Have you ever considered raising your online advertising rates drastically to see what the outcome would be, but were afraid to give it a try? Well, I am going to be your guinea pig. Last week, I increased my rates for banner ads, sponsored posts, text links and doubled my rates for contextual links.
Contextual links are becoming increasingly popular. Clients want me to include their link in my article for an SEO benefit. The amount of requests I was getting was just too much to handle. Just think, for each request, you must produce and article, and with several sites, it became too cumbersome. I had link builders buying 2 links on each site at a time. It would take me 2 weeks to get all the articles published.
My approach now, is to eliminate the random embedded contextual links in articles and only offer a sentence at the bottom of the post that reads something like, “This post brought to you by…”. I no longer have to figure out a clever way to include their link. And for this service, I am charging almost the same I was for a sponsored post.
I am going to really confuse you now. This can be considered a Sponsored Post, because of the sponsorship at the bottom of the article.
I offer text links in my home page sidebar and in the sidebar of my secondary pages. I rarely ever get a request for a link in the sidebar of secondary pages. Since links are for SEO purposes, the homepage accomplishes everything that a link builder would want. Requests for links on my homepage have fallen dramatically, even before I raised my prices. As I stated in a an earlier post, link builders are now more interested in contextual links. A contextual link is often a higher quality link. I didn’t raise my prices much on text links in the sidebar.
I am tired of accepting Sponsored Posts that are just guest posts I get paid for with a contextual link. I have always disclosed them as a sponsored post, but I am opting out of this online advertising option. Some refer to this type of post as a paid advertorial. This is indeed the correct definition, but bloggers generally refer to everything as a sponsored post. Moving forward, my sponsored posts will only include press releases, product reviews, contests and giveaways. This is to avoid any confusion about paid articles. All my travel related posts, such as “Things to do in…” or “Travel Photos of the Day” will be non-paid articles. I am basically saying, “No” to paid advertorials. As always I will continue to disclose a sponsored post.
Banner ads are difficult to price because as a smaller blog (<50,000 unique visits) we don’t do much online banner advertising sales. Honestly, I do none. I am also not willing to have low prices just to sell some. On my sites where branding is extremely relevant, I seriously contemplate any additional graphics. If I am going to include a graphic ad, it’s going to cost a lot of money. If your site doesn’t focus on branding, but instead just content, then I think you should consider lower prices if you goal is to make some money. I am currently building a strategic approach for online banner advertising that I will share with you soon.
The plan is to track my blog advertising sales to see if I am able to achieve the same revenue with fewer deals. I estimate I won’t sell any banners, as usual, and paid advertorials will disappear. I think I may still sell a few contextual links that are just the sentence at the bottom of my post reading, “This post is brought to you by…”