A few months ago, I stopped doing product reviews on my site, A Good Woman’s Dirty Mind. Except for really popular or exceptional products, reviews aren’t very popular with my readers. Heck, even I don’t read product reviews on my favorite blogs. The only time I read product or service reviews is when I plan on purchasing something special or expensive, and even then, I look for a mix of blogger and customer reviews.
I’ve also cut back on banner ads. Way back. The fewer ads I have on my site, the better they perform for my clients as well as my own retail sites. Plus, having fewer banner ads keeps readers focused on finding and reading quality content and keeps my site from looking like the Las Vegas Strip. And I’ll be the first to admit that I ignore 99% of ads on websites, social media as well as in traditional media.
I’ve found that giveaways perform horribly. They attract relatively very few people and they’re always the same people for every giveaway I’ve held. I could be giving away a bag of manure and they’d enter for a chance to win just because it’s free.
What I’ve found works best in giving clients excellent exposure and call to action are sponsored posts. Here’s how and why…
1. Readers don’t like being sold. The more you push a product and try to convince readers to buy something, the less likely they are to respond. However, when readers read quality content – something that’s newsworthy or relevant to their interests — the more likely they are to click on a photo or a link that’s related to the topic in the story. Readers want the same experience that they’re reading about. It’s much more compelling.
2. Sponsored posts cost more, but the ROI is much quicker and higher. I’ve been writing sponsored posts and advertorials in print publications, on my blog and for clients for years for years. In one case, I had a client say that he recovered his cost in a weekend.
3. Sponsored posts have the power of SEO behind them. When I write sponsored posts, I take great care in using keywords very strategically in headlines, photos, copy, meta descriptions and links. I pay more attention to keywords in sponsored posts than I do in my own content. I also make sure that keywords appear natural and not gratuitous or saturated.
Looking back on my top posts over the past year, three of the Top 10 posts were sponsored posts. The Top 2 sponsored posts have been live on my site for over a year.
Drilling down into the Top 11-100 posts on my site for the past year, nine of them are sponsored posts ranging in 5,186-1,046 page views just for this past year alone. Considering that I post about once a day on my site, have over 1,100 posts on my site, and have been averaging about one sponsored post a week since last September, I think the performance of sponsored posts is pretty damn impressive.
4. Click-through rates in sponsored posts far out perform banner ads. The number of clicks from links embedded in sponsored posts and content far outnumber clicks from banner ads. While some of the clicks listed in the Top 10 URL clicks over the past year have had banner ads, about 90% of them were embedded in content. Since some of the clicked URLs lead to my affiliate links that I’ve included in content, I can attest that they’ve been very profitable. That’s why I no longer run affiliate ads on my site. They don’t pay for the amount of real estate they take up on my site, yet I make a nice chunk of change from embedded affiliate links on posts and pages on my site.
5. Aside from quality content, sponsored posts get extra love. I do more than write quality content on one of the Internet’s most popular sex blogs. (Check out No. 12 on this list for my site and social media stats and analytics.) This is what you get according to the sponsored post package you select…
$200 Sponsored Posts
At least three outbound links to your site.
Top story placement on the front page of my blog for one week — -Monday 8 a.m. EDT-Monday 8 a.m. EDT the following week.
250X250 banner ad at the bottom of the post with a disclaimer that the article contains information and opinions that are genuinely my own. (I do not run press releases or client/agency-generated content.)
250X250 banner ad on the right margin of all pages for one month (I get about 60,000 page views per month. Does not include ads on the main page.)
Notification post on A Good Woman’s Dirty Mind Facebook page with a tag to your Facebook page.
Daily tweets for seven days (@GoodDirtyWoman) that include your Twitter handle.
Daily posts to StumbleUpon.
Tweets and StumbleUpon posts about once every four days for the remainder of the remainder of the month (four weeks.
$175 Sponsored Posts
Includes all of the above sponsored post perks except top story placement on the front page of my blog for one week.
$150 Sponsored Posts
Includes all of the above sponsored post perks except top story placement on the front page of my blog for one week and 250X250 banner ad on the right margin of all post & pages.
A 50% retainer is required to lock in a sponsored post topic and confirmed date. The remainder of the payment is due within 48 hours of the article going live. Payments via PayPal are preferred.
I offer frequency discounts for weekly and monthly sponsored posts. I also lock in rates for existing/loyal clients.
I’d love to work with you. Contact me via the form below!