If you’ve got something to sell to cyclists, here’s a great way to put your product in front of them by advertising on a great group of cycling websites, including ScarletFire!
You may have noticed that all the content on ScarletFire is free. No membership, no pay-walls. Just turn up and take what you need. And thousands do, month after month, which is awesome. Guess I must be doing something right.
The decision to add advertising to your site is a tricky one to make. Quite often, ads can cheapen the content, and make it look like the site has sold out. This depends largely on what the ads are for. Yes, it’s possible to sign up for the latest belly busting fat reducing programme which promises 85% conversion rates, but seriously, if I’ve no idea what the product is actually like, how do I know it isn’t a total con? The last thing I’d want to do is undermine people’s trust in the site.
Ads that add
The way to do it properly is to treat your ads like an extension of your content, and the golden rule of content is to create value for the reader. If I’m going to include ads, I want those ads to be useful to people. Like the Chain Reaction Cycles banners which include discount codes to save money.
Does Adsense make sense?
Having dabbled with adsense on the site for a while, I’m not very impressed, mainly because you have such little control over what ads are shown, and in this particular genre, the cpc (cost per click) rates seem to be very low – averaging about 10p per click.
I’m really not sure it’s worth “contaminating” the site for that little return, so it’s time to look at alternatives.
An ad network to put advertisers in contact with website owners.
I recently came across BuySellAds, which is a very clever way for marketers to find niche sites to advertise on, and from the other angle, for website owners to sell advertising space to relevant companies.
It’s a fantastic opportunity to get paying advertisers and retain value for your readers, because you’re pretty much guaranteed that the sites that want to advertise with you think that your audience would love their product.
Signing up with BuySellAds
As a website owner, you simply create a few different ad zones, copy some code into your template or widgets, and that’s it, they’re available for people to buy.
As I was browsing around the site I happened to notice that many sites had ad slots which were part of a “bundle”. Say you’re a company making motorcycle helmets, you can find a bundle of motorbike sites to advertise on, and purchase the whole thing in one go. This would include a range of sites, with ads in different positions, and you know your ad is going to be seen by your niche audience.
As a site owner, bundles could be a great way to get started, and come to the attention of potential advertisers who might not otherwise look at smaller sites individually.
But there wasn’t a bundle related to cycling!
I emailed BuySellAds to suggest that cycling would be a good idea for a new bundle. Fortunately, I got a reply from a super cool guy called Marc, who agreed that there were quite a few sites in that niche, and that he’d set about creating the bundle sometime during the week. True to his word, a few days later, there it was!
So, do you need to market your product to cyclists?
If your business involves selling a product or service to cyclists, this is a great way to target your niche market, and it’s probably far more cost effective for small startups than a scattergun approach through Google adwords. By advertising on niche interest sites, you’re laser targeting your brand awareness directly to the eyeballs of people who are most likely to be interested. They’re your target customer, so it makes sense to put your ads right in front of them, in the places they hang out online.
In addition to the leads/referrals you’ll get through direct clicks on your links, you’ll also be planting those seeds of awareness and helping people to become familiar with your product. This is especially important for startups and/or new product launches. It takes time to build brand awareness, and just putting the ads out there as part of a coordinated marketing campaign will most certainly be necessary to get the ball rolling to generate sales.
Advertise on ScarletFire
I have three slots available, so check out my BSA marketplace listing here