You don’t have to blog for long before you start thinking about monetizing—Regular blogging takes time and energy, so it’s only natural to want some compensation for you efforts. The only problem? Nowadays, the Internet is filled with so many advertising networks that choosing one is tough.
How do you know which one is right for you? Where can you find more info? What should you do? To help answer those questions, here’s a look at various ad networks and what they offer. Use this research to decide which advertising to pursue.
One of the most popular advertising networks for bloggers of various sizes, BlogHer caters mostly to female bloggers and/or female audiences. It has specific requirements for its publishers (posting a minimum of twice a week, keeping ads above the fold) and asks writers to sign contracts when joining. On the plus side, BlogHer is an established network with a variety of perks for its bloggers; on the downside, it usually has a waiting list for acceptance and sets standards bloggers must follow.
Federated Media is a San Francisco-based marketing company offering ads to websites that deal with living, business, and technology. A website must have high traffic to qualify for this network, but in return, Federated Media provides the established reputation of a network that’s catered to sites like Dooce and Apartment Therapy.
For smaller blogs, Federated Media offers the Lijit advertising network. No traffic minimums are required to join, so any blogger may begin displaying ads immediately. What’s more, Lijit is not exclusive, so you may run other ads at the same time. While the payment rates are not as high with Lijit as with Federated Media, payments come conveniently via Paypal at the end of the following month.
Izea is an ad network offering advertising to blogs with a minimum of 2,000 page views per month. If your blog meets that requirement, you can apply to the network to begin displaying advertising, as well as to learn more about sponsored posts.
Google’s content-targeted advertising network is non-exclusive, with a variety of options for implementation. Choose from text ads, media ads, or a combination. Your ads may appear anywhere on your site, and you don’t have to sign a contract to participate.
How Do You Pick?
After you’ve taken a look at the above advertising networks, what should you do next? How do you select which network is best for you? Here are a few key questions to consider to help guide your choice:
Who’s using these networks, and what do they think? Before signing up with a network, talk to others who uses it. Are other publishers happy with the network? What complaints do they have? This gives you a good idea of what to expect if you join.
What is the quality of the ads? Take a look at the ads from a given network as they’re displayed on other blogs. Do you feel comfortable with the way they look and what they advertise?
What are the requirements? Some ad networks require you to sign a contract of exclusivity; some do not. If you must be exclusive to a particular network, consider whether you are comfortable committing to one network only. Likewise, certain networks require you to place ads at the top of your website; others are more flexible. Think about whether you are more comfortable with one option over the other.
Do I qualify? If your blog doesn’t meet minimum traffic requirements, you won’t qualify for some networks. If this is the case, focus your attention on the ones whose qualifications you meet—or wait until you can join the ones with restrictions.