comment (it was extremely long)
    so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly
    enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any tips and hints for inexperienced blog writers? I’d definitely appreciate it.

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