If you’ve ever tried to learn something new (great inclusion statement, eh?) then you already know that asking questions is an easy way to learn new skills or techniques.
With a quick Google search, you can find the answers to most questions needed to get you started. That’s because everyone else learning that skill probably has the same questions you do.
For example, if you’re learning how to dance you might ask:
- What’s the easiest dance style to start with?
- How do you spin around without getting dizzy?
- What do I do with my super awkward hands?
Or if you’re learning how to write great sales copy, you might ask questions like:
- How do you write a compelling headline?
- What makes a sales message persuasive?
- How do you write copy that doesn’t sound spammy?
These are all questions a budding dancer or copywriter would naturally have when starting out.
Then there are those questions that everyone has – but for some mind-boggling reason – NO ONE seems to be talking about!
Questions that seem like, somehow, you’re just supposed to “know” the answers to instinctively.
- How much traffic you should drive to your sales page?
- How do you know when your copy is “done” and ready to be tested?
- And why T.F. does the Easter Bunny carry eggs around?
(Rabbits do NOT lay eggs and the suggestion upsets me)
When I first started learning about advertorial pre-sale funnels, one question that I had but felt no one was answering was:
“Where do you publish your advertorial?”
I wondered if all of these people teaching about advertorials had ever ACTUALLY run an advertorial before. Either that, or this was one of those obnoxious things you were just supposed to “know.”
I mean… that part is kind of important, right?
Otherwise you’re basically just writing a fun little story that no one will ever see.
Well wonder no more, my advertorial padawans. Here you’ll find the answer to “the question that shall not be asked.”
And if you have OTHER questions about advertorial pre-sale funnels, then check out my Advertorial 101 Course to learn all the basics.
You’ve written your advertorial… now what?
Like most things in marketing, there isn’t a single, RIGHT way to do things. Every niche, product, audience, and industry is completely different.
The ‘right’ way is the way that works for YOUR offer… and you only discover that by testing. (annoying, but true)
So asking “where do I publish my advertorial” doesn’t have a single “best” answer, but here are a few options to get you started.
Option #1: DIY on your offer’s website
An advertorial is essentially a landing page. So, logically, it makes sense to publish it to the same website where you’re selling your offer.
BUT – in this case, you don’t want people to feel like they’re reading promotional copy until AFTER you’ve delivered tons of value or gotten them hooked by interesting content.
You can absolutely publish your advertorial to your own website, but ideally, you want to put some distance between the advertorial page and the final sales page where you ask the customer to buy.
That’s because advertorials are designed to warm up cold or skeptical audiences, and get readers into the right mindset before you ask them to buy.
So if a reader lands on your advertorial page and immediately recognizes it as a sales page, they might just roll their eyes in annoyance and click away.
Hopefully you’re promising to deliver some sort of value, lesson, or interesting story in both your advertorial’s headline, and in your traffic driver (which is usually an email or social ad)
The reader is expecting to see that interesting, value-driven content – NOT a sales page pushing them to opt-in or buy.
So while you can publish an advertorial as an article on your blog, be aware that it could trigger the reader’s ‘salesman alarm.’
To counteract this, go as indirect and as subtle as possible with your promotional messaging. That might mean using more than one advertorial in your pre-sale funnel, and sending people down a ‘rabbit hole’ of content before pushing them to your sales page.
Option #2: Use Content Networks and Press Releases to publish on influential content sites
Ideally you want to publish your advertorial on a 3rd-party site that’s separate from the website where you’re promoting your offer. Even better if that 3rd-party site is seen as a source of authority for your target audience.
For example, let’s say you’re selling a course on financial investing. Do you think your target readers would be more likely to trust a message coming from the site that’s selling this course, or the Wall Street Journal?
One of the easiest ways to get your advertorial published to a big-wig content site is by using a content network like Taboola, Outbrain, or Adblade.
These are all platforms which get your advertorial published on 3rd-party content websites like CNN, USA Today, WIRED, etc.
These are paid services that offer different levels of service depending on what you need.
For do-it-yourself options, most start as low as $10 /day.
Here’s an example of an advertorial from Dollar Shave Club, showing a few different themes on different websites. Most (if not all) of these were probably published using a content network like the ones above:
Alternatively, you can use a paid press release service to encourage journalists and other writers to create an advertorial FOR you.
Local newspapers and trade publications are HUNGRY for fresh content and ideas, so you can “pitch” the writers and editors by sending them a press release that outlines an interesting story about your offer or your business.
There are tons of paid press release platforms, such as PRNewswire.com, PRWeb.com, Businesswire.com, etc.
The catch is… you DON’T control what gets published if someone else is writing your story.
Although, as an added bonus, you could also get your story published in a printed newspaper or magazine as well as online.
Option #3: A 3rd-party content site that you control or partner with
If you want to keep a healthy distance between your sales page and advertorial, but you don’t want to go the paid-advertisement route, then another option is to publish on an external website you control or have a relationship with.
It’s quick, easy and cheap to set up a blog-style website these days. You can even do it for free using blogging platforms like Blogger or WordPress.
By setting up a blog and filling it with relevant content, you create a place where you can publish advertorials and control the outbound links.
Affiliate marketers do this all the time so they can send traffic to offers which pay them commissions.
While some marketers try to hide the connection between their content site and their offer site (which can be a bit shady) it’s absolutely fine to be transparent about the connection.
For example, most of the Agora Companies disclose their content networks right on the company’s website.
They publish lots of financial content and advertorials to their MoneyMorning.com website, and health-related advertorials to their hsionline.com website. These are both 3rd-party content websites which LOOK like blogs, but are controlled by the publisher.
If you DON’T want to build your own blog, you can also partner with other marketers who already have content-heavy websites.
JV (join venture) partners do this all the time.
Offer to write a guest blog, get on a podcast interview, or partner with them to do a training for their group.
Just be aware that most marketers will have strict policies about promoting other offers. So be prepared to go super subtle and indirect with your content, and most importantly, respect their business and their audience by creating real value and not pushing spammy material on them.
Of course, there are plenty of other places to publish your shiny, new advertorial, but these are some approachable options to get you started.