Better Blog Promotion is a 5 part series I have written up for you guys to help you promote your blog better to increase your traffic and make the most of your hard-earned money spent on ads.
Part 1: Advertise Within Your NicheUnless you have an extremely generic blog (like mine ;)), you will probably find yourself falling within a certain niche such as: mommy blogger, lifestyle blogger, fashion blogger, health & fitness blogger, food blogger, wedding blogger, etc. Find your niche and then scope out other blogs like yours with a similar or larger following.
Of course we all want visitors, regardless of what their interests are, but when you are spending money on advertising, you want to stretch that dollar as far as it will go. You want to make it worth it. Would Playboy purchase ad space in a parenting magazine? Probably not. If you're a wedding blogger it doesn't make much sense to spend a lot of money advertising on a mom blog. It would, however, make sense to purchase ad space on another wedding blog and even a health and fitness blog in case there are some brides-to-be looking for ways to tone up before the wedding. I don't post a whole lot of (if any) funny things on my blog, so it would be kind of pointless for me to max out my advertising budget on a snark/humor blog since most of their readers are there for a good laugh and they wouldn't find that on mine.
I know we all want to support our friends, but when you start investing money into your blog, it essentially becomes like a business and in some aspects, should be treated as such. Nobody invests without expecting a ROI (Return on Investment) and the more you invest, the more your ROI should be. You need to choose the blogs you want to advertise on wisely in order to make the most of your investment otherwise you're wasting your money. One could argue that it doesn't really matter what type of blog you sponsor because we all visit different blogs for different reasons. While that is definitely true, you also want to appeal to that specific blogs current readers as well as their reason for being there. Personally, I visit all types of different niche blogs; however, there are some that I visit more often than others. For example, I am a mom, but I don't visit a lot of mom blogs on a daily basis and if I do, it's because I'm looking to read something specific, not to find other blogs to read. I typically wouldn't be interested in the sponsors on their sidebar because I assume most of them would be mom blogs (and that's generally just not my thing).
Before you just go throwing your money around, it's a good idea to set up a monthly budget and divide that amount between various blogs within your niche. If you have anything left over, you could put it toward the next month or use it to purchase an ad space or two on blogs outside of your niche just for shits and giggles (or experimentation purposes). I would suggest spending the majority of your budget on blogs directly within your niche, another percentage of your budget on blogs similar your niche, and any remaining amount on blogs outside your niche if there's one you are just really interested in. If no, save that extra money for next month to use on a more expensive blog or to extend your sponsorship of a blog that has sent you a high amount of traffic. Also, be sure to take advantage of blogs that offer free ad space or sponsor swaps! After all, free promotion is better than none at all. If you do participate in sponsor swaps, make sure you don't forget to return the favor.
Now, go out there and start searching for blogs like yours to sponsor! Create a list of the blogs you're interested in along with their rates for quick reference when you're ready to start advertising. I created a super basic budget sheet for you to print out and use to organize your monthly budget for sponsoring blogs. Click the image below to download. But don't go buying any ad space just yet! Stay tuned for Part 2 of the series where we will talk about smart and attractive ad design to increase your click-through rate.
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