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Your food blog’s traffic has increased exponentially. You’re getting upwards of 10,000 visitors per month. You’re confident in your ability to keep cooking up new content. Congratulations. You’re ready to monetize.
I’ve talked about monetization and affiliate marketing before in plain and easy-to-understand terms, but I also know that you’re busy building your blogging empire and managing ads can be overwhelming. There are lots of requirements and numbers and technical terms competing for your attention when you compare ad networks, and you’re not sure that you can handle all of that decision-making in addition to your other responsibilities.
Trust me, I get it. And at some point in your professional development, you do have to ask yourself what is the most profitable use of your time. Ultimately, your followers visit your site to see what you’re up to, not to see what ads are being shared. That means that your primary responsibility to your audience and to your blogging business is creating and publishing high-quality content.
Managing ad optimization and network relationships could easily distract you from the important work of creating. Consider outsourcing your ad management to professionals who can take care of all of the details much more quickly and adeptly than you may be able to.
If you’re going to outsource your ad management, make sure the agency you use takes care of all of the responsibilities from setting up your DFP to managing the actual placement of ads.
Most ad management agencies will offer dashboards that allow you to track your ad successes. Make sure that the dashboard information is useful and easy-to-understand. Some companies like The Blogger Network will go the extra mile and send daily reports as well. But again, a daily report that doesn’t provide clear information is as bad as no report at all, so make sure the data you receive is data you can use before committing.
If your site isn’t responsive, look for ad management with added value. AdThrive and The Blogger Network both offer free, Google-friendly mobile setup for affiliate sites to keep your site running fast and flawlessly on phones as well as computer screens.
Make sure that the ad management team you choose doesn’t slow down your site. Features like lazy-loading, offered by MediaVine, and AdThrive’s proprietary Lightning Load™ Ads ensure that the demand created by ads doesn’t compromise your page-loading speed, which is critical when it comes to reader happiness.
Find out how your ad managers are paid. What rates do they charge for their services? Are there hidden fees? In cases like The Blogger Network, the platform doesn’t make a profit until you do. Whatever the payment process, make sure that it’s crystal clear and not subject to random changes.
MediaVine, AdThrive, and The Blogger Network are three popular ad management platforms that offer 100% ad management. Additionally, all were created by and for bloggers, so you can be confident that they’ll understand your needs.
Before you begin to consider affiliate marketing, however, it’s important to build your blog’s audience. The most profitable platforms won’t even consider adding a food blog to their roster until that blogger is pulling in sizeable traffic numbers. Without those numbers, no one makes a profit. If you’d like to learn how to build your audience and increase traffic, read through our blog or get in touch for a consultation.