Check out my new guide for starting a blog to learn how to go about properly creating your own blog.
Since you guys and gals seem to be appreciating my posts relating to blog advertising, I figure I might as well keep that theme going for a bit. It is an area that I feel quite comfortable with since I have experience on both sides of the business.
If there’s something in particular you want me to cover related to blog advertising or anything else to do with blogging, just let me know. Or if you want to contribute a future blogging tips post yourself, that would be awesome too. It’s been a while since I’ve had a guest writer for this series.
If you’re new to this series, check out some of the previous blogging tips posts:
- Honesty in Blog Advertising
- Blog Advertising Part II – Advertiser Tricks
- 10 Recommended WordPress Plugins For Your Blog
- Google PageRank, Not Just About Links
- Blog Link Building – Not All Links Are Created Equal
- With Blog Networking It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know
- Importance of Blog Networking
- Advanced Keyword Strategy For Your Blog
- Effectively Using Keywords On Your Blog
- Optimal Blog Keyword Research for SEO
And now for this week’s blogging tip…
How to Make Your Blog More Attractive for Blog Advertising
A lot of bloggers want to make some money for their blogs via direct advertising. Unfortunately they often don’t realize what advertisers are looking for. To do well with blog advertising you have to put yourself in the advertiser’s shoes. Know what they want and you can work at improving your blog to meet those needs. Then you can get more ads and charge more money.
The first thing that many advertisers check is a blog’s Google PageRank. This gives them a good idea of how much a link from your blog will help their SEO. Since it’s a metric directly from Google, it is assumed that it is more geared towards how Google’s values links.
It is far from a perfect metric though. For one it currently only updates every 3 months. So a blog’s PageRank can be outdated if you’ve been doing a lot of marketing. Secondly since it is a 10 point scale, it is a very vague rank.
To improve your PageRank, refer to my post “Google PageRank, Not Just About Links“. PageRank is primarily about how many links are pointing to your site and how strong they are. In simplified terms, the higher a page’s PageRank, the better it would help your own PageRank to get a link from that page. Do be aware that onpage issues can limit your PageRank as mentioned in my other post.
Most advertisers are particularly interested in blogs that have a PageRank of at least 3. The higher you get your PageRank, the higher you can charge for advertising.
Domain Authority and Page Authority
Since PageRank is an imperfect system, a lot of advertisers instead rely on Domain Authority and/or Page Authority. You can check those stats on Open Site Explorer from SEOmoz. They use a 100 point scale that updates much more frequently than PageRank. While it is largely focused on links to your blog, it also considers other factors that should affect your Google rankings.
So to improve these stats, do the same kinds of things you’d do to improve your PageRank. Try to get lots of quality links from lots of sites. Also make sure there are no on-page problems such as slow loading speed, w3 validation errors, broken links, etc.
Personally I have not been using Domain Authority and Page Authority long enough to know what a good score is. Try comparing your scores against other blogs to get a general idea. I have heard of some advertisers looking for a Domain Authority of at least 30, but the higher the better.
Traffic and User Engagement
To a lesser degree some advertisers also look into how much traffic a blog receives and what level of user engagement exists.
For checking traffic, advertisers might check a blog’s Alexa Ranking to get a rough idea of how popular a blog is compared to others. It may be the most accurate publicly available measure of your blog’s traffic. Some advertisers do straight up ask how much traffic you get, but that is quite rare.
To improve your traffic, get very active marketing your blog. Comment on lots of other blogs, interact more on social media, participate on forums, guest post and do anything else you can to get your blog name out there. On top of that, ensure you are writing quality content with intriguing titles. Ideally that content is optimized for keywords that get a decent amount of searches but aren’t too competitive.
As for user engagement, an advertiser may look at how many comments you receive on posts, as well as social shares for each post. The number of people following you on social media or via RSS is important too. Those kinds of metrics can be padded by cooperating with other bloggers, but for long term success you’ll want to again focus on creating the best possible content. By interacting more on social media sites you also increase your chances of getting shares.
For more about blog statistics, refer to my post about the importance of blog statistics.
Giving Advertisers the Green Light
Besides improving various stats, it helps to make it more obvious to advertisers that you accept advertising. This is where you have to walk a fine line since Google does not want you selling links that can help an advertiser’s PageRank. On the flip-side, advertisers are looking for those exact benefits. So know that you are risking things with Google if you choose to go that route.
The first way you can give advertisers hope is by creating an advertising page, but be very careful about your wording regarding the type of ads you accept. You don’t want to give Google explicit evidence that you are trying to violate their terms of service. The more subtle approach is to create a guest post policy page. The problem is that with that approach you could very well get more marketers trying to scam free advertising.
Next you can simply accept more guest posts and label them as such. There are some advertisers that search Google for something like “guest post” + their target keyword. So the more guest posts you have on your blog, the better the chance of showing up for those kinds of searches. The extra benefits of that strategy is that you get free content and build connections with the guest writers.
Lastly you can work with an ad broker that will help negotiate ads on your behalf in exchange for a small commission. Get in contact with me if you want a referral to a good ad broker.
Now there very well could be other factors that certain advertisers take into consideration. Things like blog design, writing quality and image quality could all make a better first impression with advertisers. If your blog looks low quality, don’t expect an advertiser to pay much for advertising.
Work on making your blog attractive to advertisers and you’ll find that you’re improving your blog for everyone…your readers, search engines, other bloggers and even yourself. You might even find that you improved your blog enough to not want to risk getting on Google’s bad side. Then you could pursue even more lucrative monetization strategies.
Do you feel that your blog is well optimized to impress advertisers? Is this something that you are concerned about?