How To Get Advertisers Or Sponsors For Your Website

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This is the featured advertiser on ShoeMoney. Put your company here!


I have been getting asked lately about how to approach companies for advertising or sponsoring contests.  Almost all inquiries I can respond to easily with several of the following:

1) You have a super spammy blogspot domain.  I doubt any company is going to take you seriously.
2) There is no about or bio page on the site that says anything about what your site is about.
3) You have less then 10 posts on your blog and it looks like the last one was over 7 months ago.
4) You are based outside of the United States.  I know its not fair… but its just the way it is.  (I have sponsored contests outside of the USA but I doubt most companies will)
5) Your blog is titled “Make Money With firstname lastname”.
6) It looks like nobody ever visits your site but you ?  PageRank 0 and Alexa 9,000,000
7) You have no other advertisers advertising on your blog.  Just a bunch of “Advertise Here” boxes
8 ) Your email is @hotmail/@gmail/@yahoo and not @yourblog.com or the site your trying to pitch.
9) The whois information about your site is anonymous (or in your case not yours)
10) Just in the email you wrote me I spotted 10 grammatical errors alone.

So I guess I will start with the advertisers one first.  Here are my tips for getting advertisers for your blog/website.

Just start with anyone at any price.

Yes that’s right. Nobody wants to advertise on a blog that nobody is advertising on.   When I first sell ads on websites most of the time its either trade outs or for very very low money (usually 1/10th of what it should be).  You can always raise your rates later and let the market decide if its too high but nobody likes being the first advertiser.

Create a Zone page with demographics and statistics.

You can see my advertising page here.  It makes it very easy for people to see what placements are available and where they are located on the page.  Take a full screenshot if possible.  The Pearl Crescent Page Saver extension works well to take a screenshot of the full page instead of just what you can see.

Also on that page I give out general statistics on traffic the website receives.

Tell the advertiser why they should advertise with you.

Again as you can see on my advertising page I show all the awards and mainstream press mentions the website gets.   I also highlight the sites that point out how my site has driven them tons of sales and what a value it was to advertise.  Testimonials can also be good.

Well those are the basic tips for how to get advertisers… but as far as getting contest sponsors I will add one more.

Let the company know exactly what they are getting

Don’t try to bs companies… especially if your in the “Making Money Online” space.  After spending money with you or sponsoring a contest on your site if the traffic you told them you expected is not there then not only are they not going to spend any more money with you but you can bet they will let other companies know that your website is not a very good return on investment.  Usually before I advertise I will ask other or previous advertisers there experience with a website.  Its amazing what a small group the advertising space is.

One last tip for both contests and advertising –  Hit up people that you already have a business relationship with first.  Especially those affiliate companies you are making money for.  There is so much bullcrap being written by people who have ZERO experience actually doing what they are talking about that usually companies are happy to put their brand on your site.

287 thoughts on “How To Get Advertisers Or Sponsors For Your Website

        1. Andrew

          Agreed. Although I suppose someone could prove me wrong if they were massively successful in this area & still contacting advertisers with their free hotmail account…

          …so far I don’t know any though.

      1. Digital Photography Tutorial

        I agree and disagree. If you are a startup blog on a free setup and don’t have your own domain yet per se, I don’t think having a gmail or yahoo account will necessarily hurt you. If you have your own domain, you need to have an @yourdomain address for anyone to take you seriously.

    1. Ryan McLean

      I ran a blogspot blog for about a year before I ever stepped into owning my own domain. Owning your own domain is one of the key ingredients to getting advertisers.
      Also I took your advice about “Just Start With Anyone at Any Price” because my blog is getting about 3,000 uniques a month and I am selling advertising for dirt cheap at $2 a pop….I might put it up soon though

  1. BenSpark

    Excellent advice. I’ve approached a few companies with a definitive plan for them along with examples of past campaigns and have met with decent success. I appreciate those top 10 issues there and saw a couple I need to take care of like my e-mail address. I never thought of that before.

    1. Melvin

      actually in my experience approaching a company isn’t really a hard thing as what many people think and its maybe because they are always receptive…

      1. mrkbsm

        I would agree with that – I think a lot of people are afraid to approach others when they’re starting out. Confidence goes a long way in those situations. Shooting them a good deal and taking the time to work for their best interest should get you the rest of the way.

