Selling Ads on Your Blog: Perception is Value

One of my favourite stories to tell people looking to make money from selling ads on their website is an experience I had in doing the same. It was in the middle of my professional blogging career when I was tasked to help sell some advertising inventory on some sites.

Their traffic was good, and they were well recognized in their niche and so I assumed it would be an easy sell. I worked with someone on creating a marketing package to promote the inventory, and started contacting various businesses. I can’t remember the exact pricing we pushed forward, but it was something like $100 for the month. We contacted dozens of companies and got little response back.

I was scratching my head pretty hard after that. I assumed that having such a low price for our advertising space would have had people lined up to take their piece and promote their brand.

A little over two months later, traffic was the same, but we needed an injection of revenue. We adjusted all of our prices and contacted many of the same companies. This time, we requested something to the tune of $500 for a month of banner advertising space. To our surprise, we were able to sign up over half a dozen companies to promote their product.

What had changed? It wasn’t the blogs we had available. It wasn’t the advertising rules or size. The biggest change had been in our pricing. At the time, we didn’t realize it, but our initial request was set-up in such a way that we weren’t showing value, but instead cheapness. The people we approached must have initially thought that there was something inherintly wrong with our sites if we were selling such low cost ad placements.

Coming back, we started valuing our blogs and what we were offering, and in turn, so did our potential advertisers.

Advertising space is one of those odd things that have no real value except what you and the market place on it. It is a game of supply and demand as well as perceived value. If you can make something without any real value into something valuable enough to support your income goals, then you have an important, marketable skill.

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