Blog Income – How to Maximize

blog-income

Blog Income is easily one of the most crucial factors for measuring the success of any blog. To realize your blog’s full potential you need to:

  • Maximize the quality and frequency of blog content – Produce lots of quality content for your readers to read and for the search engines to index.
  • Maximize blog traffic – Efficiently and effectively promote your blog (see How to Promote Your Blog – 5 Simple Steps).
  • Maximize blog income – Read on…

Blog Income Maximization

The goal of blog income maximization is to earn as much as you can from each unit of ad “inventory” on your site while keeping your site free of ads that might be off-putting or annoying to your readers.

To maximize your blog income, you need to look at all possible sources of income available to your blog. These potential sources of income include:

  • Display Ads
  • Text Based PPC Ads (Such as Google AdSense)
  • Affiliate Ads
  • Paid Links
  • Sponsored Posts

NOTE: See How Do Bloggers Make Money? for more details on the above blog income sources.

To maximize your blog income you’ll want to utilize all available channels and always go with the best paying channel (when you have a choice). You’ll also want to try to keep mindful of the user experience (UX) and keep your ads beneficial to the user and tasteful.

You’ll quickly find that display ads pay the best. Furthermore display ads where you’ve sold directly to the advertiser pay the best within the display ad channel (versus network ads).

So in general, to maximize your blog income you’ll want to sell as much of your ad inventory as possible to advertisers who will run targeted display ads on your site for a premium price. Ad inventory that hasn’t been sold directly can be filled with ads from other channels/sources. Our recent blog post, How to Get Advertisers for Your Blog – 4 Steps, teaches you how to get this type of advertiser.

Once you get the advertisers signed, you can manage and serve their ads with AdPlugg (it’s what AdPlugg was designed to do!). If you have AdPlugg Pro, you can then generate reports to send to your advertisers to keep them happy and excited to continue advertising with you.

Have questions or want to share what you did to maximize your blog income? Please use the comments section below.

Democratic Design: New Feedback and Ideas Forum Launched

Feedback and Ideas ForumIf you haven’t noticed, AdPlugg has been growing, rapidly. Every month we are adding hundreds of new users. A large number of these new users have reached out to us with suggestions about what features they would like to see added to AdPlugg.

We definitely have goals and a mission for our software but we don’t want it to be our software, we want it to be your software. Bum ba da bah!!! We bring you…AdPlugg’s Democratic Design!

The AdPlugg system is your advertising system and we want you to have a say about what we add, what we change, what we take out, etc. That’s why we’ve just added a new Feedback and Ideas Forum. Using our Feedback and Ideas forum any user can post ideas, give feedback, make suggestions, etc. Each post can then be voted up or down and commented on by other AdPlugg users. We are going to work to get the ideas that get the most up votes into the software.

We’ve kicked the system off by adding a bunch of the ideas that you’ve already submitted to us. Check out the forum and vote on the ideas that are already posted there. You’ll need to be logged into AdPlugg (get a free AdPlugg account) in order to vote on the ideas. Once you’ve read and voted on the ideas that have already been posted, post any other ideas that you can think of. This is what democratic design is all about. Get heard, give your ideas the opportunity to gain traction and support from the AdPlugg community and see them added to the system.

We are very excited to bring your democratic design. Don’t want democratic design or don’t like how we did it? Post your suggestion or ideas to the Feedback and Ideas forum. Use democracy to change democracy.

Follow the AdPlugg Blog with Bloglovin!

Follow the AdPlugg Blog with Bloglovin

Follow Adplugg With BloglovinFollow the AdPlugg Blog with Bloglovin! Bloglovin allows you to aggregate all of your blogs into one easy to read feed. No need to regularly check on dozens of blogs, with Bloglovin you will be able to see of the new posts of the blogs that you follow in your feed.

Bloglovin also has a really great mobile app that allows you to read your blog feeds anywhere you go. Bored waiting at the laundrymat, DMV or dentist office? Pull up your Bloglovin feed and read up on what’s new with the blogs that you follow.

Click the below link to follow the AdPlugg Blog with Bloglovin:

Follow the AdPlugg Blog with Bloglovin

You can also follow sites and pages other than blogs if they have an RSS feed. Want to know anytime AdPlugg posts a new press release? Follow our Public Relations RSS feed on Bloglovin by searching for and following https://www.adplugg.com/public-relations/feed.xml

We want to hear from you. Got some tips or comments about Bloglovin? Post them to the comments section below.

