I’ve been following Anna Viele for a while now, and I enjoyed reading the free ebook she just released: How to Fire Your Ad Network and Start Making Money from Your Blog. It’s about what she learned from getting kicked out of the BlogHer network and having to start selling her own ads. The ebook is totally free, you don’t even have to give out an email address, and no I’m not being compensated in any way. I just found it of interest to me as someone who blogs for money, and I thought my readers would, too.
Anna is not a guru who’s been doing this for 15 years and is making six figures. She doesn’t claim to be. She just has a good way of distilling common sense points in a way you might not have considered before. For example, do you know how many pageviews you need per month to be earning $50k/year with an ad agency? About one million, according to Anna – and she’s right. I know people who are earning that much or a bit more with that number of pageviews. That’s a lot of pageviews, and her point is: you can earn that much with half the pageviews if you cut out all the ad networks that are taking 40-60% of your impression earnings off the top.
Anna likes numbers, and she includes quite a few: how many imps will this kind of advertise look for you to have? But what about this other advertiser, with entirely different needs? She also shares experiences you can learn from: for example, that the kind of small businesses who can’t afford space on the big-ass sites don’t gravitate toward the beloved large CPM banner sizes. She also shares tidbits gleaned from talking to other bloggers, which is great, because then you’re benefiting from the experience of several people.
She also talks about selling text link ads, and that you should charge a lot for them because of the risk of getting Google-slapped. She says some smaller blogs are selling these links successfully, but perhaps without realizing the risks. This was interesting to me, because I’ve largely stopped selling links. I’ve found that on a PR0 site – which you will have, as soon as Google finds your paid text links, unless you are one of their good buddies, of course – the only advertisers who will buy links from you are ones going through a big broker like, who takes a big percent of your commission off the top, thus defeating the whole purpose of what Anna’s talking about. And no one seems to be buying no-follow text link ads anymore.
If you’re new to monetizing blogs, Anna’s ebook is a must-read, because it lays out what you need to know sensibly and straightforwardly. If you’ve been at it a while, or perhaps are already more successful than Anna, the ebook is still well worth your time in the same way that a lengthy conversation with another blogger is worth your time: even if they’re not more expert than you, you may pick up a tidbit or glean an idea that never quite occurred to you before. Anna’s smart, and (as she says) she’s learning quickly. I certainly look forward to any future books from her.