What If No One Sponsors Your Site?
You might have felt a little disappointed if the money didn’t come flooding in immediately after you began accepting sponsors.
The purpose of this article is to teach you what you need to do once you install CrankyAds to get sponsors and start making money.
There are some clever things built into CrankyAds to help you start selling ads quickly, however there is no such thing as a guarantee. I want to make sure you know what you are doing and give you steps to take to maximize your chance of selling advertisements on your blog.
I’ll explain to you how CrankyAds works for you, and what you can consider doing if you’re not getting sponsors and want to put in a little extra effort to find them.
Here we go…
Step One: Give CrankyAds Time To Find Sponsors For You
CrankyAds isn’t just your standard banner rotation plugin. It was built to be very easy to use, but also to give you some clever tools to help your website find sponsors for you, without you doing any work.
Chances are right now someone reading your website is willing to pay to sponsor you. Or, they may know someone who would be perfect as a sponsor.
You won’t know who these people are until you make sponsorship available. These people won’t be aware of the opportunity on your site until you make sponsorship available.
See the connection here?
If you don’t advertise that you accept sponsors, people won’t think to sponsor your site.
This might seem obvious, but so many website owners and bloggers fail to make sponsorship opportunities obvious, or make it very difficult to actually buy a campaign because of the need to negotiate prices, or deal with convoluted advertising systems that require people to fill out long forms.
This is where CrankyAds comes in.
The first step is to install CrankyAds and set up adzones so you have sponsorship options available. Once you do this, the magic happens…
CrankyAds Automatically Creates An Advertise Page
Once you activate the plugin and set up adzones, you will find a page on your site at something like www.yourwebsite.com/advertise-here/ that lists all of your advertising options. This page will also appear in your navigation bar automatically if your theme supports it (if not, just add the advertise page to your navigation bar manually like you add any page to your website).
This page includes details on every adzone you create, including data on traffic, campaign duration, cost, availability and a description. Plus there are nice big BUY buttons to make it very obvious how you can buy a campaign on your site (again, this might seem obvious, but so many websites make it hard to actually hand over money to sponsor their site!).
You can also add content before and after the adzone boxes. You can customize the page as much or as little as you like because the page is just a normal WordPress page.
CrankyAds Automatically Rotates “Advertise Here” Default Ads
Once you set up adzones on your site if you have unsold ad space, a default “Advertise Here” ad will display. This is by far the BEST way to let your audience know you have sponsorship opportunities because it shows them exactly where their ad will go. CrankyAds does this for you automatically.
If a person clicks one of the Advertise Here ads, they are taken directly to the advertise page that was automatically generated so they can find out more info and click that nice big buy button to purchase a campaign on your site.
CrankyAds Lets You Set Standard Pricing
One of the things that scares away many potential advertisers is the hassle of negotiating the price for a campaign. All those little details, like figuring out how to calculate CPM rates, what type of media they can use, how to submit their banners, etc, slows everything down.
If they have to email you and ASK how to give you money and how much, you are making it hard for people to give you money. That is not a good thing.
CrankyAds was deliberately created to simplify the process. You set a flat fee, tell them what they get and then show them a nice big button to buy from. It’s simple. It works, and there is no back and forward negotiating or barriers to buying. It’s easy and obvious.
CrankyAds Automates The Ad Buying Process
If things were not simple enough already, CrankyAds handles the ad buying process, including uploading of ad media, for you. You just need to check that payment came through and approve the ad. Your sponsors can go in and change banners whenever they like too, so it’s easy and automated for them, making less work for you.
This Is Beautifully Simple
This is what CrankyAds was built to do…
That all happens AUTOMATICALLY without you doing anything at all. It’s all part of CrankyAds.
Wait At Least A Month Before Drawing Conclusions
You might be thinking –
“My site is plastered with Advertise Here banners and yet I haven’t made a single sale yet!”
Obviously how much traffic you have is very related to how easy you find it to get sponsors (I’ll write more about traffic in an upcoming article). However so many bloggers and website owners are too quick to assume that it’s not working.
Like most things online and in life, you have to give it time.
If you don’t make an ad sale on day one after installing CrankyAds don’t assume it won’t work. I recommend you wait at least a full month to give your site a chance to sell ads to your existing audience, assuming you have some traffic.