  2. Chris

    I’m curious about this one: 9) The whois information about your site is anonymous (or in your case not yours)

    Why is that a no-no? Does this make you seem shady?

    1. MarketingWicked

      I don’t think this is a huge no-no if you are established, but when you are new, and there isn’t anything to prove you are who you say you are, then the whois is the only (mildly) verifiable form of identity.

    2. Shae

      I disagree with this point in the post. I’ve seen home
      addresses on Whois and I don’t think that’s particularly
      safe. Many bloggers are home based and that’s okay.
      You could always ask for a letter/email from your hosting
      service.

  3. Avon Blake

    You have already written this on your blog before. Please, get some original ideas or take a break from blogging. Things are getting a little tired around here.

  4. Dominick

    These are some great tips. All of our contests are with businesses we’ve already established relationships with. It makes things so much easier in asking for contest materials. It also reassures the business that people will enter the contest because we have a proven track record of having success on all the contests we posts. I guess eventually other businesses might offer up contests too, especially if they see how popular your site is?

  5. Cigar Inspector

    Useful tips. I won’t totally agree with the number 4 – whereas it’s sure more difficult to find advertisers when you’re not in the US, it’s not impossible – thanks to PayPal (I am based in Europe). Furthermore, if you happen to find European advertisers, they pay in euros, which is a nice bonus :) Of course, if you live in a country not supported by PayPal, it might get tricky.

    I would also like to add one little piece of advice – you can create a .pdf document with statistics, demographics, description of your site, ad zones, etc. and send it out to advertisers at request. Looks quite professional and all the information is in one place (can be printed out, too).

  6. Nimic

    Good tips. I guess that explains why I never received any responses to my requests for companies to sponsor contests. I sent the requests out while I had 7 posts on my blog, and it was only a month old. I didn’t even have a page rank yet (now it’s a big fat 0 which isn’t much better).

    Guess it pays to have a good amount of content and traffic to the site before you start courting advertisers.

  7. Blogging Millionaire

    These are really great things that we shouldn’t be doing if we want advertisers or sponsors for our web site. I myself come across these kinds of blogs and web sites and it is absolutely ridiculous that they think they should deserve sponsors of any kind.

  8. Jarret

    Some great tips Jeremy.

    A quick question though about your advertising page. Is there any reason why you don’t have the prices listed for spots?

    1. cheap used cars

      I’m not saying I don’t have an advertising page, but it’s a small link in the footer. My point was, if someone wants to buy advertising on your site you don’t have to push them. The site pushes itself.

    2. How I Got A Job In The OC

      I agree with Tyler. It just seems like common sense that if you advertise a need for advertising, someone will want to get in before another guy. If there isnt a big deal about advertising, there wont be that big of an interest.

      1. Stefanie

        I’d beg to differ. There are plenty of very real businesses that use PayPal because it’s convenient and offers privacy for customers. I do the marketing for a “real” company (with a 50,000+ square foot “real” building) based in St. Louis, MO, and we happily use PayPal for a variety of purposes. You’d be surprised at the number of customers who love that their billing information isn’t shared, or the number of factories that use PayPal as a payment method.

        We like to think of it as being with the times – and we certainly don’t complain about good bloggers with English-speaking audiences, regardless of where they’re located. What matters to us is the traffic.

  9. Zak Show

    Good tips, but you know it sucks when you are outside US and can’t get sponsored by a company, there is no good opportunities for bloggers outside USA!

  10. Craig

    Great tips, and as I have always told my clients I build sites for that you do not build the site around advertising you have to build around content. Content has to come first, if you don’t have good content to start off with it’s never going to happen.
    Same old addage, if you build it they will come. That goes for users and advertisers.

  11. Online Dividends

    One other tip could be if you land them to your advertising page and it has broken links – just like yours shoemoney :-)
    check the ” top 10 money making blogs of 2007″ link :-)

  12. Nebraska SEO

    Did you crawl into my computer and look at what I was researching over the weekend? Very timely (for me) and good advice from somebody who obviously knows what they’re talking about.

    And I really like the Screengrab! plugin for Firefox for taking a full-sized screenshot of a site. It’s free and has several options of what it can do.

