In the last few years, online advertising has exploded and our internet experience is now enduringly tied to revenue and advertising opportunities. The internet is basically a whole community of people all waving their hands and shouting, “Look at me, ME!”
As a relatively new blogger with a limited reach, I’ve begun to wonder if I should think about paid advertising as a way to promote my blog. Sure, we’d all love for thousands of visitors to organically click through our website every day, reading page after page of content and leaving insightful and engaged comments, but in reality, finding an audience can be a difficult and time-consuming task. Like many bloggers, I want to see some results a bit faster.
But we now live in a world where three million brand new blogs come online every month (source: Technorati State of the Blogosphere 2011). So how do you get your voice heard amongst all the noise?
Two of the main advertising options available are Facebook Ads and Google AdWords. I admit, I’ve been tempted by them both, for different reasons.
I have a Ten Penny Dreams Facebook page (it’s here if anyone wants to check it out) but so far I don’t have that many likes. A paid advert would allow me to target a specific demographic of Facebook user who I think might enjoy my content and show them an ad promoting my page, which they will hopefully click on and like.
As these ads are pay-per-click, you only pay when someone clicks through, not every time someone sees the advert and you can set a maximum daily amount, so when you reach it, it won’t go over and run up a huge bill.
But is a Facebook advert the best way to promote a blog about books, writing, blogging and general randomness? It’s not as though I’m selling a particular product; it’s a bit more abstract than that. As a marketer in my day job, I have positive experience of using these adverts, but blog promotion is a bit different. I don’t want to come across as a spammer or too impersonal.
Google AdWords would be useful to attract more visits to my website itself. But the same concerns apply.
That’s the big question: when starting a new blog, do you hang on and wait for the traffic to come your way naturally, or do you pay for advertising and give it a push?
I dedicate so much time to this blog, researching and writing articles, tweaking the site itself and building up my social networks, that it can be disheartening at times when my progress isn’t more dramatic. But I don’t want to damage the Ten Penny Dreams brand by taking the wrong path and pushing away potential readers.
I’d love to know your thought and experiences – has anyone ever used advertising for a blog that wasn’t promoting a business? If you saw an advert for a blog, would it put you off visiting?