Do you want to make technical writers aware of a product or service relevant to them? If so, I can help increase your product or service's visibility more than any other tech comm site online. I have one of the largest hubs where technical writers gather and interact to stay updated with the latest technical writing news, trends, and information in the industry.

How I increase visibility

I help increase visibility of your product through two primary means:

  • Impressions help increase awareness and familiarity with your product name. They also associate your product with an influential site on technical writing. Each time someone comes to I'd Rather Be Writing and sees your graphic, your brand awareness and reach increases.
  • Clicks measure the amount of traffic driven to your site. Clicks tend to have more measurable outcomes that can help increase downloads of your product, create potential leads, and ultimately create customers.

A good advertising campaign includes a mix of both impressions and clicks.

Impressions

An impression occurs when someone loads a page where your ad is visible. Different ad spaces are more visible than others. You can select from among 3 different ad spaces. Impressions are tracked through Google Analytics.

Sidebar ad space

Sidebar ads appear in the right sidebar and randomly rotate positions each time the page refreshes -- this helps refocus the reader's attention on the ads. There is no specific hierarchy to ads in the sidebar.

Your ad can be any image type (JPG, GIF, or PNG) and color, but the dimensions must be exactly 125 x 125 pixels in size. Slow-looping animated GIFs are allowed, but not Flash. You can switch the ad at any time by sending me a new graphic.

[caption id="attachment_22267" align="alignnone" width="340"]sidebar ads Sidebar ads appear on the right sidebar in a single column. They rotate randomly with each page refresh.[/caption]

Horizontal Inline Ad Space

The Horizontal Inline space (550px x 70px) appears below each post, right above the comments, in the single post view. This highly visible space is inline with the reader's eye and provides a natural click-point after a reader finishes reading a post.

[caption id="attachment_22286" align="alignnone" width="550"]horizontal_inline_ad Horizontal Inline ads appear at the bottom of each post[/caption]

Horizontal Inline ads here can also be animated GIF if desired. The positions also rotate randomly with each page refresh.

Top Banner Ad Space

The top banner ad space(470px x 60px) refers to the top section of the site, in the upper-right corner.

[caption id="attachment_22268" align="alignnone" width="600"]Top Banner Ad Space The Top Banner ad space is the most visible space on the entire site.[/caption]

The top banner ad is placed in one of the most visually dominant places on the site.

There is only one ad in the Top Banner ad space, but it can rotate depending on the number of ads in this space. If the top banner ad rotates, the price is lowered proportionally. For example, if two ads display here, alternating with each page refresh, the cost is split in half. For three ads, the cost is split into thirds.

Number of impressions per year

From Jan 1, 2014 to Dec 31, 2014, Idratherbewriting.com had about 588,000 page views. Here's a chart from Google Analytics.

[caption id="attachment_22444" align="alignnone" width="550"]I'd Rather Be Writing gets about 589,000 page views per year, or 1,600 page views a day. I'd Rather Be Writing gets about 588,000 page views per year, or 1,600 page views a day.[/caption]

The following table shows a little more detail from Google Analytics (date range is Jan 1 2014 to Dec 31, 2014):

Jan 1, 2014 to Dec 31, 2014 Metric
Total Visits (new and returning) 380,000 (about 1,000 visits a day)
Page Views 588,000 (about 1,600 page views a day)
Pages per visit 1.5 pages
Users 304,000 (about 79% of visitors)
New sessions 79%
Average visit duration 1:27 minutes

As for audience demographics, Google Analytics indicates that about 40% of the visitors are between ages 25-34, and about 22% between 35-44. About 60% are male, 40% female.

demographics

Additionally, their main interests are technology and employment.

Quality of impressions

The quality of impressions depends on the influence of the site. Impressions from a highly influential site carry more weight than impressions from a less influential site.

MindTouch named me one of the most influential bloggers in technical communication. Influence is based on how many other top #techcomm insiders follow me on Twitter.

[caption id="attachment_10417" align="alignnone" width="420"]Most influential of 400+ tech comm bloggers Influence among tech comm bloggers[/caption]

See the following links for more details:

Impression rates (CPM)

Impressions are usually calculated by CPM (cost per mille, or cost per 1,000 impressions). However, presently I'm just tracking impressions by page views on the site, since each ad always appears with each page load.

The cost for each ad space is as follows:

Ad space Cost per year
Sidebar graphic (125px x 125px) $900/year
Horizontal inline post view (550px x 70px) $1,800/year
Top Banner space (470px x 60px) $6,000/year for single ad display, $3,000/year if rotated between 2 ads, or $2,000/year if rotated between 3 ads.

(By the way, assuming 588,000 page views per year, the CPM rate for the sidebar graphic comes out to $1.53 CPM, for the horizontal inline view $3.06 CPM, and for the top banner ad space, $8.50 CPM. These costs align with the average CPM rates for 2014.)

