I've been advertising on my blog now since November last year and I feel like over the last 8 months I've got into the groove of being a host to 6 bloggers a month - and a lot have returned so hopefully they feel the same too.
Now, as I write this I am booked up for Bronze and Gold till October and I only have one Silver slot in August. Last month I wrote a blog post on being a good advertiser; things I'd learned from my experiences of hosting advertisers, things I noted from those who went the extra mile to make my job easier.
You can read my 'How to be a good blog advertiser' post here but I thought it was worth noting a few things I've experienced when it comes to hosting too.
Promote Promote Promote;
People aren't going to know you're advertising if you don't promote it. I did a Twitter poll before I committed to advertising just to see if I had a potential customer base and luckily I found I did. After that I promoted like death the first few months and then lately I've been booked up for the next month generally all the way through. I have yet to fail to fill any of my advertising slots and if you're getting close to the end of the month and you still have spaces left, I found tweeting 'FANCY ADVERTISING WITH ME BY THIS TIME TOMORROW?' I filled 3 spaces in 2 minutes with that space. Like I mentioned above, I'm mainly booked up until October and the majority of the people who have advertised with me are Twitter friends, people who's blogs I read and return advertisers but I still promote every month. Twitter is the only place I've had referrals FYI (worth noting).
I think the planning stage is the most crucial when it comes to advertising. Create yourself an 'Advertise With Me' page on your blog and clearly outline what it is you're offering. Outline how many packages a month you have, what price they are, what each of them include and how they differ from eachother (and why your advertisers should pay more for the best slot). Also outline your terms and definitely make sure you include some. Things like how your advertisers can pay you, how to contact you, a deadline for when they need to pay by, what they need to send you and what you will and won't include. For example I say that I get to choose the tweets I use to promote my advertisers rather than have them instruct me - it just gives me that bit more freedom to integrate the advertising into my normal content.
If you've outlined your terms now you need to make sure you stick to them. Generally a lot of advertising packages I've found say they need to be paid within a week to confirm the booking. If that's your term make sure you enforce it. Obviously it's at your own description and like I mentioned in my advertising post, some people have asked me if I can wait till payday or whatever and obviously to me that's fine because they asked and confirmed they're interested in the slot. However, I have had people express an interest in slots and then not pay, not send me any info and even after emails and messages haven't responded so I have released the slot again. Stick to your guns and don't get messed around.
Offer Something Different;
I think this is my absolute top tip when it comes to being an advertising host. A lot of people offer a lot of packages and there's a real range so why should people advertise with you over them? Offering something different is the reason I think (hope) a lot of my advertisers choose me. My monthly roundups are my difference, they're not like a lot of other people's packages and not like a lot of other roundups. I call them my '5 minutes with' posts but in reality they take around 3 hours to write. I know a lot of people get their advertisers to write a little paragraph about themselves but I wanted to do something as a give back to my advertisers, more than some retweets and a pin. I hope they come across as personal and show how much research I've done into my advertisers but whatever you decide to offer; offer something different.
Communication Is Key;
A lot of the time your advertisers will send you the money, their links and their logo in their initial email, you'll send a receipt of their payment, you'll promote them, they'll thank you on Twitter and all is good. Those are the absolute gold ones of advertising, the ones who make your job so so easy for you. But if for some reason things don't move so smoothly, remember communication is essential. Email, tweet, DM, whatever you have to do remember to communicate, ask questions, let your advertisers know what's going on.
Remember You're Being Paid;
I think this is really important to remember and a very fine balance to tread. You are being paid, you're being employed to promote people, they are your customers. But equally you are just a person behind a laptop furiously trying to get on with work and blogging and your own life. I think being firm means you've done your part and made sure you're not messed around and then you need to remember you're being paid for this. People are essentially employing you and you need to make sure they're happy with the service.
I said in my advertisers post that it baffles me when people have clearly never read or visited my blog yet want to advertise with me but it works the opposite way. I'd be miffed if the person I was paying to promote me didn't follow me, or unfollowed me immediately after I finished advertising with them. I make a point to follow my advertisers on all the social media platforms they send me links to and on Bloglovin if I can find them and then I genuinely continue to read them after they've left me. I also get shocked every time someone advertisers with me and I follow them on Twitter but not Instagram with me or something, those people I just presume I already follow. Follow, it's just nice.
This is absolutely crucial. Likelihood is you're advertising multiple people per month and you've got people booking ahead as well. I have a variety of organising mechanisms which I'll be outlining in a post later on this month (what a tease) but being organised and staying on the ball is vital vital vital when it comes to advertising. God forbid you forgot someone or forgot an obligation - it'd be mortifying.
Have you advertised with a blogger before? Or hosted?
Have you enjoyed the experience? Any tips for people looking to host?
Pin for later!
Fancy advertising with me?
You're going to need to book ahead!