Have you ever thought about advertising your blog? Today I want to explore this idea as part of my series of posts on how I would promote my blog if I were starting from scratch.
Most of the blog promotion tips I see are about how to grow your blog readership quite organically (something I firmly believe in) – however, one strategy I’m seeing more and more bloggers use is pay for advertising. to kick-start your blog (particularly in the early days of your blogging).
One of the wonderful things about the space we’re operating in right now is that you don’t need hundreds of thousands of dollars to promote your product or service (or blog) these days through advertising.
While I know that for some, even a small amount will be out of reach for some – if I were starting out as a blogger today and wanted to gather an initial audience (or wanted to expand my audience), I would consider trying out various ad campaigns.
I know this goes against the grain for some blogging purists, but my approach has always been to invest at least some of the money I earn on my blogs to improve them – and one way to do that is to invest that money in advertising.
I’ve focused my own limited advertising experiences on two types of advertising:
- Google Ads – An old one, but a gift. The reach of AdWords is huge as it opens up places to advertise everywhere from Google results pages to many thousands of websites on various topics. Many bloggers have used this to great effect to launch their blog. Particularly useful is the ability to target specific sites running AdSense and develop ads that specifically target those readers. This allows you to target specific ads to specific sites (as John Chow did a year or so ago when he announced here on Problogger with personal messages to my readers).
- Advertising on Facebook – I have tried this recently with some success. Facebook Ads allow you to serve ads that target certain demographic and interest groups. Ads can be purchased based on impressions or you can pay for them per click for as little as 0.01 cent per click. I tried both and found that pay per click was a much better way to go, as at least that way you guarantee some real traffic.
Please note – there are many other ways to advertise your blog if you have a budget. I chose these two because they allow you to have very small budgets and target different groups of people by interest and/or demographics. Of course, there are many other options open to you as a blogger to pay for your blog advertising. Other options include:
- Social media – I’ll talk more about unpaid (organic) social media promotion later in this series, but almost all social media platforms monetize through advertising. Some of the best social media sites for advertising are Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, but if your audience is there, you might also want to consider TikTok, SnapChat, and YouTube. Here are some tips on how to promote your blog with social media advertising:
- Make your ads mobile-friendly (this is how people will see them)
- Use videos for more engaging engagement
- Try different versions of your ad (A/B testing) to constantly adjust and refine
- reddit is one of the largest online communities, with millions of monthly users, but cheaper advertising costs.Content Discovery Platforms
- native advertising (often very click-baity, but it doesn’t have to be) content discovery platforms like Outbrain and Taboola provide another option for promoting your content.
- You can even buy advertising space on another blog through a direct sponsorship wake up.
Tips for advertising your blog
There are plenty of people smarter than me out there who can give us some tips on how to use advertising effectively (please give the tips below), but let me give you some quick tips I’ve learned along the way:
Landing Pages Not Front Pages
I’ve found that instead of directing people who click on your ads to your blog homepage, it’s much more effective to send them to a specifically designed landing page. The front page of your blog is a good page for regular readers to see what you’ve been writing lately – but for someone who comes to your blog because of an ad, it can be a bit of a random destination. So create a page that aims to ‘convert’ those first-time readers into regular readers. This page can highlight some of their best content, maybe give some key selling points on why they should subscribe, and then have a call to action (a way to subscribe to your blog, for example). This way, you will not only get a new visitor to your blog, but you will also have every chance that they will come back again.
Relevance Relevance Relevance
I’m not repeating myself just for emphasis – but because I’ve found that three elements of your ad campaign need to have ‘relevance’.
1. The Site Showing Your Ad
2. Your ad
3. Your landing page
The more aligned these three things are, the more successful your ad will be. When people show ads that are unrelated to the websites they are shown on, they are rarely clicked on. When people click on ads and are directed to a page that has little relevance to the ad, they get angry and rarely take the action you want.
track your results
The last thing I will say is that you can easily spend a lot of money with little results on advertising. As a result, it’s critical that you know what you want to achieve with your advertising and that you have a way to measure its effectiveness. I also think it’s worth starting small with a small campaign to test the waters before investing a lot of money in advertising. This allows you to optimize your results without breaking the bank, and then scale things up once you’re sure things will convert.
How to create your Facebook advertising – 3 types of ads to consider
How to set up your first Instagram ad
If you’re serious about building an audience for your blog and want to boost your traffic, ProBlogger’s Find Readers Course will give you the roadmap and walk you through 6 clear steps to finding readers.
This article was first published March 14, 2008 and updated February 17, 2022.