As a blogger, you have multiple potential streams of revenue. But if you’re looking for easy residual income that doesn’t require a bunch of ongoing energy and effort, selling native advertising space is the way to go.
What is Native Advertising?
If you’re unfamiliar with the world of advertising, then you probably don’t understand the little nuances that come with various advertising strategies and mediums. Don’t be embarrassed if you don’t know what the term “native advertising” means. In reality, it’s quite simple.
“Native advertising is the use of paid ads that match the look, feel and function of the media format in which they appear,” Outbrain explains. “Native ads are often found in social media feeds, or as recommended content on a web page. Unlike display ads or banner ads, native ads don’t really look like ads. They look like part of the editorial flow of the page. The key to native advertising is that it is non-disruptive – it exposes the reader to advertising content without sticking out like a sore thumb.”
Native advertising is mutually beneficial for both bloggers and advertisers. It allows bloggers to sell ad space without overtly pushing products onto visitors. At the same time, it gives advertisers a cost-effective way to advertise in an organic fashion.
3 Tips for Attracting Advertisers to Your Blog
Unless your blog has become an internet sensation, you aren’t going to have advertisers blowing up your email begging for opportunities to purchase some digital real estate on your website. In all likelihood, you’ll need to go out and attract advertisers. Here are some ways to do so:
1. Look for Easy Matches
Start by searching for advertising partners that are a natural fit with your blog’s brand and your readership. Ideally, you want advertisers who are going after the same demographic, but who don’t directly compete with what you’re offering.
For example, if your blog is targeted at female millennial entrepreneurs and business owners, brands that sell products to female millennials with busy schedules would be a good fit. If you run a sports blog that provides timely takes on newsworthy sports issues, an online ticket broker could be a good fit. It’s all about the overlap!
2. Reach Out
The next step is to reach out with a soft pitch that entices potential advertisers and helps them understand what a partnership could mean for their brand.
“Your pitch email is the key to working with a new advertiser and selling advertising space in your blog or newsletter,” marketer Darcy Coulter notes. “Be sure to provide the information they need, while keeping your ask concise enough for a busy brand rep to read through quickly.”
3. Build a Relationship
Big brands with deep advertising pockets get dozens of requests just like yours on a weekly basis. They have the flexibility to be extremely picky in the opportunities they pursue. If you want to increase your odds of selling ad space to these brands, you have to focus on building a relationship and proving value.
Look for opportunities and do things that other bloggers aren’t doing. While it’ll require some effort on your part, try meeting with businesses in person for face-to-face pitches.
When you pitch face-to-face, you’re able to build a relationship outside of email. This establishes trust and gives you a platform to really push the opportunity in a way that you simply can’t via virtual communication.
If you do this, be sure to pull out all of the stops – including printing professional booklets to complement your pitch. This booklet should include tangible data points, graphics, and analytics that show exactly why your blog is the perfect fit for their ad spend. You may even include some mockups of potential native ads to give their creative team an idea of the look you’re going for.
Maintain the Integrity of Your Blog
Whether you’re selling native advertising, programmatic advertising, banner ads, or anything in between, the key is to maintain the integrity of your blog by not breaking the trust you have with your visitors and readers. Internet users aren’t averse to advertising, but they don’t want it to infringe on their experience. If they feel like they’re being used without getting any value in return, they won’t stick around for long.
As you sell native advertising space on your blog, go for quality over quantity. It’s better to have one or two advertising partners who seamlessly fit into your blog’s style than to have a dozen advertisers who are only loosely connected to your audience.
The latter may produce some quick cash, but the former approach allows you to build a long-term brand that generates sustainable cash flow for years to come.