If you accept ads on your site have you set up a pricing schedule? This is something I had not really done. I haven’t really thought of myself as a blog which runs ads yet either. So, it’s time I got it together and sorted out a plan.
First, I have to get my brain around the fact that I do accept ads. I thought I would hold out longer but, the fact is that money does talk. It’s also useful for so many things.
Second, I am deciding on a pricing plan and giving space on my blog real estate for running the ads. These two things come together because they are very dependent on each other. Your pricing plan should reflect the time and space the ad will require. Time being the length of time the ad will run. Space being the position and size of the ad on your blog real estate.
Also, the actual payment versus not getting paid. You need a contingency plan of some kind. How long after posting an ad will you wait for payment? When do you decide to pull the ad due to non-payment?
Another thing which I didn’t think of until I had run a few ads and lost track of them… is keeping track of them. Keeping track of when they expire and where they were placed (some are in individual blog posts rather than your blog sidebar) so you can remove them when the time is up.
So far the ads I have run have been from advertisers who approached me. If I take it to the next logical step and begin approaching advertisers myself I will need to have information for them. So it’s time for me to figure out what my numbers are. I’m not someone who loves bean counting so this step will be the one I have to push myself to work at and finish.
I’m also going to look into WordPress plugins for running ads. Not because I can’t continue adding in the code myself but, I think it would be simpler to have the software/ plugin to help me keep track of it and likely deal with extras like images which need to be resized to fit my WordPress layout, or to watch for malware links hidden in the code. This is something else you should check before posting whatever the advertiser sends you.
Read the HTML code and watch for anything suspicious, something that shouldn’t be there. You don’t want the advertiser to have tricky code which pops up extras you didn’t agree to, or code which will send them to another site as soon as they land on your site. Stuff like that does happen.
To rehash for the blog skimmers:
- Make a payment schedule
- Decide on time and space
- Create rules for advertisers
- Keep track of ads
- Work on statistics
Don’t ignore ad networks. You can sign up, figure out how to add the code to your site, etc. But, once you get over the hurdle of starting up an ad network can make it pretty simple to run ads on your blog. However, you don’t get the full ad price yourself when you involve a middle man this way. On the plus side, the ad network finds the advertisers and evaluates them. I like Project Wonderful, mainly for their excellent customer service. However, the advertisers are mainly small sites with a small budget. So, Project Wonderful won’t suit everyone.