    1. Luke

      Do you have to be based in the same country as the advertiser? I’m based in Ireland, and there is almost no advertising opportunity here.

  13. Reid

    I wonder how many people read these ideas and then realize that they have been doing some of the things that you recommend not to do…

  14. Stefanie

    Although most of what’s here should be common sense, I get the feeling that it’s not, based on the proposals I’ve seen from some bloggers. I take care of the marketing for Vat19.com, and while we’re always looking for new bloggers to work with, it’s tough to find sites that have worthwhile content and decent traffic.

    The “No BS” advice is especially solid. I don’t know if some bloggers assume that everyone who works at a company is in the dark, but I’ve heard things like “Your Google rankings will skyrocket when you buy a placement in my site’s directory” or “I am sure you’ll sell hundreds of xxx when you advertise on my site.” Even if your site was okay up until that point, the fact that you’d say something like that when it’s clearly not true is enough to kill any trust I might have had.

    If you’re serious about marketing your site to advertisers, try to learn a bit about it on your own. Stick in some affiliate products and track your conversions – then you’ll know what does well and what your advertisers might realistically expect. It will also give you a better idea of who to target, since the companies that are in a position to get the best results will generally be willing to pay more than those that are less relevant.

  15. Rex

    Jeremy,

    I’ve tried like hell to get real money sponsorships. Even went as far as snail mailing companies. Nothing.

    Rex

  16. Moneybites

    Solid post, I’ve written a couple about this. The trick is to be professional, you’d be surprised how many people will give you stuff if you just lay it out for them plain and simple!

  17. David

    I completely agree with your points made in this point. Most bloggers think they can just go out and get advertising without building some authority for their site. It’s sad.

  18. jim

    Gary Vaynerchuk, the wine library tv guy, has thing he says that “anything is better than zero.” Meaning get that first sale for anything because it’s better than nothing, which is true. After you get some cred and some sales, you can increase the prices. Until then, companies aren’t going to shell out for an unknown quantity unless you show something.

  19. Nicholas Chase

    Jeremy, spoken like a wise blogger and marketer. All of my blogs save one are on blogspot. AAARRGGHHHHH !

    I’m moving the one with the most traffic off of blogspot, using the wordpress software that does this, and on to my own domain.

    I understand that I can create sub-folders for my other blogs under this domain and move my other six blogs to individual sites there?

    I finally had my first CPA, Market Leverage sent me an email, a whopping $8.00 for a debt solution. Even better, it was a text-ad in the content of my blog that the reader clicked through! Now my wife believes that money can be made on the internet.

    Just imagine the traffic I can generate once I get my real domain chugging along. Thank you for the solid, and very timely information!

    Respectfully,

    Nicholas Chase – http://donotreadthisblogunless.blogspot.com/

  20. Melvin

    I thnk the fact of international thing is true but again advertisers will look for US and Canada traffic so I guess you can always flaunt your analytics stat and you can give them more reason to sponsor…

  21. Melvin

    normally when I dont have advertisers yet I test my site with affiliate banners. If Im making $20 a month with a certain lets say pepperjam banner and im selling direct ads for $10, then maybe I would just continue using affiliates and/or increase my price…

  22. Scott Paterson

    Well put, you are spot on with that list. And once you get an advertiser, give them awesome customer support to keep them advertising. I don’t accept any CPA/CPC advertising at all and that’s worked out wonderfully.

    -Scott

  23. Pangeran

    Nicely done.
    Then it seems, we need to work on getting traffics first…

    Then, how to ensure the advertiser will agree to pay if we increase our price?

    1. TeasasTips

      that’s exactly what I am working on Tom. I am carving out a niche audience and working toward establishing consistent traffic. Good post Shoe, thanks for the info.

