Our Getting Started Guide for Monetizing Your Site
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Our Getting Started Guide for Monetizing Your Site



A beginner's guide for choosing and implementing the best online advertising for your site in order to make money as an online publisher.

A beginner's guide for choosing and implementing the best online advertising for your site in order to make money as an online publisher.



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Our Getting Started Guide for Monetizing Your Site Our Getting Started Guide for Monetizing Your Site Presentation Transcript

  • OUR GETTING-STARTED GUIDE FOR MONETIZING YOUR SITE a s a n o n l i n e p u b l i s h e r by
  • What is The Long Tail Alliance? The Long Tail Alliance is an initiative of IAB, the Interactive Advertising Bureau. It was created to give small online publishers a community and a resource to learn more about advertising, monetization, and their peers.
  • Who can benefit from working with The Long Tail Alliance? The Long Tail Alliance is an initiative of IAB, the Interactive Advertising Bureau. It was created to give small online publishers a community and a resource to learn more about advertising, monetization, and their peers. What sort of resources does The Long Tail Alliance offer? WEBINARS We host regular webinars on topics that are important to online publishers in our community. NETWORKING Our private Facebook and LinkedIn groups allow you to communicate with your peers and gain insight from their experiences. We also host in-person networking events to allow you to meet with other online publishers in your region. ANNUAL FLY-IN Every year, The Long Tail Alliance hosts a “Fly-In” event in Washington, D.C. While there, our members meet with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to discuss legislation that directly affects our industry and livelihoods. MEMBER
  • Whether you’ve just started exploring monetization efforts for your site, or you’ve been in the advertising game for some time, the options for making money from your blog or website can be a bit daunting. In this section, we’ll lay out some of the pros and cons for the main types of advertising available to you. WHAT TYPE OF ADVERTISING IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
  • Banner Ads PROS ! Banner ads provide the easiest setup. If you’re using Google Adsense, it’s as easy as inserting a block of pre-determined HTML code into your sidebar. ! There are a myriad of size options depending on where you’d like the banner to be placed on your site. WHAT TYPE OF ADVERTISING IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
  • Banner Ads WHAT TYPE OF ADVERTISING IS RIGHT FOR YOU? CONS ! Most internet readers are now immune to banner ads because of their use on almost every site. If your payment is based off how many clicks each ad gets, having your readers overlook them will result in very little income. ! With a provider like Adsense, you don’t get to choose which ads are displayed on your site, which means something obnoxious, off-topic, or even a competitor might show up for visitors.
  • Affiliate Links PROS ! With an affiliate link, you know exactly what you’re selling. You can pick and choose products and companies that you believe in, which adds a genuine touch to the advertising on your site. ! In addition to choosing brands you believe in, you’ll also have control over content that really makes sense for your audience. If you take the approach that the products you choose to promote are ones that will truly help your readers, you’ll be able to make money in a way that still feels heartfelt. WHAT TYPE OF ADVERTISING IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
  • Affiliate Links WHAT TYPE OF ADVERTISING IS RIGHT FOR YOU? CONS ! If you’re a new site, it’s going to be difficult for you to set up (and make money from) affiliate links. Brands and business owners seek out publishers that they think can make a real impact on sales, which is hard to execute when your readership is low. ! Clicks don’t make money for you here, purchases do. You have to consider that a small percentage of people that visit your site will actually click the link and purchase the product or service you’re promoting. If you know your audience extremely well and have found something that you can convincingly sell to all of them, that might not be the case. Just don’t set your expectations too high.
  • Sponsored Posts PROS ! Now that companies have caught on to readers’ avoidance of banner ads, they prefer to market their products in a location that can’t be ignored: directly within the blog post. With this approach, one of the biggest “Pros” is that you can set your own pricing. ! What’s great here is that your payment as an online publisher is separate from how many clicks/buys result from the content. You’re paid up front, and once you’ve executed the post and any related social media promotion, you’ve done your job. Keep in mind, clicks & buys are still a factor in the sense that they’ll contribute to a company’s determination of whether this relationship is beneficial enough to continue working together. WHAT TYPE OF ADVERTISING IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
  • Sponsored Posts WHAT TYPE OF ADVERTISING IS RIGHT FOR YOU? CONS ! This is a tricky income stream for new bloggers. Most companies want you to establish a strong relationship, not only with them but with your readers, before entering into this kind of partnership. If you’re not in a place where you can reach out just yet, take this time to create a process for developing these relationships. What will your email pitch be like? Who will you start interacting with on social media? How do plan to prove your worth to your chosen brands? ! Readers are very perceptive of an online publisher whose voice is being sacrificed in order to talk about a company. Make sure that posting for a brand doesn’t mean a shift into more robotic or corporate writing styles. Most readers will tolerate sponsored posts, but not if they feel as though you’re sacrificing quality.
  • Why did any of us start publishing online? What was the point of starting a blog in the first place? Ideally, it’s because you had a message to share and you felt others out in the world could benefit from what you’ve learned about a certain topic. With this in mind, your choice of advertising outlet should factor in how it will impact your readers. HOW TO IMPLEMENT ONLINE ADVERTISING
