How to Select Appropriate Backup Ads for Your Mom Blog - dummies

How to Select Appropriate Backup Ads for Your Mom Blog

By Wendy Piersall, Heather B. Armstrong

Having backup ads in place is an important part of your advertising strategy. There may come a time when an advertiser has to abruptly pull its ads from publishers’ websites, and you don’t want to waste your page impressions and lose out on revenue. Even the most consistent ad revenue can disappear in an instant in the online marketing world.

After you know how and where you want to place ads on your blog, you need advertisers! “This ad space is available” ads are okay if used sparingly. Don’t use them in every ad spot you have available, because that sends the glaring signal that nobody is advertising with you. You want to send the message that your ad spots are valuable, and announcing your full vacancy undermines that goal.

At the same time, in order to attract advertisers, you don’t want to have zero ads on your blog, either. Potential advertisers need to know that advertising is available on your blog. So there are a few things you can do to fill up your ad inventory while you’re waiting for paying advertisers to show up. These ads can also serve as backup ads.

House ads

House ads are simply banner ads that you use to promote yourself on your blog. The point of house ads is to get your users to engage with more of your content. If you have a few popular posts that got lost in your blog archives, this is the perfect way to highlight the content and introduce it to newer readers.

Other things you can promote are your RSS feed, your mailing list, a current contest you’re running, or simply a blog category page.

To make your own house ads, you need a photo-editing program and some simple design skills. You want to make the house ads look like part of your site, so you can borrow graphics and text from your blog template design. Or for as little as $20 (U.S. dollars), you can use an easy banner-ad-making tool.

Charity ads

If you have a favorite charity or cause, you can run ads to help promote it. Larger charities such as the Red Cross will have a Public Service Advertising section on their websites that have web banners you can use.

For smaller charities, you can simply ask them for a banner to put on your site, or make one for them. Depending on your state tax laws, you may even be able to write this off on your taxes! Check with a local accountant to find out if this is an option available to you.

Ads from other bloggers

The best approach for swapping ads is to find a website that is somewhat similar in size as yours. If you swap with a blog that is much bigger or smaller than yours, the disparity may cause unnecessary resentments — unless the other blogger is a very good friend, of course.

If you don’t have any blogging friends you can swap ads with, check out the forums, where ad-swapping requests are posted periodically.

Affiliate banner ads

Affiliate ads are worth a mention here because adding affiliate banners is super-easy. The added bonus is that they give a good impression because they demonstrate that larger companies want to work with you. Affiliate ads only pay revenue when you refer a sale to the merchant advertiser.

Affiliate banners aren’t as effective at driving sales as in-post text links are. But if you have no advertisers at all, adding affiliate banners is a great place to start.