How do I approach a local advertiser to have their ads on my blog?
I wanted to reach out to a local movie theater to see if they woud pay me a small fee to keep a banner ad for their films/theaters on my movie reviews site. Even if it's a few pennies I'd be ok with it ... better than nada. I have their pr contact for the ad divsion ... any tips on proceeding?
Okay, maybe not. Maybe this is just serendipity. That's cool...
I think that before you can proceed to talking with someone about them buying any advertising on your site you need to be able to answer their two key questions: who, and how many?
To answer those, you need to collect demographic information on your blog, which you can do by signing up with Quantcast and let it run for a week or two. Then you can go to their site and they'll have lots of cool data about who reads your stuff.
The second thing you need are solid and clear traffic figures, and to obtain that, I encourage you to sign up with Google Analytics. As with Quantcast, it'll present you with a snippet of code you'll want to drop into your blog template near the end of the source, then rebuild the entire site.
Once you have demographic and traffic data, you can show that, say, your audience is predominantly young men age 18-30 and that you get 17,000 visitors/month, with the average person reading four pages and staying on your site 10 minutes. From there, you project out a CPM number (that is, how much you'd charge for a thousand ad impressions). That can range from $2 - $25 depending on how well your traffic matches their desired audience.
Doing the Math
Say that you do get 17,000 visitors/month with an average read of 4 pages. That means you'd be serving up 17,000 * 4 or 68,000 "page impressions". If you had an advert running on those pages, you'd show that ad 68k times. If you offer them the ad space at, say, $4 CPM, that'd earn you 68,000/1,000 = 68 * $4 = $272. Make sense?
The key question, of course, is always "how much can I charge for that CPM"? I would suggest that since it's something new, you err on the side of being a good deal. $2-5 CPM is a good deal, particularly since you probably have a national or even global audience for your blog. The theater chain is far more interested in people who are near one of their theaters, and if you hit up a regional advertising manager, she might well say "how many of those are within 15 miles of one of our theaters here in town?"
The other thing you might get is that they'll offer you "CPC" or cost-per-click advertising instead. That would be where there's no guaranteed base fee for running their ads, but you'd be paid, say, $0.25 each time someone clicked through to their site (and hopefully bought a movie ticket).
Now let's say that your average click thru rate is 2.5%, which would be pretty good. Now that 68,000 ad impressions translates into: 68,000 * 0.025 = 1700 * $0.25 = $425. Almost double what you'd get from a CPM ad, and less risk for the theater too. Where this kills ya, though, is when you get a far lower click thru rate, like 0.5% CTR, or lower.
Anyway, those are your basic options, hope this is helpful. See ya at the movies?
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