Last month I began advertising this blog through Google adwords. I’d like to share some of the things I’ve learned.
This article is primarily for those considering using adwords for the first time. I’m especially interested in helping those (like me) with a limited budget.
A few things to keep in mind:
*Your blog needs to be worth reading.
*Don’t count on recovering the advertising money through adsense. You need massive traffic (thousands of hits a day) to earn any significant revenue from adsenses.
*Be patient. It takes time to create traffic and build up your blog reading “audience.” Adwords can help, but it won’t happen overnight.
CPM vs. CPC
CPM—cost per thousand. You pay per thousand impressions, regardless of the number of actual clicks.
CPC—cost per click. You pay only for the number of clicks.
Never, never, never use CPM! This was my biggest mistake when I first started advertising. A few cents per thousand may sound cheap, but it will quickly exhaust your budget with little to show for it. Why?
Major websites do millions of page impressions—CPM works to their advantage, not yours.
Most of your impressions will not result in clicks. You will probably not even get a 1% click through rate. Think of how many ads you completely ignore every day. CPM is fine for big businesses with big money, but not for you.
You should be able to get your cost-per-click down to 5 cents or less (I’m usually able to get it down to 3 cents). This will require a little patience, because it takes the system a while to “find” places where your ads work.
Keyword vs Placement
You’ll have the option of advertising by keyword or placement. I would not recommend starting a keyword account. The major websites/businesses are also bidding on keywords, so it tends to be expensive.
I would recommend choosing other parameters for your advertising. Adwords allows you to choose certain topics or website for your ads. You can also choose to limit your ad to specific locations. Chances are you can find places that will run your ad for just a few cents per click.
Text ads should be your primary strategy. They are cheaper to run than image ads, so they are usually more cost effective. Your text ad should be something that gets attention. Some of my ads, for example, have the same title as my blog articles (such as The Male Sex drive and Three Stupid Words that Women Say). These tend to get more clicks.
It usually requires a slightly higher bid to get image ads to run. You can use photoshop or mybannermaker.com to design an ad.
So, are you ready to start? If you decide to use Adwords, please click one of my banners in the right column.
Chances are I’ve saved you some money, so maybe you wouldn’t mind putting a few cents in my pocket.