CrankyAds will work hard every day showing Advertise Here ads, and one day the right person will come along and buy an ad. It might happen in the first week, or the first month. It’s impossible to know when, but if you want to have a chance to make it work, you need to give some time.
Don’t forget, how a person finds your site can vary, so you never know where your next sponsor will come from. Your sponsors may come from…
- Someone who does a Google search and lands on your site for the first time
- A person who only visits your site once a week via a bookmark
- A regular RSS or Newsletter reader who doesn’t read every article you publish, but one might catch their attention so they click through to read it
- A reader who knew about your sponsorship opportunities, but didn’t have their product ready for 3 months, so they didn’t buy sponsorship from you straight away
- A person who has a time dependent event they want to promote
- Someone who is referred to your site from one of your current readers via in-person word of mouth
All of these scenarios, and many more, can happen at any time. You need to make sure you give your site and CrankyAds a chance to do the work and create awareness for your new sponsorship options.
What If No One Buys Ads After A Month?
If you have given it at least a month for your own site powered by CrankyAds to find sponsors but it hasn’t delivered results you are happy with, the next step is to get proactive finding sponsors.
Here are the steps I have used that have worked well for me in the past. I guarantee if you do every step here (assuming your site has traffic) you will get sponsors.
Test Different Pricing To Find The Right Supply And Demand Mix
One thing you will learn over time is that there is a sweet spot in pricing your ad zones. The sweet spot is where you sell out of advertising inventory at the maximum price.
You can test this by dropping the price when you don’t make sales, and increasing the price when you sell out. So if you are having trouble now selling ads, knock $50 or $100 off, or whatever makes sense given your current rates, and see if that brings in new sponsors. Again you need to wait at least a few weeks to a month to consider your price test valid.
Write A Blog Post, Send An Email To Your Newsletter, Write A Tweet, Post To Facebook, Tell People In Person You Have Ad Opportunities
It never hurts to mention that you have sponsorship opportunities using whatever means of communication you have. Every time I have written an article or sent a newsletter about advertising options, new sponsors have come in.
I recommend you explain to people a little about your site, talk about who would be the right kind of sponsor and ask them to check out your advertise here page. Post this info as an article to your blog, then tweet it and share it on Facebook. If you have an email newsletter, send the article to your subscribers too.
Offer A Free Trial, Or Discount Or Money Back Guarantee
These well known marketing techniques work when selling advertising too. Take away the risk or give people samples before they buy, which will encourage them to take the leap and try a campaign. If they get results, they will stay on and pay you. Sometimes you just need to convince them to take action once to bring in a long term sponsor.
Go To Sites Like Yours, Identify Their Sponsors And Contact Them
This is a bit of a ninja technique, that seems very obvious in hindsight, but so few people do it.
To find potential sponsors, one of the easiest ways is to go to sites like yours, see who sponsors them, and email them with an offer. Make sure you explain how your site has the same target market, and you are interested in helping them run a test to see if a campaign on your site will perform for them.
These people are already spending money online to sponsor websites, so your suggestion will make sense and they will have advertising media ready to go. This is a “lowest hanging fruit” option to find the right target market for your website. You may consider offering a free month trial as an enticement if you encounter resistance.
Contact Online Retailers Directly
One of the techniques I have used was to find any online stores, especially local businesses, and emailing them to see if they would like to test an advertising campaign.
This works really well if you are in a local or small niche. Presenting a $100 a month advertising opportunity is not a huge cost for a small business. For example, with a website I owned about a card game called “Magic: the Gathering”, I emailed as many online ecommerce sites that specialized in selling Magic cards and asked if they wanted to sponsor my site. I contacted about 10 different online shops in about an hour, and two of them agreed to buy advertising.
Don’t Give Up
Just by using CrankyAds you give your site a powerful tool to both manage advertisements and help you find sponsors, all automatically. Set up your ad zones, be patient, and sponsors will come, if your site has an audience.
If you want to be proactive and recruit sponsors yourself, apply some of the suggestions in this article and you can quickly build up a nice and stable income stream from your website.
Coming Up Next: Pricing Ads
Not sure how much you should charge for advertising? Read part two of this series next: