With the demise of several smaller blog advertising networks (eg. Adgitize, CMFAds, Entrecard) there are very few avenues for advertising a blog. There are of course a few free sites where you can advertise your blog or promote a blog post, mainly social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. There are paid sites like Project Wonderful and BlogAds as well as blog networks like BlogHer and BlogFrog. There is also the option of running paid ads on Google, Facebook, Twitter, and traffic exchanges as well as private ads. So, with a limited budget for advertising, what is the best way to advertise your blog? Here are some methods I have used:
- Facebook (low to high cost) - Paid advertising on Facebook starts at $5 for promoting a post, getting traffic to your blog's Facebook page, or getting more likes for your Facebook page. For blog advertising, this is low priced but can quickly get expensive depending on what type of campaign you are running. I have had good luck with the Boost Post option to promote a post and am now just trying out a campaign to get more likes for my Facebook page which hopefully will bring more traffic. I will be reserving the Boost Post option for promoting anchor posts.
- Twitter (no cost) - Advertising your blog and/or specific posts on Twitter is as simple as making a tweet. It costs nothing but time. You can even use a service like Tweetfeed to use your RSS feed so each post made to your blog appears on your Twitter timeline. Be warned, some followers don't like those who only try to promote their blog. I have found that active participation gets me more traffic from Twitter than just using Tweetfeed.
- Pinterest (no cost) - Promoting a blog post on Pinterest is as simple as pinning it and the best part is you don't even have to pin it yourself! Just have the Pinterest button somewhere on each post and readers who like it will pin the post for you. In fact, that is how I discovered Pinterest myself. I noticed traffic from Pinterest in my stats, checked it out then joined myself. It really is a great way to get exposure for individual blog posts with little effort.
- Project Wonderful (no to low cost) - Members of Project Wonderful are paid to display advertising graphics (banner, button, square, half banner, rectangle, leaderboard, skyscrapper) on their blogs by the winning bidder. A member bids on that ad spot then if successful the ad is shown so you can earn a little, and I do mean little money running ads. Members can also bid to advertise their blog on other sites in the system. Bidding is from $0.00 to winning bid over whatever is maximum at that time. Now it does get a bit confusing until you catch on. If the max bid is $0.00 you have to bid $0.01 to win but the ad will display at no cost unless someone outbids you. They would have to bid $0.02 to become winning bidder. If their ad time is less than yours and time or their funds run out you become winning bidder again. You will get a lot of notices as to you are high bidder, you have been out bid, you are now high bidder. I tend to just ignore them because on any given day it can really bounce around. The payout threshold for any money earned from running ads is $10 which I have cashed out several times but I do keep around $5 in my account just to do a bit of low cost advertising. Project Wonderful can help get a bit of exposure for your 125 x 125 or if you decide, larger size ad. My experience has been that while it gets exposure with folks seeing the same graphic on different blogs or sites, it does not necessarily bring you any traffic.
- traffic exchanges - Traffic exchanges can be used for advertising purposes only. Advertising includes text and banner ads. In general, you buy a given number of impressions so your ad is shown that number of times. It does not mean you will get any traffic from either type of ad. It will gain you exposure for your banner ads which can help build traffic especially since I have noticed a lot of familiar faces in the traffic exchanges that used to frequent Entrecard.