We’ve Just Released The Pro Plan

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AdPlugg just launched the Pro Plan! We’ve been hinting at it for a long time and put out a press release about it last week. The Pro Plan is our premium offering designed for large high-demand sites.

Made to scale up to billions of ads per month the Pro plan can handle any size site from a popular blog up to a massive media outlet. Don’t worry, we still have our Free Plan and intend to keep it available. In addition to massive scaling, the Pro Plan includes additional features designed for professional and enterprise level customers. For example, the Pro Plan comes with additional reporting functionality.

If you look at the top of our site, you can see that we’ve added a new Plans drop down. From there, you can go to pages that describe the available plans. Please check out the Free Plan and Pro Plan pages. We’ve also added a new Plans page where you can see both of the plans in a side-by-side comparison.

To sign up for the Pro plan, start out by creating a free account from the Sign Up page. Once you’ve signed up and are logged in to your free account, you’ll see an “Upgrade to Pro!” button at the top of the screen. Just click the button and follow the onscreen instructions to instantly upgrade your account.

The Pro Plan comes with a 30 day money back guarantee so you can try it out with no risk. Just downgrade your account (from the Account Settings menu) before the end of 30 days. We’re really excited about it and hope that you’ll try it out.

If you have any questions about the Pro Plan or about anything else, please post them to the comment section below.

How to Promote Your Blog – 5 Simple Steps

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Overview

So, you’ve started a new blog…or you have an existing blog that hasn’t achieved as big of a readership as you would like. Well, in this post I’m going to show you how to promote your blog and grow your readership through five easy steps.

It should come as no surprise that most of these techniques involve social media. Social Media is a great way to be heard by a large audience. If you present yourself and your content effectively to the various social channels, you can drive large amounts of traffic to your blog. So let’s get stated…

1. Share Your Post on Facebook

Facebook is a great way to promote your blog. After you’ve published your new blog post, copy the url and open your facebook account. Just paste the url into the status update box and press the Post button. Facebook will automatically create a nice looking post including a picture (make sure you use pictures in your blog) and teaser text. This post will go out to all of your Facebook friends. You’ll be amazed how many of your friends will take a look and each like you get will promote the post to all of your friends’ friends.

2. Share Your Post on Twitter

Another great social platform for promoting your blog is Twitter. To promote your blog post to twitter, past the title of the blog post along with the URL. Also include hashtag keywords such as #football or #weddings, these hashtags will help your post be seen by more people.

3. Pin it on Pinterest

You should always have pictures in your blog post and if they are interesting, your should pin them on Pinterest! This is especially true if your blog targets women readers (68% of Pinterest users are women). There are some great plugins that put a “Pin It” link on all of your images. These plugins are usually free, easy to install, and make it easy for people to pin your stuff. You should also try to make and include infographics in your blog post. Infographics are very popular on Pinterest and are sure to get lots of pins. Lastly, you should pin all of the images in your post yourself to help get them started.

4. List Your Blog on Bloglovin

Bloglovin is a popular blog post aggregator. It allows people to follow your blog but also helps you promote your blog and makes it easy for people to find it. Getting your blog listed on bloglovin is free and easy to do.

5. Promote Your Post through Paid Services

If you have a budget that you are working with, you can pay to promote your blog post on major sites such as CNN and Mashable. Services such as Outbrain and Taboola allow you to pay to have your blog post show up in an “Around the Web” listing on major sites. This will quickly get you readers but can be very expensive.

Conclusion

So hopefully now you know how to promote your blog and increase your readership. If you have any questions, comments or other ideas; please post them in the comment section below.

Advertising Questions Answered Here!

Advertising QuestionsYou’ve got questions, we’ve got answers! We just launched AdPlugg Question and Answer system! The new Question/Answer system allows you to post questions and have them answered by AdPlugg reps and/or members of the AdPlugg community.

Highly inspired by StackExchange/StackOverflow type sites, the AdPlugg question and answer system lets the community work to solve problems and answer questions. Any AdPlugg user can post questions, answers and comments. You can also up vote and down vote questions and answers.

When a question is asked, it shows up on the Question/Answer page. Users can then up or down vote the question. Popular questions bubble to the top, while less popular questions sink to the bottom. At any time, you can edit and modify your question. You and other users can also add comments to the question by clicking the “Add Comment” link.

Once the question has been posted. Users can post answers to it. Answers can be up voted and down voted based on how good they are. Answers can also be commented on.

The goal was to make a place where any and all advertising questions could be answered. So ask away. As more questions and answers get posted, the system becomes more useful.

