I talked about this a few months back when I shared some tips on how to get more paid campaigns, and then I hit on it again last week as a google+ hangout. Blogger Ad networks are out there, and some of them are looking for bloggers, so if one comes a knocking, how do you know if it is the right one for you?
I broke it down to a few key points, (and yes, that is all I am going to give you) If you want the real nitty gritty details, call me.. I am not going to be sharing names, or details here on my site.
But, I think that these few points will be enough to help you decide.
1. Understand your Goals for joining a network.
2. Understand their Goals of running the network
3. Do your goals match up?
Seems simple doesn’t it?
Well, as with everything else in life, if you strip down the smoke, mirrors and extra info, you get to the easy part.
All networks are different, obviously, but are also still basically the same. They all offer you a variable CPM rate (that is the $$ you’ll get for 1000 impressions of advertising on your site!) and different fill rates (that is how much full priced advertising they can sell) but in the end, it is in their best interests to sell advertising at the highest price and highest fill rate possible since all networks will split the sales with you (most are 50/50… but not all!)
And honestly peeps, unless your site is rolling in 100K uniques a month, these variables in costs and fill rates aren’t going to make a HUGE difference to your bottom line.
If you are looking to join a network to pay your mortgage off just the digital ads they put on your site, you need to re-think your plan.
So, why DOES one join a network?
This is what I have broken it down to:
1. for community
2. for referrals
3. for sponsored posts
4. for prestige
and of course… the obvious…. if you put up an ad, others will know you are advertising. It is a blatant display of “I sell stuff, talk to me” which is your first step in selling something yourself.
Let’s dive deeper into the four topics above… and maybe this will help you choose who’s flag you want to fly.
A network that provides a place for their publishers to come and digitally hang out, chat and engage. They offer nurturing, training and camaraderie. Their goal is that you are well taken care of and receive benefit from working with them. The sisterhood of the blogging world really. If you are nervous about entering the world of the monetized blogger, this should be your focus. If you want someone to catch you if you stumble.. find a network that makes that a priority.
A network that shares your content with their readers, or promotes you as a publisher via their social footprint. If you are looking to build pageviews and uniques, this should be your focus. For bloggers who can sell their own advertising, it is often of more benefit to use a network for referrals and traffic. This will increase your numbers, and your rates and make for a bigger paycheque (from yourself) at the end of the month.
3. Sponsored Posts
Some networks are better at this than others, and as many of us know, the sponsored post is where the bigger dollars come into play. If money is your only reason for signing on, ask questions about quantity of sponsored opps available, who gets them, why and how often. This can make a HUGE difference to your year end!
Signing on with a network can be a cool thing to do. Find the network that fits your brand and elevates your message. Like joining a cool club, this is sometimes the perk itself! Flying that badge on your site can say a lot to a community, especially if there is a min. unique views required to join!
In the end, all networks DO offer a bit of everything, but if you ask the right questions you will get a better understanding of where their focus lies, and what is most important to them.
No network is wrong in my books, as long as your goals match up, you understand the benefits of each before you sign, and you both do your job to be in business together. If your goals don’t align, you will start to rub each other the wrong way and end up dissatisfied. In the end, you are basically signing on as a sub contractor, so do your job and do it well and you shouldn’t have any problems at all!
(if you read this, you are probably a blogger… and if I helped you out at all… can you click this little linky here and pop me a votey-poo for the circle of moms contest… you know, sharing the love and all that! )