I have an established publishing business and bookstore. In order to help promote the bookstore and our own publish books we also created and publish an online magazine, showing talented authors, interviews, book reviews etc. Over the past 5 months, the content and format has improved and now we find ourselves with a monthly periodical that has a subscription readership of over 2000.
We've circulated it as a finished pdf document and recently started posting it to issuu.com to give a nice magazine feel which readers seem to like because circulation really jumped after that. Until now we've filled blank spaces between articles with web affiliate ads, they are colorful and fill empty space but no one or very few people seem to click affiliate ads, especially in document formatted reads, so basically the affiliate ads bring color but no additional revenue.
I started thinking this month, why not fill the space with paying ads, just like a traditional magazine. I realize being a new periodical with a little over 2,000 readers is not going to make our ad rates top notch, but seriously, anything brought in on this side venture would be gravy margin.
The only trouble is, how to fill the ad space? Where do I look to reach an ad agency that would work on commission. Where would I post an ad, trying to get businesses to post their ads to me in turn? Is there a magazine ad space service that will link up publications to businesses looking for affordable space? Everytime I contact an ad agency they think I'm trying to buy space, I'm trying to sell it.
Our readership is focused, the magazine is called Lit. & Music Review. The readers like the newest bands and musicians, unknown but very talented authors, and poets.
I did have an idea of reaching out to authors with books to promote or musicians with a new cd release, so they could place ads, pay for space in our magazine but the same question persists, how to reach them. Myspace? Facebook ppc?
Any ideas welcome, our main business is doing fine, this is an opportunity that we've walked into and it makes sense to fully leverage it if we can bridge the gap and connect with either an ad agency to fill the space or somehow connect directly to businesses.
Thanks (sorry for the length, just trying to give as much background as I can think would be useful)
#1. "RE: Where and how to fill ad space in a magazine" In response to Reply # 0
It is a always hard to find advertisers - that's a constant problem
One of the main issues is that people do not want to pay for advertising if it's not going to give them something in return (especially in this economy where all companies are cutting back on ads). As you said, people are not clicking on the ads. I think you would be hard pressed to find someone to pay you money for an ad when they're not going to get anything in return. Right? People are going to want to know the stats (e.g., what's the click through ration?) and you're not going to be able to give them a good answer.
Rather than looking to find people to pay you for ad space, maybe you should consider why people are not clicking on the ads you already have. What are you advertising? For example, if these people love music, are you putting in affiliate links to their CDs so that people can buy them (e.g., link to cd being sold on Amazon). Consider your target market and things that they may be interested in. You could go to places like Commission Junction and find affiliates that provide appropriate products.
Also, you must try to increase your readership. Long term, the number of people you reach is what's going to get you that advertising.
Good luck! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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#2. "RE: Where and how to fill ad space in a magazine" In response to Reply # 1
Thank you very much, all solid advice.
I finally realized there is no silver expert sales person that is going to do this for me. Neither is there a magic sales space marketplace to make instant deals.
Instead I buckled down, made a media kit, wrote up an introduction letter with as much details as I could muster.
As soon as I started circulating this, I've made four ad space sales, 3 of which were 6 issue commitments.
So, no shortcuts, just good hard work and beating the streets does the trick.
I would disagree with the effectiveness affiliate ads, even facebook has a conversion ratio of .03% or less? Seems to me the fad has passed or at best it is only effective for mega corps that can throw millions at ads, certainly not something for the small business on a budget. But that's my opinion based on people I've spoken too.