  24. mrkbsm

    If you are looking for a quick, legitimate way to fill ALL of the ad spots on your site/blog almost immediately, approach other sites, business acquaintances (within your niche if possible), fellow bloggers, etc. and give them a brief intro of your new site. Tell them that you’re just getting started and would be happy to trade ad spots for a link or a mention on their site. If your site LOOKS legit, and you SOUND legit, quite a number of folks are willing to make that trade. You can naturally reserve larger ad spots for the big sites, and let smaller businesses take the sidebar. The result is a site that is fully ad-filled long before you would otherwise consider approaching folks to buy ads. Having a “full” site makes you look established very early in the game – good for future advertisers, but also good for readership as well.
    As your site develops traffic and you get your name out, you will eventually have people ask how they can get their ad there as well. At that point (or maybe sooner), have your “advertising” page ready as well as reasonable starting rates. As folks start to pay for spots you can filter off the link-traded ads, or even begin approaching the existing “advertisers” to see if they would like to continue their ad with a payment.
    The key is remembering that if you treat them with respect you will likely get respect in return… and end up with an authoritative site sooner as a result.
    Just something to consider. It’s worked for me in the past!

  25. Wendy

    How old or how many posts do you think you should have on your blog before contacting people for a contest? I have done this with one of my other blogs and had some success but many times people don’t write back. I even offer to write about their blog, website, or business for free in a detailed blog post giving them links back to their site just to get something to write about and still nothing. Who turns down free advertising? My blogs are professional looking and 2 are hosted so I know that isn’t the problem.

    As far as showing your statistics, how much traffic/hits do you need before advertisers or potential contest sponsors pay attention to you? I know a niche helps like being a Mom Blogger.

  26. jack

    Jump starting the advertising wheel for a new blog/site can be a bit hard but then it gets easier by time , it’s very important that you start approaching Sponsors only when you are ready or you’ll be blacklisted at least in their minds when you really are ready!

      1. R Kumar

        The perfect time is when the traffic decides. One needs to understand the fact that all sponsors want their advertisements to be viewed. If there is no traffic on your website, what use is its advertising. So when you get to see that your site has enough visitors and there are stats to prove this, know that it is time that you approach sponsors.

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  28. Zack - Amer1can Paratrooper

    I understand you’r attitude pertaining to @yourblog.com, but I find that I get a ton of spam if I use this address since my current provider does not have a spam filter. A @yahoo/gmail provides the benefit of a spam filter which works great for me. I would much rather use the @yourblog but the latter works better for me.

  29. BM

    I never knew that this is negative for your blog: “The whois information about your site is anonymous”

  30. Mr Moderator

    Hmm I really didn’t want to do an about page, as I want the site to be more about the people that use it than about me so should I still go ahead and do one anyway? I never really wanted it to be a blog but it seems that’s where it’s at right now.

    1. Nebraska SEO

      You don’t have to make it about you personally… you can (should) have an explanation of what the site is all about. Think of it as a mission statement for the site.

    1. purplevodka

      Hehe that’s what I was thinking. It’s a good post but telling someone not to have grammatical errors in a post that has grammatical errors is really a pot/kettle situation.

      Your – possesive; belonging to
      You’re – abbreviation of ‘you are'; the apostrophe replaces the ‘a’ … why do people have such a hard time comprehending this?

      Good tips though :) Thanks!

    2. Andrew

      I think he was referring to almost illegible writing, not the occasional error (although you still really shouldn’t have any).

  31. Goran Website

    Hey Shoe, I’ve actually printed out this article, I hope u dnt mind. These are some great tips and would make for a great guide when drafting my web marketing strategies. Thank you!

  32. Mark

    I’v been looking at advertising on some related blogs just recently for some other of my sites, I just wish so much that sites had their “rates” listed on the site somewhere instead of always having to go down the route of emailing. I can understand why sites do it though as they many don’t want to come across as advertising channels to general readers but it woul dmake life easier some times…

  33. ann herr

    Thanks for the advice. I plan to use it soon. p.s. You have some grammar errors too (Sorry for being rude – I’m an editor). I still think you rock though!!!! Thanks so much!

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  37. A.C. Slater Baccarat

    Why pay for page saver when you use the free firefox extension “Screengrab!” Just go to the firefox extension search and install it. You can grab the visible portion of the screen, everything in the browser window including non-visible, and selection into a .png file. You can even just copy that and then paste into your paint program.

  38. Vinayak

    Hi,
    I just saw a Google ad for “tools.shoemoney.com” on this blog and I am a bit confused.
    Does it make sense to share revenue with Google for promoting one of your own product on one of your own blog when you can easily create your own banner for the product and link out to it.

  39. Adam Christie

    The advertising page is a good idea. I’ve regularly got people contacting me about how to advertise on one of my sites. I don’t even have a stock document that I can send them. Time to fix that.

