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Should You Sell Advertising Space on Your Blog?

Advertising on your blog is a popular way to make some extra dollars. But how does one approach the concept of advertising? The following steps will help you determine what to charge and how to implement your advertising venture:

1) Determine if you should have advertising on your blog.
You need to consider if advertising is right for your blog. Will your readers be okay with it? Do you have space for it? Would people even pay for it? If your blog is new, it may not be something that you could sell, and instead you might want to use Google AdSense, which means you only get paid when people click on the ads. If you aren't at a place where you could sell ads, consider trading ads with another blog that is complimentary to your own.

2) Determine the value of an ad on your blog.
To determine the value of an ad you have to attempt to quantify the value of your blog. This means you have to come up with a cost per click or cost per impression value based on who visits your blog, how often they visit and how long they stay there. It's a somewhat ambiguous process to figure this out, but ProBlogger expert Daniel Scocco has written an excellent tutorial to help you determine how much to charge for advertising on your blog. If you're still stumped, you might try running through the My Blog Value calculator. While the creators claim it's just for fun, it does help give you an idea of where to begin.

2) Decide if you want to use a service to manage the advertising.
You can manually accept and place ads on your blogs and keep an Excel file to track expiration dates and due dates for payment. But there are companies that will manage the placement and payment for you. Of course they take a percentage, but they will also promote your blog in their directories so you might find other advertisers you may not have otherwise connected with. I have not used one of these services, but these are ones I have seen on popular blogs:

Determining whether to have a cost-per-click (CPC) versus pay-per-impression (CPM) or affiliate ads may determine which service you choose. Robert Bravery explains the difference between CPC & CPM in an article on his blog. Affiliate advertising means you get a commission if somebody clicks the ad and makes a purchase on the advertisers' site.

4) Decide where the place the ads
Decide how much space on your blog you are willing to give up to advertising. Advertisers will not be happy if the ads are pushed way down, so usually somewhere near the top, in the sidebar, is optimum positioning. If you are going to push ads below the fold, you might consider charging a reduced rate for this less-than-premium placement.

Hopefully this will help you decide whether to have ads and how much to charge from them. Making money from blog advertising is a common and easy way to generate revenue for something you are already doing. It's worth serious consideration as a means of generating some passive income.