Last week we talked about why you should advertise, but how about where you should advertise? And what are the benefits and drawbacks to each? There's lots of different advertising outlets specific to indie/handmade shops, so let's take a look at them, shall we?
Blogs are a great place to advertise your shop! Most blogs offer banner advertising, which are those colorful ads you see on sidebars. They each have different sizes available and often many options, so consult each one for particulars like that. Most blogs sell advertising space at a flat monthly rate, often with discounts if you purchase multiple months at a time. Their rates are based (or should be) on the amount of traffic their blog receives and can vary anywhere from $20 for one with a smaller readership to $300+ for one with a large readership (some are even $1000+ when you get into the HUUUUGE readerships territories!)
When deciding on a blog that's the best match for your advertising dollars, the key information to know is how much traffic their site receives and who their readership is. You want to make sure the pricing seems in line with the amount of traffic you can expect to receive, and also be sure that the blog's readership is one that hosts your target customer, one that appeals to their tastes, price range, gender, age range, etc.
- Benefits: often there are discounts with multiple months purchases :: some blogs offer special write ups in the editorial section of the blog (like my "sponsor spotlights") that are a great way to gain additional exposure for your ad :: good blogs have dedicated readerships and lots of traffic coming in every single day, so your ad is guaranteed to be seen!
- Drawbacks: your banner will be competing with many others, so it needs to look good and stand out! :: the average click-thru rate for a banner ad is around 1%, which means of 100 people who see your ad, only 1 will click it- make sure you choose a blog with a large enough readership that's targeted to your customer base to make it worth your moola- you can also help to up that click thru ratio with a well designed ad
You can find a big list of handmade and design focused blogs here (on a prior post), many of which sell ad space and offer gift guides around the holidays. You can also check out blogads and project wonderful, two popular advertising networks that many blogs work with instead of running their own ads.