Thursday, November 6, 2008

10 Steps to Choosing the Best Blog to Advertise On

Most of what Entrecard has been built upon is directing people to blogs that may interest, allowing them to further grow their own blog and connect to people who may want to subscribe or visit it daily.

Why It is Important to Choose the Right Site.
When you place your 125x125 image on another blog, you are essentially spreading word about your blog - in more ways than one.  First of all, you are placing an image, which represents your blog and yourself.  Secondly, you want to target sites that will offer you the best return for their cost.  Similar to traditional advertising models in which you pay per click (PPC), a set monthly rate, or per 1,000 impression (CPM), you'll need to find sites that offer a mix between a good traffic level, number of readers, and return rate (people who will be interested in your site).

The 10 Steps to Choosing the Right Site.
  1. Analyze Alexa statistics to compare your site's traffic and ranking against other sites.  Although the graphs don't represent the true traffic levels of sites (higher ranking sites display lower on their rankings than they should be and vice versa), it can still be used as a separate tool in analyzing traffic other than specific traffic levels.
  2. Next, use Compete.com traffic statistics, which present fairly (yet again, not always accurate) levels of United States-specific traffic.  The levels of this site are generally in line with what you'll see if you looked at their Google Analytics or other metrics.  You can compare growth of the site along with several other key factors.
  3. Directly contact the blogger with their mission and what type of content is on their site, if it isn't already obvious.  Ask them if they can provide screenshots of traffic information, derived from tracking cookies and codes installed on their site.  This will provide the most accurate information relating to analytics that anyone can offer (unless they provide false information).
  4. Look at their contact page, number of comments, and type of content published on the site.  This will allow you to see whether the site holds any value.  Now, personal sites have different factors that must be put into play (those sites that aren't commercial - without advertisements).  Often, the person(s) that run the blog will provide statistics on their "About" or "Advertisement" pages.
  5. View their feed growth and statistics by using this Blog Perfume Tool.  If there is little to no growth or a downward slope, that means that the blogger in charge of the site isn't adding value to their readers, thus the negative trend.
  6. Be sure that the site is legitimate (it has been open for quite some time) and has developed a following, not just because it is reposting content from other sites (scraping feeds).  If you find this, it should first be reported to Entrecard as a low-quality blog.  You will get the least amount of value out of this site than any other sites you advertise on.
  7. View the advertisements that are already on their site (if there are any).  Judge them, see what categories/types of services those advertisers have chosen to place on the site.  There is a reason they chose to advertise on the site vs. other sites that cover similar topics.  Is the site unique in the way the owner presents information, is there a unique design, is there a large subscriber base?
  8. What is the cost of the ad?  Is the ad cost influenced by people who are 'friends' of the blog in mention, or is it a sincerely popular blog, with hundreds/thousands of daily visitors and value for readers/visitors?  Unless the blog follows some of the 'qualifications' outlined above, you won't find as much value in advertising there for the price.
  9. Does the site allow OIO Publisher ads?  If it does (not only did the owner invest money in the site), you'll find that the site is easier to advertise on (you'll be able to advertise for around 166 credits per day), making it more valuable than many blogs that run at more than 2,000-4,000 credits per day, especially as 1,000 credits is roughly equal to $6.
  10. Finally, you have to judge the ad location, sidebar text, and widgets installed on the blog.  If the Entrecard widget is placed amongst other widgets and advertisements, it is less likely that people will visit your site (avoiding it due to clutter), meaning you've just wasted your credits to advertise on the site.
While this is an incomplete roundup of ways to choose the site you'll advertise on, what other methods do you personally use to determine the best value for your time?

2 comments:

OLLIE MCKAY ~ A Chic Boutique said...

Have just come upon your blog for the first time! Lots of very helpful info ~ thanks so much for sharing it all with us!

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