You all have about the expression “ad blindness”, right? It is that phenomenon where people see so much of, that they no longer care or bother clicking on them. This is why many top bloggers will tell you to have your content, as ad free as possible. Content comes first before anything else.
Now, bear with me as I tell you why, at least about an hour or so a week, I dedicate myself Ad Hunting or simply, visiting websites and do nothing but looking at ads and clicking on the most compelling ones. This is one of my ways to find business opportunities.
I consider myself an entrepreneur or at least have that entrepreneurial spirit in me. One of the steps for being a good entrepreneur is to know how to detect business opportunities and use it to your benefit. Re-inventing the wheel is no longer possible, but making different kind of wheels is. Sizes, designs, materials used, colors, etc., are just but a few ways to make a wheel, with a twist. This obviously does not rule out the possibility of a completely new idea and if you have something in mind, by all means, go for it :). That’s how FaceBook and Twitter started.
What is Ad Hunting?
Most advertisers, big or small generally advertise for several motives. Sales, Brand or Product awareness, Traffic, etc. Some are very creative and design their ads in a very compelling form. Some are just down right ugly, no call to action, not compelling enough, and whatever else you want to call it. When I am on my Ad hunting season, I visit my favorite blogs and top marketers sites and pay attention to their virtual real estate spaces. This is where you would normally find banners, links, or any other form of advertising (exclude AdSense – there is a different tactic for that).
On one of these Ad hunting ventures, for example, I found out about GumGum and Pixazza (not aff links), two networks that were totally new to me. You might have heard of them before but I have not, and I discovered that they have an interesting concept for publishers to make additional income, by leveraging on existing or future images that you publish on your website. Think of it as an in-image type of advertising. Really cool, specially for image heavy websites. Currently taking it for a spin.
Another example is looking for those “advertise here” ad slots. Premium advertisers sometimes prefer buying ad spaces via a network such as BuySellAds (BSA). BSA however is not easy to get approved, and searching for alternatives, via search engines, is sometimes just not good enough as you can easily get confused with so many possibilities. Clicking on those “advertise here” anything (include text links), will take you somewhere, and this could be on advertising networks or a specific advertising page by the owner. Using this method allows you to identify similar networks to use whenever appropriate.
In addition to the above, ad hunting is also an excellent form of doing a market research for pricing your own ad spaces. While there are many methods to calculate your prices, getting an average price from your competition is an easy start and from there you can set up yours, with a twist :).
Finding Products or Services
In certain circumstances, I will literally get blocked when trying to search for products on digital marketplaces such as ClickBank, eJunkie, Plimus, etc., to promote. Many of the top bloggers and marketers I normally visit have already their own products and services. Going back to the trust issue, I say it is pretty safe to promote, for example, Kikolani’s Ultimate Blog Post Promotion and Problogger’s First Week Of Blogging guide (aff links). While it is always recommended to have your personal experience about products you wish to promote, this is also a good form of detecting business opportunities.
One final example (I promise). On one of my hunting spree, I landed into Alex Whalley’s website and saw an ad about WPZonBuilder, a powerful WordPress plugin that makes building niche sites to promote Amazon products a breeze. Found out that he had a post about it, so I read the article. Minutes later I purchased the plugin and today, I have already seven niche sites and counting on the roll. If you are interested to know the full story, please read my article about building an Amazon niche site with WPZonbuilder. Does it work? Oh, YES. I built a Kindle niche site last week an saw that already I have three confirmed orders, a Kindle DX, a leather case and an eBook. Every bit counts :).
As you can see, there are opportunities out there. You just have to take the time to find them and implement accordingly. This will not work on its own and action is required. If you find this idea interesting, go ahead and try it and let me know how it goes for you.
That’s it! Hopefully you now know the reasons why I spend some time ad hunting. One of the best steps one can take towards achieving success, is to learn from experienced people who are already there. And that is what I do when I hunt for business opportunities, learn from top bloggers and marketers, that made and still making it happen. To your success!