Clicks

Clicks refer to each time a user clicks on your ad. I use bit.ly to track clicks. With bit.ly, if you want to point your ad to http://yoursite.com?trackingcode123, I convert this URL to a bit.ly URL such as bit.ly/yoursite. Each time a user goes to the bit.ly URL, it gets counted as a click and then redirects to the real URL that you supplied.

[caption id="attachment_22321" align="alignnone" width="450"]Tracking clicks with bit.ly Tracking clicks with bit.ly[/caption]

Bit.ly also gives you a breakdown of the sources (such as social media sites) where the link was clicked the most.

Ways to drive clicks

An ad graphic that appears when your site loads can encourage users to click the graphic. However, if you want to drive clicks in a more immediate way, there are 5 main ways I encourage users to click your ad:

  • Product reviews
  • Podcasts
  • In-post text links
  • Email newsletters
  • Guest posts

The main goal of the each method is to encourage users to click a specific URL and check out your site for more information.

Product reviews

For a product review, I write a post that reviews your product. In order to write this post, I learn about your product, research where it fits in the tech comm industry, list some pros and cons of the product, walk through sample use cases, and so on.

The review post can be short or long, depending on the product and my judgment of what will work best to drive clicks to your site.

Podcasts

As the main podcaster in the tech comm space, I have a wide reach and a large audience of listeners. Podcasts create close relationships with listeners, and they carry a high degree of trust. A podcast focused on your product may do more or less the same thing as a written product review, except that it's done via audio instead of text. And it reaches an audience who prefers to listen in order to learn (they're often multi-tasking).

For the podcast, I usually chat with you about your product or service for about 20 minutes. I submit questions to you beforehand so you can prepare, but all good conversations take on a spontaneous quality of their own. The podcast's post contains links to your product, driving clicks from listeners.

In-post text links

In-post text links are links that appear in a somewhat random position inside a post on my site. Using special ad insertion plugins, I can inject a text link advertisement into every post on my site (nearly 2,000 posts), which get around 1,600 hits a day. These text links run for a specific duration and target a specific URL that you want users to visit. I work with you to come up with appealing text for the in-text advertisement.

Email newsletters

I have an active list of 2,000+ email subscribers who receive a weekly email from me. In this email, I can highlight your product and encourage users to explore a link to find out more information. Email can be an incredibly effective way to reach your audience, and the email newsletter format is a well-accepted medium for delivering a product message.

Giveaways

One of the easy ways to drive traffic to a site is to give something away for free. Whether it's a 20% discount, a free trial, an e-book, course, or some other valuable information asset, the giveaway can attract users to click a link and visit your site. With giveaways, you supply the free product and I promote it to my audience.

Cost per click (CPC or PPC)

Clicks are calculated using a pay-per-click or PPC measure (also referred to as CPC, or cost per click). You're probably familiar with Google Adwords and how you're only charged for the number of clicks to your site. With Google, the cost of the click depends on the keywords you're targeting.

[caption id="attachment_22289" align="alignnone" width="550"]Pay per click costs for technical writing course Pay per click costs for technical writing[/caption]

In this example, if you wanted to pay for a click to your site when someone searches for "Certificate Technical", it would cost $14.57 per click. For the keyword "Technical Writing Jobs," it would be $2.51 per click. Google uses real-time bidding and your ad only shows up if you're the highest bidder, in addition to other factors.

I don't have this kind of complexity behind my pay-per-click options. (I already have a narrowly defined technical writing audience, so I don't need to attract the right audience through ad links in related search terms.) I only explain PPC here in case the concept is somewhat unfamiliar.

The following table shows a breakdown of my PPC rates and discounts for higher orders. I sell PPC in bundles.

Number of clicks PPC rate Total cost
25 clicks $5.00 per click $125
100 clicks $4.50 per click  $450
500 clicks $4.00 per click  $2,000

Click campaign durations

The time it takes to generate 25 clicks differs from the time it takes to generate 500 clicks. The aggressiveness of the timeline depends on the amount of media served up. For example, to achieve 500 clicks in a three-month period, it may require all the options for driving clicks listed earlier: product reviews, podcasts, email newsletters, in-post text ads, and giveaways.

On the other hand, if your product is really appealing, a single product review might generate all the clicks. What's cool about the click strategy is that it motivates me to find creative ways to pitch your product to my audience. In contrast to impressions, which are more passive, with clicks I'm actively working to drive traffic to your site -- the faster, the better. (For more details on click campaigns, see this post.)

Billing

For billing, I send you an invoice through Paypal. Billing is done prior to any advertising efforts. Although the transaction is through PayPal, you can use either your credit card or PayPal account to submit payment. You can also mail me a check if you prefer.

If you have questions, contact me.