  40. Nancy

    I think it’s a bit rude to dismiss someone for the grammatical errors in an email they sent you when this post has at least 9 major grammar errors in it as well. I don’t think you should expect more quality of someone else than you obviously expect of yourself.

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  49. QuickPWN

    These are some great tips. You must have a professional blog, good blog posts, and good statistics. Show off your statistics like your feed count, pagerank, daily page views/unique visitors, etc. and you’ll interested advertisers. Make sure you put your advertising slots in a visible slot instead of hiding it otherwise advertisers won’t be interested in advertising. You have to make sure you place the ads in the right spots. Don’t clutter your site with ads all over and keep it organized.

  50. Atlanta wedding photographer

    Thanks shoe, what I got out of that what to be up front with your expectations and what you expect for them to get. Like anything else..if you are just starting out you are going to have to take what you can get and start creating a reputation. As they say….the first million is the hardest to make.

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  53. Frank

    Hi, Guys.
    Thank you Shoe for those great tips.
    I started to think about advertisement in my website and I don’t even know how to begin. My Google page rank when from zero to 3 in about a year, but my traffic is not that good for now, is a going on process. If any of you guys can check it out and give me any tips I would appreciate it.
    My web is http://flyawaytrip.com
    Thank you.

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  55. SeoProfy

    real good post, i think i will make some changes on my blog, i still need to do stats page, what about if the blog is new?

    1. Mary

      You need to maintain your websites regurally Matt, if you can’t do that, go get others to do that for you, post a job on site like elancer for quick start.
      This is what I’m doing when I start to operate several websites but now I have team up with 2 peoples to maintain our contents.

  56. R Kumar

    Getting advertisements for your blog is an art. Your “Advertise here” page is actually a salespage, similar to one that you would use if you were to sell any other product. Like any other product, the fact still remains that you website has to have enough statistics to prove that it is worth investing in, if the advertisers are to pay for an advertisement on your website.
    Nice tips, Shoe. These tips would certainly help people in preparing themselves to sell their “advertise here” pages.

  57. teen-advice

    Great article! I often think about approaching others to ask them to advertise on my blog, but I have very little traffic right now. In my case, I’d rather wait until I get over 1000 uniques a day and then try to ask for advertisers. I’ve had a handful of data recovery sites from India request that I advertise on their sites for a ridiculous amount of money, which makes no sense because they have very little traffic, no pagerank, and their sites have nothing to do with the topic of my blog (which is targeted for young women / teens).

  58. gurtey

    I think many blogs have never seen advertisiers come their way, but they have that “125 x 125 Advertise here! ” banner in their blog!

  59. diabolika

    yep , all what you’ve written is right, but before all this, you need to work hard on your blog and spend hundreds of hours to make it interesting

  60. Mary

    What a great idea. What I can tell is the older your sites, the easier for you to get more advertiser. They’re not only seek for visitors, I think the owner influence is more important to deal with them. You know trust is a hard thing to find recently. Adding more testimonial, rewards is a plus to sell yourself

  61. Juhani Tontti

    Jeremy,
    all the points in your post are valuable ones, but the most important two things are: the target group and the amount of traffic.

    If the demographics of the visitors fit to the sponsor`s or advertiser` s target group, fine. If you have lots of targeted visitors, you really can ask a good price.

  62. Submit Links Free

    Totally agree about the blogspot domains, that’s the first thing I look for when purging the garbage submissions to my directory.

    Not sure what you have against anonymous Whois though, it’s useful as one step against getting into spammer’s databases.

    … and judging messages based on bad grammar? I think maybe Shoe just wants to be the king of bad grammar ;)

  63. Juuso

    Regarding price: I kind of feel that one should now “undermine” his pricing and also not take too low attempt. Instead, I’d prefer calculating how many pageviews for example one can get in a year – and then base prices on that.

    Sellin 3k uniques for example for $2/month sounds like a scam (“why someone would sell so cheap?”). :)

    Besides banner ads, one can also consider blog posts, emailing to newsletter subscribers and so on…

  64. Claymation

    Yeah, but why does a rollover of every ad on this page call to “googleads”.
    All those accomplishments, and not a single private party ad unit (that I can see, anyway)?

