It’s been several years since I dropped Google AdSense (or other ad network) from my blog. Of course, Google AdSense is the biggest (and the most popular) ad network with millions of publishers.
And it is perhaps the best ad network as well because with Google AdSense (or any other ad network) our ad inventory never goes unfilled. It basically means that we always have an ad to show, and every pageview that our blog generate adds to the revenue.
However, the reason I hate Google AdSense is because of their CPC and RPM. Why? Because it is totally unpredictable.
For instance, if my blog has generated 100,000 pageviews last month and I have earned $500 from Google AdSense (which is totally possible) then it doesn’t really mean that I will make $500 next month too (even if I generate the same amount of traffic).
There was a time when I was averaging less than $0.50 per click and then there was another time when I was averaging over $1 per click with Google AdSense.
And that’s a significant difference because it means the RPM can be as low as $1 or it can be as high as $6. In other words, truly unpredictable.
Then I started accepting blog sponsorship (or sponsored ads). No, I didn’t sell any text links or paid posts for SEO to brands. And I didn’t want to fill the blog with ads either. Instead, I focused on user-experience and quality.
The first thing I did was, I created an “Advertise” page that showcases all the available advertising options on my blog.
And there I specified the pricing, blog stats, and the ad guidelines clearly in such a way that I could send its URL to anyone who is interested in placing an ad on my blog. Simple as that!
If you explore my advertising page then you will see that I also sell an ad unit called “In-Post Ads”. Unlike a site-wide ad, it’s all about placing an ad within an existing blog post. It worked perfectly for me because I was able to sell a few long-term ad placements for $250-500 per slot.
It’s like, I got paid some $250-500 for writing and publishing a blog post on my own blog about stuff I cared and loved the most. And the best thing… unlike a “Sponsored Review”, I didn’t have to review a product/website that I personally don’t like.
So what’s the problem here? I guess you’ve already imagined that by now. Who’s gonna buy it?
True. It’s not so easy to get blog sponsors and it can take a lot of time (and maybe effort too). And then the next challenge would be to say “No” to a potential advertiser.
You know advertisers and brands are everywhere and they are always looking for new advertising opportunities.
Even if you don’t have a high-traffic blog you can sell ads (or get sponsorships) if you make your blog look good.
“If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good.” — Bill Gates
And it works!
Blog sponsorship is not something new. Even big brands are doing it. For instance, I recently noticed that Search Engine Land is selling “Sponsored Content” apart from selling DoubleClick ads and text link ads.
What’s so attractive about such private ad placements is that it’s a guaranteed income (sort of). But the problem is… we may not get a sponsor every single month.
And sometimes (actually, more often) we may have to reject an offer if their offer is less than what we actually deserve. Or, if promoting their product can degrade our blog in one way or another.
For instance, there were several instances when I rejected offers simply because they were asking for text links and paid posts for SEO (or dofollow links and posts).
And then there were few of them who offered $50 for an ad when the actual price is $300. Just like that.
A quick reminder, just because it worked for me (or for another blog) doesn’t really mean that it will work for you. And I can’t even say if it’s a viable ad model for you as every blog is different. Really different.
Also remember, it’s also about how you’ve placed your website in the marketplace.
Happy Blogging! :)