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.
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?
FYI: I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 a year. I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $80,000-$100,000 through blogging, a rental home, and professional pet sitting. If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you). I even have all of my favorite tools on a resource page - I hope they help you too. This all gives me the time to be with my aging family members, the flexibility to stay close with my friends and family, and it should help if we finally get pregnant too! Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!