So you wanna start a blog do you? So did I.
Congratulations! You’ve started your blog! So did I.
Things are going well, people who don’t know your middle name are reading your posts … you think you might wanna start to run advertising. So did I.
Only, when I started my blog and decided to start putting up ads I had no one to help. No one to tell me what to do. No one to demystify what might be the best kept secret in the world (next to how Joan Rivers stays looking so young). Just kidding. Llamas in Peru know she just drinks a lot of water and gets plenty of rest. While sitting in her plastic surgeons office.
Actually now that I think about it Kate (Centsational Girl) was a huge help and generous with advice when I was starting out. And still is. As was Alice from Savory Sweet Life. That poor woman answered every stupid question I had. Have.
So blog advertising. Even if you don’t have a blog you’ve probably wondered about the ads you see on blog sites and why they’re there. And I’m gonna tell you allllll about it right down to how much money you can expect to make.
A Little Background
Bloggers blog for free. They blog their little hearts out and ask for nothing in return from their readers. So to make money, because Yes, Virginia … blogging is a job … we place ads on our site. Suck it.
I’ve had people email me to ask me to take my ads down. ’Cause they bug them. My general response is, “Well, if the ads come down, so does the blog. Take your pick“.
There was a time when saying your blog was ad-free, or non-profit was a badge of honour. As far as I’m concerned it’s a badge of stupidity. If you saw $20 sitting on the sidewalk wouldn’t you pick it up? Yes. Yes you would. Not selling advertising on your successful blog is like not picking up that $20. Getting paid for something you love to do is not selling out … it’s selling yourself short.
So. That’s why bloggers run ads. To make money so they can continue to run their blogs. It’s either run ads, or charge readers for reading posts.
There are 3 main ways bloggers advertise on their sites. Google Adsense, small, privately sold ads in their sidebar, and through Vertical Ad Networks.
Here’s how they all work …
The most popular first choice for bloggers looking to run ads are those from Google Adsense. They’re easy to implement and reap little reward. BUT … you’ll make money and get your readers used to seeing ads on your site. The Art of Doing Stuff gets around 500,000 pageviews a month. I make around $350 a month from Google Adsense by placing one Google ad at the bottom of my post prior to the comment section. Google ads are “pay per click”. This means the blogger doesn’t get paid unless you click on the ad.
You get paid 15 – 30 days after month’s end. So if you made $50 in July, Google Adsense will direct deposit that money to you in the middle of August.
The next step a blogger usually takes is to run ads in their sidebars for small businesses and people who have Etsy sites. These ads are normally 125 x 125 pixels in size. My ads run for $50 for the month. Smaller blogs would charge less, larger blogs would charge more. I normally have between 10 and 14 Etsy ads on my site every month. So that’s between $500 and $700 a month I’m making from these small ads.
You get paid up front. I bill on the 1st of the month for all the ads running that month.
The real money making for bloggers comes in from Vertical Ad Networks. Once your blog has at least 5,000 views per month you might be big enough to get the interest of a vertical ad network. The largest networks like Glam, Federated Media, and BlogHer require more views or some kind of “in” to get noticed. You can apply online and if you’re lucky they’ll like what they see and send you an email inviting you to join the Network.
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I’ve recently switched to a new network. I left my old network and joined Glam at the end of March. I will also be working with a new Canadian company SheBlogs. Glam will cover my ads that are seen in America, SheBlogs will run the ads that are seen by my Canadian readers.
Vertical Ad Networks take care of getting advertising for your site. They buy and sell in bulk. Vertical Ad Networks are relatively easy to deal with. They give you a “code”, you insert it into your website and the ads automatically run. The more ads you run on your site, the more money you make, although it isn’t recommended that you run more than 3 or 4 ads from the vertical networks. When you work with a vertical ad network they’re going to want the biggest and bestest spots on your site for their ads. They sell your ad space for a certain amount of money. You get 50% and the network gets 50%.
So if Toyota buys an ad spot for $10, you get $5 and the network gets $5. The “leaderboard” or the ad that runs across the top of your page … and a 250 x 300 pixel ad “above the fold”. Above the fold means the ad can be seen right off the bat, without having to scroll down the blog page. If above the fold isn’t possible because of your blog layout, then the closest thing possible is what they’ll want.
You’re given a variety of choices in terms of what you want shown on your blog. If you don’t want ads that are video … you just say “no video ads please”. If you want videos (because they pay more) but won’t accept video ads that automatically play … you just say so. The choices are all up to you. Generally speaking, the more invasive an advertisement, the more money you get paid for it.
So, as a blogger you have to decide where you draw the line. Over the next couple of months I’ll be running a variety of ads, deciding which ones work best for my site. Vertical Ad Networks normally pay on a “pageview” basis.
You get paid for every time someone views your page regardless of whether they click or not.
Most networks pay according to your CPM. Your Cost Per Thousand (M is the Roman numeral for 1,000). Let’s say you get between $2 and $3 for every 1,000 pageviews you have. If your blog gets 5,000 pageviews a day, you’ll make $10 – $15 a day for every ad from the network on your site. If you’re running 3 ads, you’ll make around $30 – $50 for the day. More pageviews translates into more money.
Vertical Ad Networks often work on a 60 – 90 day withholding cycle. If you make $50 in January you might not see that money until March or even April.
Confused? Yeah. So was I. That’s why I’m doing this post for you. It’s kindda boring. Sorry ’bout that.
A look at my full page shows you where all the ads I’ve talked about are positioned.
Money made from advertising isn’t huge. It just isn’t. That’s why in the future, chances are you’ll be seeing more and more “in your face” ads on blogs than ever before. It’s something we’ll all have to get used to and accept. The thought of less than discrete ads doesn’t thrill me either, but neither does the thought of having to go back to buying no name cheese and dressing up like a ticket taker so I can slip into movies. Those outfits are gross.
So if advertising dollars are kind of slim, how are you supposed to make any money? More readers. The more readers you have the more money you will make. The amount of time and energy put into your blog will stay the same, but your income will increase as you get more and more readers.
This seems like a perfect time to introduce my latest venture. The Art of Doing Stuff reader drive. Do you know someone who would appreciate my particular brand of laugh til’ you cry DIY? Someone who would like to read my posts? Well then tell them about me! Phone, text or email them! Let them know I’m here.
Did you really love a particular DIY? Click the little Pin it Button at the bottom of my posts. Stumble it, Tweet it, Facebook it. One Pin can have a HUGE impact.
This is the only way my blog, or your blog will get more readers. I share everything with you and hope you will in turn share it with your friends. This advice is true for any blog you read by the way. If you like it, let other people know about it.
If over the next month or so, you post and Pin and Tweet and email your little fingers to the bone and I see a measurable increase in traffic … I will have another tea towel giveaway.
If not, it’s back to something like this. Your choice.