You can access the AdPlugg Question/Answer system by going to Support and then Question/Answer and can use your existing AdPlugg login to post questions, answers and comments. Don’t have an AdPlugg login, why not sign up, it’s FREE.

We may be expanding on the system in the future and are considering additional features such as:

  1. Allowing users to accept answers.
  2. Views of answered, unanswered, etc. questions.
  3. Points for good questions and good answers.

Have a feature that you think that we should add, post a comment with your idea in the comments section below!

Ad Reports (BETA) Released!

ad-reportHow much is an ad report worth? Well, pretty much what you paid to run the ad. Reporting lets the advertiser know first and foremost that the ad ran at all. Additionally, the report can show the advertiser useful statistics on how the ad performed each day both in terms of impressions and clicks. AdPlugg has just released the BETA version of a new reporting feature that makes it easy to send ad reports to your advertisers as PDFs (Portable Document Format).

AdPlugg has always tracked impressions and clicks for every ad that it serves. This along with a smattering of other data including the who, what, where, and when of the impression or click event is recorded. We’ve also long had a charting feature where you can graphically view the performance of your ads over time. Now we’ve added a new PDF ad reporting feature that allows you to create a PDF ad report for each of your ads. The report shows a listing of each day that the ad ran along with the number of impressions and clicks that the ad received that day. The image above shows a sample and should give you an idea of what the ad reports look like.

The new ad reports are generated as PDF files which makes them ideal for emailing to your advertisers. This is a good practice that helps you to retain your advertisers and keep them advertising with you. While they can see how much traffic is coming from your site via tools such as Google Analytics, they can’t see how many impressions their ads are getting unless you provide them with reports.

Right now sending the reports to the advertisers is a manual process but we plan to have them send automatically (at the publisher’s option) in an upcoming release.

If you would like to gain access to the new ad reports feature, please contact us.

How Much Money do Bloggers Make?

how-much-money-do-bloggers-makeHow much money do bloggers make? At AdPlugg, we work with a lot of bloggers – helping them to achieve monetary success with their blogs. Earlier this year we wrote about How to Make Money Blogging. In this post, we stated:

Did you know that it’s not uncommon for advertisers to pay $300 per month for an inch tall ad on the side of a blog. Get ten of those and you are making $36,000 a year to blog.

But how much money do bloggers make as a whole? How much on average do bloggers make? In this post we are going to work to provide some answers. As of today, AdPlugg has features for serving and managing ads, but does not yet have billing features. Once we do, we plan to offer anonymous statistics regarding average revenue etc. But for now, we’ll just report on what we know from experience and what we were able to find through research.

In 2010 Technorati published a study reporting that 36% of bloggers reported some sort of income from their blogs, most often in the form of ad revenue from display ads. A similar study from Technorati, published in 2009 reported the mean annual income from advertisements at $42,548. Does this mean that you can start a blog and instantly make $42,548 per year? Not really. Here are the major contributing factors to how much money your blog can make:

  • Subject – A blog about luxury cars may have a better earning potential than a blog about ant farms.
  • Audience Size – How many readers you have is directly related to how much you can earn. Advertisers won’t pay much for ads that only get in front of a couple of readers.
  • Influence – Becoming an influencer drives up the price of your ads. Advertisers will pay more to be on a blog that is a trusted source of information for their market.

Additional insight can be gleaned from the fact that $42.8 Billion was generated in online ad revenues last year (see U.S. Online Ad Revenues Hit $42.8B, Surpass Broadcast TV) and close to 20% of the web runs on WordPress.

Most bloggers start out blogging on the side and eventually switch to blogging as their full time profession. How much you can earn is up to your blog (see bullets above) but a well run blog can probably expect to bring in anywhere from $10k per year to upwards of $100k per year. If your blog becomes a runaway success (think mashable.com, gizmodo.com, huffingtonpost.com, etc) it can earn millions in ad revenues. Stay tuned for more as we work on surveys and reports to get the how much money do bloggers make? question answered more scientifically.

How to Get Advertisers for Your Blog – 4 Steps

How To Get Advertisers

Overview

Back in April we posted How to Make Money Blogging – In Six Easy Steps. That post walks you through everything that you need to know to get started making money blogging, with Step 6 being a brief introduction on how to get advertisers for your blog. In this post we are going to elaborate on that topic ( as promised 😉 ).

As we mentioned in the How to Make Money Blogging post, it’s not uncommon to make $300 per month per ad for a small spot on your blog. And with 10 of those, you could be making $36,000 per year to blog! In order to get advertisers for your blog, your blog needs to have great content and a decent amount of traffic. We touched on this in Step 5 of the How to Make Money Blogging post and will expand upon it in a future post. For now, let’s assume that you have a quality blog that gets a decent amount of traffic.