  65. donkey

    i still don’t understand the part……where b’cos you are based outside the United States. Does the advertiser worry about you or your audience (visitors) ?

  66. Claymation

    Yeah, but the question still hasn’t been answered- If this is so successful, why are there no private party ads on this site?
    I’m only seeng google ad network units…?

      1. Jason

        Just because someone is asking a question doesn’t give you the right to be a douchebag, Jeremy. I looked up to you until I finally started realizing you’re an asshole to many because you’re already successful, and you don’t give a fuck what most think. You have no respect for most people.

  67. Shoogle

    This is a good read, I may take the same approach for leveraging local businesses for my community website. I think the testimonials are in many cases like golddust because many businesses will only “try your site” if they see others that they know doing the same.

  68. Freelance Noor

    It is a great advice. Best advertising strategy for me is let the advertiser catch you rather than you market your website. My website tops for some keyword in India. Once a person contacted me to place a banner and he promised me a price my adsense does not pay for a year.
    It happened because I did not market my site. I waited for others to come to me.

  69. Ptc Sites

    I don’t like how the phrase „if you are not from US” sounds like… but besides that the post is great, it looks like i’ve taken a good decision to invest time reading your articles…

  70. anecdote

    I think being truthful about your traffic and reliable are underrated. There are advertisers that are looking to place ads on reputable websites. Part of being reputable is delivering what is expected you.

    This is a very useful article, thanks.

  71. 5S

    Get info LOL on some of those comments I wonder how it all works. I am looking to become an affiliate Marketer wish I had more info.

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  73. satrap

    great stuff. i think if your blog or website has less than 30 post and its getting less than 30/40 visitors a day, you should totally forget about advertising and focus more on building quality content and getting some loyal readers then venture into advertising. however you can always use free ways to advertise and promote your blog.

  74. Mac Flashcards

    Very helpful info as usual. I am having the issue of getting page rank right now even though I have lots of posts. Surprisingly, I actually have advertisers, but I think because of the Page Rank issue that won’t be for long.

    I need to focus on getting my page rank up and to keep my advertisers I will just throw a few months free their way. I’m pretty sure they will be thankful.

  75. Drupal Guy

    I always believe that we need capital to start all kind of businesses including the online one but, if you really do not want to spend money then the opp.cost is your time and energy..that’s it.
    I have two blogspot that makes me money each month just because I spend time to update all the time

  76. ian

    it works well for big advertisers, but many small advertisers are happy with small blogs but sure they should have big traffic… I’ll try to rebuild my blogs to make it ready for sponsors…

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  78. harley

    “Usually before I advertise I will ask other or previous advertisers there experience with a website. ”

    There should be their, in this situation. There would be referring to a state of presence in a place, their is plural possessive, and they’re is a conjunction of they and are. I’m not an English major or anything, but just thought you should fix your grammatical errors if you want to give the impression of being a professional.

    1. brett

      @harley: I thought the same thing regarding the ‘there-vs-their’ confusion. see also the first sentence in the same paragraph. “your” is a form of possessive case; “you’re” means “you are”.

      ugh. those types of grammatical errors bother me, too. they are especially laughable when the culprit explicitly mentions the 10 grammatical errors i would make…

    2. Jesse B

      I would really like if you could help me get started because im trying to look at a trade to were i get a domain and software if needed,and in return you (who ever) gets there ads on the site at all times and a 30-45% of what ever profits i make.

      thank you and please contact me at, skullsangels@yahoo.com.

      and im open for all tips and suggestion.

  79. Build Web Traffic

    I love the websites with the 4 blank “advertise here” blocks. Makes me laugh. Great list of why no one will advertise on a website. Very true and realistic reasons that people should understand. Thank you for sharing.

  80. Austin

    Thank you for writing this post. With the information that I’ve read here, I should be able to find a sponsor. My blog has been increasing PR fast, and my Alexa ranking is also getting better.

  81. TheAceKing

    We are just getting started and would like advertising or sponsors for our web site. Would sponsors take free advertising as a bonus until we get off the ground? It is an idea that the two of our site owners are thinking of. We are small only 34 members and not many participating and we are trying to figure out what we are doing wrong. Any ideas would be welcomed.

  82. bisnis online

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