Sunday, February 6, 2011

Attracting Blog Sponsors, Part 2: Too many animated banners on your blog? Does it help or hurt you?

Banner swaps, Are they too good to be true?

So you're trying to get the word out about your blog, you have a banner and offer to swap with your bloggy friends.  Next thing you know your blog is lit up like the Las Vegas strip.  Blinking, Blinking, Blinking...

Have you ever wondered if this helps or hurts your chances of attracting readers and/or sponsors?  Well you should.  Consider the pros and cons and see if there might be a way to achieve the same affects but with a much more streamlined and organized approach.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself...

Will sponsors like all the blinking and flashing ads?  My opinion is...No.  Being a sponsor means that I want to know that when people visit your blog to enter a giveaway that I have sponsored or to see an ad I have paid for on your blog that they might see my ad or link and visit my site.

The more ads you have the less chance my ad has of being clicked or even seen by your readers.  Also, let's say a customer is going to enter a giveaway and right next to my link is a HUGE blinking banner advertising my competitors site and their "Free Shipping" promo, etc.  That's a total deterrent.  The less competitors of mine that you advertise the better for me.

Do all the blinking ads give you credibility?  In one of my previous posts I mentioned that sponsors want to know that your readers actually trust your opinion.  They want to believe that if you say XYZ product is your favorite and everyone should try it, that your readers might actually try it.  Sponsors aren't just giving out free product for reviews and giveaways for the fun of it, they hope to get something in return, customers!

I've visited many blogs and I can't tell you how many times I have seen ads that give a contradictory opinion or referral. On one hand your reviewing a cloth diaper and referring readers to a natural parenting website and on the left side of your blog is an ad for how cheap you can find Huggies on Amazon.  To a sponsor this should be a red flag.  To a reader this would tell me that I can't necessarily trust your advice.

Does it make your blog look good?  This might be news to you but not everyone uses the same computers or web browsers.  What looks good to you might be all messed up to another person.  I've seen blogs with ads on top of other ads, broken links, pages that take forever to load, and content that is just all over the place and obviously not where it is supposed to be.

Try double checking the way your blog looks to others by using a website like  Simply enter your URL and wait a couple minutes for the results.  They'll give you screenshots so you can see just what everyone else is seeing.  There are always bound to be some that look a little wonky but at least you'll be able to tell and verify that the readers who use some of the most popular browsers should be able to view your site as you want it to be seen.

How can you still advertise others without hurting your chances with new sponsors?  There are a multitude of things you can do to help streamline, simplify and organize.
  • Keep a special section just for sponsors and make it clear that those ads are just for your sponsors.  Limit it to a certain number or certain time.  
  • Consider adding a special page for link and/or banner swapping.  Blogger has a new feature that allows you to add pages to your blogs and this would be a perfect place to have a link swap.  You could have a whole page dedicated to all the blinking and flashing banners of all your friends.  Banners you've added from entering giveaways, past sponsor ads, etc.
  • Use code that allows for rotating ads within the same space.  There are tutorials all over the web, this is just one that I have found.
  • In general, just make sure that the benefits to being a sponsor are greater than the benefits to those with whom you are just link swapping with or advertising for free.
Consider what you can do for your sponsors more than just what they can do for you!

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