[This is a part of the "Getting Started with Blog Advertising" blog series.]
You’ve probably seen enough examples to know what I’m talking about here but at some point you, as a TentBlogger (or soon-to-be Professional Blogger), will have to create a page that helps your potential sponsors understand the value and opportunity that exists for advertising on your blog.
You can call this a “Sponsorship Page,” an “Advertising Page,” an “Advertising Kit,” or a number of different things.
Regardless of what you may end up calling it you’ll need some of the following information to make the very best of it:
1. Make it a Static Page
Some would argue that you should make your advertising page a blog post and there reasoning is somewhat wonky.
No. Trust me. Just make it a static page and not a blog post, please.
If you’re using WordPress then this is the difference between using “Posts” and “Pages” (see screenshot to the right).
This page, generally speaking, won’t be changing too much (but it will change a bit) and you want it easily accessible with comments off.
2. Call it Something Obvious (and the URL too)
My suggestion is that you calling it something as simple as “Advertise” or “Sponsor” and be done with it. In addition, you’re going to want to make sure the “slug” or URL is just as simple:
As you can see I’ve historically use something like “http://SiteName.com/advertise” and I use the word “advertise” instead of “sponsor” since I use the latter for another business opportunity.
Also, in the above example you can see that I’ve used I’ve made the Title: “Site Name | Advertise on the Site Network” as well, which is good SEO practice as well. For most people, it would be “Advertise on Site Name”.
Finally, if your page link doesn’t have the word “Advertise” and instead uses something like this:
Then you’re having a permalink issue and you need to change to pretty permalinks.
3. Reiterate Key Bits of Information (with Style)
I would probably recommend reiterating key pieces of information as it relates to your blog, perhaps stating the mission and/or vision, as well as some of the juiciest parts of your ‘About Page‘ that will capture people’s attention.
If you need ultimately explain succinctly what your blog is about and how awesome it really is. If you need to add a new graphic or some neat imagery then feel free to do so as well! I’ve seen some clever Advertising pages that really capture your attention.
Some people go all out by creating some very neat pages:
The sky is the limit with your design!
Pretty neat if you ask me.
4. Explain (and Show) the Value of Advertising
Here is where a lot of the “meat” is going to be. You’re essentially going to want to communicate the exceptional value that advertising will bring to your sponsor/advertiser.
You’ll do this by communicating some of the following:
- Target Audience – You’ll want to explain who your audience is and what interests them. You may even poll them at some point to get a good idea of what your audiences general income bracket is and where they are located physically.
- Subscribers – You’ll want to share how many RSS Subscribers you have as well as email and newsletter.
- Website Traffic - This is obvious. You’re going to want to share with them how many visits per month as well as pageviews. You might want to show some screenshots here.
- Social Networking – You might also want to share how many followers on Twitter you have as well as “Likes” on your Facebook Page. Advertisers are becoming much more interested in these values as they show “reach” and market spread and potential.
- Existing Engagement – You might want to share with them how many comments you have as well as the average amount of comments per post as well as shares via social networking sites (retweets too via Twitter).
- Content History – Sharing with your sponsors how many posts you’ve written, how long you’ve been blogging, and how many blog posts are delivered per week/month might be helpful too.
- Other Metric Sources – Show stats from Compete, Alexa, Quantcast, and more if you’d like. Inbound links from Google, Yahoo, as well as bookmarks on Delicious are all valuable as well.
- Google Page Rank – Google’s Page Ranking system is a powerful metric. Sharing this will definitely help. Find out your Page Rank here.
These are just some places to start. You don’t have to have all of them and some of them you won’t know for a while until your blog gets big enough to be tagged in external metric and reporting services.
5. Pictures Help. A Lot.
This is a general piece of advice that pictures on your advertising page can sometimes speak just as loud (or more so) than words. If you can take screenshots of your traffic it’ll help your advertisers a lot.
Just a friendly reminder! Visualization is key, and anything that shows an upward trend is awesome!
Images for your site visits, pageviews, Twitter-growth and Facebook “Likes” might be neat to have:
The more the better, generally speaking.
6. Sizes and Location of Advertising Spots
You’re going to want to share not only the sizes of advertising opportunities that you offer but also where they are located on your blog.
Sometimes a screenshot of a typical blog post with the spots highlighted can be very helpful for an advertiser:
Here’s another example too:
Unless you do something creative design-wise, you’ll just want to simply list out the sizes in a easy-to-understand format. Why not bullet points like this:
- 125 x 125 pixels (4 slots available, right sidebar)
- 300 x 250 pixels (1 slot available, top sidebar)
- 468 x 60 (2 slots available, single post below the fold and top banner)
Not so bad, right?
7. Pricing and Terms
Of course, you’re going to want to display pretty plainly what your prices are for each particular area and slot. Don’t forget to also include how long the advertisement will run and any other stipulations that you may have, which might include the ability to have (or not have) animated banner ads, flash ads, file size and weight, and more.
Any additional policies or terms that you might have is valuable as well. You might even link them to your Disclosure Policy as well!
The more specific the better as this will help keep the amount of questions that you’ll have to field via email later.
You don’t have to be too fancy either:
Your goal is to answer all of the potential questions on your page before they have to email you.
Finally, make it clear how they are going to pay you. Is it via Paypal? Check? A 3rd party system? Make it clear and obvious how they are going to pay and you’ll be set.
8. Additional Value Propositions and Opportunities
To really set yourself a part you may want to share some additional value propositions and features that might set your packages a part from other competing blogs.
For example, you might want to add such things as a “Sponsored Post” that will highlight the advertiser or even a “Sponsored Tweet” or “Status Update” on Twitter and Facebook respectively.
You might even offer a Reviews of Products or Apps as well as part of your advertising “package.” Anything that will help you provide more value for your sponsor (within reason, of course).
Contests, giveaways? You can do that too. That always drives traffic (and value) for people!
Something that I’ve seen a lot of more successful bloggers do is include testimonials from sponsors that have been used previously.
This of course has obvious benefit to both you and the potential advertiser. Seeing that others have had proven success is always a good thing!
Here’s a good and simple example:
Obviously future advertisers will want the same results!
10. Printable, Downloadable PDF? Contact Us Only?
There are a few camps that will go the extra mile and create a printable PDF or document that highlights a lot of this information. Here are my thoughts on that:
- If you’ve got the time and initiative to do so, go for it! They can be extremely attractive and really set you a part.
- It will require some extra time and resources to create, but done well it’ll look amazing.
Here’s a great example of an printable advertising kit via Michael Hyatt:
You can download and take a look at the full PDF here. Pretty nice, right?
Another camp of people believe that you should just provide a “Contact Us” email and nothing else. This might work for you but I personally think you should offer a little bit more information than just a contact email.
But, it’s up to you!
11. *BONUS* Simplicity is Good
Finally, the more simple the better. Sure, after this extremely long blog post you might be tempted to include all of the above information but sometimes it might just be better to have the most pertinent information available and to scrap all the rest.
Take for example this advertising page:
Just shows the essentials. And it works.
So what about you? Have you created an effective advertising page yet? What’s stopping you?
[This is a part of the "Getting Started with Blog Advertising" blog series.]