  • Reader Impact ! Are there so many banner ads that your readers can barely find your content? Are your sponsored posts started to outnumber your non-sponsored posts? Are you adding in affiliate links that aren’t appropriate to your audience, just because you think they’ll get a substantial amount of clicks? ! All of these questions are ones you should seriously consider as you move forward with monetizing your site. If any of them are a “yes”, be wary of readers who will ditch your work because they feel your content is no longer genuine. HOW TO IMPLEMENT ONLINE ADVERTISING
  • Testing Your Options! Now that we’ve listed out the Pro’s and Con’s of the 3 main types of advertising for your site, don’t feel as though you only have to pick one option. ! Create a schedule for each option (or only the ones that appeal to you) and make sure to track progress through pageviews, unique visitors, clicks (if applicable), and even the subjective feedback you receive in terms of comments & communication with your readers. ! This will create a device with which to measure the success of each outcome and how your own comfort level factors into which path you will eventually take. HOW TO IMPLEMENT ONLINE ADVERTISING
  • Like most big steps you take in your business, a successful advertising plan is one that starts out with an approach that makes sense for your brand, your audience, and you workload capabilities. HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT ADVERTISERS
  • Accurate Traffic Counts Google Analytics ! The first step to any successful media kit and advertising relationship is an accurate snapshot of your site’s influence. ! Depending on your web platform these stats may be available within the back end operation of your site, or you can go the more common route of creating a Google Analytics account. ! If you haven’t used Google Analytics before, it will take some time to figure out how to make the most of all of its features and data. Look for free tutorials online that will walk you through the basics for getting started, then slowly work your way up to more detailed information. ! HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT ADVERTISERS
  • Create a Media Kit A media kit will be your first form of communication with any potential advertisers. It will explain more about your site, your audience, and opportunities for brands to partner with you. It should have a very professional look with well-executed copy. Even if your brand language is more conversational, or your company strives to be playful or casual, your media kit needs to be structured in a way that brands will understand. HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT ADVERTISERS
  • Create a Media Kit Media Kits need the following information: ! Introduction/Overview of Your Company - What do you do? Why do you do it? How did you get started? What progress have you made? ! Actual Media - Be sure to include photos of your team, your products, your office, and/or your employees in action. ! Media Coverage - Include any major media coverage, but make sure it’s recent. ! Rates and Specs - List options for advertising. This can be banner ad specs & associated rates or a description of the different types of sponsored posts you offer and how much each of those will cost. ! How to Get in Touch - List the best way for brands to contact you if they like what they see and want to work with you. ! HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT ADVERTISERS
  • Target the Right Brands Partner with brands who have similar objectives to your own. You’ll both see increases in traffic and higher conversions when you have similar goals. ! Target Markets: Are you trying to reach the same audience? Clearly define which demographics your site reaches and which you wish to reach better. Understanding your own market and comparing it with potential advertisers’ markets will increase the likelihood of the ads resonating with your audience. ! Voice: Studies show (particularly with sponsored posts) that conversions are most likely to happen when a viewer has a seamless experience between the original site and the sponsored content or ad’s landing page. Reading light, casual copy on your site and then clicking through an ad and landing on a very stoic, formal page elsewhere can be jarring, to say the least. ! ! HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT ADVERTISERS
  • So, you’ve mastered the basics of advertising on your online publishing site. Now that you feel comfortable with how the industry works and what approach is right for your business, it’s time to take the next steps towards a high- earning site. DIG DEEPER INTO ADVANCED ADVERTISING
  • Joining an Ad Network Ad networks are essentially advertising brokers. You create the space on your site, and the network tries to sell it to outside brands on your behalf. In return, they collect a percentage of the revenue when they make a sale. Ad networks often sell more space than a publisher can alone, but it does require relinquishing some of the control you have over your own site, as you no longer hand pick which brands you try to partner with. DIG DEEPER INTO ADVANCED ADVERTISING
  • Negotiating Your Rates If you’re doing your part by driving a lot of traffic to an ad, but you are not satisfied with what the advertiser is paying you, you can attempt to negotiate a better rate. Once you become more established as a publisher and demand for your ad space or sponsored posts increases, you can start to negotiate higher rates for your site before you get started with an advertiser. Trying to hook a new partner who is still on the fence about coming on board? Consider creating your own ad to drive free traffic to them for a few days. Show what you can offer, and they’ll have a better understanding of your value and price points. DIG DEEPER INTO ADVANCED ADVERTISING
  • HOW TO JOIN THE LONG TAIL ALLIANCE Membership is FREE for ebook readers with the code LTAGUIDE, and sign-up only takes a minute. We value your commitment to LTA, and we want to make this community worth your while – our membership benefits are unparalleled and exclusive. Visit us online at longtailalliance.com/join/ and join today! ! Follow us on social media facebook.com/LongTailAlliance twitter.com/iablta Or become a member and get access to our private Facebook and LinkedIn groups! !