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Writing for the Internet > Where to Advertise

More Bang for Your Advertising Buck
Part 1: Where to Advertise

Advertising is not the end-all, be-all to Internet marketing, but it is an effective way to get your message out to people. This article is in two parts. Part 1 focuses on finding the right place to advertise and Part 2 (http://www.internetbasedmoms.com/ad_copy.htm ) will give you tips on writing good ad copy. Before shelling out a lot of money on a banner, text or ezine ad, investigate and consider the following:

1. Does the website or ezine reach your target market? This is absolutely critical. The website visitors or ezine readers must be interested in what you have to offer.

2. How much traffic does the web page receive and how many subscribers does the ezine have? You can simply ask the owner. That would be the easiest. Be sure to ask for the number of visitors each day, not just hits.

Also ask if their stats include any visitors from traffic exchange and pop-up programs.

 ~ Traffic exchange programs are where you surf a bunch of websites in return for people visiting your website. People participating in these programs are generally interested in getting visitors to their own site and may not actually be interested in the sites they are visiting.

~ Traffic exchange programs are where you surf a bunch of websites in return for people visiting your website. People participating in these programs are generally interested in getting visitors to their own site and may not actually be interested in the sites they are visiting.

~ Pop-up programs are where the website owner pays to have a page of their website pop-up or pop-under when a person is visiting another site or using a particular software. It is not like a pop-up ad where the viewer has to click to visit the website. The website itself just pops-up.
These programs can generate thousands of extra "visitors" to a website. However, neither of these programs generate what I'd call bona-fide visitors and should not be counted in the website statistics.

For further information on traffic, you can also visit Alexa.com and download the Alexa toolbar. Alexa.com will give you an estimated traffic ranking from all the web pages on the Internet.* Enter your own URL and see where you rank. You may want to focus your advertising campaign on sites that rank higher than you.

As for the number of subscribers to a newsletter, you need to make a judgment call about the value. If the newsletter is small, but the price is right, you may want to give it try.

On the other hand, just because a subscriber list is thousands of people long - that doesn't mean the subscriber list is full of quality subscribers. Some subscribers may never read the ezines or have full inboxes and never receive the ezines. You can ask the publisher if she occasionally cleans out her list to weed out those who don't read the newsletter.

3. Assess the navigation of the website: Just because you are receiving the top banner on a page of a busy web page, that doesn't mean anyone will ever notice your banner. Make sure the web page you are advertising on offers navigation from every single page. Also, assess how many clicks someone will have to make to see your ad. If your ad will be 10 clicks deep into a web page, you should ask how many page views that page receives.

A Note on Directory Ads - You may wish to have your ad placed in a directory of products, services of business opportunities. These are usually the kinds of ads that are found deep into a web site. That doesn't mean you shouldn't advertise in such directories; however, I would caution you against spending a large sum of money on these types of ads without inquiring first. Ask questions about how many page views the page receives and make your decision that way. If it is a long-term ad, it will serve to improve your link popularity and you don't have to give a link in return.

4. Assess the placement of your ad on the page: Imagine that! You are going to received the top banner on said web page. Lucky you! But did you look at the web page? Will your banner stand out? Or is too far away from the page content to be noticed? This is critical when deciding on advertising. Always assess the placement of your advertising.

5. Try to find a website that ranks high for your keywords: Think about what someone would type into a search engine to find your site. If you can find a website to advertise on that ranks high for these keywords, this is definite plus. However, it may not be that easy since many who will rank high may be in competition with you and may not accept advertising from you. However, it sure doesn't hurt to investigate this option.

All right. Now you've got the tools to find some good advertising options. Spend this week looking for the right place to advertise. Next week's article will help you write copy to ensure your ad is effective.

*Ranking is based on the Alexa users that have the Alexa toolbar installed on their sites. These are millions of users, but Alexa cannot provide a completely accurate picture of traffic ranking. It can be used as a general guideline.

Recommended:  Learn how to get started as a ghost writer and start your own writing business with Moms Talk Biz Guide to Writing for Pay.

 

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