Blog Private Ads: Are they any Good for Advertisers?

Over the past two months I spent $285 on private ad spots alone on various blogs in order to drive my holiday season marketing campaigns. I was primarily using the BuySellAds network to buy banners.

Most bloggers know that they can make money from BuySellAds as publishers. But are they any good for your own advertisers? Check out the statistics from my personal experience.

MyAds statistics from my BuySellAds account

The following screen shot shows my past couple of months activities as an advertiser of As you can see I spent $285 across a few blogs as well as on social ads (tweets). Some ad spots were purchased on flat rate and some on CPM basis. And needless to say all campaigns that I ran were very specific to the topics that these so-called famous blogs’ niche (blog names and twitter handles masked to protect their privacy).

buysellads - advertising statistics

The bottom line was that despite around a million impressions and a paltry 650 clicks, none of them resulted in any signup or direct sales whereas $250 spent on Google AdWords would at least double that money when similar products are marketed!

Blog Ad Spot Reality

All of us know that most bloggers are greedy people whose idea is to encash every square inch of space available out there. At the same time, he or she needs to reserve most attractive spaces for his own affiliate links or AdSense block. Due to the same reason the private ads usually go to the available less attractive spaces and many times below the fold too.

On top of this, the most common ad size for blogs is the sidebar 125×125 spot. With monitor resolutions becoming bigger and bigger and mobile themes going for unconventional ad sizes, this particular format is fast losing its charm. Moreover, there are many people who rotate these ads or even have 8 to 12 of them continuously placed on the sidebar thereby producing very less click through rate.

So, how do you pick the right ad spot?

The following would be some of the tips to pick the right private ad spot on blogs (via BuySellAds or otherwise):

  • As much as possible don’t pick any below the fold ads, even if they are available at throw away prices
  • Avoid picking 125×125 spots from a large cluster of similar ads. As much as possible, try to pick bigger ad sizes such as leaderboard (728×90) or large rectangle (300×250)
  • Avoid those ad spots from blogs that use multiple Google AdSense blocks UNLESS they have a premium spot of larger ad banner size on offer
  • Don’t blindly go by the page view count or even the social authority of the blogs that offer advertising spots. Low bounce rate, active community, quality of content etc matter a lot more than just page views or search hits
  • If you can’t afford the best spots because of the high flat pricing of spots, go for the CPM options. Instead of spending $50 on a poor ad spot, it may be worth buying 25K or 50K impressions on CPM mode
  • Do additional research on the blog’s geographic traffic information before committing yourself to the same. They may never ever have any relevant traffic your your intended market. Unfortunately solutions such as BSA do not provide this information

As a matter of fact, many of the blog ad spots are priced so ridiculously high based on the marketing hype. Most of them aren’t worth investing unless a real premium ad spot is on offer on a highly popular blog. Also, I didn’t find the social advertising such as paid tweets any interesting. Sometimes, you tend to pick things that are readily available instead of waiting for the right publisher but that’s the temptation to avoid first.

Good luck with your Blog advertising campaign!

(PS: I will be taking out the BuySellAds ads on this site as soon as the remaining ads expire)


  1. It sounds like maybe BuySellAds isn’t the right path for your chosen niche?

    I have been thinking about displaying 125by125 ads on my main blog for a while but I use an advertising system that displays ads from Adbrite, Smowtion & ContextWeb in the vacant spots, I don’t think any of them offer 125by125 ad units.

    • @Dean, that’s a possibility. However, what I picked were some of those high profile blogsin the relevant niche. I couldn’t believe that some blogs with 1 or 2 million impressions per month could result in hardly 10-15 clicks with no conversions 🙂

  2. Your analysis is quite right, it cost you approx 2.6 per click, can’t say where visitor were landing, but that’s doesn’t seems a good idea to go for private ads.

  3. true ajith. i do not remember when i last clicked an ad on somebody’s sidebar. for me, they are a waste of advertiser’s money

  4. Have you tried Facebook Ads for your campaign bro?

    Those are some really useful tips for advertising, right now not in the position to do that, but will be useful in future. Thanks Ajith. 🙂

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