As with most things, it is very uncommon to have someone just approach you and hands over cash. Every business needs to sell their products or services. Just as your advertisers need to promote their products or services in order to grow sales, you need to promote and sell your advertising services in order to increase your blog’s revenue. Setting up a blog about cars and waiting for Ford to email shows great optimism but is realistically not a very strong plan. You need to go out and get advertisers to be successful. Especially when you are just starting out. How you do this is similar to selling most products or services.

Step 1: Prospecting – How to Find Advertisers for Your Blog

How to get advertisers for your blog
Finding advertisers for your blog is the first step. In a traditional sales funnel/cycle this step is called “prospecting”. Here are some ways to find prospects:

  1. Find blogs similar to yours and see which companies are advertising on those blogs.
  2. Think about what products or services your readers might be interested in based on what your blog is about.
  3. Think of the products or services that you’ve blogged about in the past.
  4. Think about keywords that you target for your blog. Search for those keywords using Google and see who is advertising for them.
  5. Use Google Webmaster Tools to see what terms your blog is ranking for, then search for those terms in Google to see who is advertising on those keywords.

Note: If you are in the top 10 for a keyword that has a lot of advertisers on Google you can often use this as a major selling point to close the prospect. More on closing below.

It’s a good idea to stay organized. Store the prospects that you have discovered in a spreadsheet or better yet, use a CRM system such as SugarCRM.

Step 2: Contacting – Reaching Out to Your Prospects

These prospects are considered “cold”. This is a sales term meaning that they have not been contacted before. At this stage, your goal is to find the contact info of the person who makes decisions regarding advertising (“the decision maker”). This can often be done by reaching out to the company by phone or email.

Step 3: Presenting – Make Your Pitch

Once you have found the contact info of the decision maker, you need to present them with a proposal and typically an advertising rate card. With a quick Google search you can find examples of both.

Step 4: Closing – Seal the Deal

If the decision maker is interested (“hot”), you need to close the deal. This could involve having them sign a contract or just having them send you their ad and a payment through PayPal. Plan to follow up regularly to get the deal closed. Their are lots of good closing techniques but a particularly good one is to offer them a discount and let them know that it is only good until a fixed date (Friday for instance).

Conclusion

You now know how to get advertisers for your blog. This process can be fun and exciting. Don’t get discouraged if at first you don’t succeed; there are tons of great advertisers out there. Keep in mind that Colonel Sanders was rejected 1009 times before finding a taker for his chicken recipe. Just keep adding prospects and working through the steps.

Have questions or comments? Please add them to the comment section below.

How to Increase Revenue Through Ad Targeting

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In this post I am going to show you how you can increase revenue through ad targeting. Ad targeting is the concept of showing ads based on certain sets of criteria. That criteria could be based on the user viewing the ad such as their location or browser or the criteria could be based on site variables such as the page or location on a page. In this post I’m going to be talking about the latter. Specifically, how to increase revenue to your blog by employing page targeting, zone targeting and placement targeting.

Using the AdPlugg Ad Manager you can set your ads to target different ad zones. Ad Zones are regions or locations on your page such as the “top bar” or “right side bar”. By breaking your site up into zones, you create different opportunities for advertisers. For instance if you previously only had ads across the top of your site, you could add a right sidebar ad zone and a footer ad zone thereby increasing your “ad inventory”. Having and selling more ad spots will of course increase your revenue.

Page targeting allows you to choose which page (or pages) on your site your ads display. While zones and zone targeting allowed us to increase our ad inventory, page targeting allows us to break our existing ad inventory up.

Placements are how you can really take advantage of a parsed and organized ad inventory. First you break your layout up using zones. Then create placements for different combinations of pages and zones. For example, you could break your site up into the following placements:

  • A premium placement at the top of the right sidebar
  • A placement for the topbar on the home page
  • A placement for the topbar on secondary pages

All of these placements can target different advertisers with different advertising budgets. This will allow you to sell more ads by having ad space available for a wider variety of budgets. It will also allow you to maximize the ad revenue that each spot on your site can generate.

In this post I’ve explained how to increase revenue through ad targeting. Basically we’ve increased the number of customers that you can sell to and maximized the selling price for each spot on your site. Sign up for AdPlugg today and start increasing your revenue by putting these strategies to work. If you have any questions or comments, please post them to the comment section below.