10 mistakes that are stopping you from working directly with advertisers

Illustration of people shaking hands.
Published: July 29, 2020

Category: Affiliate marketing guides

Advertising space on your website can be a meaningful source of revenue in the dating niche. You can choose to rely on Google AdSense or some other advertising network to fill your site’s dedicated space with content they see fit. However, working directly with advertisers gives you more control over what you’ll display. Not to mention you’ll be ditching the middle man, and avoid paying an agency. Remember, the bigger your total revenue, the bigger their cut is. So, if you have gathered a large audience, it’s probably time to try to go direct.

Tips to Find Direct Advertisers

If you are planning to sell your traffic directly, there are some tangible steps you can take to seek out advertisers.

Mistake #1: You don’t know the value of your audience

Only you know how hard you have worked to accumulate the following you have. Still, if your audience isn’t affluent, you may think you deserve way less money than you actually do. The bottom line is: A large number of people with similar preferences are attracted to your site whenever you post new content. This is very valuable to advertisers because targeted audiences aren’t easy to come by. Basically, you have managed to fulfill their goal organically.

Mistake #2: you don’t know where to look

You need to start a business relationship with the advertiser to start working directly. Hence, you need to find one in the first place. But where does one find advertisers they can start a lucrative collaboration with? You can go two routes.

Mistake #3 your own advertising agency is stopping you from working directly with the advertisers

Finding great advertisers for your site’s audience is one of the main reasons to join an affiliate network. And when the time comes, you can use the already established connection you have, especially if your collaboration turns out to be successful. Thus, you need to monitor the ads that show up on your site for this reason. Secondly, you should deepen the connection and suggest working directly with each other. This way you’ll both avoid additional costs of using the agency.

Illustration of two men shaking hands.
You already work well – why not go direct?

Mistake #4: You’re not paying attention to your competition

There are many sites dedicated to dating that sell their traffic. If you are looking into expanding your network of advertisers, you should dedicate some time to analyzing your competitors and networking with the advertisers from their sites.

If you look in the right places, you can find advertisers with products and services that will be irresistible to your own audience and thus, make a good profit for yourself as well as the advertiser. And that is how you make yourself indispensable.

Mistake #5: You don’t know how to establish contact

When you have a decently sized list of potential advertisers, you should find a way to contact them. This can be done directly if the information you need is on the website. However, the people in charge of buying decisions can be elusive. Here are some alternative ways to find the right person

  • Ask around within your personal network;
  • Use LinkedIn and upgrade to premium if you need to;
  • Utilize dedicated forums
Illustration of many people being connected by lines.
Never underestimate the power of networking!

Advertising Solutions for Publishers Who Want to Start Working Directly with Publishers

Now that you know the person that can help you start working directly with advertisers, you should think about how to approach them.

Mistake #6: You don’t understand how dedicated you need to be to start working directly with advertisers

Being an affiliate isn’t easy. You need to make sure your content is relevant and constant, your site is working well and bug-free at all times, your audience and professional networks are growing, all while making your platform’s traffic better. This isn’t child’s play, and you should know upfront that working without your network will mean you’ll have to dedicate even more time to your business.

Mistake #7: You don’t know the company

You’ll have to conduct your due diligence even before you initiate the conversation. Try to find out as much as possible about the company. It is of the utmost importance to be sure your following is the perfect target audience for their product or service. This way you’ll also make working with you an asset that is hard to refuse. Hence, you should make this the focal point of the introduction, and show eagerness to work with them.

Mistake #8: you don’t know the individual

Starting off on the right foot is crucial. To make a great first impression, you should take the time and learn about the person you’ll be making contact with. Everyone is different, and for this reason you should try to find out as much as you can about their personality, values and also the way they see their company. Then adjust the tone of your initial proposal to be more fitting to them. This way you’ll avoid misunderstanding that can destroy an otherwise lucrative collaboration.

Illustration of people talking and smiling.
A more personal approach can pay off!

Mistake #9: You don’t have a (good) media kit to initialize working directly with advertisers

A media kit is a great tool that showcases your biggest strengths and the opportunities advertisers get by working with you. Building a media kit is a great opportunity to see your site from a different perspective, and can show you areas where you should improve. Think about the people who will read the kit and provide the information they’d be interested in: Your audience’s stats like age, gender, buying habits, etc as well as the way you can point visitors to their site.

Mistake #10: You’re not utilizing your advertisement space to its fullest potential

A great way to convince advertisers into working directly with you is to offer ad options they wouldn’t get through an agency. Highlight all the options they’d have by working with you directly to make your offer even more enticing. Think outside the box when it comes to ads, and don’t be afraid to do something differently. Here are some options for ads:

  • Video ads that play before your own content (pre-roll ads);
  • Corner ads (pop-ins);
  • A bar on the bottom of the screen (hello bar);
  • Overlay ads

and many more.

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