How To Strategize Your Digital Ad Space

In the rapidly growing digital age, how could it be possible that fashion magazines are upping the number of ad pages they are selling?

Over the weekend, the New York Post reported the following numbers, “The annual magazine ad-page race just got a little bit tighter last week among the fiercely competitive women’s fashion titles, with Vogue trumpeting a 658 ad-page tally for its September issue (its most watched), up a robust 14 percent from a year ago. It marks the magazine’s biggest ad-page tally since the telephone book-sized September 2007, which tallied 725 ad pages and was the subject of an award-winning documentary.”

According to the Post, “The September 2012 Vogue issue is being billed as the 120th anniversary of the magazine, and Condé Nast publisher Susan Plagemann kept the closing date for advertisers open an extra week, making it one of the latest closings ever for the fashion bible.”

And Vogue isn't the only one — InStyle, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, and W publishers are reported as up in number of ad pages sold.

According to, a full-page ad in Vogue runs for $165,000, but they also point out that almost no one pays the full sticker price.

The article notes, “Publishers make deals and do discounts, so the fatness of the issue doesn’t track perfectly with revenue.”

Basically, brands are looking for the prestige factor and according to the article, “For certain brands, skipping Vogue would be unfashionable, maybe even unprofitable.”

Though Vogue is a publication in the traditional magazine sense, fashion bloggers can take a lesson from their ad sales tactics. When thinking about advertising on your site there is more than meets the eye.

For most blogs, there are a handful of options when trying to monetize your work. If you are working on your own (without an agent), it's important to know where to focus your energy and what works the best for you since the advertisement side of things can eat up a lot of time.

Sponsored posts

Sponsored posts can be a great way to do short term advertising. Usually a brand will have a new product (whether it be hair care or jeans) that they want to spread the word about it. They will often send you the product to try out, and for a fee you can write up a review of your experience with the product with a special title that clarifies the post in sponsored. Often they will want you to include information of where to purchase it.

Affiliate links

Affiliate links are an easy way to make a small side profit without trying too hard. By placing them alongside products you love, your readers will be likely to click and buy, giving you a small commission from their sales.

Social media promotion

Going off of the sponsored posts and affiliate links, you can also incorporate social media into your advertising deals. Usually, you can work out a specific number of tweets (or whatever platform you are using) for a specific amount of days, whether it be for a contest, giveaway, or just to introduce a product to your readers. Again, in whatever you are promoting, there should be some kind of easily visible disclaimer noting that it is sponsored content.

Banner ads

Banner ads are usually a tougher sell (not always though). Often bigger brands will want the banner to be up on the site for at least a month or so, meaning that you can't sign that space out to another brand during the interim.


Sometimes a brand will want to throw an event to promote their product and have someone “in the know” present to take photos with the product and such. Usually these type of deals coincide with sponsored posts or social media as well, and they can take up some time depending on the event (it may be an all day affair or just a short cocktail hour).

Other things to keep in mind:

Work with brands that make sense to your style and voice. Don't just accept any offer because of the dollar signs in front of it. It will set a standard for future deals.

If you make a template for all sponsored posts, social media, etc. it will be easier to work out the details with brands.

Sometimes brands will try to get you to lower your prices (remember, everybody is trying to make a buck). Don't feel discouraged, but instead offer something that IS in their price range. Maybe they can't afford a sponsored post, but you could work out some other kind of deal with social media instead.

How do you strategize your advertisements? Do you have any tips or techniques to share?

[Image credit: Shutterstock]

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3 Responses

  1. Jade

    I have my affiliate links with Reward Style which has such a great selection but I’m yet to earn any commision – but I know that will happen eventually and as I get more followers/readers, etc. Definitely agree about working with suitable brands. For example, I was approached by a hair care company to do a sponsored post but had to decline as although I love that product I don’t actually post about beauty and hair – just fashion.

  2. Sarah John

    Andre Jewelry Collection was founded by a skilled group of craftsmen with many years in the jewelry industry. We are on a mission to provide the most beautiful jewelry without costing a fortune

  3. kimmie

    I’ve used a few affiliate links on my site (no commissions seen though. In due time…) but I also plan to incorporate sponsored posts and/or ad packages. I have a solid readership now and just feel that it would be easier to manage it that way instead of trying to join 3000 affiliate programs and charge CPM just to see a few $$ a month or clutter up my site with random ads. I want my advertising to be worth it and to be a little more organic. Hopefully it works!