Thanks to this article on Handmade Marketing I've received many new inquiries about how to join the Ad Directory and sell your own ads on your blog. In response to all the questions, I wanted to put together this FAQ post / how to sell your own ads.
1. What's the difference between Project Wonderful, Google Adsense and the Ad Directory?
Both PW and Adsense require you to meet a minimum dollar amount before you can withdraw your profits (PW=$10, Adsense=$100). When you use those services, you are subject to their rules and regulations, policies, and requirements. When you use the Ad Directory, you are in charge of your own advertising! All profits go directly to you, you set the price, ad size, duration, and policies!
2. Can I use both Project Wonderful or Adsense and the Ad Directory at the same time??
Well, that depends. You can use PW and the Ad Directory at the same time but you need to be smart about how you do that. If you are selling 125x125 ads (just like PW does) and your PW rate is $.02 and your Ad Directory rate is $.25 that's not going to work. Why would anyone pay more for your direct ads when they can get a PW ad on your site for less? If you are going to use both, you need to give your direct ad sponsors a reason to pay more such as larger ad sizes or longer ad duration.
I do not know what Adsense's policies are in this regard, but as a general rule I would not recommend that anyone use Adsense. You are pretty much giving your blog to Google when you do that. Odds are you will probably never make a profit with them, plus as I understand it, Google chooses the ads that appear on your site. Not a good idea for a business owner trying to create an image. YOU should have total control of the content on your site!
3. Do I have to add a PayPal button?
No, you don't but here is a little "shopper psychology": the easier you make it for someone to purchase something, the more likely it is that they will. This is why you are surrounded by magazines and candy bars while waiting in line at the grocery store. It makes it EASY to just grab an extra item and throw it in your cart. If you make your potential sponsors jump through too many hoops to pay you for that ad space they are probably going to give up and go somewhere else. The PayPal button is just one click towards a new sponsor.
4. How will people find out about my ad space?
I actively market the Ad Directory on Twitter and Facebook. However, will total control over your advertising space comes responsibility! I highly encourage everyone to use Twitter, Facebook, the Etsy forums, etc. to raise awareness about your direct ad spaces and the Ad Directory. Once, @Etsy re-tweeted my blog and I got 20 new followers overnight! I've been trying to get Etsy to take notice of the Ad Directory and tweet about it. The more of us that send them a link to information about the Directory by tweeting it to @Etsy, the more likely it is that they will consider tweeting about it to their 70,000+ followers-how about that for exposure!
5. How do I set my prices?
When setting your ad space price, keep the following in mind: hits per day, follower count, what other bloggers are selling their spots for. Eventually, as more bloggers start to sell their own space, a "market price" will be established. That is capitalism at work! The way this works is if you are currently selling your spaces for $5 per month and no one buys a spot from you, you will need to lower your prices. Become competitive! Sell your spots for a little less than the other blogs who have similar content and traffic. It may take some time to determine the right rate, so don't give up! I would also recommend re-evaluating your blog traffic annually and raising your ad space prices accordingly.
6. Is there going to be an Ad Directory website?
Yes! I am in the process of creating the site. It is probably at least a month from going live, so stay tuned. I will keep everyone informed on it's progress! Until then, the Ad Directory is listed on my blog.
7. Why did you create the Ad Directory?
I wanted to sell ad space on my blog, but I was unhappy with the options available to me. I didn't like the idea of having to pay someone else to do something that I could do so easily myself! So, I started selling my own ad space and soon started spreading the word about the idea. So many bloggers liked the idea, the Ad Directory was born!
I want to encourage and empower Etsy sellers and bloggers to take control of their online businesses. Always read the fine print, and be aware of what these large companies are asking you in return for their services. We are business owners, and we need to be smart about how we market our products and monetize our websites and blogs!
If you would like to be added to the Ad Directory, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ad Directory (copyright 2009) is owned and operated by Tara Shenson of kMTgraphicdesign. All rights reserved.